Design Document Introduction

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BOARD18 is a tool for playing 18xx style games via Email.

The BOARD18 game session associated with a game will be used to display the game board and the stock market for the game. It will run as a web service accessed via the Firefox web browser running on each players computer. Only players who can log in to the game can update the BOARD18 game session for that game.

18xx games are often played via Email, usually using a spread sheet and the CyberBoard program. CyberBoard is a general purpose game board program that runs on each players computer. Linux users must run CyberBoard under WINE. CyberBoard generates and accepts move files that synchronize the various players copies of the game file.

I have some problems with CyberBoard and the style of remote play that it supports. To address these problems I have decided to develop an alternative to this current arrangement. BOARD18 is this alternative. It is intended to replace CyberBoard. It will run as a web service accessed via the web browser on each players computer.

Another open source program, called Rails, is sometimes used to play 18xx games by Email. Rails is a much more ambitious system that combines the graphics functions of CyberBoard with the bookkeeping functions of a spread sheet. It also includes rules enforcement. BOARD18 is not (currently) intended as a replacement for Rails.