MacFIBS Home Page

Version History

    This page contains the change history for MacFIBS, in reverse chronological order. For each release it describes the new features and bug fixes.

    Most of the information in this page is historical and is not necessary to use MacFIBS.

MacFIBS 4.1.5

    Release Date: 23 February 2000

    Fixed a bug that occurs if you delete or move the board file that MacFIBS last opened. The next time you launch MacFIBS, it will attempt to open another file, and ask you to choose one, but the attempt to open it fails.

MacFIBS 4.1.4

    Release Date: 22 February 2000

    Bug Fixes

    Fixed a crashing bug that occurred if you typed 'dicetest' in the Terminal window to view the dice statistics kept by the server.

    Fixed several bugs (some crashers) that occurred if you deselected the Terminal or Game Room windows in the Preferences > Startup and didn't open those windows prior to connecting to FIBS.

    Fixed a bug where a user who had left you a message would be listed in the Player window, even if they weren't logged in at the time you got the message.

    The default setting for Resign game was incorrect (it defaulted to "Backgammon (3x)"). It now is correctly set to "Normal (1x)".

    Fixed a problem with toggling board sounds. MacFIBS wasn't recognizing when you toggled them on, so if they were off, and you toggled them on, no sounds would play until you quit MacFIBS and restarted.

    If the main chat window is not visible when someone sends you a chat message (kibitz, whisper, tell, say), the chat window is opened.

    Changed the randomization of dice positions when the dice are in the tray. Before the dice position would be slightly randomized--three pixels in both the vertical and horizontal position. Now the horizontal position is fixed, the positions are still randomized by three pixels vertically.

    When a match finishes, the statistics numbers at the bottom of the board window (score, pip count, etc.) are blanked out. Before, the scores were set to zero, but the other fields were left unchanged. The player names remain on the board, so you can double click the player icons to get player info for them (Tip: After you finish a game, if you want to invite the same player again, just drag the player's icon at the bottom of the board window onto the board.)

    The "Invite" button now responds to the return key when you are inviting someone to play a match. (Note that the corresponding "Accept" button when someone invites you does not respond to the return key. If it did, you might accidentally accept an invitation while typing an ordinary chat message. The same is true when your opponent offers to resign or doubles you.)

    Weak linked the Open Transport libraries so that people running MacTCP (System 7.5) can run MacFIBS.

    Fixed problem with the icons at the bottom of the board window appearing as blank.

    Balloon help for MacFIBS was accidentally disabled, it now works.

    New Features

    Modified the Player window to use new "Finder-style" beveled buttons instead of the old-fashioned, ugly, and oh so 1990's underlined text buttons.

    Added an up/down toggle button above the scroll bar, to allow you to sort the selected column in ascending or descending order.

    Added a dialog that is displayed when the login fails, telling you that you did not log in, and disconnecting the IP session.

    Updated the small icons for hosts, switched to "Mac OS" happy face instead of MacFIBS icon, switched to improved Windows icon.

    Added messages to the Board window's status line that gives feedback while you are moving your checkers, for example, "You have moved bar-5 5-10 17-22 (1 move left)". This is a very cool feature!

    Modified the graphics of the board buttons, to make it more similar to MacFIBS 3. In their "off" states, the graphics are desaturated.

    Modified the messages displayed in the main Chat window so that you can distinguish among kibitz, whisper, chat, etc.

    You can now drag/drop a player onto the main chat window. Depending on your Preferences setting, MacFIBS will either add and select "Tell <player>" in the window's popup menu, or open a private chat window with <player>.

MacFIBS 4.1.3

    Release Date: 6 February 2000

    Fixed a bug where MacFIBS wouldn't create a new chat window when someone sent you a private chat message and your preference was set to "Separate Chat Windows."

    Fixed a stupid bug I introduced in 4.1.1, where the sound to indicate it's your turn to roll broke (this time I mean it, I really fixed it this time!)

MacFIBS 4.1.2

    Release Date: 5 February 2000

    Fixed a bug where MacFIBS would not display the correct value of the doubling cube when playing a match with autodouble on and having one or more opening doubles.

    Fixed a stupid bug I introduced in 4.1.1, where the sound to indicate it's your turn to roll broke.

MacFIBS 4.1.1

    Release Date: 5 February 2000

    FINALLY fixed (I hope) a major bug introduced in beta 4, where not all players would appear in the Players list. This bug nearly drove me to drink.

    Fixed a bug (actually two unrelated bugs) with saving the moves from a game. It should work properly now.

    Fixed a bug where user names with an extra period ('.') character at the end would appear in the player window.

    Fixed color coding bugs in the Shout and Chat windows.

    Fixed a bug where MacFIBS would beep when bringing a checker in from the bar if you double clicked it.

    Fixed a bug in the player window with contextual menus. If a player is selected, and you control-click on another player, the menu used to list options for the selected player, not the player on which you clicked. This is working properly now, the control-clicked player will be the focus of the contextual menu, and that player will be selected when you release the mouse.

    Adjusted the widths of several columns in the player window to provide a little more room.

    Fixed several bugs with saving player buddy, blind, gag, color, and notes information.

    Fixed a bug with player sounds. Now MacFIBS will only look in the Preferences file for player sounds, so that players with names that match system sounds (e.g. "Quack") won't pick up the corresponding system sound.

    Fixed a bug that wouldn't allow MacFIBS to launch if Internet Config or Apple Guide system software was not installed.

    The player notes text box is now white, and won't display funny gray/white banding when you entered notes.

    Added new feature that makes gag and blind "permanent". If you set gag or blind for a player, MacFIBS will automatically generate the "gag playerX" and "blind playerY" messages. This was a frequent request.

    Changed web address and email address to use my new @Home account. Over time, I expect to discontinue my Best account.

MacFIBS 4.1

    Release Date: 29 January 2000

    Fixed a major bug introduced in beta 4, where not all players would appear in the Players list. Worse, sometimes your own name would not appear.

    Fixed a long standing bug where the dice and checkers wouldn't appear on the board when first launched. It's about time I fixed this stupid bug, so I did...

    Fixed the "jumping dice" bug.

    Fixed the "greyed out dice" bug.

    Fixed yet another bug in the Thorp Count calculation (thanks, Peter, is it correct now?) The Thorp count numbers display with one decimal point (e.g. 14.5) if the counts are less than 100.

    Fixed a crashing bug, which would happen if you quit MacFIBS while the Preferences dialog was open.

    Fixed a bug with the ready button. If you are currently "not ready", and invite someone to play a match, your status is silently changed by FIBS to "ready", and the button didn't reflect this.

    Added a simulated "You moved x-x y-y ." message. FIBS does not actually send a message like this (assuming you know what you just moved), but it is useful if you want to save the contents of the Terminal window with Verbose Messages on.

    Added several new contextual menus to the board and player windows.

    Created new artwork for the dice and doubling cube for Guy's boards. The new artwork is slightly larger, and is more proportional to the size of the boards.

    Changed the format of messages that appear in the shout and chat windows (instead of "joe shouts: la la la", it now just says "joe: la la la")

    Added code that should eliminate problems with clicking the dice too many times in a row. This should fix the problem some "trigger happy" players experienced accidentally generating multiple "move ..." commands.

    When using a single chat window, MacFIBS now adds a "tell joe" menu item in response to a tell message from joe. The menu item is not automatically selected, as was done in an earlier version of MacFIBS (this was a common complaint from MacFIBS users, who found themselves sending messages to the wrong person), but you can select it by scrolling the menu using the mouse or using Cmd-UpArrow and Cmd-DownArrow.

    Added new high quality sounds for game play (rolls, moves, pickups). These are brand new 16-bit 44 mHz samples recorded in Fergy Studios on an Anne Carleton leather backgammon board. The file size of MacFIBS has increased substantially (from 1.8 MB to 3.5 MB), as well as the memory partition (to 12 MB) to accomodate these sounds.

    Added a new button to the right center of the board that displays when it's your turn to roll or double. This serves both as a visual indicator that FIBS is waiting for you, and provides a convenient shortcut to rolling (click the button). While you can still roll by clicking the dice, this button is a good shortcut because the button appears near where your mouse cursor last was when you clicked to commit your previous roll.

MacFIBS 4.0 Beta 4

    Release Date: 3 December 1999 (the one year anniversary of this beta!)

    Completely rewrote the message parser to fix several lingering bugs, including incorrect identification of messages. This is a major change, and may well introduce new bugs. Please look for differences or problems with how this version handles messages.

    Added player color coding to the chat and shout windows.

    Redesigned the Player Info window slightly, consolidating the status and settings information. Added player idle time info and control.

    Added extensive new searchable, HTML-based user guide. For Mac OS 8.5 or later, this appears as new Apple Help and is available under the MacFIBS Help menu.

    Fixed the "Accept Double" dialog to display the proper doubling cube graphic.

    Removed traceback tables (if you don't know what these are, it won't help to explain them), reducing the MacFIBS application size by about 400K.

    Fixed bug in Board Preferences that would not allow you to disable pip counts or board sounds.

    Fixed bug in Chat Preferences that wouldn't save/restore the checkboxes for Initial Kibitz and Decline messages.

    MacFIBS was not setting boardstyle 3 automatically for new users.

    Fixed bug in calculation of ratings formula for players with <400 experience points.

MacFIBS 4.0 Beta 3

    Release Date: 19 February 1999

    Fixed a crashing bug that occurred when you opened the Invite dialog.

    Fixed a crashing bug that occurred when you clicked the little heads on the board status area after refreshing the player list.

    Added new "Game" section to Preferences (NOTE: These new preferences are not fully working yet.)

MacFIBS 4.0 Beta 2

    Release Date: 12 February 1999

    Fixed a bug that prevented MacFIBS from starting if Internet Config is not installed.

    Added additional checks for help text that was misinterpreted as game messages.

    Fixed bug with Norse connection preference not working.

    Fixed crashing bug when "Show Watchers" command was executed.

    Fixed bug in Players window that would highlight two or zero players, rather than one.

    Fixed Guy's boards to use proper pip number graphics.

    Fixed bug where you would still see Shout messages from players you had gagged.

    Added more messages to the board message display.

    Modified Terminal non-verbose behavior to work "more better".

    Updated for PowerPlant 1.9.3 and CWASTEEdit 1.8.

    Fixed duplicate posting of messages in Shout window.

    You can now select text in any text history window.

    Removed "set" and "toggle" commands from startup sequence.

    The Preference setting "Connect immediately at startup" now works.

    Balloon and Apple Guide help should nearly be helpful.

    Everyone who uses this version of MacFIBS should be thinner, funnier, and more attractive.

MacFIBS 4.0 Beta 1

    Release Date: 3 December 1998

    This is the first release that uses the "CLIP" (CLient Interface Protocol) protocol. CLIP was developed and implemented in the FIBS server by Andreas Schneider. It provides more comprehensive and more up to date information to clients, and this is reflected in MacFIBS.

    Note: MacFIBS 4.0 is not currently compatible with NOBS, an alternate backgammon server that is a clone of FIBS. At this time, NOBS does not support the CLIP protocol.

    MacFIBS 4.0 contains several new features that derive from CLIP:

    • Player status now displays additional information, e.g. "Playing fred" or "Watching wilma".
    • Player status (especially ready/not ready) is updated accurately.
    • You will see a small icon next to Host names for other players using MacFIBS 4.0 or later. (A small "?" icon appears next to players using some other non-Mac CLIP clients--these are very rare now).

    Other Cool Changes and Features:

    Version 4.0 represents a major release, and contains a wealth of new features. Refer to the MacFIBS website for details about the cool new features.

    PowerPC Only This release of MacFIBS is PowerPC only. I have not decided whether I will try to build a 68K version of MacFIBS 4.0; new features such as Contextual menus, Navigation Services, and the Appearance Manager make it more difficult to support older machines without a great deal more work.

    New Board Windows One of the most frequent requests was to provide different size windows similar to version 2.1. In MacFIBS 4, the board files have been separated from the core application, allowing you to easily switch among a variety of board files (alright, it's just two right now, but I expect more to come.)

    Appearance Savvy. All windows and dialogs follow Apple's Appearance guidelines and have the new gray "3-D" look. The Preferences dialog shows these changes best.

    Contextual Menus (this feature is only available with Mac OS 8 and a PowerPC Mac.) All the primary windows (Terminal, Game Room, Board, and Chat/Chat With) contain contextual menus with specific commands for each window. For example, in the Game Room window you can Control-click a player name to display a popup menu to invite, chat, get info, gag, blind, etc. the player.

MacFIBS 3 r6

    Released 20 January 1998

    This release adds a new feature to detect the condition when there are more than 145 users online. The FIBS server only sends the first 145 users in response to a rawwho, and unfortunately this results in your own information (rating, experience) not being sent. With the increasing popularity of FIBS, this has become a common condition.

    MacFIBS will now explicitly retrieve your own info in this situation. However, there may be other players online that you are not aware of because FIBS has not reported them.

    I have reported this to Andreas, and asked him to remove the limit on rawwho.

MacFIBS 3 r5

    Released 14 January 1998

    This release fixed a crashing bug in the 68K version. It also fixes the problem of dice sometimes not appearing on the board when watching or playing a bot.

MacFIBS 3 r4

    Released 11 January 1998

    This release fixed one bug introduced in release r3. If your opponent resigned, the "Accept" button in the dialog was not enabled. In r3, I changed the behavior of this dialog to remove the default behavior (pressing return) so that you wouldn't accidently accept a reject while typing a chat message.

MacFIBS 3 r3

    Released 10 January 1998

    If you paid your registration fee for an earlier version of MacFIBS, you do not need to pay again for this release. This is a free update. If you have not yet paid and are enjoying MacFIBS, perhaps now is a good time to register your copy.

    This release is intended to fix a serious bug introduced in release r2.


    The bug: In some cases, when you were invited by another player, MacFIBS was accidently disconnecting from the server. As a user, you might experience this as seemingly random disconnections while you were in the "Ready" state. And unfortunately, MacFIBS doesn't notify you that you have been disconnected so some people interpret this as MacFIBS having crashed.

    I believe this version fixes the disconnection problem, but it has had very limited testing since I wanted to get something out to everyone quickly. If you continue to experience this or other problems, please let me know.

    There is one new user interface feature. The Player Info dialog has been reorganized, with all status information moved to the first page, and the Color/Buddy/Gag/Blind controls moved to the third page.

    This version also fixes the the highlighting problems that have plagued MacFIBS 3.

MacFIBS 3 r2

    Released 24 December 1997

    New Features

The main new feature is (drum roll, please) "Documentation!". Yes, I have finally written down how MacFIBS actually works! It amazed even me. The documentation is primarily in the form of Apple Guide online help. This help system should provide guidance for doing most tasks with MacFIBS. Please send me your comments about it.

A new "Status" palette provides visual shortcuts to commonly used toggle settings: ready, greedy, doubles, and moves. While the UI for this may change (I expect to incorporate these directly into the board window), I found having this little floating palette very handy so I have left it in this release.

MacFIBS will automatically save the output from 'toggle moves', which replays the moves of a just completed game. If 'toggle moves' is on (you can set it using the new Status palette), MacFIBS will prompt you for a file name after each game. Games can be replayed using John Baro's Backgammon Play-O-Matic program, available from the MacFIBS Software page.

The dialogs that appear when you invite someone or are invited by someone now contain Win/Lose numbers indicating how your rating will change after playing a match with the player. When inviting someone, the up/down numeric control will update these numbers in real time (Take that, Egon!)

The other area of improvement is in the Game Room window;

  • In the player list, buddys are shown in Bold, and you can sort by Buddy/non-Buddy using the Player/Sort menu.
  • In the match list, you can now use menu commands to look (Cmd-L) or watch (Cmd-H) a selected match.
  • In both the match list and player list, you can Option-click a match or player to look at the match.
  • When the match list is visible, Cmd-E will refresh the match list. When the Player List is visible, Cmd-E will refresh both the player list and the match list.
  • The Tab key will toggle between player view and match view.

Bug Fixes

MacFIBS would sometimes crash when you were asked to resume an unlimited match.

MacFIBS would crash on startup if you had set your preferred sort order to "Color". A big THANK YOU to the MacFIBS user whom I know only as"Rich" for identifying and reporting this bug.

The Double Click option in the Preferences/Players dialog stopped working correctly in r1. There were actually two related bugs: (1) MacFIBS would always open a Player Info window regardless of the setting, and (2) the setting would not be maintained even after you saved your setting.

A potentially serious bug in the Match list was discovered and fixed. The effects of this are not known, but could result in crashing (and probably accounted for weird behavior I was seeing with the new match list features described above).

The "Connect Immediately" preference option stopped working correctly in r1, you would always get a Connect dialog.

When you were invited to an unlimited match, the Accept Invitation dialog was not displayed.

If you moved a checker too soon after the dice rolled, the move may be undone immediately by a "board:..." message arriving. I have changed some timing delays to prevent this from happening.

The "Buddy" sound buzzed badly during the initial "rawwho". The sound now plays synchronously, and should sound much better.

Commands in the Player menu were not always correctly set and activated.

When you refresh the player list (Cmd-E), the list of matches was not refreshed.

If the autoboard toggle is NO, MacFIBS will set it to YES automatically. The NO setting results in incorrect board updates after completing a move.

Some balloon help was incorrect.

    Known Bugs

Same as the known bugs in r1.

There are still a few gaps in the user documentation (or more accurately, "huge, gaping holes large enough to fit a Winnebago Luxor with a pre-DSS satellite dish on the roof"). The balloon help is much more comprehensive in this release, and I am working on a new AppleGuide for MacFIBS, the initial release is included in this version.

MacFIBS 3 r1

    Released 2 November 1997

    New Features

    Game Room Window

You can now navigate the player or match lists using the UpArrow, DownArrow, PageUp, PageDown, Home, and End keys. This enhancement was the direct result of a MacFIBS user's suggestion made while chatting on FIBS. Thanks, this was a great idea!

When someone marked as a "Buddy" or someone with whom you have a saved game logs in, a chime sound plays. (If you have a sound for a player, that sound overrides the chime sound.)

Board Window

If you are playing or watching a match, you can click either player's name at the bottom of the window to open a Player Info window for the player.

Undo Redux

Many players do not realize that there are three ways to undo a move:

    1. Drag a checker that has been moved back to its original position. This method is new in MacFIBS 3.
    2. Choose Undo (Cmd-Z) from the Edit menu. This will undo the most recent move. MacFIBS supports multiple undo's.
    3. Refresh the board (Cmd-B). This resets the board to the way it was before you took any moves, effectively undoing all your moves for the current roll.

Balloon Help

Balloon help for the menu commands was added.

Kleinman and Thorp Metrics

I have put the Kleinman metric back in (which was in version 2.1 and earlier) as well as the newly introduced Thorp count. You can select either or both of these to display in the Preferences/Board dialog.

FAQs on these are forthcoming (and may already be there by the time you read this.)

    Bug Fixes

The Player Info windows should now close properly. The double-printing of information in these windows has also been fixed. I also fixed a bug that resulted in incomplete player info for some players.

You can drag a checker back to the bar to undo the move.

The "Home Page" button on the About MacFIBS dialog passed a garbled URL to Netscape. It now passes the correct string.

The double-printing bug in the Player Info window was fixed.

The "Misc" information in the player info windows sometimes would not display the player's status or email info.

A few cosmetic bugs were fixed.

A bunch of other stuff that I can't remember right now...

    Known Bugs

When moving checkers during a game, the Undo command is not always enabled when it should be. I am still trying to resolve this bug. If you can provide any information about the conditions that cause this, please send me an email. This bug is driving me crazy. For now, you can fix it when it occurs by selecting another window, then selecting the Board window again. Or, use one of the other undo methods described above.

There are still a number of cosmetic bugs in the Game Room window with highlighting the current player. I am investigating alternate approaches to the list software used to manage the player and match lists. The bugs are strictly cosmetic, and should not affect the Game Room's behavior.

HomeDownloadWhat is MacFIBS?Frequent Questions
Register OnlineVersion HistoryKnown Problems

Copyright 2001 Paul D. Ferguson