Reve - Twenty Years On
By user12607856 on Oct 14, 2005
Twenty years ago, I wrote my first version of an Othello game for the Sun workstation. This was using the SunWindows graphics library, and using a computer strategy written by Ed Falk.
Over the years, new graphics versions were written, including SunView, X11, XView and Motif. Around 1989, Yves Gallot contacted me. He had some code for generating the computer moves, that he wanted to include with my graphics code. And so reve was born. The name comes from the French for "to dream".
We had big plans for it. It had quite a following at that time. We built up a community of several dozen people, with about 10-15 developers actively working on it, fixing bugs, tweaking things and adding in new features. We even entered it for the Othello Computer World Championships in 1990 [link].
Sadly, a couple of years later, interest started to languish. I also started getting interested in other things. Around 2000, when I started getting involved with GNOME and Gtk+, I made my first attempt to port the code to that platform. I got distracted with other things and never finished it. I tried again in 2002, taking a slightly different approach. Again, this work was never completed.
Back at the end of July this year, I started a third attempt. This time I decided to do all the graphics using Glade, and to just load it into my application with libglade. Since then, whenever I've had a spare moment, I've continued to work on it. Things went much faster this time. It's now at the point where I'm not embarrassed for it to be seen in public, and I think it's okay enough for other people to try it out ( [Download] [README] [Screenshot]).
It really needs a HCI/GUI makeover to make it as pretty as some of the gnome-games applications. Part of me would like to do that. Another part wants to leave the UI fairly simple, to facilitate the port to the next graphics toolkit that comes along.
Update: John Spray has reworked the Preferences popup to be more HIG compliant. I've generated a new version of reve with his changes in it. The Download link above has been updated to alway point to the latest version.
I've no idea how competitive it is against the current crop of Othello programs. Hopefully if I get some more spare time in the near future, I can find out.