This morning I applied a large update from the penpa-edit gmpuzzles branch to our GMPuzzles site. This includes a set of new contributions from Swaroop Guggilam (swaroopg92), but also now some meaningful theme improvements from Dave Millar (davmillar). I’m excited to see how far the tool has come since we adopted it at the start of 2021, and these updates are a sign of more things to come.
1) Website look: The visual theme has changed (both at css and html level) which also sets Penpa-Edit up to have more responsive design. Note that we at GMPuzzles have not done our own steps to try to customize the light/dark themes for GMPuzzles site yet, but I like starting the new year with an updated visual design.
2) Responsive design: The default tool position is still at the top of the screen. But in Settings you will now find two options to move tools to left or right for better utilization of space on different screens. There will be more changes like this in the future. (Update: primarily for laptop/computer users right now = 850+ pixels wide, but gives sign for future design updates that could be possible.)
3) Local storage feature: There have been some comments that the solver accidentally refreshed the page or closed the tab and lost all solving progress, so a local storage feature is now implemented. If you refresh the page or accidentally close and reopen the solving puzzle again, your progress will be recovered. To clear it there are multiple ways. This includes “Delete all” button at bottom of puzzle or, in Settings, going to “Local Storage: Clear this puzzle” and then refreshing the page. The default setting of this option is ON, but it can be set to OFF through “Settings” and it will be turned off globally for all puzzles.
Please tell us how you like these changes, and also tell us of any bugs/issues that arise as you work through our current and back catalog.
In terms of what’s to come, my big 2022 goal with Penpa is to build a connection of these individual solving pages into “collections” and user accounts/metrics, so our solvers can interact with puzzles outside of the blog structure, know what they have/have not solved, and so we can release books through the site in the same way and not just as a very long collection of links. A very good example of this kind of Penpa-Edit interactivity is the “Instructionless Grid” app that launched last year — and is a very fun if hard challenge for those that haven’t seen it. While it uses manual entry mode to trigger writing state back to the user account, it is not far off how our automated solution checking could act on such code. I haven’t figured out all parts of who/how we get to these updates, but am working on scoping out that plan this quarter.