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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #21 Posted: Mon Dec 09, 2019 3:03 pm 
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SoDesuNe wrote:
Never had to deal with an admin before, so no experience there and for me, social functions are not important. I'd still happily play on KGS without rooms and a general chat function - when the rest of my suggestions get implemented. PMs are a must-have though.

Interesting. For me, social functions are the most important thing. They are the reason why I switched from IGS to KGS all those years ago. I don't see KGS competing with the Asian servers for number of players any time soon, so in order to survive KGS needs to hang on to the unique selling point -- and that's the social side plus the excellent game reviewing facilities.

But that's just my opinion. See my post in the other thread on getting some unbiased data :-)

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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #22 Posted: Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:25 pm 
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Quote:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/17cmLVaao1l1RAPktLyybJK1EAxQRnF4UQBCMchst75I/edit?usp=sharing


Uh, could you use a color other than yellow on white for one of the categories? It's hard to read.

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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #23 Posted: Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:31 am 
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xela wrote:
If you could open-source the KGS protocol, then you would no longer need to fix client-side bugs. People will happily write their own clients (they are already trying to!)

I'd certainly give some thought to adding a KGS module to q5go. It would depend a little on whether the protocol requires anything that doesn't fit in the existing structure of the program, but on the whole I think it would probably be doable.
But maybe this isn't such a high priority for KGS - it appears that these days, a lot of people actually want software to run in their browser, rather than as a dedicated application. I find that terrible, but what can you do :scratch:

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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #24 Posted: Tue Dec 10, 2019 9:06 am 
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In my opinion, you should open source the project, including client, server, protocol, assets, website, and so on. Stick it all on Github, and choose the person who is (a) available and (b) understands the code to be the Benevolent Dictator. Get rid of your back-of-a-menu issues log and instead have the community contribute to the project. Get a new website, the current one looks like it should run on Netscape.

Look at Lichess for inspiration. They get enough money in donations to run a dozen servers, over 100 cores and pay programmers too. But to get the donations, you need inspirational, motivated programmers and influencers (yes, I said it) to inspire people again. People have already moved to Foxy, they need a reason to come back. Meanwhile, if you're going to focus on KGS Plus content, look at all the Go streamers who have Twitch and YouTube channels. How are you going to offer something more than what they can? Why should I listen to KGS Plus when Pro Yeonwoo is going over 3-3 invasion AI joseki, where I can actually see her face and have a "better than utter crap" aural experience?

Also, I don't think it's out of the question to start again. I mean, programming has moved on further than Java 2 or however old KGS is. One excellent person is all it takes. Lichess was largely written by one person.

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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #25 Posted: Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:44 am 
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When WMS owned KGS, it was requested several times to make it open source, and he declined. Here is what I remember from conversations in KGS, and web pages, as best as my somewhat faulty memory tells me:

WMS created a client for IGS, and continued to improve it. His was one of many IGS clients. At some point, he realized a consequence of having many independent clients was that IGS could not add new features without breaking clients. That's what motivated him to create igoweb, later renamed as KGS. As he managed KGS, he continued to have the concern that opening the source could lead to the situation in which adding features could break clients.

I'm not taking sides here. I'm just trying to add a historical note.


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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #26 Posted: Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:18 pm 
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I am not a programmer, but my understanding is that the way the code is written is pretty complicated. It isn't something that can be made opensource easily as there is a very steep learning curve to how it all functions, and even minor changes can cause the whole thing to crash. This is what the programmers tell me at least, although I am summarizing it in my words (which may be subject to my lack of comprehension).

Totally agree on the website, it needs a complete overhaul. Of course, no one goes there once they have the client. When we get the web registration module up, we will redo the home page. Everybody talks about how all the users have left, but in reality there are up to 800 on at once over the weekends, and 350-600 on at any given time on other days. So clearly people do still use the server, and value the social aspect and the community building that our structure makes possible. And that is precisely why we are continuing to fund it.

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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #27 Posted: Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:25 pm 
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I work, penance for my sins, as an IT consultant. More often than not, I work with clients that have these set phrases that drive me crazy:- "isn't it as simple as...", "couldn't you just...", "what would be good is if we...". And, I have to turn around and say: no, dammit, it's not just as simple as taking this spreadsheet and "sticking it in the database".

So I truly understand and appreciate that things are never as simple as they appear. We're outside the tent pissing in, not inside the tent pissing out. That being said, the level of technical debt and rigidity in KGS, I guess, is pretty high. It must feel like you're pushing the tyre up the hill when trying to realise your ambitions.

Are you absolutely sure that it's a case of "better the devil you know"? If you find your guy / gal, you can make "KGS 2" in 18 months. Browser-based, sick UI, tight gameplay, livestreams with decent video and audio and interactive boards, tournaments, massive increase in player base?

Chop the head and cut the fat I dare you.

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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #28 Posted: Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:41 pm 
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shimari65 wrote:
It isn't something that can be made opensource easily as there is a very steep learning curve to how it all functions, and even minor changes can cause the whole thing to crash.

There's the server code and then there's the client code. If you make the server code open source in the sense of letting people see but not change it, then it becomes easier for third parties to write their own client. People are already having a go at writing third-party clients. Sharing some information surely makes crashes less likely compared with the current situation of people shooting in the dark?

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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #29 Posted: Fri Dec 13, 2019 10:40 am 
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In addition to what I wrote above about the reason WMS gave for not having KGS go open source, I'm reminded of this:

WMS, or someone, was concerned that the effect of bugs in poorly written clients could extend outside that user/client environment. They could, conceivably, cause a problem with the server.

IIRC, WMS said he liked open source software. But, he felt it wasn't right for KGS at the time.

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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #30 Posted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:42 am 
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Hi everyone,

This is quite hard to know exactly what it is done and what will be done to improve KGS.

I heard about a new client with a web interface. I heard about Go Universe ...

While awaiting developments, would it be possible to work on light changes on cgoban to get them in a very near future ?

Though I am not a programmer at all, I guess that put a nice sound for chat alarm is not one of the twelve labours of Hercules.

Well you see what I mean ?

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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #31 Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:23 pm 
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How is KGS doing after all compared to OGS? Is it dying or did it become stable with players? I played some games there again and noticed a lot of bots, not as many players as in the past but also not as empty as I could have imagined.

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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #32 Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:46 pm 
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I would prefer KGS to OGS, but I'm not playing a lot on either.

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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #33 Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:43 am 
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I just logged on a few servers to check:

KGS: 550 online (max=920)
OGS: 1775 online
IGS: 2599
Fox: 23800
Tygem: has several servers (Premium, Sudam, etc.), each has typically 2000-4000 connected users, total comparable to Fox.

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Post #34 Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:14 am 
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The OGS stats seem peculiar to me
I checked just now and saw 95 live games, 47 users in chat 2250 users logged in. The percentages are pretty low if we are talking about active users.

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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #35 Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:53 am 
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95 live games on OGS but over 17000 correspondence games.

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Post #36 Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:20 pm 
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Correspondence figures probably make a good comparison between K and O impossible. You don't need to make any comparison however, you can just observe that the KGS figures are steadily dropping. I would imagine that fewer beginners go there now, the whole broken Java thing is one element which deters them. The server needs to make an active attempt to recruit or advertise in this area.

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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #37 Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:42 am 
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I wish KGS would keep my last solid rank if I stop playing for a while. I no longer play regularly and every time I come back to KGS I have no rank or some crazy rank with a ?.

Then it's difficult to find games, there are not enough bots for them to be a solution and it's just way too much effort. I just want to play a few games against somebody (not a bot) around my rank. This is a very unfriendly system for returning and casual players, I often just give up and play somewhere else instead.

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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #38 Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:23 am 
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I've found that automatch will usually provide me with a game inside a minute, sometimes almost instantly. And it doesn't seem to care if your rank includes a "?". (Posting game offers when you don't have a solid rank is a waste of time though.)


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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #39 Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:11 am 
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Does WMS still care? Or is he out for good?

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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #40 Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:01 am 
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wms sold KGS three years ago.

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