Palapeli: On the way to “social puzzling”

October 11, 2009

Because people always ask when I forget to make it clear: Palapeli is a jigsaw puzzle game which I’m preparing for KDE 4.4. Now that we have that out of the way:

Today, I’ve spent hours to break Palapeli, put the pieces together again (puzzle pun intended), and take care that it does the same things as before. Such activities appear quite senseless to outsiders, but programmers know that this is necessary from time to time.

They call it “refactoring”.

Of course, I have a bigger aim. Currently, the only source of puzzles is the local library, but I want to make more sources accessible. “Within the reach of your fingertips”, like some people describe it. For this initiative, I’ve chosen the buzzword “social puzzling”. Actually, what I want to do, is quite similar to KNewStuff, but I’m not completely sure whether KNewStuff provides all the technical foundation that I need. (If it is the case, the current architecture of Palapeli allows to add KNewStuff integration later on.)

My plan: The current puzzle library is basically a list of puzzles (or, more detailed, a list of URLs to puzzle files and a metadata cache). A list of puzzles could be provided anywhere, also on remote sites, as a type of “puzzle feed” (similar to a RSS feed). Such puzzle feeds can already be read by the Palapeli::ListCollection class, but there is no interface yet to display and use them. This is because I’m not sure about the best way to present them to the user.

So what is certain by now? Palapeli 1.0 will ship with puzzle feed functionality, though it will be hidden a bit. It’s not sure how puzzle feeds will be generated on the server side. And it’s not clear yet for what we’ll be able to use this functionality at the end of the day. It’s a big experiment, and I’m quite excited about it.

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6 Responses to “Palapeli: On the way to “social puzzling””

  1. Cornelius Schumacher Says:

    Social puzzling, I love that.

  2. Mark Says:

    When I first read the headline, I thought you meant something else. I thought you were working on something like a crowd sourcing project similar may be to “Recaptcha”. Reading it then, was a bit disappointing, even though your social puzzling still sounds good.
    But may be you like my idea, even though I do not have the exact idea for what it would be useful. In Germany the government pays people for puzzling together papers of the former Stasi (state organisation spying on people). But that would not be an option (because of privacy). But may there would an other idea from someone else (that is why I post it), where puzzling could do something useful and be fun at the same time.

  3. DanaKil Says:

    Hello 🙂

    about “social” puzzle, do you think that your current architecture could allow to do multi-players games in the future (iow, you could invite a friend to complete the puzzle with you) ?

    (btw, I love your game 🙂

  4. Mario Fux Says:

    First: Great application and like to read your posts.

    Second: When I read the comment about social puzzling with multiple players I thought about MPX (Multi Pointer X extension of X.org). Your application would be a really great candidate for a “useful” usage of this technology.

    • Stefan Majewsky Says:

      Right, I’m looking forward to MPX, but I’m afraid I won’t be able use it until proper Qt integration appears. (Qt 4.6 already has some “multi touch” stuff for Windows 7, but I do not know whether this stuff works on MPX also).


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