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 Post subject: What is happening to the KGS go server?
Post #1 Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:38 pm 
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Just some general thoughts about the KGS Go server, I have used it a lot over the years and apart from some irritations, flies in the soup, it has served me very well. There seems to be something happening regarding the ownership of the server and I wonder how other players feel about it and if they know any more than I do.

Firstly "Just yesterday I transferred my business to new owners. But I'll be active in it for a while more until they have it running well."
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/175662 ... own-busine

This is no joke. He is of course free to do what he wants with his property, all power to him. I do have some concerns.

1. The change of ownership has not been announced on KGS.

2. Any discussion of the ownership is instantly stomped out by KGS admins, regardless of the fact that such a discussion is perfectly acceptable according to the KGS terms of service. They have either decided among themselves, or been told to suppress this topic.

3. What is now the future of KGS? Will it grow and develop, stagnate, or die? The fact that the identity of the new owner seems to be a source of embarrassment does not fill me with optimism.


I would like to use this opportunity to thank William M. Shubert for all the wonderful work he has done for the go community, but at the same time ask him to treat the users of KGS, without whom it would not exist, with some respect and decency.


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 Post subject: Re: What is happening to the KGS go server?
Post #2 Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:22 pm 
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Maybe you need to treat Mr. Schubert with some respect and decency first. Just because he chooses not to reveal the new owners at this point in time doesn't mean they are a "source of embarrassment", that's your conjecture. And to suggest that just because he's not divulging everything to the users, he isn't treating the users "with some decency and respect"? He is not obligated to tell us anything, it is first and foremost his server and he is free to do whatever he wants with it. And no, KGS would exist just fine with or without its users. It is dependent on his decision to keep the server running or not, not the number of users on the server. All you're doing is gossiping and disrespecting wms.

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 Post subject: Re: What is happening to the KGS go server?
Post #3 Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:43 pm 
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Solomon wrote:
He is not obligated to tell us anything, it is first and foremost his server and he is free to do whatever he wants with it. And no, KGS would exist just fine with or without its users.


For KGS to be successful, it needs both the server itself, as well as users. I don't find it unreasonable for users to announce requests to the developer. Of course, it's the developer's choice whether or not to honor those requests, but the developer needs to keep in mind that people might stop using the software if they aren't pleased. On the other hand, as a user, if you want your request to be heard, it might have more weight if you ask in a kind and respectful manner :-)

Developers don't have to worry about user concerns that much when there are no other options for users. For example, if KGS were the only English go server, even if users were angry, they might like go enough to keep playing. These days, there are several options for playing go online, so unsatisfied users can just play on another server.

From that perspective, things will probably just work out: users may complain now and then about KGS. KGS may choose to listen or not listen, and based on this, users may choose to stay with KGS or to go someplace else.

Nonetheless, I don't think it's a problem to raise a concern about KGS if you have it as a user (though, being polite and respectful is always commendable!).

tl/dr: Just as wms isn't obligated to listen to users, users aren't obligated to stay quiet, either.

Just my opinion as a user :-)

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 Post subject: Re: What is happening to the KGS go server?
Post #4 Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:43 pm 
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" He is not obligated to tell us anything, it is first and foremost his server and he is free to do whatever he wants with it. And no, KGS would exist just fine with or without its users. It is dependent on his decision to keep the server running or not, not the number of users on the server. All you're doing is gossiping and disrespecting wms."

Please refrain from personal attacks. Of course the server could keep running without users, but what would be the point?


Thank you for your well balanced post, Kirby. "Nonetheless, I don't think it's a problem to raise a concern about KGS if you have it as a user (though, being polite and respectful is always commendable!)."

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I suppose the issue here is that wms is a developer and he does not seem to know or care much about human relations. In his own words:
"I loved the programming, hated pretty much everything else about it. Running this business meant constant dealing with money (writing checks, taking checks), people, IT, etc. Frankly I just wanted to be left alone where I could write code."


I wonder if he has had the decency to tell the volunteers that are working for the server, the admins what is going on?

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 Post subject: Re: What is happening to the KGS go server?
Post #5 Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:20 pm 
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I should probably clarify that I don't personally have any qualms about KGS right now. I'd just like to defend the general principle of the users' right to complain. It typically results in better software in the long run.

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Post #6 Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:54 pm 
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WMS is burned out and wants to move on. He hopes that the new owners can make KGS better. Hopefully optimism prevails and the new owners do make it a better user experience.

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 Post subject: Re: What is happening to the KGS go server?
Post #7 Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:16 pm 
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tchan001 wrote:
WMS is burned out and wants to move on. He hopes that the new owners can make KGS better. Hopefully optimism prevails and the new owners do make it a better user experience.


Could not agree more, tchan. I would just love to know who the new owners are.

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 Post subject: Re: What is happening to the KGS go server?
Post #8 Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:53 am 
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I'm also curious as to what is happening with KGS. It is a place I and many others like to spend time, and I am not disinterested as to whether it will continue to be so or not. Obviously it is WMS's right to do whatever he wants with his product, but his decisions also affect KGS's customers, and I don't see why he should be above criticism. Casually mentioning the sale on reddit and sending a rumor mill spinning seems an odd choice for an announcement. I am certainly grateful to WMS for having created and maintained KGS, but now that the captain has left the helm, it is not surprising that the passengers and the crew are getting a bit nervous. Thus we see users asking questions and admins getting huffy. Sometimes new owners like to keep things as they were so as not to upset their customers, others prefer to put their own stamp on the company. While on the one hand, these decisions have an effect on whether people want to continue being customers, it is important to recognize that KGS has provided a service not just to individuals, but also to a community. Sure, it is not a service that can't be replaced, but if it were to disappear or to suddenly change its escaper policy, it would certainly disrupt the community. Like the OP, I wouldn't mind hearing some reassuring words from the new owner(s).

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 Post subject: Re: What is happening to the KGS go server?
Post #9 Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:42 am 
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Peter1 wrote:
" He is not obligated to tell us anything, it is first and foremost his server and he is free to do whatever he wants with it. And no, KGS would exist just fine with or without its users. It is dependent on his decision to keep the server running or not, not the number of users on the server. All you're doing is gossiping and disrespecting wms."

Please refrain from personal attacks. Of course the server could keep running without users, but what would be the point?
Who's the one making a personal attack here? There's nothing wrong with you or anyone here criticizing wms's way of announcing the news or his server or demanding answers, but it is not okay to:

1) Suggest wms isn't treating users of KGS with respect and decency (personal attack)
Quote:
ask him to treat the users of KGS, without whom it would not exist, with some respect and decency.

2) Spread rumors about why wms chose not to reveal the new owners (gossip)
Quote:
The fact that the identity of the new owner seems to be a source of embarrassment does not fill me with optimism.

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 Post subject: Re: What is happening to the KGS go server?
Post #10 Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:39 pm 
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daal wrote:
I'm also curious as to what is happening with KGS. It is a place I and many others like to spend time, and I am not disinterested as to whether it will continue to be so or not. Obviously it is WMS's right to do whatever he wants with his product, but his decisions also affect KGS's customers, and I don't see why he should be above criticism. Casually mentioning the sale on reddit and sending a rumor mill spinning seems an odd choice for an announcement.


Thank you, daal, very well put. I would not change a word apart from perhaps replacing the word odd with bizarre.

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 Post subject: Re: What is happening to the KGS go server?
Post #11 Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:16 pm 
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FWIW I think that KGS is the best server currently. I've tried OGS, WBaduk, DGS, Tygem and IGS, but I keep going back to KGS.

For me personally it has the best balance of good quality games, engaged opponents, a good community, and a good user interface. I don't particularly want anything to change; it's focused, reliable, and the client is one of the best programs to analyse games after matches.

I don't know what's going on with KGS or who owns it or what the future holds; however, I can only say that WMS has done a lasting and positive service to the community.

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 Post subject: Re: What is happening to the KGS go server?
Post #12 Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:05 am 
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Peter1 wrote:
This is no joke. He is of course free to do what he wants with his property, all power to him. I do have some concerns.

1. The change of ownership has not been announced on KGS.

2. Any discussion of the ownership is instantly stomped out by KGS admins, regardless of the fact that such a discussion is perfectly acceptable according to the KGS terms of service. They have either decided among themselves, or been told to suppress this topic.


On point 1 I am not convinced that this is not a joke and that there is indeed a change of ownership.
On point 2, is that really true? Which admins have ruthlessly and instantly stamped out discussion.

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Post #13 Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:47 am 
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If it was a joke and it hasn't been clarified, that should be fixed. I had the thought that it was just for April fools, but it's actually plausible enough, and I believe it. Evidently many others (including almost everyone in this thread) do as well.

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 Post subject: Re: What is happening to the KGS go server?
Post #14 Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:18 am 
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It wasn't instant or ruthless, but McMaster (who is one of the more reasonable admins if memory serves) did ask us to stop talking about it:

Quote:
Rodtank: Hi, I heard wms sold KGS to new owners, is there any announcement about this?
ShadowLion: what?
OwyheeMud: nope
flobby: i was wondering about that too actually
Rodtank: the rumours seem to have been started by a post from wms on boardgamgeek in early april, so I'm wondering if it was a joke, true and secret, or true and announced
OwyheeMud: last time i was around during the sale of a Go application was when The Zone sold out to MSN
McMaster: I think wms will announce here once all the details of the transaction are done, signed, sealed and delivered.
McMaster: In the mean time please stop guessing this and that.
SamSpade: I assumed it was false
OwyheeMud: that didn't work out because the Go use was so small that MSN would not fund the necessary work
flobby: so i guess the hidden meaning behind that MM, is that it is real :)
flobby: i hope big doug bought it
OwyheeMud: the thought that crosses my mind is this, 'does wms have other game applications tied up in a bundle and offered to strangers?'
McMaster: Nothing is real until it is signed, sealed and delivered, you can ask your lawyer.

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 Post subject: Re: What is happening to the KGS go server?
Post #15 Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:19 pm 
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Uberdude wrote:
It wasn't instant or ruthless, but McMaster (who is one of the more reasonable admins if memory serves) did ask us to stop talking about it:

Quote:
Rodtank: Hi, I heard wms sold KGS to new owners, is there any announcement about this?
ShadowLion: what?
OwyheeMud: nope
flobby: i was wondering about that too actually
Rodtank: the rumours seem to have been started by a post from wms on boardgamgeek in early april, so I'm wondering if it was a joke, true and secret, or true and announced
OwyheeMud: last time i was around during the sale of a Go application was when The Zone sold out to MSN
McMaster: I think wms will announce here once all the details of the transaction are done, signed, sealed and delivered.
McMaster: In the mean time please stop guessing this and that.
SamSpade: I assumed it was false
OwyheeMud: that didn't work out because the Go use was so small that MSN would not fund the necessary work
flobby: so i guess the hidden meaning behind that MM, is that it is real :)
flobby: i hope big doug bought it
OwyheeMud: the thought that crosses my mind is this, 'does wms have other game applications tied up in a bundle and offered to strangers?'
McMaster: Nothing is real until it is signed, sealed and delivered, you can ask your lawyer.


This makes it sound like the sale is still "in progress". If so, it makes sense that WMS would not have announced anything. Is it possible that he just didn't realize how public the comment on boardgamegeek was going to be?

That said, IMO McMaster's request seems very reasonable. He or she affirms that KGS is being sold and indicates that WMS will make an announcement once the sale is final. If this is what is happening, I'm not sure what more they could reasonably disclose. Also seems reasonable to me to ask that people not fan the flames in the meantime, but it'a also the Internet. So, I can also see that some would see this as being suppressed. Moderating discussions is tricky. I'm very grateful that people are willing to do it, but I don't envy the quick, public decisions they often have to make.

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Post #16 Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:32 pm 
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Javaness2 wrote:
Peter1 wrote:
On point 2, is that really true? Which admins have ruthlessly and instantly stamped out discussion.


Well, I was discussing it, told not to discuss it, queried why I was being told not to discuss it and was booted. I don't even know by which admin, and frankly, I don't care. I am not here to name and shame people. I just want some information.

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Post #17 Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:34 pm 
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BlindGroup wrote:
I'm very grateful that people are willing to do it, but I don't envy the quick, public decisions they often have to make.


I would be grateful if they would just follow their own terms of service. They are really not that complicated.

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Post #18 Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:25 am 
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I enjoy playing on KGS as well (indeed it is the only server I play on at the moment), but I can't help but feel it has plateaued, and maybe is in decline. Unfortunately, I could not find any meaningful stats on player activity - the server stats button in CGoban seems to only pertain to the most recent server version, which has been up for 35 days, so not helpful for a look across time.

I was able to find a link (https://orb.at/top100games.html) on the KGS website of the "Top 100 games." What is surprising is how many of these games are someone playing a bot. Have all the super strong players left for the Asian-based servers? Does this have an affect on the rest of us, as well? Personally I liked getting online in hopes of seeing RoseDuke, Dkiller72, etc. (I am dating myself). Now I am less likely to get online if there won't be two *human* strong players slugging it out. It doesn't feel as much like a community anymore. And I am not sure wms could have done anything to keep this from happening.

I wish wms the best - he definitely left his mark on this game.

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Post #19 Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 12:20 pm 
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BTW, since a few months I've been timed out dozens of times in my own games. Need to log out and in again. Reinstalling didn't help. It forced me to Tygem, though I've always been a KGS fan.

Anybody else?

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 Post subject: Re: What is happening to the KGS go server?
Post #20 Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 12:34 pm 
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Knotwilg wrote:
BTW, since a few months I've been timed out dozens of times in my own games. Need to log out and in again. Reinstalling didn't help. It forced me to Tygem, though I've always been a KGS fan.

Anybody else?


I've been playing regularly on KGS for the last month and haven't had this issue. I did run into an issue when they did the update, but that was related to how the update handled the existing installation. Otherwise, it's been problem free! You might drop them an e-mail and see if they can go back and figure out why you got logged out.

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