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 Post subject: A new server is being developed: Kaya.gs
Post #1 Posted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:55 am 
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My name is Gabriel Benmergui, a.k.a. DexMorgan. I am an argentinian 6Dan player and i want to build a brand new Go server called Kaya.gs.

Kaya.gs is about making a server open enough for all Go entrepreneurs and communities to easily share all their knowledge, materials and information with the rest of the Go players out there in the internet.
Kaya.gs will run in the Browser, and will be accesible from any computer and mobile device, without any downloads. You will be able to watch games without logging in. You will be able to play real-time games, and also letter-like(turn-based) matches.
We want to integrate and help communities like the Teaching ladder, Advanced Study room Leagues, the Enclave and many other groups. We want you as a user to be able to watch a game and also see the players playing at the same time. We want you to be able to chat with a friend on the server and use video or audio as you please.
The list of features goes on, from live commenting games, to beginner learning to training tools.

Kaya.gs is in development mode and the first version is being worked on right now. For me and my partner to be able to quit our jobs and work 100% on this project we need time and money. We need your help!

We are now looking for funding through idea.me. Check us out at: http://idea.me/proyecto/21/kayagselservidorsocialdego . In facebook look for "kaya.gs" or go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kayags/255228811168899.

You can also checkout the Board of Fame at http://kaya.gs to see who already contributed! We will be updating this page with further info and breakthroughs as well as the idea.me page.If you cant contribute please help by resharing this information, or the links. The more people that know about this project, the easier to make it an awesome success!

Help us out! if you have any questions feel free to ask, i (Gabriel) will be here to answer all of them :).

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 Post subject: Re: A new server is being developed: Kaya.gs
Post #2 Posted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:55 pm 
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I hope I don't seem too critical, but do the new features you're adding outweigh further splitting the player base? There's already KGS, IGS, Tygem, WBaduk, DGS, and others. Is one more server what we need? Or are you hoping to replace them all?

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 Post subject: Re: A new server is being developed: Kaya.gs
Post #3 Posted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:11 pm 
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You might want to keep your goals smaller.

The other curiosity I've had for a while is why people don't just work out a go server using nngs code rather than start everything from scratch. With nngs there you already get a server and clients for almost every platform.

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 Post subject: Re: A new server is being developed: Kaya.gs
Post #4 Posted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:07 am 
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NNGS is very old. It runs on the IGS Protocol which I believe is simply text running over a telnet session. Even if you were to stick to a clear text client/server protocol I think you could be significantly more efficient.

If you're trying to make something new and better, sticking with old clients and servers probably isn't the way to go. Innovation is required to draw people away from the standard servers mentioned and that's an uphill battle. I wish all the luck to kaga.gs - anyone that succeeds in this endeavor clearly has made a superior product.

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 Post subject: Re: A new server is being developed: Kaya.gs
Post #5 Posted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:22 am 
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Well, in web-based server, we also have http://govsgo.com/ , http://www.eurogoserver.com/ , http://goshrine.com/ and maybe others.

None of them have really catched up, so yeah, the real problem isn't a technical one, but is how to get a decent userbase.

Edit: oren, did you read the nngs source code ? I did, and I understand fully why it was abandonned, and why no-one want to start a new project from this.

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 Post subject: Re: A new server is being developed: Kaya.gs
Post #6 Posted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 3:18 pm 
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Quote:
I hope I don't seem too critical, but do the new features you're adding outweigh further splitting the player base? There's already KGS, IGS, Tygem, WBaduk, DGS, and others. Is one more server what we need? Or are you hoping to replace them all?


I am planning to replace current servers. Current servers run on Java applets and desktop applications which are truly a forsaken technology.

Kaya.gs is done with modern a Javascript architecture: this means it will run the same in any computer, in any browser, including mobile devices, without ever having to download anything.

Figure that you will be able to share a game with someone that is not logged in in the server, by simply sharing a URL.
The advtangas of running a server as a site is enormous. Currently, the servers that do run on the browser are non-concurrent (like DGS, go vs go). We will have clocks, time systems and such, which is sopported by the legacy Java application servers.

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The other curiosity I've had for a while is why people don't just work out a go server using nngs code rather than start everything from scratch. With nngs there you already get a server and clients for almost every platform.


Well the above half-answers this. NNGS and all current servers are really old. They were done with coding practices and tools of decades ago.
Kaya.gs is using much more modern tools that make it way more flexible.


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Well, in web-based server, we also have http://govsgo.com/ , http://www.eurogoserver.com/ , http://goshrine.com/ and maybe others.

None of them have really catched up, so yeah, the real problem isn't a technical one, but is how to get a decent userbase.

Edit: oren, did you read the nngs source code ? I did, and I understand fully why it was abandonned, and why no-one want to start a new project from this


govsgo and goshrine are not concurrent servers, much like DGS. That is of course a way of playing we will support but it is a very limited way of playing.
Eurogotv has concurrent playing but the site is still very green. Granted so is ours that hasnt even be made public yet, but it is important to understand that these web-based servers do not aim to replicate the typical functionality JAva clients have.

We are going to have everything a JAva client has plus all the features related to its advantages of being a webpage. Check our prototype: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set= ... 8811168899

You will be easily able to see live streaming of a game you are watching. Currently KGS, Tygem or IGS dont have such a thing, and that's a techincal disadvantage Java clients have.

Kaya.gs will not only have things like video streaming but the chat functionality will let you use audio and video with other players in the server as much as you want. You can give or recieve lessons from anyone with live streaming, instead of depening of outer services like Skype or having teaching accounts.

The list of advantages is really big. The greatest thing about Kaya.gs is that its designed to make it easy for other websites to use server features and for them to be integrated into the server.
Figure playing a game, and when you finish it it can be sent to the KGS Teaching ladder with a single click. Or playing in the ASR league and have stats on the participants in the round right there, without having to leave the server to find it out.


I hope this answers some of your concerns :) I look forward to get feedback on what things you are missing for in other servers, we are definitely putting that in our development list.

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 Post subject: Re: A new server is being developed: Kaya.gs
Post #7 Posted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 3:50 pm 
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Kaya.gs wrote:
I hope this answers some of your concerns :) I look forward to get feedback on what things you are missing for in other servers, we are definitely putting that in our development list.


It seems very ambitious. Good luck. I'll be curious to see how it works out.

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 Post subject: Re: A new server is being developed: Kaya.gs
Post #8 Posted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:46 pm 
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I don't know what I could possibly want from Go server that KGS and WBaduk don't already have. Sure the graphics could be nicer and CGoban could nag less about inactivity, but those are still surface issues. It's the community that gives life to servers. WBaduk especially feels like a big organization with lots of benefits that can't be undone by saying that the server needs a client. How is that any sort of drawback? I actually like being disconnected of such frivolities like social media integration and other links and advertisement banners that have nothing to do with the purpose of the server.

Only thing needed is open source clients to help the community develop the most requested features.

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 Post subject: Re: A new server is being developed: Kaya.gs
Post #9 Posted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:58 pm 
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That client Screenshot looks totally awesome!

Make sure the client is available in Japanese, Chinese, & Korean too, to stand a better chance to bring in strong players...

Any idea on tying in with that Chinese "facebook?" That might also give you a leg up!

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 Post subject: Re: A new server is being developed: Kaya.gs
Post #10 Posted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 8:03 pm 
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Quote:
I don't know what I could possibly want from Go server that KGS and WBaduk don't already have. Sure the graphics could be nicer and CGoban could nag less about inactivity, but those are still surface issues. It's the community that gives life to servers. WBaduk especially feels like a big organization with lots of benefits that can't be undone by saying that the server needs a client. How is that any sort of drawback? I actually like being disconnected of such frivolities like social media integration and other links and advertisement banners that have nothing to do with the purpose of the server.

Only thing needed is open source clients to help the community develop the most requested features.


You will see all the stuff you are missing gradually. One of them i just presented to you: being able to watch a game and a video feed of the game at the same time, something nowadays not supported in any server.

Try to think how successful could have Gmail been if instead of running in the browser, it were a java client.

I agree with you absolutely about the community and its one of the key elements of Kaya.gs. Kgs has a very rich community but it runs very parallel to the server, not with it.
Let me give you some examples of what will be done on Kaya.gs that is not available anywhere.

-You play a game and you can do pattern search or consult a joseki dictionary with a single click.
-You can follow players you want, so when they play a game you can get a notice of when it starts or get the game when it finished right in your email.
-The community can organize their own tournaments in the server.
-Teachers can have a special system so potential students can look them up in the server. Teachers will also be able to give audio&video lessons to their students.

The greatest thing about kaya.gs is that its going to have a very open design to include emerging or stablished communities/pages/services into the server.

Servers today are not designed to run community generated content such as lessons, problems, videos,etc.

You can ask Alexander dinnerstein or the ASR league about the difficulties of running such services on KGS. I experienced them myself with my own Go School.


Quote:
That client Screenshot looks totally awesome!

Make sure the client is available in Japanese, Chinese, & Korean too, to stand a better chance to bring in strong players...

Any idea on tying in with that Chinese "facebook?" That might also give you a leg up!


Thanks!

Yes, we will most surely make documentation that the community can edit themselves. It is important to have top notch translations that come from Go players.

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 Post subject: Re: A new server is being developed: Kaya.gs
Post #11 Posted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:00 pm 
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Kaya.gs wrote:
Try to think how successful could have Gmail been if instead of running in the browser, it were a java client.
Very weak analogy.

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 Post subject: Re: A new server is being developed: Kaya.gs
Post #12 Posted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:07 pm 
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Everything I've seen so far looks great. Keep it up, I can't wait to try it :)

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 Post subject: Re: A new server is being developed: Kaya.gs
Post #13 Posted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:24 pm 
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Araban wrote:
Kaya.gs wrote:
Try to think how successful could have Gmail been if instead of running in the browser, it were a java client.
Very weak analogy.


Haha, Araban kind of beat me to the punch on this one.

For me, one of the greatest things about Gmail was its support of pop3--and especially imap, which very few services at the time offered (actually, I think it may still be one of the few free webmail providers that also offers imap access...although I've not really bothered looking around since 2004).

As for desktop applications being a "forsaken technology"...I understand where you're coming from on this one, but I'm sure I'm not the only one with something of a disdain for webapps. I'll take the forsaken technology of local, always available software any day, rather than something that may or may not work based on a multitude of factors, including browser version, network connectivity and performance, and server compliance. Sure, many of these factors are implicit with any online game, but with the KGS et al, I can at least fire up the client and replay any of my archived sgf's (cgoban happens to be my favorite editor/viewer, at the moment...even though it admittedly leaves something to be desired).

With that all said, there is nothing wrong with more competition, and especially innovation. Some of the things you're talking about do sound pretty neat.


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 Post subject: Re: A new server is being developed: Kaya.gs
Post #14 Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 1:29 am 
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let's ask some random questions here to see how you are going to run this server.

what kind of rating system are you going to use on your server and to which other server does it most compare?

how will you cope with nuisances like escapers? also the policy for bans, will they be long/short or possibly permanent?

I suppose there will be a chatroom, will this be like KGS, or more like an IRC chat?

will there be something like KGS+? are there ideas on how much such a thing will cost?

When is there gonna be beta testing and how could one sign up?^^

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 Post subject: Re: A new server is being developed: Kaya.gs
Post #15 Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:43 am 
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Toge wrote:
I don't know what I could possibly want from Go server that KGS and WBaduk don't already have.


I agree that a new server would need some unique features to gather enough interested players. This could be features that other servers refuse to implement or have never thought of implementing. Two suggestions:

1. Fischer time controls

2. Something for tsumego lovers (which I've been missing very much): The idea is to integrate tsumego into the system just like human opponents (or bots). They get rank/rating which will change as players of similar rank/rating solve them or fail at solving them (the rank change of tsumego and player by doing tsumego will be much slower of course than by actually playing a game). The problem of the failed servers mentioned above was that people log on to see whether there is someone online and if not they immediately leave. The tsumego program would keep them logged in for a much longer time so that the probability that another (potential) human opponent logs in at the same time is much higher. So the tsumego would help to get human opponents in the early stage, and it has its own benefit: By doing tsumego in a competing way you wouldn't feel compelled to "click around" as that would hurt your ranking.

Other suggestions:
- ranking for blitz games different from longer time controls
- separate ranking for 9x9, 13x13 and 19x19

These two items would make human-bot matches more comparable

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 Post subject: Re: A new server is being developed: Kaya.gs
Post #16 Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:46 am 
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Excellent feedback guys! some people have been saying things that are already in the development list :). Let me answer each one.

Quote:
Haha, Araban kind of beat me to the punch on this one.

For me, one of the greatest things about Gmail was its support of pop3--and especially imap, which very few services at the time offered (actually, I think it may still be one of the few free webmail providers that also offers imap access...although I've not really bothered looking around since 2004).

As for desktop applications being a "forsaken technology"...I understand where you're coming from on this one, but I'm sure I'm not the only one with something of a disdain for webapps. I'll take the forsaken technology of local, always available software any day, rather than something that may or may not work based on a multitude of factors, including browser version, network connectivity and performance, and server compliance. Sure, many of these factors are implicit with any online game, but with the KGS et al, I can at least fire up the client and replay any of my archived sgf's (cgoban happens to be my favorite editor/viewer, at the moment...even though it admittedly leaves something to be desired).

With that all said, there is nothing wrong with more competition, and especially innovation. Some of the things you're talking about do sound pretty neat.


Everyone is entitled to their opinion of course, and you can disagree. What i am trying to convey to you is that pages like facebook , or online email clients like Gmail/hotmail etc could have never been what they are if they were done through a java client. You can see thunderbird from mozilla as an example of a java client that lost badly to online email clients. Still i dont intend to follow this analogy, only wanted to answer this. To each his own :).


Quote:
let's ask some random questions here to see how you are going to run this server.

what kind of rating system are you going to use on your server and to which other server does it most compare?

how will you cope with nuisances like escapers? also the policy for bans, will they be long/short or possibly permanent?

I suppose there will be a chatroom, will this be like KGS, or more like an IRC chat?

will there be something like KGS+? are there ideas on how much such a thing will cost?

When is there gonna be beta testing and how could one sign up?^^


Many things are still being defined but thought of.

Rating system: i want to implement an ELO system, very much like Wbaduk and Tygem and most Asian servers. I will make it so that the first set of games define the rank like KGS does which i think is the only advantage of the system.
So a few games to get a solid rank quickly, and then a transparent point based system.

One thing im talking with my partner about the rating system which we will try is the following: "14 victories gives you a rank up". These is something that happens with some club-rating systems like in the Nihon-kiin.
This means that we would always adjust the strength difference of any game, so if a weak 5d plays a strong 5d, there will a difference in komi. It is a more granular way to handle the rating system, and also a very predictable one. Each game you play is basically worth the same.

KGS rating system has some disadvantages, the main one being that accounts get "heavy", hence people always have multiple accounts. Wbaduk, for example, poeple never make more than 1 account. But it still a drag that when you are close to rank up, you have to play way more many games.

Escapers: similar to Asian servers. The whole idea from kgs to keep the games is interesting but it just doesnt work. IF a player is disconnected or leaves, he can join back in a certain amount of time (15 mins ~) or else he loses. I dont want Kaya.gs to have escaper policies in the main room to explain it to people. Simple is good :).

Channels/Rooms: This is also a key point. Good question :). In Kaya.gs we differenciate between a room and a channel. It is very important that people can make a flexible group to chat with however they want. On the other hand its not cool that you have 500 rooms with 1 people, making it harder to find the active/valuable ones.
So there is a channel list, very open and people can open them up as many as they want. Its simply a chat-tab that people can talk simultaneously in.
And there is a room list with much more features and support. Only active communities, or qualified services get on the rooms list which will be very limited and on sight. A room will have a description, links and other website related technology. Depending on the service, joining a room could be opening up a new "client". Think of joining the room goproblems.com, where you can solve problems and share demonstrations on specific problems you or other people want to solve.

We are still ironing details on how we are going to do the latter, but the differenciation of channels and rooms is here to stay. Also we want to put IRC-like commands on the chat. So you will be able to write to someone when you mention their name (i.e. Dexmorgan what do you mean? would be shown in bold to me) and other similar commands.

I will make a public beta call when its time :).

Quote:
1. Fischer time controls

2. Something for tsumego lover


Nice!. Fishcer time is actually the first time system im pushing my partner to do. i never tried it but i dont see how it could possible not be better than byoyomi. It is a great time setting and i think blitz people will love it.

There will be something special about tsumego..but that is classified information :)


9x9 and 13x13 wont be ranked which is something i feel strongly about. However, we will make an option when you create your account to mark it as 'beginner'. Beginner accounts will have a progress window to guide them into getting out of beginner-ship.

We will start with something very simple on that like solving a certain set of problems, and playing a certain number of Atari-Gos, 9x9 and 13x13. We really want to make the server a great place to learn Go from scratch, although most beginner stuff will come later on when the server is already mature.

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 Post subject: Re: A new server is being developed: Kaya.gs
Post #17 Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:18 am 
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Good luck. Many people have tried to create a new go server, but have given up.

I wonder if you will be different. I look forward to any results that you may have. In the event that nothing ever results, thanks for trying.

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 Post subject: Re: A new server is being developed: Kaya.gs
Post #18 Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:31 am 
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Kaya.gs wrote:
9x9 and 13x13 wont be ranked which is something i feel strongly about. However, we will make an option when you create your account to mark it as 'beginner'.


Have you considered publishing separate blitz and normal ratings? If so, you could make separate ratings for 9x9 and 13x13 (I agree they probably shouldn't be mixed with 19x19 rating).

Have you heard of Whole History Rating? This paper is worth reading if you haven't already: http://remi.coulom.free.fr/WHR/

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 Post subject: Re: A new server is being developed: Kaya.gs
Post #19 Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:04 am 
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Kaya.gs wrote:
You can see thunderbird from mozilla as an example of a java client that lost badly to online email clients.


Since Mozilla Thunderbird is not a java client (nor are most IGS clients, nor WBaduk or Tygem as far as I can tell) I wonder what you are calling "java"...

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Post #20 Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:55 am 
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i've heard that the server is gonna be built in html5, so that is compatible with all browsers if you like it or not:)

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