Sunday, October 11, 2009

Minesweeper sample app

So, finally, I finished hooking up the Minesweeper solvers I wrote many years ago to a graphical visualization that lets you play the game as well. These are now available at the FTP server (, user smalltalk, password now). The game comes in two formats: a Windows .exe, and the VisualWorks image for those that want to use other operating systems. If you want to get a VisualWorks virtual machine for your platform, feel free to download the NC VisualWorks distribution here. As usual, UPX does a wonderful job of packing the .exe... it's 10-15% smaller than a .rar archive of the image alone. Enjoy!

And now, the release notes...

Known Limitations.

  • The solvers do not make guesses. It is not the point of my Minesweeper research to produce such guesses.
  • The C and K solvers may require a very large amount of time to complete in some cases. These cases, although not too frequent, appear with large boards that have more than 20% of mines (e.g.: 40x40x370). Eventually, I would like to add a [STOP!] button.
Future Work.
  • I would like to add significantly more efficient solvers. This is not necessarily easy because the problem is NP-complete. However, the C and K solvers point to some interesting data I need to track down. We shall see.
  • Write about this program in chapter 7 of the Fundamentals book.

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