Kakuro references

For fans of Kakuro

Re: Kakuro references

Postby denis_berthier » Thu Jan 02, 2020 4:53 am

Hi Bill + Anthony
Happy new year

I was far from my Mac when I saw Bill's post and I didn't have my password to this forum (only my Mac knows it), but after being back home, I tried the new version of the ATK site on my Mac. I can see no change in functionality. (I hadn't noted that Flash was no longer used, but this can only be a positive move.)
I've also checked if the hundreds of puzzles I had solved with my KakuRules solver are still there and yes, I found them. They are still numbered with 5 digits.
I don't know what happened to Bill in his last experiment with the ATK site.

From all the Kakuro sites I had tried when I was writing my last book (PBCS and its 2nd edition PBCS2), the ATK one seemed to me to be the best, in terms of variety of sizes, in terms of variety of the levels of puzzles (though I was mainly interested in the hardest ones), in terms of variety of the patterns of black cells and in terms of readability of the interface. If I may have a wish for this New year, it's you find time to make more of these puzzles.

The kakuro-online site has nice puzzles also, but as Bill says, they are much easier (the "hard" ones are easier than the "medium" ATK ones) and they were less interesting to me for the purpose of testing the power of my resolution rules. They rely too often on splitting the puzzle in 2 or more parts by what I called the rule of "surface sums". I've nevertheless added it to the list of Kakuro references in the first post of this thread.
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Re: Kakuro references

Postby Smythe Dakota » Tue Jan 07, 2020 11:35 am

kakuroatk wrote: .... If you don't have internet with the cached game or crappy internet, the database will randomly choose a puzzle from only few select puzzles and not from the entire database of puzzles. .... If you have normal internet then it should work exactly as it has for the past decade.

I may or may not have "crappy" internet. It is, after all, AT&T. It used to be called "Uverse", and before that "DSL", and operates over the phone lines. It's slower, I'm sure, than cable systems like RCN or Comcast, but it's much faster than dial-up.

BUT, I've had the same internet for a decade or so. It's only with some of your recent software changes that I can no longer receive the 4- and 5-digit puzzle numbers. Apparently, one of those changes (perhaps inadvertently) has caused your system to designate my internet now as "crappy" when it never did before.

The removal of the necessity for Adobe Flash Player is certainly a step in the right direction, and I applaud that.

Of course, it's your website, and you are free to do as you please. It's a free site, so I have no legitimate complaint. But it would be nice if your software stopped designating my internet as "crappy".

While I'm at it, let me suggest another change I'd like to see. I often listen to http://247polkaheaven.com/ while I am downloading puzzles to print, and the sound effects drown out the polka music. For a while you had an option to "skip music", but that's no longer there, and even when it was, it did not also skip the cymbal crash and the "doink" upon entry to, and exit from, each puzzle. It would be nice to have an option to skip not only the music, but also the other sound effects. That could be accomplished, I suppose, through cookies or something.

Until I can once again access the 4- and 5-digit puzzle numbers, I guess I'll just have to look elsewhere for my Kakuro puzzles.

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Re: Kakuro references

Postby kakuroatk » Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:07 pm

The game is probably not loading the puzzles correctly because of the internet speed.
DSL is unfortunately very slow compared to today's standards.
It loaded Flash well because the Flash was only one SWF file.

Now with HTML5, a newer technology, it loads the Kakuro game and then loads some random puzzles.

Once the puzzles load, you will see the "Skip Music" link on the bottom left.
If the puzzles don't load, you won't see the "Skip Music" link and you will only see 3 digit puzzle #'s.

Here is a link to play the previous flash version: http://www.atksolutions.com/games/kakuro-flash.html

People have this anti-Flash attitude. It was simple and worked great on older computers (dating back to Windows XP) with basic internet.
Unfortunately now that the web browsers are forcing the retirement of Flash, this year in 2020, we have to update or lose the content all together.
At least good 50,000 Flash Games will be gone for good. Flash worked just as well 15 years ago as HTML5 does today.

All this is outlined on my website along with feedback links which is there if users have any issues.
The game should work exactly as before.

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Re: Kakuro references

Postby Smythe Dakota » Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:57 am

kakuroatk wrote:If the puzzles don't load, you won't see the "Skip Music" link and you will only see 3 digit puzzle #'s.

And that's exactly what is happening.

Here is a link to play the previous flash version:

But that won't work anymore after December 2020, correct?

The game should work exactly as before.

It doesn't.

I would think it would be possible for the site to generate puzzle numbers randomly, but not always in the range 0000-0999. Sometimes it could use 1000-1999, other times 2000-2999, etc, up to 99000-99999 (or however far it goes up). That way, I wouldn't get the same puzzles over and over again, from one day to the next. I only need a handful at a time, to keep me busy for an hour or two.

Puzzle number 0501 (and its 15 possible isomorphs) is particularly annoying, and it always shows up, day after day.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the site does not generate puzzles live, right? It just generates random puzzle numbers, then pulls the puzzles with those numbers out of an existing large database. Therefore, it should not take long to generate N random numbers in the range 00000-99999, rather than just 000-999, where N is whatever it is now for users who (like me) have "crappy" internet.

In other words, it seems to me that a fix shouldn't be too difficult, even for users like me who have slow internet. Who knows, maybe I'm not the only one.

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Re: Kakuro references

Postby Mathimagics » Wed Jan 08, 2020 1:32 pm


When Anthony said:
the game should work exactly as before

I think he means the Flash Player version. Did you try that?
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Re: Kakuro references

Postby kakuroatk » Wed Jan 08, 2020 2:29 pm

What operating system, web browser and web browser version are you using?
If you have an older version browser then that may also be contributing to why the puzzles aren't loading.
However, with an older browser, the flash link will continue to work even after 2020.
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Re: Kakuro references

Postby Smythe Dakota » Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:07 am

kakuroatk wrote:What operating system, web browser and web browser version are you using? ....

Hmm, you're right. If I use Edge instead of Internet Explorer, I get the 5-digit puzzles again -- and the Skip Music option too.

But I hate Edge. For one thing, the printer interface is silly. It pops up with a screen that asks "Let the app dictate the parameters?", or something like that, BEFORE it brings up the main screen giving you the printer options.

And I can't use Edge on these forums -- or on any other forums, for that matter. As I posted a long time ago in the Win10 Gripe thread in the Coffee Bar forum:

I wrote: .... Every once in a while, in this forum and in others, a post is not displayed completely. All of a sudden, in the middle of a sentence, several words are omitted. It then picks up again with a later sentence or a later paragraph. .... But if I do a "reply with quote", the missing material magically reappears. So it was there all along, it was just hidden! .... If I use Internet Explorer instead of Edge, this nonsense does not happen. ....

OK, so I can work around the problem, if Edge doesn't make me nauseous too much.

BTW, the following are two features I would really, really like to see on ATK:

  • Have the Skip Music option also skip the sound effects that occur upon entry and exit to each puzzle. I like to stream music while I am printing puzzles, and the sound effects drown out the music.
  • Give the user the option to choose a range of puzzle sizes, such as "between 6x6 and 9x9 inclusive" or something like that. I really don't like the larger puzzles. They're not harder, they're just more tedious.
Thank you for listening.

Bill Smythe
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