Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Nicolas Hammond
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Peg,

The reason for scoring within a group of sections is historical. Only so much data input per terminal per person. With the introduction of Electronic Scoring Devices (Bridgemates etc.), there is a typical limit of 6 sections per Bridgemate.

ACBLscore is non-networked and single-threaded. Each scoring machine can only handle one ESD server. So each scoring machine scores up to 6 sections. Typically a top of 77= ((6*13) - 1).

ACBL could score across all sections. With the current ACBLscore technology, players would have to wait until all scores were in from all sections. Then a TD would sneaker-net the game files from all scoring machines to a single scoring machine, import the data, merge it, score across all sections. Then sneaker-net the data back to the original scoring devices because there is only one printer hooked up per scoring device. The printers take 22-23 seconds to print each page. Each section typically requires 4 pages (2 for NS, 2 for EW). Typically about 90 seconds per section. Then they are manually hung up.

TDs want to find scoring corrections as quickly as possible (you won't believe how many there are).

Using the current technology to score across all sections would add a significant lag time to getting results out to players.
Feb. 3, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Get them to provide their ACBL number(s) as part of payment/registration process, e.g. the same information that is currently collected in round 1. Use caddies/TDs/volunteers/players to enter the player number(s) to a computer system. For all non-seeded players, rank via masterpoints (or whatever other system you want), then you assign all these non-seeded players to the rest of the field, e.g. top pair to table A2 (or whatever the next ‘seed’ table is), next pair to B2 and so on.

Means a change to the current process of signing up for NABC+ events, but it is a fairly simple system to implement. I currently do this for KO events for Bridgescore+. System works very well. At times I have had everyone assigned to a table within 10 seconds after game time. Not much extra work to convert to a pairs event. Can easily handle large numbers of players - it was used to start Gatlinburg KOs last year, more players in the first round of a Gatlinburg KO event than there are in an NABC+ pairs event.

Fairly simple stuff.

If I thought ACBL would use it, I'd probably write the code. Probably about a week of work for a prototype, then need some testing and real-world use. Probably about the same amount of work to get the seeded players done. Got lots of similar code already written, including all the projector/TV display output so is pretty easy to do.
Feb. 2, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
For ACBLscore+, I spent a lot of time at NABC+ pair events looking at the seeding and also the seeding/assignments for day 2. I probably know as much about the process as any player (not a TD).

The current seeding process is totally manual, not automated. This is prescribed by ACBL BOD. Some of it could be automated, and automated fairly easily while still having humans make the final decisions on seeding. I had a plan/design for it, but it wasn't part of ACBLscore+ Version 1.0 so not implemented.

Having to wait 40+ minutes for the boards to come out at a NABC+ Pairs Event for the first round is a little embarrassing. Usually this isn't the seeding committee's fault, though some assume it is.

The current manual process is actually quite efficient, given it is a paper system.

Obviously a system with pre-registration required for seeded pairs 15 minutes prior to game time would be more efficient. Got to allow for human override of computer assigned seeding (e.g. foreign players).

I have seen yelling matches between players and members of the seeding committee (who typically are playing in the event as well). This is not productive or healthy for either the player or the member of the seeding committee or other players in the event. “How dare you not make me a #1 seed!!”. Just a comment for some of the readers of this site. Instead of yelling and causing a scene, show them up and win the event.

The current ACBL process for determining qualifiers and getting ready for Day 2 screams for automation. Improving the process was not strictly part of the ACBLscore+ project, but the code was designed to significantly make the TDs job much easier. It can typically take 5-6 directors about 1-2 hours after the evening session to get ready for the next day. Sometimes even much longer. I think the longest I saw was 4 hours. Players never see this. Thank the TDs the next time you see them, few have any idea the process they are forced to go through.

Kevin: Typically only the odd numbers are seeded. The seeding committee will get, say 150 seeded entries. The DIC will tell them there are 14 sections. So there are 28 seed 1 (either sitting at table 3 or, more recently, 5), 28 seed 2, 28 seed 3, 28 seed 4, 28 seed 5, and 10 put into seed 6. All other pairs will be randomly assigned so anything below a 6 seed isn't really seeded. There is no way of telling the number of seeds by looking at the event; the information is not recorded anywhere so you cannot determine after the event. If the order is 3, 9, 13, 5, 1, 11 then any even numbered table is not a seed, same with table 7 and some of table 11.

For a long time, ACBL ran a web movement for the last section to be seated, so all the others were 13 table sections. Not sure if that is still the case. The web movement is typically not fully seeded. Small point, probably won't affect the stats too much.

In at least one of the recent day 1, there was a problem with seeding, and most sections did not have an E/W Table 1, causing lots of changes to the movement in rounds 2 and 3. One event would not mess up your stats.

If even you or BridgeWinners get some software to automatically seed with manual override, I've got tools to automatically create the ACBLscore game file so we can get the game started much quicker. ACBL has the same tools as well. Just a question of time/priority. The NABC+ events are the ACBL's showcase to foreign players, but make up a small fraction of overall pair events played in ACBLland.
Feb. 2, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
At some of the recent NABC+ events, the top seed was at table 5, not table 3. With corresponding changes to the other seeds.

You would probably need to look at the event, look at some of the players at tables 3 and 5 and can probably easily determine what the seeding policy was for that event.
Feb. 2, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Damn those Superbowl ads.

I just poured coke into my laptop.

Nothing changed.
Feb. 1, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Greg,

ACBLscore+ has built-in support for web services.

Take the ACBLscore+ that ACBL has, put it on-line (cost was $12/month), TDs/Clubs can upload game files (been supported for 18+ months), then access the game with web services. You can do everything that you described above. I used JSON for web service output, in some places it is XML, but normal web service stuff.

For example, see ./app/views/events/index.json.rabl for an example of code to create a JSON response. Code is trivial. Try http://(url)/clubs/1/events.json?start=1022766800&end=2526392000 to see the output. ACBL has the code, so should be trivial for them to put this up. This will return all the events associated with a club from a start and end time. It is used for the calendar feature for clubs. See last few seconds of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8Z91IzjHgM for the club calendar feature. Data is fed for each month using the JSON described. I guess I need to post another Youtube video showing how fast it is. The 1 in the URL is the club_id, change for whatever club_id you have defined.This will get you a formatted JSON reply. It is trivial to add more web services. Whenever you need a Web Service, just add

<code>
def index
respond_to do |format|
format.json
end
end
</code>

to the controller, cut/paste the aforementioned index.json.rabl to the model. Very easy.

Glad that ACBL are going to move to a model where the data is more accessible.

Previously they have said the opposite.

There are lots of web tools associated with ACBLscore+/Bridgescore+. At some point, I'll put them online so that others can use them. Glad you have ACBL moved in the right direction.

BTW, the first implementation of “fast results” was part of ACBLscore+. Showcased at the Memphis NABC in March 2012. It used a similar approach. Has taken ACBL 2+ years to get the code in place to display results, still not as good as was displayed 2+ years ago but a step in the right direction. I'll see if I can dig out those results so that everyone can see what was showcased so we can compare with what we have now. March 2012 was one month before the ACBLscore+ project started… ACBL have had the code since April 2012.

Please make sure that your use of tense is correct as it is starting to sound like you have become an ACBL management mouthpiece. “similar to what Jay Whipple did” should be “similar to what Jay Whipple is doing”. It sounds like you have killed his project, which I know that ACBL is trying to do, but is not the case. Just stay away from their kool-aid.

ACBL have had this (web services technology) available as part of ACBLscore+ for almost 3 years. Take a look at the ACBLscore+ project Wiki design documentation and GitHub design documents/notes for more details. Much cheaper to pay $12/month, put this stuff on line, let everyone access the data through the web services.
Jan. 29, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Even though this is an updated MPBOOK, it is still not what ACBLscore implements. TDs base decisions on events to maximize MPs for players, but the MPBOOK is still wrong.

We really need ACBL to produce an MPBOOK that both describes the actual MP implementation, but also includes all of the MP eligibility and assignment rules. And we need full explanation of how the MPs are really calculated.

We also need a spreadsheet/web site where anyone can double check the MP rules.

The MP rules are v. complicated (I probably no more than anyone else), but I think we have a right to know what they are and how they are implemented.

The MPs was one of the biggest holdups for ACBLscore+. Even at the end of the contract, ACBL still never delivered the specs for masterpoints.
Jan. 29, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Thank you everyone for your help.

The last few got ‘approved’ by Wiki editors today.

Here is the list of 171 players that were added (and approved) over the last 3-4 months:

Adam Wildavsky
Agnes Gordon
Albert Weiss
Alicia Kempner
Allan Siebert
Allan Stauber
Arnie Fisher
Arthur G. Robinson
Arthur S. Goldsmith
B. Jay Becker
Bart Bramley
Ben Fain
Bernie Chazen
Beth Palmer
Betty Ann Kennedy
Billy Seamon
Björn Fallenius
Bobby Nail
Brad Moss
Brian Glubok
Carol Sanders
Charles Coon (bridge)
Charles J. Solomon
Cheri Bjerkan
Chip Martel
Chris Willenken
Christal Henner
Christal Henner-Welland
Chuck Burger
Curtis Cheek
Dan Morse (bridge)
Dan Rotman
Daniela von Arnim
Debbie Rosenberg
Disa Eythorsdottir
Donna Compton
Doris Fuller
Doug Doub
Ed Manfield
Eddie Wold
Edith Freilich
Edward Hymes
Edward O. Taylor
Emma Jean Hawes
Eric Greco
Eric Kokish
Eric R. Murray
Fred Hamilton (bridge)
Fred Stewart (bridge)
Gail Greenberg
Garey Hayden
Gary Cohler
Gavin Wolpert
Gaylor Kasle
Gene Freed
Geoff Hampson
George Jacobs (bridge)
George Rapée
Gerald Caravelli
Grant Baze
Harold Harkavy
Harold Lilie
Harry Fishbein
Helen Utegaard
Hemant Lall
Howard Weinstein
Hugh Ross (bridge)
Ivar Stakgold
Jacqui Mitchell
Jan Martel (bridge)
Janice Seamon-Molson
Jeff Glick
Jenny Wolpert
Jill Levin
Jill Meyers
Jim Krekorian
Jim Mahaffey
Jim Robison
Jo Morse
JoAnna Stansby
John Diamond (bridge)
John Gerber (bridge)
John Mohan
John Schermer
John Sutherlin
John Swanson (bridge)
Josephine Culbertson
Juanita Chambers
Judi Radin
Karen McCallum
Kay Rhodes
Kerri Sanborn
Kitty Cooper
Larry Mori
Larry T. Cohen
Lee Hazen
Lew Mathe
Lisa Berkowitz
Lorenza Lauria
Lou Bluhm
Lynn Baker
Malcolm Brachman
Marc Jacobus
Margaret Wagar
Marilyn Johnson
Marion Michielsen
Mark Lair
Mark Molson
Mary Jane Farell
Matt Granovetter
Meike Wortel
Merwyn Maier
Meyer Schleifer
Michael Seamon
Mike Becker
Mike Kamil
Mike Passell
Mike Smolen
Mildred Breed
Morrie Elis
Nancy Gruver
Nick Nickell
Olive Peterson
Paul Hodge
Paul Swanson
Peggy Solomon
Peggy Sutherlin
Peter Boyd
Peter Leventritt
Peter Pender
Peter Weichsel
Petra Hamman
Phil Feldesman
Pierre Zimmermann (bridge)
Renee Mancuso
Rhoda Walsh
Rich DeMartino
Richard Coren
Richard H. Katz
Richard L. Frey
Rita Shugart
Robert F. Jordan
Robert Lipsitz
Roger Bates
Ron Andersen
Ron Von der Porten
Rose Meltzer
Ross Grabel
Rozanne Pollack
Russ Arnold
Russ Ekeblad
Ruth Sherman
Sabine Auken
Samuel M. Stayman
Seymon Deutsch
Shawn Quinn
Sherman Stearns
Sidney H. Lazard
Sidney Silodor
Sol Mogal
Steve Garner
Steve Landen
Steve Robinson (bridge)
Sue Picus
Sylvie Willard
Theodore Lightner
Thomas K. Sanders
Tobias Stone
Waldemar von Zedtwitz
William Grieve (bridge)
Zeke Jabbour
Jan. 22, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I'm not going to be at the Wilmington Regional so don't know.

If there is someone going, that is interested in running Bridgescore+, has a projector, couple of laptops with Internet connection, printer, let me know.

You'll need permission from the TC and DIC.

KOs and Swiss are the best ones to run.
Jan. 21, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Ask your DD when they were told about outside counsel's review of the contract. All will become clear then.
Jan. 21, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Ed: I spent Sunday at an ABA tournament in Atlanta. I can recommend. They know how to have fun…

I ran Bridgescore+ for them at a two session Swiss event, projectors displaying assignments/results etc. etc. They loved it.
Jan. 19, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Kevin: re: “stories/rumors I heard”.

If I know first hand, I can state it; anything else I hear second or third hand is a story or rumor.

Perhaps poor choice of works, but let me give you an example.

After ACBL dropped ACBLscore+, I heard various ‘stories’ on the reasons why (remember: I know why they dropped it!). One “story” or “rumor” that the software was too slow. Prior to each board meeting for the 2 years of the ACBLscore+, I'd set up a site on the Internet for the board to look at the software. I always set it up in “developer mode” because it's much easier to change anything on the fly. My immediate reaction, was, “duh, they just ran a developer version”. Some time later I looked at the logs and saw that there was nowhere near enough traffic to justify a proper review, which means that ACBL had installed the software themselves somewhere and ran it (I assume). No-one at ACBL, at least AFAIK, knew how to configure a production version, so I still don't know what they looked at. Then I heard that it didn't run on XP. Well… we'd delivered a version on XP. Each time I heard a ‘story’ or ‘rumor’, I'd put a Youtube video up with evidence to the contrary. All the stories and rumors I've heard are just that.
Jan. 19, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
At the beginning of the ACBLscore+ contract, we signed standard NDAs.

There was nothing signed when the contract was “terminated”, either the first time by us, or when the contract was finished.

The questions for board members are:

1. When was the board told of outside counsel's review of the copyright terms of the ACBLscore+ contract?

2. When was the board told that ACBL management/league counsel had stopped paying the invoices on the contract?


If neither of these happened at the next immediate board meeting, there's a problem.

Both were sufficiently major that I would have expected the Executive Committee of the BOD to have been informed. Both had major impacts on the software.

The failure to deliver on the various specs was documented in the project Wiki, that some board members had access to, so I'm assuming that this was properly reported at board meetings. The board was certainly informed.
Jan. 19, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I can only answer some of these so here goes:

>From what I have read from you, it seems to me that much of what Bridgescore+ can now do was not a part of the ACBLscore+ that was evaluated and discarded after the ACBL/Hammond Software contract ended last year, but has since been added by you and your people and used in Atlanta and Augusta Regionals (or is waiting to be used at Gatlinburg 2015).

Not really. The fundamentals were in ACBLscore+. I haven't worked on any of the basic scoring functionality, or masterpointing since the contract ended. I've worked on making some of the screens easier to use based on TD feedback, mostly on starting KO and running Swiss. This is what the code needed, see Roll out explanation at http://bsp.bridgescoreplus.com/?page_id=44.

I've added more features in the display code. I've done a lot more testing on writing ACBLscore game files from Bridgescore+ because if they do run in parallel, Bridgescore+ needs to be able to write an ACBLscore game file, at least in the near term. Also, ACBL were planning on spending a large sum of money in making it easier for TDs to create multiple brackets for a KO or bracketed Swiss. This type of stuff is trivial in Bridgescore+, so I wrote the code to do that. Basically, if it is going to make life easier for a TD, and it is trivial for me to do, I might do it. Also, it points out some of the absurdity of ACBL's technical claims on ACBLscore+.

If I can re-create in a couple of weeks what they are going to spend $600K on, then I think it shows the correct technical future for ACBL. Either that, or I completely undercharged for the work we did.

Am not likely to do the Swiss code in Bridgescore+ until Bridgemate comes out with their next release because the new functionality will make it so much easier. Trying to make Swiss work with the current Bridgemate code is a work-around. Much rather wait a couple of months and do it right. Swiss by ESDs was never in the ACBLscore contract, but we coded it to make it easier to add for version 2.0. I've shown how we can import all the electronic data, e.g. from the Swiss at the Bermuda Bowl.

Neither Greg, Uday or Ralph are going to have any impact on the CEO Technical Committee for ACBLscore+. The BoD Technical Committee might.

>As far as I know, neither ACBLscore nor BridgeScore+ has a working implementation for Swiss Teams, although developers for both appear to be working to implement such. So sad! As each work day passes, more money (and unpaid volunteer time) is gone forever.

If ACBL would agree to put the code we had to talk to BWS files into Open Source, this would help.

The current ACBL architecture is that one Windows machine is needed for one ESD server. Each ESD server can run about 6 sections (~ 80 tables). For a large National Pairs event, say 14-15 sections, you need 3 separate computers, run by 3 different TDs, in 3 different parts of the room.

Going to a server based architecture makes administering this so much easier.

What ACBLscore can do with the BWS file is limited; it is an implementation that works, but it does not work very well. Other scoring programs around the world communicate with BWS files differently. ACBL/ACBLscore do their own thing.

Going forward, making the communication to ESDs be a separate component will make future ESD support so much easier. There is a lot more coming with hardware/software.

>But you don't have all the facts. For example, you don't know the internal work of the ACBL committee that recommended the discarding and writing off of ACBLscore+, thus don't know what led them to that recommendation.

Absolutely correct.

But some of the stories/rumors I heard lead me to believe that this was not a proper test.

For example, I strongly suspect that any testing they did was in developer mode, not production mode. Just a small example. The fact that I was asked to help set up a demo, or make sure it was configured right speaks volumes. I had previously set up multiple versions on the Internet for testing - at least one before each board meeting for 8+ separate board meetings.

> Getting the ACBL management/IT/Counsel side of the story to the public is most likely not going to happen – for whatever reason(s), doing so does not appear to ACBL management to be in their best interest.

Correct.

ACBL have already stated that there were problems and accepted what they were. Getting into the specifics is not helpful to them. “Name and Shame” is not going to happen. Robert took full personal responsibility for ACBL's failings at the ACBL BOD meeting in March 2014.

> What are these “confidential agreements” to which Mr. Vilhauer refers? I doubt we will ever know.

Ask him. Ask ACBL. Ask your DD.

I have no idea what the confidential agreements are.

This is why I refer to a cover-up.

Perhaps it is the ACBL and ACBL outside counsel have a “confidential agreement” so they can't release the legal reasons.

> Your efforts to influence the future course of ACBL IT, especially with respect to what they are doing with the Bridge Scoring Program (ACBLscore), appear (at least from where I sit as an ACBL member and club director who only sees what's happening at tournaments, the changes in ACBLscore, and what I read on the Internet from ACBL, you, and Bridge Winners) doomed to failure.

As someone previously pointed out, I'm not a victim. My company got paid. I didn't say anything or post anything after the first couple of rounds of Bridgewinners articles on ACBLscore. It was only when ACBL's silence led some to call for legal action against my company, which then caused my company even more time with lawyers, that I posted something.

I'm only a victim when I go to a bridge tournament and they don't run Bridgescore+. All I know is that the tournaments that I go to, we have KOs that start 15-30 minutes before everywhere else. Fast Results was an ACBLscore+ feature. Glad to see it being rolled out. Took 2+ years from the first release (Memphis, March 2012). I really would hate to have a 2+ year wait for all of the other features in ACBLscore+ to be released. My influence with ACBL IT has already passed.

> Other than 2014's Gatlinburg, Atlanta, and Augusta Regionals, (plus a peek at the 2014 Spring NABC in Dallas), where has ACBLscore+ or BridgeScore+ been used at tournaments?

Some other Atlanta sectionals. I went to a Regional in Florida, ran it there.

I only have a limited amount of time for my bridge stuff; got to work as well :-)

Even if ACBL only used that part of ACBLscore+, it would still be a huge win for everyone.


> Have any Districts in addition to your home District 7 asked for you to demonstrate or use BridgeScore+ at any of their Regionals?

Yes.

Even some when I'm not there.

In order to make sure of the benefits, you need to have Internet connection (or the software on your laptop, but ACBL isn't giving it to anyone!), a projector and spend a little time being familiar with the software. Some have done that.

I don't know all the tournaments, but at least a couple of Districts outside my own (D7) that I'm aware of. I don't ask people to let me know if they run the software, so it might be more.

> Even in District 7, there was no BridgeScore+ presence at the North Charleston Regional.

I was out the country for that one. Got to find a volunteer to run it. D7 is going through a change from having MABC run the events to splitting MABC into D6 and D7. Charleston was the last MABC run event. D7 are now looking at buying projectors so that they can run the software at tournaments. I'm on the D7 board. We also need to look at training TDs. Remember I'm giving this stuff away for free, so support is obviously an issue. If there are enough trained TDs that can self-support then that's an easier decision.

The TDs also need Internet access. The recent Marriott decision, see http://recode.net/2015/01/14/block-wi-fi-who-us-marriott-backs-away-from-controversial-plan/ will have a major impact on this.

Once the TDs can get Internet access at a tournament site, at a reasonable price, then we will see a big increase in technology usage.

> Is BridgeScore+ in use at any ACBL-sanctioned clubs?

No.

Support is the issue. My company is not set-up to provide first level support. That was always going to be ACBL's job.

ACBL's legal department couldn't write the license agreement for us to release to clubs during the ACBLscore+ contract (it's one of the many, many documented 3 month+ delays in the project).

> I'm sure I'm not the only interested person who regrets the current sorry state of affairs, and wishes there was more I could do to bring about a situation where cooperation between what now appear to be “rival software developers” led to more rapid improvements in the software and less cost to ACBL and ultimately its members.

Not really. I have no illusions about competing with an organization that gives software away for free and can spend $600K just to match what they already have. I believe that the decisions that ACBL has made, and are making, will cost the organization much more money in the long run. But the difference to me is likely miniscule. So what if I have to pay an extra $1 or $2 for an event at a tournament. Waiting 25-30 minutes for a KO to start, or waiting 37 minutes for the first round of an NABC Pairs Event is frustrating. It's also embarrassing when the rest of the world looks at how ACBL IT works.

Jay Whipple created his Fast Results/Common Game “for free”. Matthew Kidd has ACBLmerge. All “free” for use. I've put some stuff for free on the Internet to help with Bridge.

If you want to do, get involved in some of the Open Source initiatives. I posted one on writing a Swiss Team matching algorithm. Still looking for someone to complete that. Once we have that, I can run a Swiss from start to finish. Runs much quicker than ACBLscore, requires fewer TDs.
Jan. 18, 2015
Nicolas Hammond edited this comment Jan. 21, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Every time you see the phrase, “the contract was terminated”, (Merlin used it), this is management Kool-Aid.

Hammond Software terminated the contract in March 2014. We walked away with money on the table, but could not reasonably do work without the specs. ACBL came back in May 2014 wanting to change the termination date. We agreed. They then paid out the remaining money in the contract. The contract was now over, not terminated. At the same time, and I suspect before the original ACBL committee looked at ACBLscore, management told me that they were “terminating the contract”. Perhaps they paid the balance so they could then claim they terminated the contract. Don't know, don't care. What that meant was they were releasing me from the requirement in the contract to provide ACBL up to 10 hours of my time each month for the next 12 months. In other words, zero cost to them if they chose not to use it, but I had to provide up to 10 hours if they wanted it. I suspect that this was done in spite because ACBL wanted us to rewrite the original contract giving ACBL full rights to any software we developed for any industry that was based off ACBLscore+ underlying technology.After we said no, they paid the contract in full, then “terminated the contract”. Seemed to cut off their nose to spite their face because I had more knowledge of the ACBLscore+ code than anyone. I'd have suggested they would have kept the option open in case they had any questions about the software. Would have cost them nothing. But, I already knew by then, based on ACBL's outside counsel's opinion that ACBL management and league counsel had dug themselves a big hole with the legal aspects of the software.

Next time you see ACBL use the words, “terminated the contract”, you'll know what it really means.
Jan. 18, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I've got software that can read the various tournament financial files (FBALANCE.DAT, FINVITEM.DAT, FINVOICE.DAT, FOFS.DAT, FTINFO.DAT, FWKSHEET.DAT, TDINFO.DAT, TOURN.DAT, TOURNEV.DAT) and output them to XML or CSV so they can be read/parsed by other software.

It wouldn't be too much extra work to be able to create these files from XML (we've done it for Gamefile, structure in the *DAT files is much easier).

But this means each sponsor will have to get the original files from ACBL.

If there is interest, I can probably make it available as a web service on the Internet.
Jan. 18, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I know. I was there. It was done using Bridgepads. There was no interface with ACBLscore. At the end of each round, the TD had to manually enter the results from the
Bridgepads into ACBLscore.

Apologies for my wording - better wording would have been “fully integrate the Bridge Scoring Program (ACBLscore) with Electronic Scoring Devices (ESDs)”.

Most of the problems in Philly 2012 with the Bridgepads were TD related. A lot of the national TDs were not familiar with Bridgepads and how to setup/run a Swiss using them. This caused problems. For example running an A/X Swiss and a BCD Swiss at the same time but not configuring the software that these were separate events so teams started sitting at tables assigned to the other event. Simple configuration error caused by lack of training/experience with the software.

Currently ACBLscore has a 16 bit field with the IMP difference and a 16 bit field with the VP difference. I don't know if the ACBL plans are to replicate the data from the ESD into ACBLscore, or just to fill in those two fields. The first is a lot of work within ACBLscore, the latter much easier. Bridgescore+ has the former. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oj-EMNhOJX0 which is Bridgescore+ will all the data from the Bermuda Bowl down to the cards played.

As part of the ACBLscore+ work, we created a separate stand-alone program that ran on the Windows machine (most ESDs are Windows only) and the BSP would talk to this program, and this program interfaced with the ESD DB.It would be great if ACBL would put this piece of software into Open Source as it would allow extensions by other people. I know ACBL has an issue with Copyright, but for this piece of the code, I will be happy to waive my company's Copyright and put the code under the MIT license.

This would make it much easier to support ESDs with ACBLscore.

There is much more coming with Bridge hardware/software in the near future so having the vision to design this properly for the future is important. If we end up with all the code in ACBLscore written in Pascal, it's a wasted opportunity.
Jan. 18, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
We all rely on TFRs because it is the only data we get. I haven't seen anyone that doesn't. The TDs are the ones that process the initial cash from the sale and everything is recorded into ACBLscore.

The “don't care” comment was made by someone from ACBL with several other ACBL employees in the meeting who did not speak out against what was said. The context was the amount of work the volunteers have to do to work around the current TFR system.
Jan. 17, 2015
Nicolas Hammond edited this comment Jan. 18, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Somewhere in my notes from the BoG meeting in Providence, I've got a list of the items that they plan on spending $600K on. It was in the hand-out from the meeting. If someone else has them and wants to post…

I know one of the five or six items is to make it easier to create an ACBLscore game file that contains multiple brackets. With the design of Bridgescore+, this type of stuff is fairly easy. I was on a couple of flights over the New Year, so wrote the code on the plane.

See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpTyN7tEviM

This is a video (6:40 long) that shows ACBLscore creating an 8 bracket KO game file. Each bracket must have similar information re-entered.

2 minutes to create first bracket. About 30 seconds for each subsequent bracket.

I went with bracket sizes of 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9 to cover all the different cases.

See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqLxZLS1beA

This is Bridgescore+ doing the same thing. Less than a minute. Actually this is a version of Bridgescore+ where all the other code has been turned off to make it easy to use.

See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpZ2qtAeCL0

This is the game file from Bridgescore+ being opened in ACBLscore.

==

I think another of the items was to make it easier to create a bracketed Swiss game file. I've got working code for that too, I just need to clean up the UI.

The problem with ACBLscore is that all of the data has to be manually re-entered for each bracket, with the code shown above, you only need to enter the event name once, it is then copied to each bracket. Same with the event code (incremented by 1 each time).

==

A couple of the other $600K items were things that Bridgescore+ already does (projects for KOs etc).

I think one item was to put ACBLscore under code control; this is trivial. A few minutes at best once you pick the code control system.

==

About the only difficult one was to run a Swiss with Electronic Scoring Devices (ESDs) (Bridgemate/Bridgepad etc.). That's a little more challenging.
Jan. 17, 2015
.

Bottom Home Top