Monday, January 16, 2012

Crazy 0.4: Malkovich, Tweaki & and Tournament systems. Eager Developers read through!

So we are a few days away from the last friday's release and we are very happy with it.

We could really push in many new things in the past week, including GnuBot, and a reliable replayBot (professional games are automatically replayed constantly 24/7 now).

We also expanded Gommander , our chat-command engine, to include a few new treats :). One of them is Tweaki. By just writing "/tweaki suggestion" in the chat, your comment is added to a TODO-list that is immediately visible to everyone in the server through the header menu. It makes it easier than ever for users to provide feedback, while we can focus on working and read all the feedback at once later.

It was trivial, but a fantastic idea. Over 30 "tweak" reports came in in less than 48 hs.

Also we added a new, very experimental feature that actually surprised me A LOT. It was malkovich commands. For those not familiar with Malkovich games in L19, the idea is that the players as they are playing express their thoughts or plans, for observers and followers to see, and after the game is over, for the opponent to read.
On saturday morning had its first tournament and malkovich was widely used, far beyond my expectancy. It was certainly entertaining to read them comments, and also make them. This little experimental little feature could prove to be one of those features that really raise the standard.

So as i said, had its first tournament organized by Celebrir, and besides some technical problems that i was able to fix mid-games, it went quite smoothly and it was quite fun. It Made me want to rush over the Tournament organizer for Kaya.

Developers! Attention!

And i did. Right now i wrote a core Tournament engine in OpenKaya.

I isolated the vast majority of design red-tape and now the core functionality to organize any kind of system is to resolve the algorithm for pairing. The code has an example with running tests and another one with failing tests.

The code done on OpenKaya is to remain forever open to be used by anyone who wants to. One potential user of this library could be the ASR league or any online tournament organizer.

It is a fun problem to work with, and if eager developers assist in this, will support tournaments sooner, and they will get a decent recognition for their effors within the server, plus a stone in our board of Fame.

Right now there are several developers- amas&pros- working on novel and interesting features.

One founder is working on a format for Video+Sgf simultaneous, getting the advantages of media and an interactive board.
Another one is going to start looking into building a Js score estimator: one that could potentially be used in estimating games you randomly watch online in any place in the internet, without using a Bot Engine like Gnugo.

Our current rating system, Glicko, was done with great labour by yoyoma. His aid was truly amazing.

As we grow, so does our ability to integrate foreign code and new functionality that is not necesarily done directly by us. Yet at the same time, people that want to enjoy features or contribute to the community can work on novel ideas and we can assist them with programming aid and finally doing the styling work to integrate it into a working site.

Since was made public, over 30 developers asked me if they could lend a hand, or that they wanted to be involved somehow. Right now, there are already several things that we are not going to do immediately as we are still working on the core functionality.

We are extremely excited with our growth, the server has been improving like crazy, and its not been a month since the Alpha release. I cant imagine how will look in 3 months :).

Regards, Gabriel.


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  2. you guys are awesome.
    i am really sad that i missed the first tournament. but there will sure be many many more!
    soon, after my exams are done, i will join u guys again!

  3. I'm currently ill, but I'm looking forward to taking a closer look at the tournament organizer :)