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 Post subject: Pining for the original OGS, considering picking up go again
Post #1 Posted: Mon Nov 23, 2015 6:28 pm 
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I basically stopped playing go entirely when online-go.com merged with the Nova into the current site. It lost so much turn-based functionality, I just couldn't stand to use the new site. And without daily turn-based go, I lost interest in continuing my more rarified live (via KGS or local tournaments) go playing.


Does anyone know what happened to the source for the original OGS? Did it continue on in any form, or is it lost to us?

After some years I went back to online-go.com, but found it was pretty much the same as after the merger.


Man, I miss the original OGS. It was such a well put-together, functional site :(

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Post #2 Posted: Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:50 pm 
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I'm very sorry to hear that, I'm one of the developers of the new OGS and we were originally the Nova developers. If you don't mind me asking, what did it lose that you miss so much? We're constantly working on the site fixing bugs and adding features that our users ask for. We try to be good stewards of our community and work hard to make as many folks happy as we can but sometimes we miss the mark. I'm genuinely interested in what we can do to bring you back and make you feel good about playing again.

As someone who had a chance to look at the original code, it was something of a disaster and there was basically none of it that we could use when reaching feature parity on Nova prior to the merge. Having said that, we didn't take ownership of the original code so that belongs to the original developers. When we took over several years ago the code was already several years out of date and would require a good bit of work to bring current. Large portions of the system also required a good deal of manual intervention to work.

When we took over, we took over a dying server that was hemorrhaging users at an alarming rate. The server recorded less than 800 unique users a day to over 5300 a day today and we break that record every week. Since January 2012 (as Nova) we've been under constant development and we're not planning on slowing down any time soon. None of that matters to you if you don't enjoy playing there so let me know. Stop by chat and say hello if you want.

Lastly, if you are hoping for the server of yesteryear... without live games and requiring a manual refresh of the page to see updated moves, I'm afraid that's not going to come back but I would seriously hate to think that our taking over the server caused you to leave the game.


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 Post subject: Re: Pining for the original OGS, considering picking up go a
Post #3 Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 2:32 pm 
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I can't speak for antinoun. His screen shot brought back some nice memories.

I've seen some that left OGS. I did, too. In my view, the quality of the server is still not on par with the old OGS. It's getting better though. And I hope it will top it at some stage. I only recently got back playing on OGS, so some things might be fixed while I was away.

Things that bothered me:
- breakfast played some even games to promote his teaching. With the visibility of turn based games in the new user interface (=none, unless you look for it in a players profile, or it happens to be in the same tournament as you are playing), it's unthinkable to happen again.

- Uberdude made lots of comments when reviewing his games. Great study tool. And it was visible. You could click straight on the move where there was a comment. Now? I assume nobody makes comments anyway. Just checked: nice one to have list of reviewed games in the profiles! And the commented moves are colored! Consider that one solved!

- The takeover of the big tournaments was a major disaster and nobody seemed to care. I kept reporting stuff until I gave up. After some years of patience (I don't know a more patient community than turned based go players) this one turned me away. I came back when gamesorry took over organising the tournaments. You do something right there.

- No mod of the old guard stayed mod on the new server. That one I still don't understand. Seeing fresh ddks telling off old mods because they complained that the holiday function didn't work, shocked me. Not many seemed to care, which shocked me even more. I had the impression that the old folks and the new folks didn't speak the same language (how could they, the new folks never saw the old OGS).

- Minor quirkies
-- I like reviewing games, but the review tool misses passes and a counting feature (I mean only proper counting, no SE. At least that part of the old OGS code should be sensible).
-- No way to find out the time allowance on weekend or if somebody is on holiday.
-- Time-out warning in turned based games not functional
-- UI not as mobile friendly as the old UI
-- Why the loud sound?? And it is there even when my mobile is in silent mode!?
-- Why getting kicked out of a tourney after a single time out? Some Tournaments take years. Getting kicked out after a year of playing is good exercise in frustration management.

- As a user, I didn't perceive that the old OGS was dying. Even if it was dying, as you say. The tournaments at least proved popular, we had breakfast showing up, no visible bugs etc. Maybe things slowed down a bit, but from a user perspective it was not dying. And hence it is natural to see it as a takeover which had absolutely no benefit apart from a finally frequented chat and a forum. Many of the old folks quit, like antinoun. Now, OGS was dying for me, not before the merge. All the euphoric people I encountered after the merge, weren't regulars on old OGS. Priorities were pushing live games and adjusting ranks of ddks. Loading times on mobiles got long, and you had to wade through some live games fancy diagram before you could go to your games. Forcing people to use gravatar wasn't sensible either. How long did it take to finally get tournament cross tables? Or how long did it take to fix the stronger player always takes white feature/bug (which was compensated by using the outdated Japanese komi for 5.5 in 9x9 games)? Switching the analysis function off between rounds of a tourney: Why?? Just because some new folks had great ideas how to make the tournaments better, which the old folks enjoyed since years? Rising my sarcasm level with the "best server to play go online" didn't help either. Too many unnecessary strange things. I certainly didn't feel welcome anymore.

Anyway, I'm back. Keep up the good work!

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 Post subject: Re: Pining for the original OGS, considering picking up go a
Post #4 Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 7:37 pm 
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Just to add a bit from my memory - the old OGS was never "hemorrhaging" players and the reason for handover was more the difficulty with maintaining the site (for which the new developers should definitely be thanked!) - the active player base was hovering around 1k for at least a couple of years. The current popularity of the server is quite an achievement, but perhaps it would be more interesting to see the number of active turn-based games in comparison to before (since real-time game users was never going to be an area of growth for the old OGS and really should be more attributable to Nova, other than the snowball effect that the old OGS users added to the initial userbase).

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 Post subject: Re: Pining for the original OGS, considering picking up go a
Post #5 Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 10:39 pm 
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Active turn based can be tricky because we allow a variety of time controls but I do have some good metrics. Perhaps looking at the number of correspondence games started in a given month. iirc we define that as games that have an average move time of over 3600s (1 hour) calculated based on the time control and an average number of moves per game.

For November 2013: 4731 games
For October 2015: 12101 games

If you raise that to an average move time of 86400s (which in reality would be pretty long time between moves given what I said above):

Nov 2013: 2012 games
Oct 2015: 10391 games

Total games played:

Nov 2013: 11612 games
Oct 2015: 183332 games

So the ratio has skewed pretty heavily towards live games but we still run considerably more correspondence games than the site ever did in a given month. Look at the above numbers and consider that there were only 418329 games in the database prior to Nov 1st 2013 and that includes the Nova games pre-merge (which was a pretty small number).

Growth is just one part of it, though. Certainly we have our share of bugs but show me one other server that is actually under active development :)

We struggled for a while with the title tournaments, they were pretty stodgy and stale with a pretty high abandonment rate and they went on for *years* at a time (which just makes the abandonment rate worse). It was a tough decision but we made the call to discontinue site-level support for these so we could focus on other things. You can totally blame me for that one as it was my call. I personally think that those tournaments are probably best handled by the community anyway. gamesorry is doing a great job there, if anything we could give him a bit more control on how he runs the tournaments (and fix a bug related to point assignments, though TDs do have the ability to adjust those). Making this decision allowed us to accelerate the development of daily and weekly live and correspondence tournaments that are automatically generated, as well as expanding to some new tournament types, here's a fun hourly double elimination tournament that was run the other day: https://online-go.com/tournament/12740

Incidentally, I don't remember any old OGS moderators expressing any interest in coming over except perhaps Kuroneko.

We do love getting feedback, keep sending it! I think we knew we were going to alienate some players, while other players would be happy to see the changes and that's why we've always tried to make ourselves available in whatever forums people hang out on. So we can figure out how we can make it better for everyone. It does suck to see folks like antinoun that didn't like it and just left, but I totally understand that.


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 Post subject: Re: Pining for the original OGS, considering picking up go a
Post #6 Posted: Sat Nov 28, 2015 1:58 pm 
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Whenever there is a talk about this topic, I almost feel compelled to opine something, though this seems sometimes so polarizing it's actually off putting.

Matburt, when you asked "what did it lose" I can't help but think of nostalgia. A powerful factor indeed, that even I find myself pining[2] for those good times on OldGS[1], when things were simple and correspondence was the way of life (no sarcasm). Now, I'm not to dismiss the criticism of those who felt disappointed, and I'll mention some of this in a bit.

However, Matburt, with no hostility intended, did you ever log in to OldGS, played a few games, or interact with the community, so as to get the feeling of it? I'm not saying you should have (though perhaps you even did), and I reckon it wasn't the point when you proposed the merge to Damien, nor would it have been necessarily useful. But that je-ne-sais-quoi of OldGS is now gone, in a way that cannot be fully explained because the pre 2013 environment no longer exists, so I do think that plays a part on your question as well; the merge brought the tides of change, and change it did. Now, whether that was good or bad is what many seem to find debatable.

What did OldGS have for me? It felt like home, and I'm pretty sure after years of using it, anyone gets acquainted to every quirk of the server, even those which hardly make any sense. I liked the fact that earning Title tournament trophies was hard, and Mini tournaments gave you small victories. Back then, in my view, it had features no other server offered, the tournament interface being the main one. It had a small chat in spite of being a correspondence server, for which it was optimized (timeout alerts, follow games, full player list with recently logged players, etc., all those made sense in that context). It wasn't the most popular server, and I never could convince anyone of joining (mainly because the interface was very confusing to outsiders, and the color scheme was a visual nightmare), but to us it was awesome; and I admit there's even certain satisfaction to being in that small server everyone dismisses and looks down their noses, like a hidden treasure. As I said that is just my personal taste.

The particular way by which it was merged also had its shock value, a risky stunt, and there's no denying that contributed to polarization. Some loved it, some hated it, with hardly any mid ground; but if you leave with a bad impression that is very difficult to erase. Now, rain fire on me, but I think their decision was reasonable. I know there's bitterness and frustration to not being able to pursue one's own agenda, but that is developers privilege (they are the ones who get the job done, after all). Furthermore, it is clear to me that developers have been considering the users' needs, and development has been as steady as sanely possible; they just can't please everyone.

Also, I do remember lots of uncompromising opposition, the most simplistic of which was "bring the old server back" (for anyone paying attention, that was technically and practically impossible). That would have been the case even if the merger had been made public beforehand, which isn't in the slightest bit helpful. The schism that ensued, on many occasions felt to me more like political rant than anything else.

Some of the OldGS folks lost their statu quo (notably mods), and for what I've asked here and there, it was just some miscommunication for which there's really no one to blame (if there's even blame to be given for such a thing). Sadly, I remember a few cases that wouldn't go quietly, but that is all pointless in my opinion.

Enough of the nasty bits, as this post is getting far too long already. After the merge it was immediately apparent to me that some long asked for requests had become insta-features, while there were other new possibilities that were not thinkable in the old server. As for gamesorry taking over title tournaments, he did so because it was possible; I myself made a minor contribution to him thanks to the open API now available. I keep hoping for more improvements, is there ever really a final version?


TL;DR: to Matburt and the OGS team, I can honestly say, the best they can do is keep developing as they've done until now; the old site was some 8 years old, so I reckon it would take somewhat equally longer for this one to reach par perceived stability (or quality, to some). Those who left, if they want to come back, are always welcome; furthermore, if sufficiently interested, you can explore what's new and come up with new possibilities, which is very much appreciated.


PS. antinoun, I once quit go for more than a year after I ended last-but-one in a certain tournament. Not quite the same, but you can always chose a server where you find yourself comfortable and get back on track, there's plenty out there.

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[1] OldGS: pre 2013 online-go server, to disambiguate if from "OGS", its successor server. OGS is successor to both OldGS and Nova.
[2] 'E's not pinin'! 'E's passed on! This server is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker! - paraphrased from Monty Python, The Flying Circus -

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Last edited by Leira on Sun Dec 06, 2015 11:08 am, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Pining for the original OGS, considering picking up go a
Post #7 Posted: Sat Nov 28, 2015 3:05 pm 
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I think generally the new OGS is a good server, but it does feel like the turn-based stuff takes a back seat to live game stuff sometimes. That isn't that strange, perhaps, given that the developers came from the live server Nova side, not the turn-based OGS side. There's a bunch of issues on turn-based that have been issues since forever and never seem to get any attention. Here's a few things that are either broken or are worse than old OGS, IMO:

  • You cannot see how much time players have when paused/weekend/holiday.
  • The opponent's clock is stopped during my holiday.
  • The maximum time for ladder games is 3 days (used to be 7)
  • Losing by time-out immediately kicks you off the ladder.
  • When entering the ladder, you can only challenge at the bottom (old OGS had a provision for challenging based on rank)
  • On my system (Ubuntu laptop with core i7 and 4GB RAM): Using OGS for some time (5-10 minutes) crashes Firefox. So does closing the OGS tab. On Chrome, it just crashes the tab (Chrome has better process separation)

Most of these I can sort of work around or avoid, so I can still enjoy playing on OGS, but they are constant minor annoyances.

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 Post subject: Re: Pining for the original OGS, considering picking up go a
Post #8 Posted: Sat Nov 28, 2015 3:54 pm 
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HermanHiddema wrote:
[..] the developers came from the live server Nova side, not the turn-based OGS side.
IIRC nova.gs also allowed correspondence games.

Quote:
There's a bunch of issues on turn-based that have been issues since forever and never seem to get any attention. Here's a few things that are either broken or are worse than old OGS, IMO:

  • You cannot see how much time players have when paused/weekend/holiday.
This I also dislike since I often get close to losing on time, and then I need to be careful when the weekend’s over, I need to check immediately when the clock runs again.

Quote:
  • The opponent's clock is stopped during my holiday.
Huh? Why should the opponent be forced to also take a holiday?

Quote:
  • The maximum time for ladder games is 3 days (used to be 7)
+1
If it were seven days I might even join a ladder, but this way it’s simply too stressy for me.

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 Post subject: Re: Pining for the original OGS, considering picking up go a
Post #9 Posted: Sat Nov 28, 2015 4:42 pm 
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Bonobo wrote:
Quote:
  • The opponent's clock is stopped during my holiday.
Huh? Why should the opponent be forced to also take a holiday?


I'm not sure what you mean?

When I turn on holiday, it is because I am unsure I will have the time to be online often enough (especially with the 3 day ladder games). So I do not want my clock to run when it is my turn. But often enough, I still make moves now and then, so then it is my opponent's turn. Whether or not their clock runs should depend on whether they are on holiday.

When I don't have holiday turned on, I just want all my game clocks to be running when it is my turn. Opponent holiday games get stuck at the bottom of the list of games, which I find annoying. Especially since I cannot see how much time I have left in such a game. Normally, the "least urgent" (most time left) games are at the bottom of the list, and the "most urgent" (least time left) are at the top. But those holiday games, even though I might have significantly less time left than any other game (which will only be apparent when the opponent turns the holiday flag off) do not get any urgency applied to them.

I'm playing 50 games in parallel, I don't want to have to think about how the system sorts and shows games and then work around it. I want to just play games from the top for highest urgency.


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Post #10 Posted: Sat Nov 28, 2015 5:23 pm 
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As someone who actively engages in the old/new OGS and other servers, e.g., DGS, here are my two cents:

Pro:
1) Without Nova taking over, there might be no OGS now.
-I think if it's true, then however bad it is, we have to say something is better than nothing.

2) New OGS enables live games and brings the community of live players.
-This is better than the old OGS.

3) There are more live activities on new OGS (e.g. Friday with xhu, live teaching games)

4) New OGS brings more players.
-This is mostly related to the live players.
-The number of correspondence players/games also increases a little, but I think if there were no more title tournaments, there would be substantially fewer correspondence players.

5) The group and the group tournament functions is great.
-This is superior than old OGS and DGS.

6) The API interface is good.
-Although the detailed descriptions are not very up-to-date.

7) The review tool seems better.

Con:
1) There are more bugs than the old OGS and DGS.
-I don't recall any obvious bugs lasting for a long time on old OGS and DGS.

2) The bug report doesn't get a reply (getting better now).
-In the beginning of the merge, there are many major/obvious bugs, but the reports are mostly ignored then. Now I can see this issue is getting much better on the forum.
-The problem might be that what old OGSers see as serious bugs (mainly related to title tournaments and the ladders) are not something serious for the developers who almost never play in tournaments and ladders.

3) After a short reply, the bugs are not addressed for a long time.
-This is also getting better. Here are some famous issues introduced after the merge that get fixed after some time:
--The tournament table display (finally gets fixed).
--The problem that weaker player always takes black (finally gets fixed).
--The grouping of the players not consistent (finally gets fixed).
--The haunting point bug (https://forums.online-go.com/t/duplicate-score-updating-leading-to-incorrect-scores-in-tournaments/5367, Recently gets fixed, cheers!).
--The duplicated score updating problem is still not fixed (https://forums.online-go.com/t/duplicat ... ments/5367)

4) Title tournaments are officially stopped.
-This has been discussed in another thread.
-This was the major frustration to me. Thanks to the group tournament function, we are able to continue them manually.
-The abandonment rate, which is the main reason why they are closed, could be significantly lowered down by various means, e.g. (a) a looser disqualification criteria; (b) shorter period between the announcement of tournament and the start time (~10 days is enough);
-Also, if the organizer pays more attention to the tournaments (fewer bugs, etc.), the abandonment rate will also be decreased.
-As an example, the recently finished Meijin Nines 2015, 78 out of 115 players (67.8%) finish all the games in the 3-round tournament, even with the disqualification-by-a-single-timeout feature.


5) Minor bugs need to be fixed:
-The tournament score updating/tournament starting engine stops working from time to time (https://forums.online-go.com/t/tourname ... ating/5599)
-We cannot set up tournaments without weekend pauses (https://forums.online-go.com/t/tourname ... auses/5483). This makes some tournaments unnecessarily longer than they should be. The tournament director should have the options to specify the setting.
-We cannot see the remaining time during the weekends/vacation/pauses (https://forums.online-go.com/t/tourname ... auses/5483).

6) Tournaments with Group Elimination format no longer exist.
-The only one remaining contains many bugs (https://forums.online-go.com/t/how-is-e ... cided/3831)
-Single elimination and double elimination is not suitable for large-scale correspondence tournaments since they require too many rounds (I'll elaborate it in details).
-DGS, on the other hand, has good elimination tournament format now.
-In terms of tournament types, OGS is still superior than DGS now. But once DGS gets the time to implement the other tournament types, it would be quite competitive.

7) Tournaments with League format no longer exist.
-Right after the merge, Kuksu leagues were turned into Simultaneous MacMahon format.
-Now we are running it manually through the API, however it's better if we could unify all the groups in one single tournament.

8) The ladders have little incentive now (at least to me)
-On old OGS, the historical best ranking is listed on the profile page.
-On old OGS and DGS, all players are listed on one page.
-On DGS, there are hall-of-fame and various statistics for the players participating in the ladder.
-As a result, the DGS ladder (http://www.dragongoserver.net/tournamen ... .php?tid=3) has a larger number of players and more stronger players now.
-But even on DGS, there are discussions on what incentive the ladders should provide. This is an open problem.

9) The disqualification-by-a-single-timeout feature cannot be disabled.
-This is too brutal. At least the tournament director should have the option to decide which strategy to use. There are much better criteria, such as the number of games timeout, the last log-in time, etc..

10) The tournament trophies have nearly zero values now.
-All tournaments, from 3 players to 300 players, share the same trophies. A finalist (green) trophy on the old OGS might worth much more than 10 gold trophies on the new OGS.
-Also, the leader board, which intends to replace the title tournaments, conveys little information on how strong the players are.

11) The title match could only be held through friendly-match now. No summary page any more.

Finally, I'd like to analyze why live/correspondence tournaments are closely related to the number of players.

It looks like all official tournaments have very few players now (mostly limited to 10). Here are the reasons:
1) They are live/blitz tournaments. Within a short time there could only be so many players online.

2) They are too frequent. Yes, if you can participate in another one tomorrow, why should you participate in the one today? (Note that I'm not saying we can't have frequent tournaments, see the one below)

3) Their names are not attractive. Compare these: (a) Blitz 19x19 Elimination Tournament 2015-11-26 01:30, (b) Sitewide July Single Elim. Corr. 19x19, (c) Honinbo Main Title Tournament 2015. Which one would you like to participate in?

4) The large-scale sitewide tournaments happen randomly without a unified name.

5) Single/Double elimination format takes too long (too many rounds) to finish.
-Example: https://online-go.com/tournament/7951, tournaments with 100 players need 7 rounds to finish for single elimination, whereas for Simultaneous McMahon/Group Elimination tournaments, 3 rounds are enough for 200 players. For League, one round is enough.

6) The formats of some large-scale sitewide tournaments are not fair to the players.
-Example: https://online-go.com/tournament/7953, https://online-go.com/tournament/7952, The subsequent pairing method is based on strength, which makes little sense for the achievement (It's like in the FIFA world cup, 16 teams from Europe and South America play for one ticket in the final and the rest of the world play for the other one). I can expect the same thing will happen to https://online-go.com/tournament/7951.

7) With too short time control for correspondence tournament, most results will become win-by-timeout.
-Example: https://online-go.com/tournament/9771, despite the large number of active dan-players participating, only one game is finished NOT by timeout now.

Therefore, it's not us that choose the Simultaneous MacMahon/Group Elimination/League correspondence title tournaments as the format for large-scale tournaments. It's because live/blitz tournaments cannot get enough players within a short time, the other formats cannot handle/balance the fairness among a large number of players, and other names could not attract enough strong players. Hope the developers could reconsider the issue.

Finally I'd like to thank the developers (@matburt, @anoek) and hope they could keep up with the good job recently, as well as the collaborators (@Leira), suggestion makers (@tegais, @herminator, @Uberdude, etc.) and the tournament participants.

There are much more to say and I will update it in the future ;-)


Last edited by gamesorry on Sat Dec 05, 2015 12:11 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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Post #11 Posted: Sat Nov 28, 2015 6:27 pm 
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HermanHiddema wrote:
Bonobo wrote:
Quote:
  • The opponent's clock is stopped during my holiday.
Huh? Why should the opponent be forced to also take a holiday?


I'm not sure what you mean?

When I turn on holiday, it is because I am unsure I will have the time to be online often enough (especially with the 3 day ladder games). So I do not want my clock to run when it is my turn. But often enough, I still make moves now and then, so then it is my opponent's turn. Whether or not their clock runs should depend on whether they are on holiday.

When I don't have holiday turned on, I just want all my game clocks to be running when it is my turn. Opponent holiday games get stuck at the bottom of the list of games, which I find annoying. Especially since I cannot see how much time I have left in such a game. Normally, the "least urgent" (most time left) games are at the bottom of the list, and the "most urgent" (least time left) are at the top. But those holiday games, even though I might have significantly less time left than any other game (which will only be apparent when the opponent turns the holiday flag off) do not get any urgency applied to them.

I'm playing 50 games in parallel, I don't want to have to think about how the system sorts and shows games and then work around it. I want to just play games from the top for highest urgency.


I guess maybe the original statement is a little easy to get confused and many people immediately oppose it, thinking that it could be abused :roll:

The most straightforward first-step solution would be to display the remaining time whether the game is paused or not (I think everyone agrees on it).

Regarding the opponent's clock, in fact, your proposal is not uncommon - DGS and LittleGolem both have such a feature that whether the opponent is on vacation doesn't affect my clock (on another issue, the feature that OGS could stop and continue the vacation at any time is good). The point is - it's not that the opponent's clock will keep running - the one in vacation still have to play moves to make their opponent's clock run. There's not much room to abuse it.


Last edited by gamesorry on Sun Nov 29, 2015 1:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #12 Posted: Sat Nov 28, 2015 7:16 pm 
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I miss seeing the list of games going on.

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Post #13 Posted: Sat Nov 28, 2015 7:27 pm 
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Just one small comment:
gamesorry wrote:
There are much more to say and I will update it in the future ;-)

IMHO better to make a new comment then and not update THIS comment otherwise people could miss your updates. (But maybe I misunderstood)

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Post #14 Posted: Sat Nov 28, 2015 8:08 pm 
Oza

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I should say that I'm mostly positive on the new OGS.

Related to the various time management woes: there are valid correspondence time settings that do not offer email notifications when you are running short on time. In fact, I'm not sure if I've ever received an email when I'm running short on time in any game.

Combined with the new rule that a single timeout kicks you off the ladder, this is brutal.

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Post #15 Posted: Sat Nov 28, 2015 8:19 pm 
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Just looking at the Menu in antinoun's screenshot you can see what is missing.
1) Observed Games.
2) All Active Games.
3) Game Reviews. There are game reviews at new OGS but it is difficult to find the reviews of the strong players. And you don't know when something new appears.
4) Title Tournaments. Of cause they are still here but not easy to find (almost mpossible if you don't now about them beforehand).
5) Full Player List.
6) Players Online Now.

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Post #16 Posted: Sat Nov 28, 2015 8:24 pm 
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Hi gamesorry, great to see you here.

You addressed some of the things I actually wanted to say, but dissuaded myself at the end, as it was getting too long, but here we go again:

gamesorry wrote:
1) Without Nova taking over, there might be no OGS now.
-I think if it's true, then however bad it is, we have to say something is better than nothing.

If OldGS had ever died, it wouldn't have been for lack of users. I had taken the habit to check on the list of players once a day (or actually, on the days I logged in) and it was never decreasing. The collected results, however, disappeared from my recycle bin very long ago.
However there were rumours (and more than rumours) that the system was thoroughly broken, and required intervention on a daily basis.



gamesorry wrote:
-The number of correspondence players/games also increases a little, but I think if there were no more title tournaments, there would be substantially fewer correspondence players.

We've got you to thank for that ;-) . On a related issue though, I was always surprised that, at the time, there were so few people who were willing to do something about it on their own, and wanted all and every solution to come from above. That too, has improved now.

gamesorry wrote:
1) There are more bugs than the old OGS and DGS.
-I don't recall any obvious bugs lasting for a long time on old OGS and DGS.

I'm not certain about this one. Bugs were not very visible on OldGS, but they were plenty (and also very odd, I encountered, described and reported quite a few myself). dmg would sink into them and try to fix them as quickly and as best he could, but at some point they were just getting the best of him.
If we compare downtimes then... well, there's just no comparison, is it?


gamesorry wrote:
2) The bug report doesn't get a reply.

This is sadly true, I can attest. Sometimes you'd feel like you'd not be listened to, and I'm pretty sure that was one of the main reasons many users left, more than anything else. However I think many were very unforgiving on that regard, taking it too personally.

gamesorry wrote:
6) Tournaments with Group Elimination format no longer exists.

This is slightly inaccurate. The code for them exists within the server, but was disabled to the public (that was mentioned in some thread, but please don't ask me to produce the link here). Perhaps I misinterpreted, but you should ask the devs on that (they might let you use it, if still available).

Quote:
7) Tournaments with League format no longer exists

Even the old one required devs to intervene (which was why it would always start several days later than expected). I like to think we could create a better automatic system, which could perhaps be imported back into mainstream OGS code.


The other things you mentioned about tournament custom preferences (weekend stop, timeout threshold, etc.) I but agree wholeheartedly. It would be great to have those options, and many others, available for the tournament directors.

Oh, and about the new trophies, yeah, no offense, but they feel lame in achievement. One of the things OldGS had was a "canonical" measure of achievement which rewarded more or less proportionally to effort. Right after the new system came out, people went crazy with tournaments with insane settings; this has calmed down a bit, as things converge back to title tournaments and a few other now familiar faces. That pleases me.

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Post #17 Posted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 1:25 am 
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Bonobo wrote:
Just one small comment:
gamesorry wrote:
There are much more to say and I will update it in the future ;-)

IMHO better to make a new comment then and not update THIS comment otherwise people could miss your updates. (But maybe I misunderstood)


Yeah you're right :) I'll make new updates by adding new comments.


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Post #18 Posted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 1:51 am 
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Leira wrote:
Hi gamesorry, great to see you here.
You addressed some of the things I actually wanted to say, but dissuaded myself at the end, as it was getting too long, but here we go again:


I also refrained myself several times from putting them out altogether :lol: I think you make good amendment to my observations :tmbup:

Leira wrote:
We've got you to thank for that ;-) . On a related issue though, I was always surprised that, at the time, there were so few people who were willing to do something about it on their own, and wanted all and every solution to come from above. That too, has improved now.


Thank you ;-) But I tend to believe that even without me, eventually there might be someone else standing out (the idea of holding Title tournaments manually comes from @tegais). Perhaps the major difference is that I'm a programmer;-) Most people were hoping that the criticism could make the developers change their minds (at that time, it looks not so impossible), and we do need certain kinds of support from the above. For example, in the Kuksu League Group A started today, two sets of games are created but we only need one set (probably an old bug presenting in a new way). We still need the admins to go into the database to do something (e.g. delete the games) not open to the API interface.

Leira wrote:
I'm not certain about this one. Bugs were not very visible on OldGS, but they were plenty (and also very odd, I encountered, described and reported quite a few myself). dmg would sink into them and try to fix them as quickly and as best he could, but at some point they were just getting the best of him.
If we compare downtimes then... well, there's just no comparison, is it?


Yes, the visibility of the bugs is the major difference ;-)

Leira wrote:
This is slightly inaccurate. The code for them exists within the server, but was disabled to the public (that was mentioned in some thread, but please don't ask me to produce the link here). Perhaps I misinterpreted, but you should ask the devs on that (they might let you use it, if still available).


@matburt told me that the original elimination algorithm is too buggy to fix, so they hide it. I have once requested to help rewrite the elimination algorithm but got no reply :sad: I'll try to make a request on that later.

Leira wrote:
Even the old one required devs to intervene (which was why it would always start several days later than expected). I like to think we could create a better automatic system, which could perhaps be imported back into mainstream OGS code.


I hope eventually we can achieve this. At the current stage, there are still many things we are not able to do through API in one shot, e.g., we have to invite the players to join the specific tournament and wait for them to accept the invitation, which is time-consuming and not stable (people always overlook the invitations). It would be best if we have the access to arrange the players in the specific tournaments.


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Post #19 Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 3:33 am 
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Gamesorry has made a well-thought out and thorough analysis for his 2(00) cents about tournaments/correspondence play, but there are three pretty majors flaws I see in new OGS that relate to real-time play that haven't been mentioned:

- Reloading the game page is so friggin' slow: 20-45 seconds (on Chrome S3 android phone on good wi-fi, for comparison, bbc news, facebook etc load in a couple of seconds). Is it so much data, or loads of javascript, or fancy new technology like websockets? Actually playing stones when it works is perfectly fast (can even play 6 second blitz, which is pretty impressive for a browser client, I don't want to sound too negative!). If you are playing a game with 10 or even 30 seconds byo yomi and you get the "error submitting stone" pop up bug even when your stone was placed in the board you need to reload the page to continue playing, and by then you have lost a few periods of byo yomi or lost the game on time. Very annoying.

- In 'submit button to play' mode, the pass button is in the same place as the submit button. This is infuriating when playing on a touchscreen phone. This means if you tap on the board to place a stone you then tap on the submit to play. However if your tap registers as a double-tap, or your tap seems not to work but is just laggy and you tap again, then you place and remove the stone. Then when you tap where the submit button used to be it has transformed into a pass button so you pass instead. The alternative of single-tap or double-tap to play is also open to misclicks. Coupled with the undo problem below makes this one even worse.

- You cannot ask for undo on your move (as you can on other servers). So the following multi-choice adventure happens:
Code:
  misclick ->
    opponent answers quickly before you can ask for undo ->
    can't ask for undo ->
        ask for them to undo their move so you can undo yours in the game chat ->
            they don't read the game chat so you sit there waiting for your clock to run out, or keep going with your absurd misclick
            they read the chat but don't understand English, confusion entails, or go to above step.
            they read the chat and understand English but don't understand what you are talking about. You explain it to them, by which time you might have lost on time.
            they read the chat and understand English and understand what you are talking about but don't see why they should undo their move, or can't find their undo button.
            they read the chat and understand English and undo their move! Hooray! You then ask to undo your move but they don't see the undo request text hidden down below the board and they get bored of waiting and play another move. Doh!
            they read the chat and understand English and undo their move! Hooray! You then ask to undo and they see it and grant it but by then you've lost on time. Insert coin to continue.
            they read the chat and understand English and undo their move! Hooray! You then ask to undo and they see it and grant it. You play the move you indtended. Hooray! Proceed to next level.

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Post #20 Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:03 am 
Oza

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Also I would like to add support for increased visibility of correspondence games. I sometimes wander by and check out the games of vitality, Sadaharu, drmwc, nrx and other names of top players I recall from when I played (I find it interesting that nrx has gone down to 2d and vitality up to 5d). But what about new players? Is there some new 9d? It is hard to discover them unless you happen to see them as an opponent of one of those I know or they are in some ladder I look at (which as mentioned is less appealing now). By allowing players to observe a game and then having an Observed games list sorted by observers as in old OGS would be a good, community-driven way to address this: I recall my game with breakfast on old OGS had 100 or so observers, whilst title matches would have a fair few. Sorting by observers rather than strength also allows interesting (as defined by the community) games between weaker players to be visible.

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