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Nic Hammond has also written at length of his testing procedures, which almost certainly far surpass what is currently done in testing ACBLscore before its changes reach the field. When BridgeScore+ is field tested, Mr. Hammond often finds he has a better product if he makes further changes. One of his problems is finding Directors in Charge to allow him to field test. See his comments at http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/bsp-reviews/ for some detail; and http://bsp.bridgescoreplus.com/?page_id=271 for more. Testing is briefly mentioned at http://bsp.bridgescoreplus.com/?page_id=28; autohotkey and gfprint being tools used. I believe the longer explanation was in a comment to a post here on Bridge Winners. Perhaps Nic Hammond will enlighten us further, with another detailed explanation or linking to previously posted information.
April 25, 2015
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Joe Hertz,

BridgeScore+ is incomplete, ready for prime time (in the estimation of the DiC at Gatlinburg, apparently) only for displaying table assignments for the first round of KO's, and pre-registration of some teams for subsequent events.

ACBL already owns the right to use all of the ACBLscore+ code base; that's where they are starting. It seems they believe that this suffices.

Coming up with the specs will be easier this time, we have to hope and believe, because the ACBL CEO's Management Technology Committee's continued oversight will keep the project highly visible, and the specs will be produced in a much less hostile/adversarial environment, and the soon-to-be-hired new CIO and new developers will be deeply involved.
April 25, 2015
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Joe Hertz,

If you want to hear Suzi on the matter, ask her! If not now by e-mail, see her in Richmond next month at the Regional.

Nic Hammond does not have a working application. See http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/bsp-reviews/ where I ask him "Specific Questions for you:

1: Is there any relatively quick way to get an EDMOV functionality for BSP by using the existing logic coded in ACBLscore? (My guess is no, otherwise you probably would have already done this.)

2: Is the EDMOV functionality all that you need to be able to roll out a BSP version that would handle pairs games well enough to replace ACBLscore at this task?

3: Can you get in to ACBLscore code enough to get its Swiss Teams matches fed directly into BSP without manual intervention? (My guess is no, otherwise you probably would have already done this.)

4: Is implementing a team matching/pairing algorithm all that you need to be able to roll out a BSP version that would handle Swiss Teams games well enough to replace ACBLscore at this task?

5: How do you find an ACBL TD willing to let you run BSP in parallel with ACBLscor for Swiss and Pairs events so you can build up some “proof of concept” that BSP is “ready for prime time” at running these events – or even just of displaying Swiss Team matches and table assignments beyond the first round?
"

Nic's reply:
1. No.
2. No.
3. Could do already, but not worth effort.
4. No.
5. Don't know.


So he has (presumably unfunded) development, at least six months according to him – and no real-world test environment.

Nic's mileage may differ on this, but I doubt any such difference is significant at this point in time.

As for specs, Nic has stated elsewhere on BW that he doesn't need them for everything now; he would do the Masterpoints according to the book, not trying to imitate/duplicate what ACBLscore does.

And any remaining, actually needed specs are no longer at the mercy of an ACBL IT and Management at odds with the developer; their creation will be driven by the ACBL CEO's Management Technology Committee, for a high-visibility project directly under the ACBL's soon-to-be-hired new CIO's control.

Am I right on this, Greg Humphreys?
April 25, 2015
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment April 25, 2015
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Those posting on this thread about “what the entire episode may tell us about the organizational practices and health of the ACBL” are not badgering Greg; Greg is not the person to respond to these comments beyond his "The process to get here has been less than stellar, which could easily be a gross understatement.

I don't begrudge anyone their need to do some sort of forensic analysis of how we got to where we are today. It's been frustrating for many.


These concerned and involved ACBL members posting here on BW want answers from the ACBL Board of Directors, and changes in what they perceive as its culture in 2013-2014.

There was much unfounded speculation here on BW about ACBLscore+ (I admit I resemble that remark), and ACBL BoD and Management were silent. It was only when people like Jeff Lehman (and several others whose names are omitted but their actions stand tall) went to the ACBL President and ACBL BoD members that ACBL shattered the ”cone of silence" with President Subeck's comments making it to several of us and the Internet thanks at first to Sharon Anderson.

Posters here would do well to not just continue to post here about their concerns about the BoD and its culture, but also to communicate directly with the BoD members and especially President Subeck.

I believe we have seen that although President Subeck and many ACBL BoD members may read the rants (and constructive posts) here, they will usually only respond when approached directly and personally.

April 24, 2015
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Nic Hammond's unsubstantiated allegation that ACBL stopped paying Hammond Software invoices sometime around mid-2013 as a pressure tactic to force HS to cede copyright to ACBL and have all their completed work be “work for hire” meaning ACBL owns the source code for ACBLscore+ may be refuted by the text:

It is my understanding that while much work was done on phase 4, the full requirements of this phase were not completed by the Consultant while the contract was in effect.
. . .
The contract provided for monthly billing by Consultant and these bills were paid subject to the limits outlined above.

When the amounts provided as maximums for phases 1-4 were exhausted (a total of $956,000), it became apparent that phase 4 would not be completed satisfactorily within the parameters of the contract.

I believe that Consultant explained to management that while phase 4 was not complete, work on phase 5 and 6 was ongoing and the project could be completed for the $1,400,000. The ACBL agreed to continue payment of Consultant’s bills using the funds that were allocated to phases 5 & 6.


Perhaps ACBL stopped payments to HS after the $956K was paid, and was not required by contract terms to pay any more until Phase 4 was completed.

Perhaps ACBL resumed payments after further negotiation with HS, both sides agreeing that payment was okay for work on Phases 5 and 6 despite Phase 4 remaining unfinished.

Pure speculation on my part, but that's the best I can do without access to the original contract.

If the speculation turns out to be fact, ACBL appears in a better light than Mr. Hammond would have had us believe.

Perhaps we will hear again from Mr. Hammond on this part of the fiasco/brouhaha.

EDIT: Now EIGHT days later, Mr. Hammond has posted on at least two other topics on this site (http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/bsp-reviews/) and, May 1, (http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/acbl-score-deja-vu/), but has nothing to say here on this topic? Go figure! Has he been silenced on the invoices topic?
April 23, 2015
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment May 1, 2015
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Nic,

We hear from you that BSP can run a full knockout from start to finish, that it can be used to display Swiss table assignments after the first round, that it can run Pairs games with various movements (not just simple Howell) as long as EDMOV is not required.

Most of us have no exposure to the current ACBLscore source code.

Most of us wish you could provide enough evidence to a DIC at a tournament that the DIC would be confident in allowing you to exercise the existing capabilities of BSP, so that
(1) you could discover and fix any flaws,
(2) you could discover improvements obvious from in-the-field experience that were not envisioned in the design stages, and implement these improvements.

If I had BSP running in my club, and I could produce an ACBLscore gamefile identical to that produced by ACBLscore, I might be able to have an easier time using better software, and ACBL would never need to know.

Specific Questions for you:

1: Is there any relatively quick way to get an EDMOV functionality for BSP by using the existing logic coded in ACBLscore? (My guess is no, otherwise you probably would have already done this.)

2: Is the EDMOV functionality all that you need to be able to roll out a BSP version that would handle pairs games well enough to replace ACBLscore at this task?

3: Can you get in to ACBLscore code enough to get its Swiss Teams matches fed directly into BSP without manual intervention? (My guess is no, otherwise you probably would have already done this.)

4: Is implementing a team matching/pairing algorithm all that you need to be able to roll out a BSP version that would handle Swiss Teams games well enough to replace ACBLscore at this task?

5: How do you find an ACBL TD willing to let you run BSP in parallel with ACBLscor for Swiss and Pairs events so you can build up some “proof of concept” that BSP is “ready for prime time” at running these events – or even just of displaying Swiss Team matches and table assignments beyond the first round?
April 22, 2015
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Nic,

You have told us in the past that BSP can run a complete KO, from start to finish. At Gatlinburg, BSP was used to start the KO's. Was it used throughout for the KO's, or was all KO follow-up beyond displaying initial table assignments done with ACBLscore?

This should be a simple “YES, BSP ran the KO's” or “NO, ACBLscore ran the KO's after the initial assignments” – but you will answer as you choose. That's fine.
April 22, 2015
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Waiting to see what Nic Hammond himself has to say, perhaps a blog update at http://bsp.bridgescoreplus.com/?page_id=145

I did chat briefly with Mr. Hammond, but neither asked for nor received anything of substance not already mentioned here on Bridge Winners. I was not involved in, nor did I observe, the pairs events for which BSP was to be used.

I chatted at greater length with Jay Whipple III, who said nothing of substance about ACBL's scoring program, but was hopeful about making slow but significant progress on what will be a long campaign. That's my interpretation of his words, not a direct quote.

Faster starts for KOs were appreciated by the players.

– also waiting on more about “the ACBLscore+ fiasco” from my District Director in response to specific questions I asked, but you know how it is with available time for unpaid (except for a pittance for expenses) volunteers.
April 21, 2015
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Gary Hann and Donald Mamula – about the BoG “security” motion – the Florida law, http://www.floridasalestax.com/Florida-Sales-Tax-Statute/212-04.aspx, seems to be something about which ACBL's Counsel, Peter Rank, should be able to give a definitive interpretation WRT its effect on NABCs held in Florida, and NABCs are the only events affected by the BoG motion. Perhaps requesting such an opinion from him would allow this facet of the motion to be put to rest, and BoG and BoD could work out the rest of their differences and make progress on something good for all of us who participate in NABC's – whether or not they are held in Florida?

Another example of BoD and BoG cooperating for the common good of all ACBL members would be a real encouragement for all ACBL members, IMHO.
April 18, 2015
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Any explanation for ACBL's silence – doesn't matter what it is – is an explanation for a tactic that does not seem, from the viewpoint of this Bridge Winners reader, to be working.

Roll the clock back 41 years; Nixon tried saying nothing, Eventually courts and Congress got him to the point where for the good of the nation he resigned. What a mess (“long national nightmare,” anyone?) we went through.

Not saying Hartman is a Nixon, far from it – but he does appear to be using the same tactics.

In the face of his silence, we have what we have – “festering discontent,“ ”the ”angry-pitchfork-mob“ and the ”allegations of cover-ups, calls for firing, etc.,“ and ”the level of anti-Hartman rhetoric flying around Bridge Winners kind of reaching epic proportions.”

We may be living through ACBL's “long nightmare” – and from what I see, the longer ACBL's silence, the longer the nightmare for all of us.

I have to believe that a higher level of ACBL transparency will diminish the rhetoric, if not silence it entirely.
April 12, 2015
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“ACBL stopped paying invoices to try to change to a WFH contract.”

Nic, no one has denied your allegation that invoices were not paid. No one has reason to doubt that you saved envelopes with postmarks which you claim included post-dated checks. It's even possible that a legal investigation would find adequate forensic proof that the evidence is legally admissible.

But the question is what you have other than unfounded allegation for your identifying their motive of “to try to change to a WFH contract.”

I'm about 99% certain that none of us will ever see any real proof of ACBL Management's motive for delaying payment – at least not from you.

I also doubt that we'll ever see Mr. Hartman sworn to tell “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” and replying to “Why did ACBL stop paying invoices?” with “to try to change to a WFH contract.”

Which leads me to ask you, Nic, "Why are you attributing motives to ACBL for their actions when there is no proof anyone will ever see that your attributed motives are anything more than unsubstantiated allegations?"
April 12, 2015
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A “hunker-down-until-the-storm passes” bureaucratic mindset or whatever else conspiracy theorists may attribute to ACBL management is what led to what Melanie Manfield has called "festering discontent“ and Greg Humphreys has called the ”angry-pitchfork-mob" and the ”allegations of cover-ups, calls for firing, etc.,“ and ”the level of anti-Hartman rhetoric flying around Bridge Winners kind of reaching epic proportions."

Can ACBL really believe that more of the same from them will lead to different results among the membership?
April 12, 2015
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In speaking out, if/when they decide to do so, it is fine if ACBL does so in the environment most comfortable for ACBL – probably the ACBL website or the ACBL Bulletin. I don't care where, I do care when (the sooner the better) – and that the statement(s) location and content are made known to all interested parties.

I think I'm not the only interested/concerned party who feels that way.
April 11, 2015
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment April 11, 2015
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Sept 12 last year, Mr. Hartman said (see p. 8 of http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/bw-investigates-why-did-the-acbl-abandon-acblscore/)


“your opinion piece about the ACBL’s ongoing efforts to upgrade its scoring software draws on inaccurate information and fosters false impressions rather than understanding.”

Seven months later, we still don't have the ACBL side of the story – the accurate information that leads to true impressions and understanding.

I don't hunger to possess “inside information” that is hidden from the hoi polloi; what I would like is for all concerned parties to be made aware of the information.

The easiest way for that to be accomplished is for Mr. Hartman or a Hartman-designated spokesperson for ACBL Management to set forth the ACBL Management version of the story.

Suzi Subeck or a Presidentially-designated spokesperson for the ACBL Board of Directors could in like manner set forth what the Board of Directors knows, when they came to know it, and how they intend to proceed. The BoD's CEO Oversight Committee, and its Technology Committee, might also have relevant information to add to the discussion.

With the present situation there are only Nic Hammond's unsubstantiated allegations, and rampant speculation. The only way I see to clear this all up is for ACBL Management – or at least BoD – to speak out in public. Their mileage obviously differs, as they are not speaking out.
April 11, 2015
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Thanks for the response, Greg. You make it pretty clear that you are not defending ACBL, just trying to help the “angry-pitchfork-mob” take a step back and look at what they are saying. Well done.

Still, it's been over seven months now since Adam Parrish's original ACBLscore+ article here on Bridge Winners. The quest for facts continues, ACBL Management's silence continues.

Does ACBL Management really believe that more of their silence will lead to different results here?
April 11, 2015
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Nic Hammond,

You are unwilling or unable to present this “evidence” in public here on Bridge Winners, isn't that right? It's not “evidence” to us if we can't see it! It's not “evidence” to us until we do see it. It's not “evidence” to us until it's evident to us!

Your “Yes, I have evidence” is, to all denied access to that evidence, yet another unsubstantiated allegation. As Clara Peller once famously said, Where's the beef?
April 11, 2015
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment April 11, 2015
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Greg,

About "awkward place:“

You say ”My job is to move the league forward technically, … . My goal has always been to find out what the league wants to accomplish, what it already has, what it can do, what it can't do, and what course of action I would recommend to achieve their goals in the most cost- and time- effective manner.

You're right, and that's understandable to all of us. Your focus is technical, not legal or political. That's how it should be. From what we have seen and what you have said, you and the rest of Mr. Hartman's Management Technology Committee are doing that job.

The ”awkward place" is that you are also spending time here in what appears to be the legal/political arena (at least that's where the discussions/rants to which you are responding seem to be), and, as you say, "That's way outside my area of expertise.

You say ”*my* goal is to assess, design, implement, and recommend technology that will help the league.“ That has nothing to do with the goal of the posters here, which seems to be to find out why we got into this sorry situation. It's like ships passing in the night, Greg. In your technical arena, the ”real, actual complaints about how things were handled“ and the ”epic proportions“ of ”anti-Hartman rhetoric,“ the ”allegations of cover-ups, calls for firing, etc.“ are just outside noise.

Yes, the atmosphere in which the CEO's Management Technology Committee does its work would be more peaceful if the outside noise of the ”angry-pitchfork-mob“ was diminished. But it's not your job to quiet that mob, Greg. As you say, ”That's way outside my area of expertise."

You respond to Nic Hammond's allegations with words like "Do you have evidence that “to try to hide the internal problems” was the motivation for this request, or is this just your assumption?“ and ”That this is the only reason of which you can conceive doesn't make it the actual reason. This could easily just be a failure of your imagination.“ None of that will quiet Nic's allegations, or appease the ”angry-pitchfork-mob.“

The way to quiet/quash the allegations, which will quiet the ”mob" as well, is for someone from ACBL Management to step up and reveal why the request was made to stop the wider distribution of the status reports, why the invoices weren't paid, why the clone was created, and so forth. Those revelations don't have to be here on Bridge Winners; indeed should probably be somewhere on the ACBL website. In any case, that revealing is not your area of expertise, Greg, and not your responsibility either.

Speculation in the absence of information, fueled by allegations to which ACBL Management have been unwilling to make any substantive response, have led us to the current situation. Calls for patience amid continued silence from ACBL Management will not resolve the situation.

It's been over seven months now since Adam Parrish's original ACBLscore+ article here on Bridge Winners. The quest for facts continues, ACBL Management's silence continues.

"A lot of the facts that trickle out are confusing, sometimes contradictory, and still can easily fall short of the level of transparency that everyone wants.

As a result, we see ”allegations of cover-ups, calls for firing, etc.,“ and ” the level of anti-Hartman rhetoric flying around Bridge Winners is kind of reaching epic proportions."

Does ACBL Management really believe that more of their silence will lead to different results here?
April 11, 2015
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment April 11, 2015
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I can respect that Management's follow-up is part of an internal process and we will know the conclusion. Thanks, Greg.

As for hiding things, see above. I don't know any more than any of the rest of us who aren't Management Technology Committee members or ACBL District Directors.
April 10, 2015
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"the level of anti-Hartman rhetoric flying around Bridge Winners is kind of reaching epic proportions.

Allegations of cover-ups, calls for firing, etc., are, in my humble opinion, way over the top. There's *no* evidence of anything being covered up. I agree and admit that a lot of the facts that trickle out are confusing, sometimes contradictory, and still can easily fall short of the level of transparency that everyone wants. Sometimes these are PR missteps, and sometimes they're just legally prudent.

Why is ACBL Management (probably specifically the CEO) afraid of law-related consequences (my interpretation of ”legally prudent") of being more transparent about what has happened with the whole ACBLscore+ fiasco? No one is talking about this. Mr. Hammond has stated here in BW that he has no reason to sue. ACBL's continued lack of transparency just increases the level of distrust here, Greg.

“PR missteps” can be overcome by forthright public apologies combined with more disclosure/transparency, but that doesn't seem to be happening.

The Bridge Winners public's perception seems to be that ACBL Management is hiding something(s), and we see *no* evidence of anything being revealed.

IMHO, Greg, you are in an awkward place. The way ACBL Management can turn off the anti-Hartman rhetoric is for Mr. Hartman to come forth and speak for himself. Until this happens, people will continue to have their patience taxed, and you will probably see continued and maybe increased anti-Hartman rhetoric.
April 10, 2015
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“Management will follow up with the Committee by Friday, April 10, after review of information.”

Did they? Is any of that follow-up available to the interested public, or is it all internal-to-Management-Technology-Committee only?
April 10, 2015
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