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Which BBO client do you use? Browser Vs Windows clients

Poll: Do you still use the windows only version? (194 member(s) have cast votes)

Do you still use the windows only version?

  1. Yes, primarily (140 votes [72.16%])

    Percentage of vote: 72.16%

  2. Yes, occasionally (5 votes [2.58%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.58%

  3. No, only rarely use the windows client (13 votes [6.70%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.70%

  4. No, completely switched to the browser version. (36 votes [18.56%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.56%

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#81 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2011-January-27, 20:11

The announcement of Bridge Bingo was very clear in saying that you have to use the new BBO to play in it.

Not sure what you mean by "one of your teammembers". There are no teams in Bridge Bingo.

#82 User is online   diana_eva 

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Posted 2011-January-28, 06:22

View Postbarmar, on 2011-January-27, 20:11, said:

The announcement of Bridge Bingo was very clear in saying that you have to use the new BBO to play in it.

Not sure what you mean by "one of your teammembers". There are no teams in Bridge Bingo.



When someone does this:

1. log on web BBO
2. register to bingo
3. log out
4. get back on the windows version.

At the beginning of the tourney, the software cancels V1 users registration with an error saying something like "your team was not complete at the time of the tourney or a team member was not available".

So it only works if you register on the web version and play it from there.

#83 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2011-January-28, 18:26

The error message could certainly use improvement.

But what did you expect to happen? The Windows client can't display the Bingo board, so how did you expect to play there?

#84 User is offline   croquetfan 

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Posted 2011-February-03, 22:00

I prefer the windows version when playing robot rewards because you can see how many players have registered by hovering the mouse over them. I really miss this feature in the browser version.

it also seems slightly faster ... maybe

GIB's bidding still drives me up the wall in either version
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#85 User is offline   Rain 

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Posted 2011-February-04, 00:17

View Postcroquetfan, on 2011-February-03, 22:00, said:

I prefer the windows version when playing robot rewards because you can see how many players have registered by hovering the mouse over them. I really miss this feature in the browser version.

it also seems slightly faster ... maybe

GIB's bidding still drives me up the wall in either version



You can use the new version (ie web) and see no. of players.
When you're in tourney, click on "bbo now".
Then click on "tourneys"
Click on the Robot Tourneys, and change from "pending" to "running tourneys".
Then if you enter the tourney you're in, you will see how many tables.

Can move this window somewhere to the side and resize the size so it won't block your view too.
"More and more these days I find myself pondering how to reconcile my net income with my gross habits."

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#86 User is offline   croquetfan 

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Posted 2011-February-05, 02:20

thnks Rain

"Then if you enter the tourney you're in, you will see how many tables"

but I am looking for a tourney to play in... how does this help?
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#87 User is online   diana_eva 

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Posted 2011-February-05, 03:40

View Postcroquetfan, on 2011-February-05, 02:20, said:

thnks Rain

"Then if you enter the tourney you're in, you will see how many tables"

but I am looking for a tourney to play in... how does this help?


You can see how many people are registered by clicking Join. You mean you would like to mouse over instead of clicking a button?

#88 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2011-February-05, 22:25

View Postcroquetfan, on 2011-February-05, 02:20, said:

thnks Rain

"Then if you enter the tourney you're in, you will see how many tables"

but I am looking for a tourney to play in... how does this help?

There's almost never anyone entered in any Robot Reward tourney except the one that's about to start in a couple of minutes. And many of the players wait until the very last minute (because they're still playing in the previous one). So you can't really tell how many people will be in the tourney ahead of time.

#89 User is offline   croquetfan 

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Posted 2011-March-06, 21:20

View Postbarmar, on 2011-February-05, 22:25, said:

There's almost never anyone entered in any Robot Reward tourney except the one that's about to start in a couple of minutes. And many of the players wait until the very last minute (because they're still playing in the previous one). So you can't really tell how many people will be in the tourney ahead of time.


Exactly. that's why I like the way you can hover the cursor over multiple tourneys all about to start and see which ones are subscribed.Many times, I have been tossing up which one to enter and go to one, find no-one there or fully subscribed and leave that one and find the other one is already started.
But really, it's about convenience: I get a half hour break at work, open bridgebase and see which tourneys are about to start... hover the mouse over a few: 2 players in that one 2 minutes to go, 0 players in that one... ah! random hands about to start 8 players, join now!
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#90 User is offline   broze 

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Posted 2012-January-04, 10:14

View Postfred, on 2010-August-11, 07:50, said:


It is true that the web-client has several additional (and IMO useful) top-level menu items that are either unavailable or harder to access in the Windows client, but I would have thought that many people would see many of these as a convenience.

...

In our design of the web-client we actually went out of our way to either leave out or semi-hide a lot of the bells and whistles that are present in the Windows client and that we thought that few people understood or used. We tried to make the web-client simpler.


Do these statements not contradict each other a bit? Personally, I think it's a shame that these "bells and whistles" seem to damage the user experience of various users. The more bells and whistles the better for me! Also, I fear that in your efforts to "semi-hide or leave out" some of these features may be discouraging people from switching to the web client. For example the Bridge Master deals and DOTW. However I do now understand your motives for omitting them.

View Postfred, on 2010-August-12, 15:02, said:

There is no chat->lobby in the web-client, but there is a new (and IMO much better) way to organize team matches.

You can actually start a team match without specifying all 8 players. Those players who are specified with receive invitations as usual, but the other seats will remain empty when the team match is created. People using the web-client can then click on the empty seats in order to request permission to join the team match.

So far there are not many people using this facility, but this is probably mostly a function of not many people knowing about it. I suspect that once words spreads, especially among those who play a lot of team matches and have been complaining forever about the difficulty of getting 8 players together using chat->lobby, this will be very popular.


View Postfred, on 2010-August-14, 11:54, said:

Click "List all tables", then "Team matches", and then click the "Create team match" button (near the bottom).

You don't have to worry about unwanted randoms getting into the team matches you create. When a player clicks on an empty seat in your team match, you will receive a permission request that includes the user's profile. You can say "yes" or "no" as you see fit.


It's a great improvement to be able to start these matches without the requisite number of players, however out of all the matches I have ever created (only about 10 or so) I have never had anyone request to join and must find subs myself, many of whom are eager (or at least willing!) to play. The reason for this is surely that people don't know about it. A possible solution would be to have the Team Matches as a top-level menu option instead of via "List Tables -> Team Matches," e.g. "Take me to a Team Match" Anyway the sub system must be improved. Try starting a team match with just yourself, then try and find 7 subs and I'm sure you'll agree that it's actually very difficult to use.
'In an infinite universe, the one thing sentient life cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion.' - Douglas Adams
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#91 User is offline   fred 

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Posted 2012-January-04, 11:04

View Postbroze, on 2012-January-04, 10:14, said:

Do these statements not contradict each other a bit?

Not really. In the first statement you quote I refer to "several additional (and IMO useful) top-level menu items". An example of this would be "hands and results". In the second statement you quote I refer to "bells and whistles". Examples of such things would be many of the options that are available in the Windows client through the toolbar button that looks like a yellow gear.

In other words, we strive to include, improve, and make salient various subsystems that we think many BBO members will find to be useful and important. We strive to ignore features that we think most members will not care about and which would complicate the interface if they were to be included.

Quote

Personally, I think it's a shame that these "bells and whistles" seem to damage the user experience of various users. The more bells and whistles the better for me! Also, I fear that in your efforts to "semi-hide or leave out" some of these features may be discouraging people from switching to the web client. For example the Bridge Master deals and DOTW. However I do now understand your motives for omitting them.


These are not what I consider to be "bells and whistles" since I believe things like Bridge Master and DOTW have relatively broad appeal - maybe 10% of our members care about them versus maybe 1% who care about the things I consider to be "bells and whistles". Probably the time will come in which such facilities are made available in some way through the web (even if not through the web-client directly).

That being said, the primary purposes of BBO are to play and watch bridge and to socialize with other bridge players. I expect we will continue to focus on these areas for a while (and that developing integrated facilities for presenting content will remain a lower priority).

One thing you may not appreciate is that you are not an average BBO member. Same goes for most people who are heavily involved in Forums. It sounds like you are what we call a "power user". While of course we appreciate the fact that such people exist, for every person like you there are many BBO members who want little more from BBO than being able to easily play a few hands of casual bridge, being able to chat with friends, etc.

Naturally our first priority has to be to try cater to what we think the masses want.

Quote

It's a great improvement to be able to start these matches without the requisite number of players, however out of all the matches I have ever created (only about 10 or so) I have never had anyone request to join and must find subs myself, many of whom are eager (or at least willing!) to play. The reason for this is surely that people don't know about it. A possible solution would be to have the Team Matches as a top-level menu option instead of via "List Tables -> Team Matches," e.g. "Take me to a Team Match" Anyway the sub system must be improved. Try starting a team match with just yourself, then try and find 7 subs and I'm sure you'll agree that it's actually very difficult to use.


Agree with this. The new system is much superior to that which is available through the Windows client, but it continues to suffer from a lack of critical mass. I am sure we will eventually try to address this problem through some combination of marketing and software improvements.

Fred Gitelman
Bridge Base Inc.
www.bridgebase.com

#92 User is offline   broze 

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Posted 2012-January-04, 12:28

View Postfred, on 2012-January-04, 11:04, said:

Examples of such things would be many of the options that are available in the Windows client through the toolbar button that looks like a yellow gear.


Gotcha, thanks for clearing that up. However, it seems from this thread and your recent message to the BBO community that the people who stick to the desktop client can be divided into two groups: those who are deterred from the web client by its complexity, and those who stick to the desktop client because of it's appearance and sound (or at least their familiarity.) From what I've read in this thread and the comments on your recent message to the BBO community, it is the latter group that are substantially larger. In which case, surely the sound and visual options are the bells and whistles that you might want to keep in?

View Postfred, on 2012-January-04, 11:04, said:

In other words, we strive to include, improve, and make salient various subsystems that we think many BBO members will find to be useful and important. We strive to ignore features that we think most members will not care about and which would complicate the interface if they were to be included.


I appreciate this and understand that aspects such as tooltip delays and font type are unlikely to concern the average member. On the other hand it appears that sound options, card appearance, the ability to log chat and deals and even from someone the option to have "South at the bottom during the play" do concern the average user. Furthermore,I doubt that things such as these, hidden in the option members are unlikely to be what the users of this forum have identified as the cluttering bells and whistles (though I don't really know to what they are referring.)


View Postfred, on 2012-January-04, 11:04, said:

One thing you may not appreciate is that you are not an average BBO member. ... While of course we appreciate the fact that such people exist, for every person like you there are many BBO members who want little more from BBO than being able to easily play a few hands of casual bridge, being able to chat with friends, etc.


Yes, good point. I understand what might frustrate me might not frustrate an average user, which may be why I'm having a hard time seeing why people are sticking to the older version - I really feel the main reason is familiarity.

The reasons given in this thread that elaborate more than the fact that one client is "easier" than the other are chiefly:

1) Appearance, sound, colours etc.
2) Usability of the chat - sending messages to the wrong people etc.
3) Difficulty of arranging Team Matches on web.
4) No logging of chat or hands played to PC and no option to download.a
5) No option to rotate deals in favour of a specific seat during play.
6) Issues with colour blindness

a) Though, as inquiry points out, this is possible, but not through the client.

Other problems identified are not being able to see Yellows, not being able to see fellow kibs at a table, not being able to see a person's profile on hovering your mouse over it. Of course, solutions to all these are available on the web version and indicates, again, a simple lack of familiarity.
'In an infinite universe, the one thing sentient life cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion.' - Douglas Adams
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#93 User is offline   g7game 

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Posted 2012-January-16, 18:44

Hi, I have been playing on here on and off for a few years, even reported some bugs ages ago.
I mainly use Linux and sometimes an iMac. However I still keep an old computer, Windows Me would you believe, just to play BBO.

I am slowly coming around to using the web version, but prefer the downloaded version much more.
Only thing that anoys me with the downloaded version is that it takes 5-10 minutes to do housekeeping stuff before I can start playing. Is it possible to save hands played on the web version ? If so, I may have ween myself off the download version and get modern !

thanks for a marvellous piece of software !
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#94 User is offline   Rain 

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Posted 2012-January-17, 00:56

Hi G7game :)

All hands played using web version are auto saved. If you go to web version, click on "my bbo" then "hands and results".
Even the hands you played using the old client version appear here (I think! Been a while since I used the old client to play)
"More and more these days I find myself pondering how to reconcile my net income with my gross habits."

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#95 User is offline   onoway 

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Posted 2012-January-28, 17:15

It's been a while and I have tried the web version again and still prefer the download. Someone in a previous post says it's possible to see who is kibbing. Aside from looking up individual players and being told where they are, I have no idea either as a kibber or player how to see who is kibbing at the table on the web version. The chat is still confusing as it is far too easy to send it to the wrong person with things popping up in different spots instead of being contained within the one chat area,The reply area for chat is annoyingly situated and sized. Chat is on the bottom for the download too but it doesn't seem as awkward to use, for one thing you can bring the chat reply area up from the bottom on the download version, for another it's much larger. The cards are too big for the table area - finally figured out why they seemed just wrong, they seem about 1/3 again as big as on the download version.It feels to me like playing with dinner plates. It's still not as easy to find what you need to find and I dislike having to jump through hoops to go to a club. I don't care if there are no open seats in the club, I want to see who is playing there and maybe kib while waiting for an opening, and I don't wish to discuss it with the computer.

OTOH the web version has some bonuses. I like the way things (table size if not proportional card size) are adjustable and that helps a good deal with the chat size area which was a previous beef. Someone had to explain that that was possible and how to do it though, which is the sort of thing I mean when I say that the web version is not as easy to get around as the download version. I would never have especially noticed the miniscule white bars and wondered if they were useful for something.

It occurs to me that there might be some sort of link when you start to log into BBO on the web version which explains where stuff is..it might be useful to have such a link inside the site so as to be able to look things up - how to add another TD to a team match for example..something that several regular web users were sure was not possible. (I now know how thanks to a forums question and response).

You likely never quite expected that you would do such a fine job with the original version of BBO, Fred, that people would become such fans that they would never want to leave it! Has this become an example of "be careful what you wish for?" :P
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#96 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2012-January-28, 18:44

View Postonoway, on 2012-January-28, 17:15, said:

It's been a while and I have tried the web version again and still prefer the download. Someone in a previous post says it's possible to see who is kibbing. Aside from looking up individual players and being told where they are, I have no idea either as a kibber or player how to see who is kibbing at the table on the web version.

On the far right, click on "Who's Online", then select the Kibitzers tab.

Quote

It occurs to me that there might be some sort of link when you start to log into BBO on the web version which explains where stuff is..it might be useful to have such a link inside the site so as to be able to look things up.

At the top there's a Help menu. Select BBO Help, then click on "Click here to open our help system in a new browser window".

#97 User is offline   fred 

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Posted 2012-January-29, 09:14

View Postonoway, on 2012-January-28, 17:15, said:

It's been a while and I have tried the web version again and still prefer the download.

Thanks for being willing to try again, Onoway. I think there is a chance you might change your mind once you understand things better about some of the issues you raised (some of which Barmar has already addressed)...

Quote

The chat is still confusing as it is far too easy to send it to the wrong person with things popping up in different spots instead of being contained within the one chat area,The reply area for chat is annoyingly situated and sized. Chat is on the bottom for the download too but it doesn't seem as awkward to use, for one thing you can bring the chat reply area up from the bottom on the download version, for another it's much larger.

All chat messages you send and receive appears at the bottom by default (just like in the download version). However, if you prefer you can use the "private chat" tabs that appear in profile popups to isolate the private chat messages you have sent and received with the user in question. Similarly, the chat-entry areas in each popup are meant to be an optional convenience - you can still use the area at the bottom to send private chat if you prefer.

The ability to send and receive private chat from within a profile can be very useful. For example, imagine you are kibitzing a Cayne match (where there is often a lot of public chat going on) while trying to have an extended private conversation with someone.

Note that the profile popups are resizable - click and drag the edges or corners in order to change their size. As you yourself point out, you also have the ability to change the dimensions of the general chat area at the bottom.

It should also be pointed out that a frequent request we used to get for the download version was "please have an embedded chat-entry area instead of popup window". Another frequent request was "please make it possible to copy and paste chat". Both of these chat-related requests have been satisfied in the web client.

Bottom line: Chat in the web client can (and by default does) work almost exactly the same way that it does in the download version, but the web version offers additional modes of sending and displaying chat which you never have to use but which can be very useful.

Quote

The cards are too big for the table area - finally figured out why they seemed just wrong, they seem about 1/3 again as big as on the download version.It feels to me like playing with dinner plates.

This is a strange one given that we constantly get complaints from both download and web users that "the cards are too small". It seems that most users prefer the cards to be as big as possible (probably because many bridge players are elderly and thus have less than perfect vision). Apparently you don't fall into that category, but as you noticed you have a lot of flexibility in terms of resizing screen elements (and the software will remember your preferred configuration once you find one that you like).

Quote

You likely never quite expected that you would do such a fine job with the original version of BBO, Fred, that people would become such fans that they would never want to leave it! Has this become an example of "be careful what you wish for?" :P

Appreciate the compliment, but please consider that in making a new BBO client of course we put (and continue to put) a lot of thought and effort into making it better than the old one. There are some areas in which this is not possible (due to limitations imposed by Flash, browsers, and tradeoffs), some areas that we have so far not addressed, and probably some areas in which we made poor decisions, but I feel strongly that when you compare the plusses and minuses of both versions that the web client is the overwhelming winner.

Furthermore, the web client is improving at a rapid pace and this rates to continue for the foreseeable future. At some point I suspect you will come to believe that you will be better off with the web client even if that time has not yet come. In any case, I appreciate your willingness to keep trying and provide us will detailed feedback - thanks :)

Fred Gitelman
Bridge Base Inc.
www.bridgebase.com

#98 User is offline   Heron 

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Posted 2012-May-19, 21:48

Writing as one of the (as currently reported) 17% who have completely switched, here's another bit of perspective on this:

A while ago I tried using the Windows client on Linux under WINE. It was a really terrible experience and only barely worked if I was careful to never click on the wrong thing, but within those limitations it was... workable enough, but sufficiently frustrating that I gave up on it and BBO. (I have lots of computers around, but none of them are Windows machines, and while I'm not as fervent a Microsoft-basher as many I'm also not about to start maintaining a Windows machine just for this, especially as my local f2f bridge scene is quite decent.)

Now, not only do I not need a Windows machine (and additionally one that I have the privileges to install software onto), I can walk up to nearly any computer anywhere that's on the net and get going on BBO in a few moments. That is really, really, incredibly awesome. Thank you all. When looking for some old correspondence recently I found a saved 2002 rec.games.bridge posting from Fred talking about the infeasibility of non-Windows clients, and I'm enormously pleased both that the market has changed and that you've been (imho) smart enough to have recognized this. In 2002 I freely admit I was well out on the fringes of the market but times have indeed changed.

...so, thanks! (...and also for not nuking my account despite not having been used in a decade.)

PS: the one thing I'd really like is chat records, but I don't think cut-and-paste really cuts it (har) and I certainly don't want flash apps scribbling randomly over my local filesystem. Any chance these could be saved server-side for a bit and made downloadable?
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#99 User is offline   TylerE 

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Posted 2012-May-23, 12:50

Would it be possible, as an option, to have the Flash BBO that used the old sounds and card graphics? As well as having customizable colors? I'm quite tied to my BBOWin setup - standard cards, default sounds, and dark blue table background. If I could get that in the flash version I might be able to consider it...as it is, I don't like the card graphics nearly as much (in any of their iterations) and I find the sounds annoyingly thin and echoy.
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#100 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2012-May-23, 16:13

Anything is possible, it's just lots of work. And if Fred is busy doing stuff to make the new version look and sound like the old version, it's time he isn't spending on adding new features or working on the new mobile app.

IIRC, BBO hired a graphic designer to help them with the design of the new version, rather than simply copying the look of the old version.

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