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Dear Readers, I just learnt how to use binary operators from here. I then took a look at the TicTacToe game that comes in with JDK. Nearly everywhere they used left-shift operators or right-shift operators. I really can't understand it. Can anyone please explain the logic of the game in a synopsis or pseudocode. Please I can't get it through my thich brains.

Consider the 3x3 square board as binary "switches" that can be turned on or off...

000 000 000

There are a total of 8 winning patterns -- since there are 3 rows, 3 columns, and 2 diagonals. For example, one way of winning is the bottom row...

000 000 111

If you string all of these switches together, you have a binary quantity, 000000111. One way to represent this quantity is using the bitwise "or" operator. In binary, 000000111 = 000000001 | 000000010 | 000000100. A convenient way to express this is to use left-shift operators, (1<<0) | (1<<1) | (1<<2).

In the same manner, the middle row could be expressed as (1<<3) | (1<<4) | (1<<5). And the first column would be expressed as (1<<2) | (1<<5) | (1<<8).

Each of these 8 winning patterns is initialized to "true" in the boolean array called "won." This array has an element representing each possiblepattern. The number of theoretical possibilities is 2^9 (two choices for each of the nine squares). 2^9 is equivalent to 1<<9 (binary), which is 512. So the boolean array of size 512 is created with "new boolean[1<<9]." [ May 12, 2005: Message edited by: marc weber ]

"We're kind of on the level of crossword puzzle writers... And no one ever goes to them and gives them an award." ~Joe Strummer sscce.org

Shyam Prasad Murarka
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Joined: May 02, 2005
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Dear marc, Thank you very much for explaining the logic to me. Now i will be going to spend some time with the sample to understand better.