The windows version of RenLib is actually the 3rd generation of the RenLib program. The ideas behind RenLib are over 10 years old.
1st generationIt all started around 1990 when Ingvar Sundling, one of the best players those days, asked me if I could make a program to enter moves in a diagram. This lead to the birth of a version of RenLib which was running on a Atari home computer. The very first version had a command prompt where coordinates were entered and the moves were displayed as X and O, which is the traditional way of playing Luffarschack, i.e. Go-Moku, in Sweden. This was soon changed to display VGA/EGA graphics and use of the mouse to enter moves.
I demonstrated the program for Stefan Karlsson, who immediately bought an Atari computer only to be able to run the early version of RenLib. This version had a comment line on top, a diagram, but no color, i.e. it resembled windows version 1.0 of RenLib.
One of the first suggestions was to use right-click to go back one move.
2nd generationA few years later Stefan bought a portable HP computer and asked me to make RenLib running on it, so then HP-RenLib was born, a version that also run under DOS. The main drawback was that there is no mouse, so arrow keys were used to move a "box" around the screen to simulate a mouse.
This is the start screen of HP-RenLib:
The swedish player Joachim Gaulitz also bought a HP computer to run HP-RenLib. Both of them bring their computers when they participate in tournaments.
You can try HP-RenLib yourself:Click link to download:
3rd generationIn beginning of year 2000 I bought a new PC, but the graphics card made it difficult for me to run VGA/EGA graphics, which the HP-RenLib program is using. I had to reboot my PC every time the program had been started.
At that time I was studying to learn more about C++
and Windows programming using MFC, so I started a hobby project
to convert RenLib C-program into C++ using MFC.
Suddenly it seemed that more renju players from all over the world had discovered RenLib and I started receiving more and more suggestions about new functionality.
RenLib in the futureToday RenLib can only run on the Windows platform. However, there might be a Java version of RenLib in a near future. This would make it possible to run RenLib on other computers like Macintosh or Linux.
As mentioned before, RenLib was originally written in the C language and then converted to C++. I have started to change the internal design of RenLib, to a more object-oriented style, to make future improvements easier to implement. The file format has also to be extended, to make it possible to save more information about each move. Later on there will be a statistics function.
I am glad to see that many people are using RenLib and like it. I can also notice that people have started thinking of using RenLib for more things than intended in the beginning, for example web page publishing. I have also received suggestions to make a Go, Go-Moku and Othello version of RenLib.
Something that is also positive, is that I have started receiving help to develop RenLib functionality, for example forbidden moves and web publishing, but I wish I could get even more help since there are many suggestions waiting to be implemented.