Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Joe Hertz
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At the other table, I held Ron's partner's cards. I think the general impression we all had over there was that 5X was going to be a swing our way.

I was wondering how many chickens you had to decapitate to find 6. I'm kinda relieved to see you're still trying to answer that question too.
April 30, 2015
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Tested it against the Midori Browser? If so, betcha it would work, at least remotely.
April 30, 2015
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There are still a significant percentage of clubs who don't compute their matchpoint results with the aid of software at all, complete with a surcharge imposed by the ACBL. The cave dwellers pay for the privilege of cave dwelling.

But The requirement that's being talked about would make internet access a requirement to set up the game. That is to say if it wasn't on at a particular moment, you can't have have the bridge game.

You don't need internet access to play the game, so it follows that the scoring application shouldn't need it at the moment the game is being played. The internet going out shouldn't create a situation like that if the power went out.

I don't think anyone argues Adam's point that about the direction we should be going. What I question is only the requirement that people who don't want to go there not be able to participate at their own local level.

Nationals and Regionals should be going there. Clubs should be *able* to go there. But you can't just go and refuse to sanction a club simply because they are out in the middle of Alaska and don't have an ISP that serves them.
April 30, 2015
Joe Hertz edited this comment April 30, 2015
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There should be no requirement for internet access to set up the game, let alone wireless internet access. It's a card game with physical cards, for crying out loud.

I could argue that scoring devices can use wifi locally (bridgemate doesnt) but even they shouldn't need internet access. THeir server should be it's own AP for whatever it needs.

The internet protocol can run in places that aren't on the internet.
April 29, 2015
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I've done them in the dim and distant. Sending you an email.
April 26, 2015
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Since the document indicates the ACBL has rights to the HS project code, it sounds like the next operation is to finish what HS started?

Least I hope so. The budget for parts 5 and 6 seem very light. Training an entrenched userbase as large as this one seems to be at least as daunting of a task as compared to writing the application.
April 24, 2015
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Requirements, hell. We know what it should do. “How?” is the question. “Specs!” is the answer

If youre going to be using Ruby (like HS did), can I ask if youre going to be using Rails (Ruby on Rails) like they did too?

Because if the answer is yes, it pretty much confirms HS version of events thus far.

Rails apps specifically and absolutely all share the same application base design. That's why Rails development is so speedy. It's THE WHOLE selling point of Rails.

So why in heaven's sake would anyone pay for a second app to be written in Rails to do the same thing a previous Rails app does when the first one failed to deliver?

It's either that HS was technically unable to deliver. Nobody whose seen the Demos believes that.

Or…maybe nobody told them what they needed to do to finish it (aka Missing Specs)

So if the ACBL couldn't come up with specs for HS, why would it will be easier this next time? Isn't the definition of insanity is repeating the same steps expecting different results? Because if this isn't what the actual problem was in creating the software (the only way we can be sure it won't come up a second time is if it didn't occur the first) then it screams the likelyhood of HS being right: Ownership was the hold-up.

Why not just make an offer to buy an unrestricted-use license of the BridgeScore+ code from HS? I'm sure it will be cheaper than trying to reinvent the same exact wheel, assuming HS actually wants to make money.
April 24, 2015
Joe Hertz edited this comment April 24, 2015
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This is precisely the part that makes me always go “Where's the beef^H^H^H^H spec”.

The back and forth on this has been essentially: The ACBL's complaint was that the application was clearly not finished and couldn't be finished, where Nic seemed to be saying, “Yeah, because we never got the specs we needed to finish it”.

As I've said before, writing specs for a developer often makes the client think about their processes in ways that they had not for a while, because the process as it was essentially ran on auto-pilot. The fact that specs Nic got differed from the behavior the old ACBLScore exhibited, to me, speaks to the likelyhood of this case.

It's kind of hard to paint the developer as failing to deliver when you 1) Paid him in full 2) Have YouTube Videos of the working application 3) Demos of the working application going on in Gatlinburg and 4) No specific complaint being aired about what the vendor failed to do. The vendor has something he claims the customer claimed, but no confirmation.

Or do I have this summary wrong? I'd love to hear Suzi on the matter.
April 24, 2015
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And the self-grades on BBO are often quite inaccurate. The worst (or at least, the most trying) BBOers in my experience are the ones that rate themselves “advanced”.

I've gone to “private” on my own self-rating because I'm not an expert, and I'm not an intermediate, but I don't want to lump myself in with people who call themselves “advanced” simply because they are ACBL members.

IMHO, the only indicator of any reliability on a BBO profile is if they have a star or number next to their name. Any number, even a deuce (which you acquire at one MP earned online), will do.

The joke I like to tell is, “What did the BBOer say to his partner for making a sac at favorable (when the opps had a cold game), for down 2 and a gain of 8.5 IMPS?”

Answer: “YOU IDIOT!!!!!”

In rereading this, it sounds like I'm being harsh about BBOers, but I don't intend to be. The quality of the bridge game is, on some level, proportional to how far people travel to get to it and everyone has access to BBO from their couch.
April 22, 2015
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There was a chess scandal in America where a teen recently was doing the same thing, but *at* the table. They were permitting the use of an iPhone app for taking down the specific game moves (said app locked down the use of the phone for any other purpose, so they thought it was okay).

Apparently the kid wasn't using the notation app. Just pretending to do so. He was running a Chess Engine.

I lol'd because I thought there was no way that bridge would let this happen. I was working on a private score app for Windows Mobile when the ACBL banned phones at the table and I couldn't blame em a bit. I wondered if someone got word about what I was doing at the table with my phone..if so I could take credit for the rule change.
April 15, 2015
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Claimants always go first.

If I'm ever asked this question, my response is going to be, “Are you claiming?” If so, “State your line of play”.

April 15, 2015
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Whose to say who made the boards? Surely directing a game and operating a dealing machine are different skills. Maybe the non-playing spouse of the club director did it?

I wouldn't wish someone luck if they wanted to try it. If they succeeded at it in a big event, it would be like the discovery that Mark McGwire was using Andro before it was a banned substance.

In the pre-machine dup era, in a 0-5 game (yes, really) at an NABC, partner and I had a good afternoon game so we got the same N/S table number for the evening game. Thank goodness we did because while making the hands up, I found myself saying, “Club AKQJT2 AGAIN??? No way..”. We called for the director and sure enough, the afternoon hand records had been distributed again and we caught it. There was a story about Judi Radin remembering cards she had played the day before when they showed up in her hand.

Is it likely? No. Could it happen, even accidentally? Yeah.

At a local club game, heck – stuff happens. At a sectional or bigger, where the directors are actual ACBL employees, I think it's reasonable to expect better though.
April 13, 2015
Joe Hertz edited this comment April 13, 2015
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People may hate change but they'll deal. I've never seen a “riot” over the use of pickup slips.
April 13, 2015
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Larry, you might be able to maintain the code. Maybe. No way in hell could you guarantee that there's a platform that runs it and that will be available to the userbase.

I could go on at length, but the code as is has 8086 assembler in it…that and Borland's Turbo Pascal. The only reason it can still be compiled is that Borland let TP out into the wild and there are archivists who still want to see it run (like MAME for old 80's arcade game emulation).

The MS-DOS version won't run on anything later than XP. You need a DOS Emulator. Want to bet the Windows version will still work under Windows 10? Think Microsoft will assure you that it would? With each new OS, it's cross-your-fingers time.

At some point the hardware that will run it will go away, maintained codebase or not. At best, ACBLScore maintained as is will be a working buggy-whip. Just nobody will own a horse drawn buggy anymore.
April 11, 2015
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I know youre not making it up. I just can't figure out any rational reason for it besides:

A) Someone decided a hard line negotiating posture needed to be taken retro-actively…likely because not knowing what the risks were they felt that had to use a belts and suspenders approach to it. (This could bite us. How? I don't know. If I did, I wouldn't be afraid of it. Let's renegotiate it away).

B) The missing spec theory which I've been harping on. The remaining parts will take a while to write the specs for, but this is so new, and so unlike everything we've had in the past that finished app will not only be so different but it's going to expose many previous AS errors.. people will think the new app is just horribly wrong on many levels (not wrong. just different. the original app was “wrong” if anything was). Right or wrong, it's going to be an unavoidable disaster rolling it out so let's scuttle it now. Here's a good excuse we can use: See- copyright issues.
April 11, 2015
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Oh I never said the ACBL should be the only one entitled to *use* the software for that 10%. Yes, that's way too cheap. I just said that the ACBL would own the copyright. I'm sure that would include a license for Nic to be able to use the code in the ways he pointed out. Heck, I don't know what the ACBL has to lose my letting everyone on the planet use it. They just want title, right? Sure. Give it to them. (Insert joke about they can have it simply provided they only license it under terms of the GPL! :-). Well no. That might not work for Nic.

My point is that if ownership really is the sticking point, it shouldn't be too tough to call that bluff. The ACBL is willing to pay $600K this year for their own development activities because they don't feel they can use BS+ without ownership.

So give it to them in exchange for money and a license for you to use it too. Surely the price of that can be made “right”…assuming that's the real reason. I just don't buy that it is.
April 10, 2015
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So if the ACBL got a 10% discount because the copyright remained with HS, it would stand to reason that HS would be willing to sell the copyright to HS for 10% above the amount paid to date?

Assuming that's 10% of $1.9M, then I would think the problem could have been “solved” for $190K instead of the 600K numbers I've seen thrown around for future development costs (I'm still hazy on what exactly they will be on or what we'll get for that money).

And assuming this is all correct, then there seems to be only one possible reason why the ACBL would balk at this solution. I know this because I've been there.

Those missing specs.

It can't be finished without the specs. Complaining about copyright ownership is like saying the grapes are sour. Even if HS gave the ACBL copyright ownership for free, I'd be betting that the application couldn't be finished for lack of those specs.

Nobody can deliver on those missing “milestones” without them and I've got a nickel that says Horn Lake still hasn't finished them.

The ACBL initially intended the existing app to serve as a “living spec”. And as Nicolas found out, in many places, what the application *did* and what it actually *should have been doing* were different. This required the ACBL to think through many of it's processes in ways that it took for granted before. Yes everything had worked before, but how? That inevitably turns into a much more interesting question than the customer realizes it will be. It's *always* a lot of work. Good projects have customers who realize that because it's work you can't do for the customer and you are at their mercy when they take too long to get that work done.

A big customer might just think, “Wow…well, this might delay things but we'll get to it eventually. No big deal” but the reality is, you can't just let your developers sit around without work for them to do while they figure out how masterpoints really are computed in each possible configuration of a pairs game. Something has to generate the money to pay your people. Even if you had the other work, you just can't pull them off of that other project every time the dithering customer comes back up for air.

Every time I hear about missing specs, I nod, thinking, “Nicolas can't and won't assume the risk the delay on them poses, and the ACBL now realizes how big a task it will be to write them”. So here the project will sit and excuses will be made about why and what really went wrong.

And it's not like I know anything I haven't read here. I've just been here on other projects with big companies that had aging IT infrastructure.
April 8, 2015
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-“I mean, if you make a bad claim, the opponents can make you play carelessly but not irrationally.”

“That turns out not to be the case.”

It doesn't? I thought the wording was “Inferior or careless, but not irrational”.

I'm all for it getting strict scrutiny. Nothing gets my dander up more than the opp who jumps on any impropriety claiming, “If I knew I could have played it better” but doesn't actually *know* how they would have (and if you ask me, needs to know right then and there in most cases).

The only case I'm sure meets this is the one described here and in the other thread I started. I need to object to the lead that is trying to be compelled out of me because I have N tricks and no entries, making it clear they are all “win now or won't ever”.

To use Jay's soccer example from the other thread:

Yes, my teammate went off-sides, but the ref, by rule, won't blow the whistle until a pass heads his way when he is in that off-sides position. If I can score without any involvement from him, that's 100% kosher. In this case, I want an even tougher standard: Clear that I won't get another chance and/or there is a peer who wouldn't do the same thing I want to do. Heck, after the poll, tell the people that they know the “location” of the penalty card to see if it matters.
April 1, 2015
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If we're going to try to be equitable. How about making sure the rules are consistent in how they award that equity? That's been my beaten dead horse since the last thread.

I mean, if you make a bad claim, the opponents can make you play carelessly but not irrationally. That's a *perfectly* good standard to apply. It's so good in fact, I think it should apply here.

The face up penalty card shouldn't require you to do something irrational. The goal of the penalty card sanction is to keep the partner of the person who showed the card from taking advantage of the UI he now possesses.

So if the opps tell the penalty card's partner to lead something irrational, he should be able to claim something like, “I have N tricks in my own hand and no other entries. I must take them now. It is a 100% decision. Nobody would make any other choice in this situation, UI or not”. The director (a/o committee later) then gets to decide if it's really 100% like anything else.

The card the guy with the long running suit wants to play couldn't possibly be suggested by any UI. That's the standard that he must follow when in possession of almost any other form of UI, right? So why in the name of sweet muppety cthulhu can't we apply that same standard here??

If the rule can require one to cease playing bridge, i.e. make me play irrationally, I suggest it is the rule and not the player that is irrational.
March 29, 2015
Joe Hertz edited this comment March 29, 2015
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Ed-

According to the rules you quote, a player must correct his revoke *if* he becomes aware of it but is under no obligation to draw his attention to fact he made it?

An individual's interpretation of this rule can cause wild swings, and there is no possible way to know when the player became aware of his infraction besides what that very player tells you.

No, this isn't going to be a recurring problem. Not at all.
March 28, 2015
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