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 Post subject: How to make KGS better?
Post #1 Posted: Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:40 am 
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Simple steps first.

1. Looks strange to delete unactive accounts (6 months after last login). Someone can take and register that name (like it happened with my "backpast" account), which I used for playing rated games.
I would prefer nicknames, which will not expire

2 ...
pls add your suggestions

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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #2 Posted: Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:55 am 
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Seek KGS admins who actively promote the game to increase the server popularity
Advertise properly the HTML clients which are available. Despite having at least 2 British admins this page is still out of date https://www.britgo.org/gopcres/play#server
Shake up the format of KGS+ somehow
Restrict rated bots to no handicap games

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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #3 Posted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:19 am 
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Javaness2 wrote:
Advertise properly the HTML clients which are available. Despite having at least 2 British admins this page is still out of date https://www.britgo.org/gopcres/play#server


Java appears to be the key reason why the influx of players is limited. A lot of people in Poland prefer OGS simply because they need no additional software to play. I also think that KGS has an edge in terms of social interaction thanks to the UX of cgoban (three main items - the game list, chat and the player list - in a single window, vs. OGS's tabs and low popularity of regional chat rooms), which should be preserved in the browser clients. I'd wager accessibility and promotion should be prioritized, while preserving the feature set of cgoban.

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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #4 Posted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:15 pm 
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The AGF Board did just authorize funding to create a web-based registration module that does not require Java. That should enable us to get new users much more easily, although ShinKGS still has a ton of bugs. GoUniverse is pretty good if you have a desktop and use Chrome. Hopefully we will have the new system working by early next year.

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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #5 Posted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 12:44 am 
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My KGS Feature requests:

Option to challenge a specific player
Only allow challenges form users in the rooms where you are present.
To prevent challenge spamming in large rooms, users can block that room or they can block the specific challenger (both options available in the widget notifying the the challenge).
Perhaps also block challenges when users are spectating or playing a game.
Perhaps also have setting where you automatically block challenges from players that don't meet your citeria for board size, rule set, komi, rank, handicap, time settings, escaping suspects.

Automatic scoring
There are servers that support this and they do it really well, so it is possible.
It would prevent trolling players from marking living groups as dead and it would help beginners who don't really understand life and death.

Improve audio
When teachers have lessons with audio, the audio tends to be poor. In-Seong uses Discord for audio, but that shouldn't be neccessary.

Review requests
Similar to making a challenge / game request, except that it is to review a completed game.
Also show ongoing public reviews more prominently in the games list.

Improve the rating system
People have been complaining for years about some quirks of the KGS rating system.
In general, you want higher levels to be stable, but at the lower levels the ratings seem to change too slowly.
I feel overall the ratings should be a bit more volatile. For the ranks you may use some additional filter.
Perhaps the time settings should also be taken into account?

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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #6 Posted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:11 am 
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breakfast wrote:
Looks strange to delete unactive accounts (6 months after last login). Someone can take and register that name (like it happened with my "backpast" account), which I used for playing rated games.
I would prefer nicknames, which will not expire

Outside go servers, I've come across forums where nicknames never expire. It's bad news, because thousands of names are taken forever by people who only spent a day on the forum and never came back. For a new user, it can be difficult to find a name that suits you.

I think it's important that names can expire if not used. But maybe it's better if KGS can send a reminder email two weeks before the name expires?

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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #7 Posted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 3:20 pm 
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xela wrote:
Outside go servers, I've come across forums where nicknames never expire. It's bad news, because thousands of names are taken forever by people who only spent a day on the forum and never came back. For a new user, it can be difficult to find a name that suits you.

I think it's important that names can expire if not used. But maybe it's better if KGS can send a reminder email two weeks before the name expires?

OK, that is a reasonable concern. How about if an inactive username stays around for 2 years, and you get emails 2 months, 1 month, and 1 week before expiration? And make it so you can restart the clock by simply replying to the email?

From my perspective, 6 months is just not long enough. I've had my KGS account expire more than once, and currently I'm not on KGS at all because it expired. I may be able to get my username back, but I'd have to work to get my rating back without a "?".


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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #8 Posted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 3:45 pm 
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The email could contain a link to shinKGS, so that you just have to click and log on.

But actually having your account deleted can be useful. Once I lost on purpose by 361 points against idiotbot (I know, that's silly) and got my rank deactivated. So I just waited until my account expired and opened a new one with the same nickname.


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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #9 Posted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 7:54 pm 
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EricBackus wrote:
How about if an inactive username stays around for 2 years, and you get emails 2 months, 1 month, and 1 week before expiration? And make it so you can restart the clock by simply replying to the email?

I'm not worried about the fine print, this sounds OK to me too.

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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #10 Posted: Thu Dec 05, 2019 9:53 am 
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I'd like to see, on the Web, a place where KGS users can report bugs, and rate reported bugs. Bugs given higher ratings should have higher priorities in getting fixed.

I'd also like to see something similar for proposed changes. Users could discuss the changes, pro or con, and vote the changes up or down.

How suitable is Life in 19x19 for these?


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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #11 Posted: Thu Dec 05, 2019 5:06 pm 
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We have a really long list of issues and bugs, already priority sorted. Chances are we already know about whatever issues you have. The problem is people with time and skill to fix them. Our volunteer programmers don't have a lot of spare time. They handle big things that come up, and gradually try to fix other things. We are hiring someone for the registration module, so that at least will get done relatively soon. For other things, we will have to see how it goes. If we start having enough extra revenue to hire people more often, then we will be able to address more of these things.

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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #12 Posted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 5:03 pm 
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First let me say that I'm really pleased to see the recent activity and communication here, it sounds very promising.

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!) This has worked well for IGS, who have used an open and well-documented telnet protocol from a very early stage. It's also worked well for many chess servers.

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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #13 Posted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:51 pm 
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shimari65 wrote:
We have a really long list of issues and bugs, already priority sorted. Chances are we already know about whatever issues you have. The problem is people with time and skill to fix them. Our volunteer programmers don't have a lot of spare time. They handle big things that come up, and gradually try to fix other things. We are hiring someone for the registration module, so that at least will get done relatively soon. For other things, we will have to see how it goes. If we start having enough extra revenue to hire people more often, then we will be able to address more of these things.


I'm sure you do have a long list of issues. But, where is it? Is it private? Who does the priority sorting?

I like organizations to keep in touch with their customers/clients/users, whatever -- to get feedback from them. One way KGS can do that is to have a means where users can see and comment on bugs and suggested improvements.


Last edited by Marathon on Sat Dec 07, 2019 9:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #14 Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 1:57 am 
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From the top of my head. Not in a specific order.

1) Option to challange specific player by ie right-clicking on the username.

2) Automatch-feature for players of the same rank (and if there are none online it gradually expands the search). Everybody's default setting is opt-in and you can only manually opt-out (ie like Fox). Also I don't prefer to fix the game settings before but after an opponent has been found. If you don't like the settings, you can still decline/leave.

3) Transparant rating algorithm (GoR/Elo/Glicko-2/WHR/...) plus different ratings for different time settings (ie blitz, rapid, slow)

4) Easy way to report spammer, cheater, escaper, ... Something like right-clicking on username and report. Of course the rating algorithm has to automatically give back lost points when a cheater has been banned (--> lichess.org).

5) Optional automatic scoring

6) Should work in browser

7) Please incorporate modern design/usability philosophy (meaning completely re-work KGS' design ; ) Having said that, I don't know any go server who actually has a nice interface. Pandanet only has a really beautiful goban. For chess, see again lichess.org)

8) Voice countdown in byo-yomi

9) Include more/better ways to learn from you past games.
a) Right now even downloading your games is too many clicks away and you can't even look at your games unless you open them in a room. Either all games are automatically saved on the PC or you can easily right-click -> download.
b) Offer AI review (should be one which works with all komi variants and handicap of course): Please see lichess.org for this (it's fast, it points out mistakes to learn from, it's free for everyone, it even produces a nice graph to see where your biggest mistakes were made)
c) It would be great to offer indivudal problem sets from your analysed games to practice with them (see also 10) )
d) There should be various analyses available in your player profile: A more detailed graph of your rank progression, win-percentages as white and black, against stronger or weaker players, with or against handicap (including automatic filters to see all the games in a given category), wins/losses by points, by resign or by time, win/losses by move number, average thinking time per move, percentage of mistakes made in opening, middlegame and endgame, ... (I could think of a lot of other stuff, too ^^)

10) Problem section fed by analyzed games. Should generate many whole-board-positions. Of course the right move should give a certain leeway depending on the percentage of the AI's best move. Including a iniduvual problem-solving-rating per player.

11) Allow to disable chat while playing

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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #15 Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 2:28 pm 
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My wish: Make ratings more volatile.

Discussion of "(optional) automatic scoring": "optional" (both players agree to allow it) is essential because correct scoring (with dead stones still on the board etc.) is in EXPTIME (extremely complex). An impression that it would be done on some other servers is no evidence of being done correctly there.


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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #16 Posted: Sun Dec 08, 2019 3:40 am 
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RobertJasiek wrote:
My wish: Make ratings more volatile.

Discussion of "(optional) automatic scoring": "optional" (both players agree to allow it) is essential because correct scoring (with dead stones still on the board etc.) is in EXPTIME (extremely complex). An impression that it would be done on some other servers is no evidence of being done correctly there.


More rating volatility: seconded

Automatic scoring: I can understand that scoring can be extremely difficult in edge cases. But in practise it doesn't have to be mathematically proven to be correct in all cases.

It's like the travelling salesman problem. It's a known hard problem to find the best solution in general in reasonable time, but navigation software solutions are fast and good enough in most cases, even though it may not give the best solution in all cases.

On FlyOrDie for example, the automatic scoring of final positions is quite good (even when it has to solve some tsumego to determine the status of groups) and that server is not even dedicated to go. It uses territory scoring and IME miscounts happen quite rarely there (perhaps 1 in a thousand?).

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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #17 Posted: Sun Dec 08, 2019 11:21 am 
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The discussion, so far, is mostly about software changes. What about suggestions for social, cultural improvements, such as admin policy?

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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #18 Posted: Sun Dec 08, 2019 1:31 pm 
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Marathon wrote:
The discussion, so far, is mostly about software changes. What about suggestions for social, cultural improvements, such as admin policy?


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.

I'd still refer to lichess.org.

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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #19 Posted: Sun Dec 08, 2019 2:36 pm 
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I don't know anything about the admin policies of KGS. My interactions with admins have been exceedingly rare.

What I've always found a nice social/cultural feature of KGS is kibitzing on higher profile games. But I don't have much to suggest to improve that without software changes. Perhaps more advertising and announcements on social media (like https://www.facebook.com/groups/go.igo.weiqi.baduk/, https://www.reddit.com/r/baduk/) when some interesting matches are played on KGS?

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 Post subject: Re: How to make KGS better?
Post #20 Posted: Sun Dec 08, 2019 10:21 pm 
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Our list of priorities isn't a secret, but at a certain point, more input isn't that useful. We don't have enough resources to solve all of our existing problems as it is. We hope to make gradual improvements over time. We made the list in consultation with a number of users. For now, trying to get registration to work without Java is priority #1. After that is improving ShinKGS to become a viable alternative. You can see our list here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/17cm ... sp=sharing

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