This is an attempt to provide a simple version of Graeme Neatham's expansion of David Howe's Taxonomy. It is meant to allow rapid search for piece characteristics as an aid to variant designers.
The full Taxonomy that Graeme is developing will give a fairly thorough definition of any piece in terms of a number of categories. What I am trying to do here is abstract a simplified version that will give a lot of basic piece information in a way the interested reader who does not know the system can instantly understand, and use to look up related pieces easily.
The lookup will be done in two ways. The first is through the alphabetical listings of pieces, where basic classifications [generalized descriptions] will appear with the piece name. See "Alfil" for an example. The second way is through the use of unique page tags that allow rapid sorting of data. These tags will be basic data bits from the piece information. Again, see "Alfil" in the piecelopedia for the example.
General List of Classification Systems
- Betza's funny notation = BET - Ralph Betza's standard for piece descriptions
- Joe's strange notation = JSN - an extension of Betza to new pieces/piece types, with iconology
- Grayhawke's Movement Formula = GMF
- A Locomotive Taxonomy = LT
- simple verbal description = VBL
- David Howe's Taxonomy = DHT and the simple version, DHTe for "easy"
What if we labelled the catogories, or at least some? Examples would be Size; we could replace "mono" in the beginning of the DHT with "Size = 1", and for all pieces for which that is true, give no more info. For size = 4, we give more size info, eg: 2x2 rectangular [or "square"] etc.
Another would be "Range". I think saying "range = 1-4 [squares]" or just "Move = 1-4 squares" and leave the word range out entirely, would be very useful/interesting, and especially obvious to a casual reader or serious.
I do think a simple version of DHT for the beginning of the piece description would be doable. "Size", "Movement", and "Capture" would be the [first] 3 categories I'd consider/use, and put those 3 titles in every description. Then, it's obvious that in the description:
"Size: 4; 2x2; rectangular. Movement: 1-4 squares …"
that "2x2; rectangular" refers to size and not movement [because I *know* there are people who will otherwise swear that it means the piece must move in a square pattern, ending up on its starting point if it moves 4].
The objection to this is that my 3 proposed "beginner categories" cross the 5 Taxonomy categories. I don't think that will be a big deal, because this aspect of the piecelopedia can only be a guide to looking up pieces. The easy description will narrow a search considerably. The full DHT and verbal [VBL] descriptions will nail it down.