WHAT Version 2 Release Notes (11-Dec-16)
Tool, is really a toolbox of integrated powerful tools,
with many facilities. From time to time, the program is updated with
bug fixes and the support of new features. This page outlines changes
made starting in 2015 as Version 2.0 (91) was first released.
covered releases from 2009 through 2011 for WHAT Version 1.2.
Version 2.2 Release 98 made 8-Jun-18
- WHAT was having problems when a query with a word
reference, such as
also included filtering by length. It used to issue an
error message when the filtering did not pass with at least one
of the words in wordlist used as the source for word references.
This problem has been fixed, but
doing this kind of query may be confusing. If wordlist 99 includes words
of various lengths, and you issue a command such as
/99[  /|=3, the
result will be those three-letter words which are prefixes
of all words in wordlist 99.
- Random rack creation has been enhanced, so that you can fix the
number of blanks to be included with each random rack generated.
- OWL3defs.txt has been updated.
Version 2.2 Release 97 made 27-Aug-16
WHAT Release 96 was made only privately during development.
- A small bug was fixed involved with using arrow keys to select moves
from the list of moves in the History tab (in the dialog for playing games
on a board) intermixed with clicking on such lines.
- When bringing up the the dialog for playing games on a board for
the first time since WHAT was started, the
cursor is now centered over the Close button, and that button has focus.
Therefore, if you don't want to use that dialog, you can simply press
the Enter key.
- When using the dialog for playing games on a board, the support
of dragging and dropping tiles among the board, the rack, and the unseen
tiles has been cleaned up.
- A couple of bugs were fixed when WHAT
is asked to show move choices
in the dialog for playing games on a board. The one test which demoed two
bugs is to use the Make Moves activity and first put
ADO on the board at
8G; then set the rack to
?Z. Next click on
Show Move Choices button. There were two problems:
- Some of the moves in the choices which used the blank also had that
blanks in the rack leave.
- Some of the moves included an at-sign as a tile placed on the board.
- When a user changed the number of choices being shown on the Choices
tab (in the dialog for playing games on a board). The choice being shown
when choices were not being hidden was the first choice, but the details of
that choice were not being shown on the board nor in the Command shown.
This small bug has been fixed.
- A small change was made in the format of heading titles in the output
for showing choices on the Choices tab in dialog for playing games on a
- Some new similar features are introduced when working in the dialog for playing
- When the board has tiles on it, you may click the right mouse button over a
board cell to present a small menu which allows you copy either the horizontal
word (if there is one) or vertical word (if there is one) to the workspace.
- When the rack has tiles in it,
you may click the right mouse button over a rack cell to present a small
menu which allows you to copy the rack to the workspace.
- When there are move choices being shown, you may click the right mouse button
over a choice to present a small menu which allows you to copy the word shown
as the choice to the workspace. If you double-click on a choice,
the definition of that word will be shown in the Definitions Window.
- When there are moves being shown in the history,
you may click the right mouse button
over a move to present a small menu which allows you to copy the word shown
as the choice to the workspace. If you double-click on a shown move in the history,
the definition of that word will be shown in the Definitions Window.
- A new feature is introduced: the
/Y command now supports the
forming of a new wordlist based on words from two existing wordlists.
This kind of operation is known by the term "cross-product".
The character to specify this operation is an askerisk
(*). For example, the command
creates wordlist1 based on words from wordlist2 and wordlist3. A cross-product
means every word from wordlist2 is concatenated to every word from wordlist3.
It is acceptable for wordlist2 and wordlist3 to be the same list.
- A new feature is introduced: when the slate is probed for showing the nth
letter of all words, the syntax now allows for a digit zero to be specified
instead of leaving it blank. In this case, a maximum of 500 items are shown,
rather than usual limit of 50. Furthermore, if the output is more compact,
counts precede each repeated letter.
- When limiting to 50 the output of showing the nth letters of all words,
an ellipsis is appended when there are more than 50 items.
- Dragging tiles in the dialog for playing games had some problems
which are now fixed. For example, when placing tiles on the board, you
may drag tiles from the unseen tiles pool and place them where you want them.
- A bug which had been causing crashes has been fixed. It was in support
of handling a query in which the word source is the slate. A query which
caused a crash was:
/0I .. )
after this query set up two words on the slate:
The form of query which caused the crash is unlikely to be useful,
and so it is unlikely this bug had been noticed in the past.
- New commands were added to WHAT's repertoire which
set one of the three lexicons: primary, secondary, or challenges. Although
these lexicons can be selected on the dialog accessed via the Lexicon tab
at the upper right of the WHAT screen, setting via commands
may be useful to users, such as when lexicon changing may be desired within
command files. The new commands are:
- /PL"<lexicon-name>" - to set the Primary lexicon,
- /SL"<lexicon-name>" - to set the Secondary lexicon,
- /CL"<lexicon-name>" - to set the Challenges lexicon,
- WHAT now can output the text in the Definitions Window.
As with other files, the text can be placed into a created file, or it can be
appended to an existing file. There are new commands to support this.
- There were some problems with the presentation of suffix indicator
characters to show words which are in the primary and not the secondary
lexicons. This was first noticed when the secondary lexicon was listed
first in the list of lexicons. The problems were first noticed using
Spanish lexicons, but the problems were not Spanish-specific.
The bugs were fixed.
- The button to set the number of blanks on the dialog for playing games
on a board has been moved to the bottom of the list of unseen tiles.
- When you are using the GUI to add a query constituent which is
a query-based set and the query has at least one wild card character, such
as an asterisk, then the query constituent placed on the line in the
workspace is now correct. This is a fixed bug.
- When you are using the dialog to add user-defined set to a query,
this is done on the User-Defined Set tab in the Add a Query Constituent
Dialog. There were some problems which have now been fixed with when
the OK button is enabled there and when the drop-down list of
user-defined sets is cleared.
- Two bugs involving the Add a Rack Letter or Blank Dialog have been
- when selecting the Blank tab and then calling up the same dialog,
a crash had been happening; and
- when adding a blank to a rack in the current query, the
characters appended to the line in the workspace used to be lacking
the question mark.
- Some changes were made in the previous release relating to
WHAT's being aware of the kinds of items in wordlists.
There were two fixed problems:
- A further problem with this topic was noticed and fixed. The bug was
causing WHAT to produce inconsistent results because of
uninitialized data; sometimes a wordlist was thought to have words and sometimes
it was thought to have non-words.
- When a query was being made with word references and the source wordlist
has strings, when filtering is being done, such as filtering based on the
number of words, the kinds of items in the result was being set to words.
Once this was fixed, the kinds of items are based on the source word list's
kinds of items. An example which demonstrates this fix is to begin with
x. /QS which
produces 26 strings. Then the query
 /A /#>0 # had resulted in
announcing there were 5 words in the result, but with the bug fixed,
5 strings are correctly announced.
- If a query was made in which a word reference is made (denoted by
), along with
filtering, such as with the example just above, a subsequent query,
x. /QS, was causing
WHAT to hang. This bug has been fixed.
- There was a bug which is now fixed
causing WHAT to bomb when copying items
from a wordlist to a to-be-created wordlist. This was also related to the above
- The query
/-[ x involves the
specification of the word reference source being the lexicon.
A problem exemplified by this query was finding no answers.
The bug has been fixed, and now that query finds the correct 8 words
for the OWL3 lexicon.
- When a filtering specification is placed into the workspace as a result
of a user employing the GUI on the Query tab, these filtering specifications
for 5 types of filtering used to be terminated with two spaces. This is
been fixed to have only one space be included. If the user wants to then
make the filtering specification long-term, the BACKSPACE should be pressed
before typing the exclamation point.
- When using the GUI to change the word reference source on the Query
tab, the command which is put into the workspace used to be terminated with
a space, and that space is no longer appended. This now makes it natural to
make that request long-term by appending an exclamation point. This matches
the behavior for using the GUI to change the word source.
- When the current word reference source is the lexicon, which is an
unusual setting, what is shown on the Query tab for that setting had been
incorrect; this bug has been fixed.
- There was a small bug which was fixed involving command scanning during typing
in the workspace. As an example, if you selected the Scoring tab at the
upper right of the WHAT screen and then clicked on
Blanks Score Zero, you saw
/Z in the workspace.
Then if you held down the shift key and pressed
1 to type an exclamation point,
you should have seen the Blanks Score Zero indicator turn green, but it was not
doing so immediately; this happened only after the shift key was released.
- When using the dialog to add a word or subword to the current query, the
repetition count had been set back to one all the time.
This is no longer the case.
- The /G command can be
used to specify a grid to be shown in the 5 x 5 Grid Game Dialog. When
specifying a grid this way, any digram tile was mishandled and not seen
as a digram. This deficiency has been fixed.
- A new feature was added, which is to have WHAT support
associating a playability number with each word, based on data collected by
John O'Laughlin. WHAT can either provide a probability number
or a playability number for a word. The same syntax already in use for
probability is alternatively for playability. Turn on using playability
via a menu-pick in the File menu. The user can configure WHAT
to look for a playability file. A playability file can be of either of two
encodings. One is a text file, indicated by a file extension of
.txt, and then each line of the
file is a word; the most playable word starts the file, and subsequent lines
have increasing playability numbers; thus a word's playablity number is the
line number it is on in the text form of the playability file. The alternate
encoding of the playability data is in a binary file whose file extension
is .WPB for
playability. The same data is encoded in this binary file as the
data encoded in the text form of the file. WHAT is distributed
with a binary form of a playability file for the CSW2015 Lexicon.
The file and whether playability is on initially
can be controlled in the WHAT Initialization File.
Whereas probability numbers are preferred when they are high, playability
numbers are preferred when they are low.
- The option to Revert to Challenge Ruling was formerly being set when
challenges were being recorded based on the Record Challenges Times
set in WHAT. This option has been made independent of
whether challenges are being recorded. The setting for Revert to Challenge
Ruling can be set at WHAT startup to a chosen value, and it
can also be set (to a possibly different value) when challenge recording is
started. These settings are now specified in the .ini
(WHAT initialization) file.
- The WHAT Initialization File has new sections to
- playability instead of probability,
- challenge reverting settings,
- timer settings,
- hook presentation separators,
- settings for the Probe Answer Window,
- settings for the 5 x 5 Grid Game.
- A sentence was added to the New Initialization File Dialog to say that
you likely have to be running as administrator to make a new initialization
file using WHAT. The dialog now supports some additonal
categories of has some more
- On the Presentation tab at the left of the WHAT window,
the presentation of what sorts are being chosen is done using 2 tabs to
squeeze the info into a small space. There has been a problem when switching
between the two tabs, and this has now been corrected.
- When a wordlist is imported, WHAT checks to see if every
line has a word in the primary lexicon. If so, WHAT
categorizes that wordlist
as having words; otherwise, that wordlist is considered to have strings.
- When front or back back are shown in slate presentation, there is a
user-specified front hooks separator included in the output which separates
the front hook letters from the word. Similarly, there is a user-specified
back hooks separator included in the output which separates the word
from the back hook letters. In order to specify these separators, menu
View->Hook Presentation Separators....
Each of the separators can be a null string (i.e., nothing) or a
sequewnce of characters to up to length eight. These separators can
be specified in the WHAT Initialization file.
- A few small changes were made to OWL3defs.txt.
Several instances of double space characters were changed to a single space.
GENLOCK was changed from a
noun to a verb, based on the OWL3 list, although it is a noun in OSPD5.
The most recent version of OWL3defs.txt is dated 2016-7-26; menu pick
to see which version you are using.
Version 2.1 Release 95 made 17-Sep-15
- The new Collins 2015 Lexicon (known as CSW2015) is now included as one
of the lexicons which comes with the full installation of WHAT.
There is no definitions file for this lexicon. When the full installation is
done, a desktop icon is created for running WHAT with that
lexicon, using CSW0212 as a secondary lexicon.
- When playing the 15 x 15 or 21 x 21 game and recording a game between
two opponents, WHAT provides the players' racks. When the
first rack is presented and then the user requests seeing the possible
moves by clicking on the Show Move Choices button, the user can select any
of those choices and then press the Enter key to make
the selected move. The bug which was present, and is now fixed,
was then showing the game
starting at the game start, rather than after the first move. This bug
might have been introduced in Release 94 when the first described bug
- The activity of trimming the workspace, as requested using the
command now eliminates lines which contain only
- Problems with WHAT's staying aware of the kinds of
items on the slate and in wordlists have been fixed. A bug which demonstrated
incorrect behavior was to request anagrams of
OP and then save the
slate to a wordlist; next, restore the wordlist to the slate;
finally, present the slate, and
the new two, should have been suffixed with
a plus sign, but WHAT was incorrectly thinking the slate
contents were strings and not words, and so the plus was missing.
- When changing lexicons, WHAT should update the item
in the Word Source box on the Query tab at the left of the
WHAT window. The first item in the pull-down list is the
current lexicon, and the program had a bug in that the first item was
not getting updated right away. This is now fixed.
- A few changes were made to capture some activities to restart the
WHAT internal timer which is used at the user's
request to revert to bring up the Challenge Dialog.
Unfortunately, it is not possible (or too difficult) for
WHAT to notice the activity of scrolling the workspace.
- The incorrect definition of
in OWL3defs.txt was fixed.
The OWL3defs.txt file had an incorrect definition for
CAPE and was fixed.
A tab was missing from the line. There was a WHAT bug
which caused a crash when that line was read as part of definition search
filtering, such as with this command:
WHAT was fixed to be more robust.
Version 2.1 Release 94 made 16-Jul-15
- This release fixes a bug which was introduced in Release 91 and not noticed
until recently. When reading and showing a game there was a problem when the game
start is to be shown. This is what usually is done when a .gcg file is read.
The Game Start line of the history was correctly selected, but what was shown
on the board and in the rack was the state of the game after the end of the first
- WHAT had been failing to correctly note giving the
going-out player a correct bonus of two times the value of the opponent's
rack. This has been fixed.
- A bug was fixed which was causing the Show Move Choices button to
become invisible when switching from the activity of showing a game to the
activity of playing moves when that game was one which had an end-of-game
- Planned but incomplete support of a pop-up menu by
right-clicking the cursor was removed from the Board Dialog.
- These new document files were introduced:
Version 2.1 Release 93 made 30-Jun-15
WHAT is now denoted as Version 2.1. The main new
feature introduced is the support of the 21 x 21 Board Game, also known
as Super Scrabble®. The
WHAT user guide has yet to be
updated to describe how to use Scrabble® and Super Scrabble®. See the
menu picks in the Tools menu.
- The Word Judge 2 (WJ2) Lexicon is now supported, along with definitions.
The lexicon is exceedingly close to the OWL3 Lexicon, which is not yet
available to the public. Words in WJ2 are of lengths 2 through 21, so this
lexicon can be used when playing Super Scrabble®.
- Most of the WHAT documents have been updated.
Most significantly, the documents "WHAT Examples" and
"What Me Study"
have been updated to use the OWL3 Lexicon.
They had been written for OWL1 and were never updated for OWL2, so this has
been long overdue. A couple of examples with long words in the first of these
documents use the WJ2 Lexicon.
- Set (P) is now supported as having the 196 tiles in a bag of Super
Scrabble®. It is supported in the same way that set (B) is. See the
Sets tab in the upper right of the WHAT screen.
- Commands to perform the importing of boards or grids for the various games
supported in WHAT are now of the form
The <number> is:
- 5 - for the 5 x 5 Game,
- 15 - for the 15 x 15 Game,
- 21 - for the 21 x 21 Game,
- 12 - for the Word-Building Game.
is used to read recorded games, where <number> is either 15 or 21.
- A couple of bugs were fixed in the area of creating user-defined sets.
WHAT had been failing when trying to copy set 2 from set 1.
Also, once there are at least two user-defined sets, WHAT
was having a problem enabling an inactive window when you try to select
a user-defined set to copy.
- There was a bug when augmenting a query with a word-based set.
If you select on the Query tab the button labelled
"Letter / Blank / Set" and then select the tab labelled
"Word-based Set" you are given two choices for forming a set.
The second option had a bug in that if you specify two letters and click
the OK button, only those letters are shown within parentheses; a question mark
should have been included also, and this has been fixed.
- The similar tab within the dialog to create a set was also faulty in
that a created command had a couple of problems; if you provided
aa, the created command was
This problem has been fixed.
- When defining a specified set, there is now a new option to set
the counts to a maximum of 1 for those counts which are greater than 1.
This may prove helpful in developing anamonics.
- There was a bug which has been fixed in performing a query such as
A(+)/QS. The expected
result is 25 2-letter strings:
Before the bug was fixed there were two incorrect strings included in
The bug had been introduced when Spanish support was added to
WHAT in 2009.
- When using the FISE09 Spanish lexicon, the query
been showing three words with the second letter not green (to indicate
it is a blank). This has been fixed.
- There was a bug which set WHAT into oblivion, but it
has been fixed. When using a lexicon with long words. These two commands
demonstrated the bug:
The second command requests the query kind of two-word patterns.
Version 2.1 Release 92 made 9-Apr-15
- When using the
/NR in a command
to read the Next flashcard and Rewind,
WHAT had been stopping flashcarding on the second-last
word read from the wordlist. This has been fixed, so that it stops after
the final word of the wordlist.
- When solving for words in the 5 x 5 Word Game, allow for the shortest
words to be of length 3 instead of length 4. Wanting to see words which are
this short can be helpful when learning new words which are being added
in a new lexicon. By default the shortest words shown when presenting
output from the
command are of length 5, but you can request shorter words to be shown,
for example, by including this filter subcommand:
- Setting the canonical order wuing the
command from within a command file was not having an effect. This
has been fixed.
- The "Are you sure" dialog which shows up when you try to clear
the workspace or other parts of WHAT
from the WHAT tab at the upper right of the WHAT window
was not being presented well; some of the text was not readable.
This has been fixed.
- WHAT had been crashing when performing two-word
anagramming with a very long string, such as
and this has been fixed.
- The WHAT User Guide has been edited to correct problems with the numbering of sections near the end of the document. The description of
how to turn on lexicon transition mode using a command line switch
is now described. Also, when that mode is in effect, the color of the challenge
dialog is fuchsia and not the usual aqua.
Version 2.1 Release 91 made 2-Feb-15
Since the release of Version 1.2 (90) was made 11-Jun-11, many changes
were made to the program in 3 1/2 years. We may have lost track of all changes,
but these are what we can offer as Version 2.0 (91) is made public.
- WHAT has been changed from a sold product requiring
authorization to a free program. Rather than charging for the program, we
hope satisfied users will see fit to make donations which will help in
providing support for and enhancements to the program.
- The method of providing the installation has been made easier with
just one .msi file to be downloaded and run.
- The availability of individual files for updating an existing
WHAT installation has been changed to support placing
Program Files subdirectories
on present-day Windows systems, such as Windows 7. Administrator privileges
are needed, and the desination directory is expected to be a subdirectory
of C:\Program Files (x86);
a user may change this when the self-extracting .zip file is unzipped.
- The substantial additional features to support setting up tiles and
making plays on a Scrabble® board is now available. Documentation of these
new features has yet to be done, but we did not want to delay releasing
the new WHAT. To see these features either
Tools->15 x 15 Game...
or enter the single letter command
which stands for Play.
- The choice for vowels has been missing from the dialog to define a
new set on the first tab, and it has been returned.
- /S !
to set steals for the long-term had not been recognized.
When 2-word patterns is selected as the Query Kind in Query Kind box,
was shown in the workspace. Then if an exclamation point is appended,
there is confusion.
/2A parses as two-word patterns.
- When the GUI is used to specify query kinds and presentation kinds,
the command put in the workspace was sometimes being suffixed with a
space, and this was making it difficult to make that specification
long-term. Those suffixed spaces are no longer emitted.
- The command /Y1=6
was not being recognized as a command
to copy a wordlist. The command scanner had to be fixed.
- Many dialogs were not being displayed well.
Several pixel adjustments were made in many dialogs.
The Help dialog was changed so its background color is now lime green.
- The .ini (WHAT initialization)
file can include settings for the WHAT timer:
timer and warning periods, sound wave files used, and whether
the warning sounding is enabled. The dialog to select a different sound
wave file has been improved.
- WHAT now supports setting options for working with
the 5 x 5 Grid Game. You can edit these options by clicking on the (new)
Edit Options button in the dialog. The new options are:
Settings for these options are now
specifiable in the .ini (WHAT initialization)
file. The .ini file can also now have specifications
of Big Boggle® cube arrangements, which can include a cube with digrams.
Boggle® solving was enhanced to allow for digrams other than
- a minimum length for words found in the grid - default is 5
- an option whether to also allow shorter new words to be included
when solving a grid; a new word is one found in the primary lexicon and
not in the secondary lexicon - the default is YES.
- Scores to be word according to their word length - default is
- Parsing a WHAT command like
was sending the program into a loop. This has been fixed so the plus sign is
reported as an incorrect character.
- When reading wordlist files, leading and
trailing spaces and tabs on each line are ignored. Until this was fixed, a word
with a trailing space was not matched to the same word in a another
wordlist, such as when taking the difference of the lists (e.g.