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Author Topic: Inflated saved games figures  (Read 10903 times)
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inim
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« on: December 14, 2008, 11:43:33 PM »

Currently the number of saved games is inflated by a fibs server hickup. This affects all consumers or (http://www.fibs.com/savedgames/) data, including but not limited to RepBot. Other examples include CocoaFibs, ParlorBot, TourneyBot, 3DFibs etc., and applications reading and displaying RepBot data such as JavaFibs or DelFibs. Whether your account is inflated or not is random, probably has to to with being logged in while the hickup happened.

Patti is aware of the problem. There is nothing a maintainer of a consuming application (such as RepBot) can do about it. A group of techies lead by Patti is working on the problem and will, if feasible, create a fix or workaround. The worst case outcome is that the saved games service will be discontinued. The second worst case outcome is that the figure will remain inflated for about two month.

Until then, I don't want to discuss this problem each time I log into fibs with the next user who thinks he can report news to me, contribute to a solution, blame or praise me, or tell me how easy a fix should be. I did this for the last 10 days and my nerves are wrecked already. If you are not Patti or provide me a fix in source code form, I don't want to talk about the issue with you. Please don't bother Patti or anybody else either.

What you can and please should do is to educate other users that this is a well understood problem and it already is worked on, maybe by pointing them to this posting and the disclaimer (http://www.fibs.com/savedgames/). This will take at least some of the chatter overload from those who work on a technical solution. Please react to shouts mentioning saved games data with pointing the shouters to this posting.

If you are a tourney director, you should not limit access to tourneys by saved games constraints. Figures inflated by a factor of 5 are "normal" currently, so 20 or 30 saved games reported is nothing to worry about. The best thing is to completely leave out any requirement on saveds as long as the figures are broken.

Thank you.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2008, 12:36:09 AM by inim » Logged

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Patti
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« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2008, 05:33:25 AM »

Several corrections:

The number of savedgames (as defined by the savedgames page, not by 'show saved') *may* be inflated by a server hiccup.  I have not proven this-- I am only speculating.  The numbers may also be accurate.

The savedgames page has always been an unsupported hack, and will continue to be so.  I've always said that if the process breaks, I'm not going to spend any time fixing it.  Signs are that it may be broken right now, but I haven't invested much time in investigating, and almost certainly will not do so.  Since the problem, if there is one, does not affect normal operation of the FIBS server, I'm not terribly motivated to fix it.

What you should be doing is to educate yourself about the nature of the savedgames data, and spread that information.  It is *not* and has never been the same as show saved, and was not designed as such.  The savedgames data was never designed to be reliable, nor do I believe it should be used for any sort of automated decisionmaking.  To do so is a huge error.  If you are a tourney director, you should NEVER have limited access based on the savedgames data-- this is not its purpose, and it has never been reliable enough to do so.

At this point, I am more than 50% likely to take the savedgames data down completely.  It seems to be doing more harm than good, it's never been supported and I'm not interested in making it supported.  I have a project in the works that should make it far less relevant anyway, and the more time I spend dealing with people complaining about the savedgames data, the less time I have for eliminating the need for it.

Though now Inim has a much better understanding of why I so passionately hated the old repbot.  I had to deal with a similar level of complaints on a regular basis. 
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« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2008, 05:33:25 AM »

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Tom
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« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2008, 12:43:10 PM »

For the record, TourneyBot does not make any judgments based upon savedgames, it can be configured to look at reputation, which has nothing to do with the number of saved games, but the actions of other players.
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diane
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« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2008, 12:50:38 PM »

I thank you all for this clarification, I did notice that the list seems way further out than normal.  The list is definitely not *accurate*.  Show saved displays my 5 saved games, the list reports me at 22 - much more in line with the 4-5 times inflation mentioned by inim.

I shall wait the resolution, change or removal of the saved games data and point others to this page if I see them getting agitated  Wink

Meanwhile I will just put up with dorbel, who took great pleasure in shouting to the whole of fibs that I had dropped 12 bot matches yesterday....I am sure he will have even more fun today when the figure is 22, bless his little heart... laugh

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« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2008, 08:34:06 PM »

I didnt name you diane, you did that yourself. However I did put up the signpost to tease you. Sorry about that, really.
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Patti
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« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2008, 03:39:57 AM »

I took the savedgames pages down around 6 p.m. PST today.  I do not know if I'll ever bring them back or not.
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inim
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« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2008, 05:18:08 AM »

I took the savedgames pages down around 6 p.m. PST today.  I do not know if I'll ever bring them back or not.

I've bumped RepBot to 2.0.4 to incorporate this change. It will no longer poll the saved games data from the web, and report "no saved games" for anybody anytime. This means there will be no messages as well if you have alert on.

I won't change the output syntax of the "ask" command, because this runs the risk of breaking client code.

This is subject to future revision, i.e. the saved games part of the "ask" reply may be incompatibly changed in a future version. But why risk breaking clients before we know what the final outcome of this thing is.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2008, 06:04:59 AM by inim » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2008, 09:50:39 PM »

I hope the RepBot haters are satisfied now. Wonder what will they do next? Maybe somehing that will make you, Patti, pull the plug on the server itself?
I am truly and deeply sorry for the recent trouble caused by RepBot/saved games combination. Imo,  for me and several other NORMAL and not stupid idiot #ss#o## fibsters, were both useful. I remember my early days, when I wasn't aware of saved games page or Repbot, my saved games number was around 15 or more. And my frustration was high either, I was dropped quite often. After someone pointed me to RepBot, and I started using it, all was way way better.
Please Patti, reconsider your decision, there are several players here who like to play with all the others, but to also have a way to filter the obvious droppers. Yes, I understand (not like the braggers gang), the data may be inaccurate, but it is better than a big nothing.
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« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2008, 10:06:14 PM »

as part of this debate i thought i would paste an exchange i have had with burper wherin he suggests an excellent way forward

burper's message thread re repbot & savedgames lis
« Sent to: inim on: Today at 07:26:46 PM »
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to burper ( via messages)

Quote from: stog on November 28, 2008, 12:57:59 AM
hi there

how did you find the new server - is it fast enough i wonder?
i think this location is very good - it will be hard to match it..

reply

Works well, thanks for picking up hosting duties.

Do you have the capability to run scripts on the server? E.g. could you run a script that does a grab and store of fibs.com/savedgames each day?

Re: (No subject)
« Sent to: burper on: November 29, 2008, 06:52:47 PM »
   
yeah..possibly - do you mean a cgi perl script?
as u know hosting companies get nervous about scripts

but we could always  have a go -- so long as it didn't interfere with the cgi's i have running at the moment (they're a pig to sort out! and i'm a scrapyard challenge cutn paste merchant rather than a fluid coder:)


let me know what you want to try and if i have the time ill give it a go

its perl 5.2 on a linux server

Re: (No subject)
« Sent to: stog on: December 05, 2008, 12:42:15 AM »
«
I was thinking of a cron job, i.e. not triggered via web access like cgi, that would grab a copy of http://fibs.com/savedgames/list.html each "day" and store it.
I believe there is valuable data to be mined from it, but the mining is where the complication comes in. The first step is having the data.

E.g. I can picture a different sort of "repbot" that only keeps positive information. Everyone starts at 0. If a stog/burper match shows up on the savedgames list one day, but is gone the next, then we can be *almost* sure that stog and burper played a match and finished. If we count 10 of these rising/falling patterns, then we can *almost* be sure they approve of each other as opponents, and might even recommend each other to others.

All sorts of other things can be interpreted from the data, but that is the simplest and most direct thing I can think of.

Re: (No subject)
« Sent to: burper on: Today (15/12/08) at 07:07:07 PM »
   
hi there

we are still on eric's dutch server, but if we switch i shall be putting the board on its own host so we will be able to try stuff, if and when, Patti reinstates the savedgames list.

she might if we have a constructive/useful way of dealing with the info.. and i like your idea - it would give people a guide ...

speak to you later -- will post this on moderator's page for eric to see

regards stog
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Patti
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« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2008, 10:06:55 PM »

Perhaps it's better for you, adrian, but it exceeded the amount of my personal time that I was willing to donate to it.  As I just told someone in chat, I'd be happy to reconsider the decision if you want to pay me my hourly consulting rate in order to fix and maintain it.

The savedgames page has always been completely unsupported.  I've always said that if it breaks I was not going to fix it.  It broke, and I kept my side of the bargain.

Plus, the data were misunderstood and were being profoundly misused.

And honestly, you have no idea how tempted I've been to pull the plug on the server over the years.  Numerous people believe that they have every right to demand changes to the server, tell me how easy it should be for me to do X, or expect me to spend many hours attending to their personal favorite project.  Not only do I not make a dime off of FIBS, but I spend money out of pocket to support it and spend my time keeping it running and dealing with issues.
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Patti
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« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2008, 10:10:26 PM »

stog, I have no intention of putting the savedgames page back.  Plus, not all recently-completed games would ever show up on it... only some.  I think it's those completed in the last 12 hours, but I'm not sure.
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« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2008, 10:50:14 PM »

Patti, what can I say more then  A BIG THANK YOU and a BIG HUG! I am too far, too poor and too ignorant about fibs maintaining , so I cannot help directly and effectively.  unsure
I started to understood what you are getting through only after I made my first webpage and put it online. I know you have way more work to do with fibs, and WAY WAY more work to deal with all the garbage you get everyday.

Thank you again and again for your dedication and patience.
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« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2008, 11:52:46 AM »

Well how much would it cost to fix? There must be 100 fibsters who could stump up some dosh for this eminently valuable feature. Patti, message me with your e-address and I'll set the ball rolling. Come on guys and gals, how much is fibs worth to you?
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« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2008, 06:02:12 PM »

Cool! i agree, dorbel, it is about time for those who can afford it to step up and give Patti a little financial support .. besides it's a good time for year for a gift  .. if i had the spare cash, i'd send it along in a heartbeat

not to mention the many contributions Eric, here at FIBSboard, Tomawaky at FLG, Tom who maintains TourneyBot, inim who has done a bunch of work with JavaFIBS and RepBotNG, socksey for her Mini-Matches, LuckyDice for Bago, adrian, Kari_Grande, BushSucks and others for F3's and the numerous TD's who spent a little and often a lot of time and energy offering enjoyable tourneys .. i'm sure i left out many whose contributions to our little FIBS community have been significant, sometimes very significant, over time .. but Patti is certainly the lynchpin of all we do

for now, Patti, the best i can offer is a big thank you for all you do and have done .. someday maybe i can do more than just say thanks, cheers  beerdrinkers, and Happy Holidays veryhappy
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Patti
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« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2008, 06:53:58 PM »

Honestly, I'd rather spend my time making this information less necessary, which is what I've been doing.  I have something up my sleeve... trust me.
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« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2008, 07:18:29 PM »

Honestly, I'd rather spend my time making this information less necessary, which is what I've been doing.  I have something up my sleeve... trust me.

Can't wait to see what is up those sleeves  thumbsup2 

I certainly can cope without the saved games data for a while - whilst I do miss it, it was always a little flawed and we can work with previous knowledge for the time being.

Also, with regard to costs, I know money has been collectively raised for a specific upgrade in the past, and there are plenty of us who are willing to make such contributions.  It is always worth considering.
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« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2008, 10:26:34 PM »

Quote
MOTD: The savedgames data is gone, probably for good.

I am rebuilding the villains list, which will contain by MY  OWN default, the mobile users from Odesys and especially the new and bigmouthed iPhone users.  I have deleted my old list when inim took over RepBot.  laugh Big mistake! My new list of villains will be a fair replacement for the gone forever saved games page. Anyone willing to exchange and share his own list, is welcome to contact me. As far as I recall, I was dropped by a 3dfibs, macfibs, javafibs, Cocoafibs, Delfibs, fibsw, BBGT, kbackgammon or a plain telnet user, AGES ago. For me, as my fibs experience showed, the mobile users are the 99% of the droppers. I will simply put every new one I spot on my list and .. oh well, life goes on, with or without the savedgames page.

And yea, for the record, I dropped manxcat once.  wub , ParlorBot twice and Bonehead three times.
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« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2008, 04:21:44 PM »

Will your list be available to anyone or is this for your own personal use?   dry

I keep a list of sorts with my Javafibs client.  I put the bad ones on my friend's list and color them red, so that I know not to play those guys when they invite me.   Smiley

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« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2008, 08:25:05 PM »

Of course it is available to all my fibs friends and buddies. I am expecting their villain list in return.
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« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2008, 07:34:22 AM »

I've put Repbot 2.0.5 online, with a number of "saved games" related changes

  • The "saved" command is gone.
  • The "alert" command no longer alerts on logins of saved games opponents, it now has the only meaning to alert you when opinions are cast on your nick
  • Removed all locations where saved games where displayed (ask, list) in round brackets.
  • Removed "*" annotation for saved games opponets on "list" output.
  • Removed one half of the disclaimer where "saved games" were mentioned, the part not to bother Patti about RepBot is still there.
  • Removed references to "saved games" from help text.

There are two changes which potentially may break client code, which is the removal of the round-bracketed number of saved games in "ask" and "list", and to a lesser degree the removal of the "*"s behind the players in the "list" command. If your client or bot has problems, please immediately contact me. I am willing to find a compatible workaround.
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