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Re: [computer-go] Wishlist for playing programs on KGS



ŇOn 5, Oct 2005, at 6:43 PM, Peter McKenzie wrote:

In general I've found KGS a good place to run my computer program.  There is a good range of opponents available and it is very easy to get up and running with kgtGTP.  And of course Nick's monthly tournaments are an added bonus.
 
There are a few things that are less than ideal though, so here is my wishlist of things that I'd like changed/fixed (in rough order of priority).  Interested to see what others think.
 
1. Unable to examine unfinished games.
 
 This is a basic restriction of KGS that I find quite annoying.  Say I leave my program running on KGS overnight and go to check up on it in the morning.  I will usually see that it has one or more unfinished games in its history.  I have no way of viewing the unfinished games and therefore no way of knowing why the games were unfinished.  I suspect that the opponent has usually escaped in a losing position but that is just speculation.  It could have been a scoring dispute for example.
 
I realise that this 'feature' is designed to stop cheating but to me the disadvantages seem to outweigh this factor.  A determined person could still cheat anyway.  If it really is undesirable to let the escaper load and view an unfinished game, then how about at least letting their opponent load the game?
I agree completely.

2. No easy way to tell kgsGTP to exit once the current game is finished.
 
I tend to find myself sitting around waiting for my program to finish a game before I disconnect it.  The problem can be worse if my program is playing a match vs another program, as they start another game practically immediately.
 
I'd like to be able to enter a command into kgsGTP (a simple text command) that would tell kgsGTP to disconnect from KGS once the current game is finished.
This is a huge time sink for us too. We do not want to be rude and just drop somebody, and if we do it too often then we get labeled a "serial escaper" and a whole slew of games get reset to forfeit. Not really fair. This is a feature we really need.

3. Unable to enforce settings when advertising a game.
 
Sometimes I leave my program open for rated 19x19 games.  When I do this, I don't want my program to play unrated games.  However there is no way (that I know of) to tell kgsGTP to decline unrated games.  I would prefer to be able to insist upon rated games only.
I just posed this question to WMS. His answer is:

On 3, Oct 2005, at 4:04 PM, William M. Shubert wrote:
 On Fri, 2005-09-30 at 21:25 -0700, David G Doshay wrote:
Can I set my bot up so that it accepts ONLY ranked games?


Thanks,
David

Hi David

Sorry, no. This has come up before. The way I see it, putting the robots on KGS should be a bit of a trade - you get a bunch of games for testing your program, the KGS players get a computer opponent they can play. I think that the players should have the flexibility to play the way they want, so I don't have any way for you to force people to play ranked if they don't want to. I see it as being only a small cost to you (you lose some time that could be spent on more "serious" games), but makes it a lot nicer for people who want to fiddle around and try different strategies against the computer, etc.
But to another question he mentions:

To force a 19x19 game, just return an error when you get a "boardsize" command with a size other than 19. KGS will not accept games that produce errors during setup.

We have had a much higher % of ranked games since we added in the kgs config file:

gameNotes= PLEASE ranked games only

They do not have to pay attention, but they now do what we want more often.

 4. Engine isn't told the opponent's name.
 
I would like kgsGTP to tell the program the name of the opponent. This would allow my program to write the opponent's name to its log, which would make it easier for me to track down the appropriate place in the log when I am diagnosing why the program made a particular move.
Yes, this would be useful too.

5. Engine isn't able to write a message into the game window.
 
I'd like to be able to make my engine write the occasional piece of diagnostic information to the game window.
So far this is the least useful thing for us that you have suggested. We have gotten by fine with our log file.

#2 is what I want the most ... given that we are not going to get #3.

 
thats all!
 
cheers,
Peter
Cheers,
David

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