A Touch of Monopoly®

Another month, another little update to Giocoso.

This time, the version number is bumped to 1.09 because I've found that picking appropriate colours for the album art caption bar is harder than it should be! That is to say, when Giocoso starts playing a new piece of music, if album art is being displayed, it will try to display the composer and composition name in a coloured bar underneath the actual album art embedded in the FLAC file being played.

The background colour of that bar can be set by running Giocoso with the run-time parameter --captionbackground=something and --captiontext=something-else. There are 683 distinct colour names which can be supplied as valid values for either of those parameters, with delightfully odd names such as 'DodgerBlue' and 'LavenderBlush1'. Naturally, with that much choice available, picking a combination of two colours that remains legible and pleasing to the eye can be a touch tricky! Horrors are easily arranged, for example:

That example happens to be a delicious example of a 'Hot Pink' background with 'Indian Red' text... it turns out to be surprisingly easy to be disgusting and illegible at the same time!

Version 1.09 of Giocoso thus introduces a new run-time parameter called --colourcombo (or --colorcombo for our American cousins: either spelling is accepted). This parameter takes named values, and the names are derived from the traditional UK (and time-honoured!) version of the Monopoly® board: OldKentRd gives you a brown+white combo; TheAngel yields a light-blue background with black text; Whitehall gets you a purple background with black text; VineSt will produce an orange background with black text; Strand is red+white; Piccadilly is yellow and black; BondSt is green and white; and, finally and somewhat inevitably, Mayfair will give you a dark blue background and crisp white text. All parameter values are single words, with no spaces between any of what might look like their separate components (that is, there's no space between 'Bond' and 'St', for example). You cannot go to jail and there's no £200 for passing Go.

The parameter names are case insensitive, so both --colourcombo=vinest and --colourcombo=VineSt will both achieve that orange+black look, equally successfully.

If you combine the new parameter with either or both of the other two previously mentioned (which remain valid and usable, should none of the pre-defined combos appeal), then the colourcombo one will take precedence, and the captionbackground and/or captiontext parameters will both be silently ignored.

Finally, if you try to use the new parameter but supply a name which isn't one of the valid values listed above, you'll get the default black background and white text: your supplied values will simply be ignored. Should an American user of Giocoso attempt to say --colourcombo=boardwalk, for example, you'll get black and white, not dark blue and white. Sorry about that -but I have never played Monopoly® on a US-style board before, and my brain neither knows, nor will learn, the particular color/street name combos at this stage in my life!

So, you get the sense that this is a bit of a trivial upgrade (which it is). It's just a convenience, to allow you to set an album art caption bar colour combo in one easy parameter instead of needing to specify two more complicated ones that can interact with each other in horrible ways! It's not exactly essential, therefore. But if you want the new colour capability, upgrading is as simple as it always is. Just issue the command:

giocoso --checkver

...and follow the prompts. Note, too, that the Giocoso user manual has been updated to make mention of the new feature (at around page 58/59). That can also be downloaded from the usual place on the product page.