Computer Chess Club Archives




Subject: Re: About Fafis...

Author: Vasik Rajlich

Date: 16:09:14 05/29/05

Go up one level in this thread

On May 29, 2005 at 15:08:17, Mridul Muralidharan wrote:

>On May 29, 2005 at 11:35:42, Vasik Rajlich wrote:
>>On May 29, 2005 at 08:25:02, Mridul Muralidharan wrote:
>>>On May 28, 2005 at 12:29:33, GŁnther Simon wrote:
>>>>On May 28, 2005 at 12:20:00, Vladimir Elin wrote:
>>>>>Hi Alex,
>>>>>I think that reason for you to use only engines with open sources and delete
>>>>>all engines were you can see words : alpha, beta, prunning and many many etc.
>>>>Vladimir that is really a dumb post after all...
>>>>>You idea that Patriot 2.0 is clone - full absurd.
>>>Is it really such a dumb post ? I am not sure - whenever someone mentions
>>>"clone" , I am skeptical - inspite of the number of clones that are discovered.
>>>I prefer to give the author the benifit of doubt - a genourously large benifit
>>>at that.
>>>Nothing is opensource programs is a "secret" , I mean - even if they were not
>>>opensource , the amateur (and definitely professional) authors will have arrived
>>>(or already have) at them independently : by expiriments or through available
>>>docs. I dont really see any ground breaking code or idea in any of the
>>>opensource engines today - all are straight forward implementations of the
>>>standard theory.
>>>Most , if not all , clone accusations show as "proof" something really dumb -
>>>like string search , result in a single position , behaviour of a parser (which
>>>is _not_ part of the engine as such people !) , etc - maybe these are the only
>>>possible ways to identify clones (I am not sure - and as I have posted before ,
>>>I dont really care much) , but based on such flimsy grounds people should not
>>>accuse others.
>>>When you accuse a program as a clone - you are also maligning the reputation of
>>>the author : which is the more serious thing IMHO.
>>>What Vladimir Elin is hinting at is that (I think) , people (usually non-chess
>>>engine programmers who know quiet little about the programming aspects) see
>>>something/anything strange (in their eyes) and cry wolf.
>>>Like a string search which returns strings - which might be what is defined in
>>>the pgn spec , or a binary search which returns data match (whcih might be de to
>>>a generated parser for pgn handling for book) , etc !
>>>Ofcourse wachful people are always needs to see the hints which will lead to the
>>>identification of many clones , but IMO we need a better way to decide how to
>>>identify clones.
>>>The current process seems to be : 1) Accuse 2) Flame 3) Author defends 4)
>>>mudslinging 5) Nasty posts - brining the author's whole family history to the
>>>ground 6) Challenge (to show source) 7) If 6 accepted , cleared , else branded
>>>as clone.
>>>  I dont know about others, but no I am never going to send my source code to
>>>someone I dont personally trust - even if the rest of the computer chess
>>>community might seem to.
>>>Not everyone knows what the non-opensource guys are doing in their code : and
>>>personally I do many a stupid things , but I might have something interesting
>>>too :)
>>>So why have opensource engines ? - different question anyway , we wont discuss
>>>that since it is largely an authors decision.
>>>We should try to promote the number of amateur engines so that as many people as
>>>possible should enter this field - not discourage people. (both within
>>>reasonable limits ofcourse)
>>Mridul --
>>First of all, your post makes me wonder if you are familiar with the Patriot 2.0
>>situation, but anyway those things are boring for me so let's talk philosophy
>>for a second :)
>>I've had the good or maybe bad luck to spend at least 3 years living in five
>>different countries, and I can make a certain observation. In two of these
>>countries - USA and Germany - society essentially works. Wages are decent, crime
>>is kept down, things just work. In three of these countries - Hungary, Czech
>>Republic and Poland - no offense intended to anyone, but they just don't work as
>>well. People steal from the government without getting punished, people cheat on
>>their jobs, nobody is willing to deal with various problems, etc.
>>What's the difference? A huge difference is that in Germany and USA, people
>>essentially care. If they see something wrong, they report it and attempt to
>>rectify it. This goes from cleaning up a small mess on the road, to calling the
>>police if the neighbor is beating his family, etc. Throughout Eastern Europe,
>>people are apathetic - and everybody suffers as a result.
>>Sometimes, it can seem a bit too much. I remember I had this impression when I
>>first came to the US - why is everybody so concerned with things that aren't
>>their business. In the overall picture, though, society is better for it.
>>So I certainly appreciate that there are people who are going to look into these
>>things and do something about it, rather than just endlessly holding their
>>tongue for fear of being out of line. Without it, computer chess will just be a
>Hi Vas,
>  Like I mentioned myself , we need people who will point out the
>But these are just that suspicions - a 35% binary match of the executables (egtb
>will account for that ;-) ) , a small set of common strings , a bug in the fen
>parser (I have seen multiple people misread/misinterpret the same spec - there
>will be grey areas even in the most well written specs) , etc are not enough by
>a long shot to accuse something as a clone - they can be indicators of a
>potential clone at best.
>I visit CCC less and less nowadays - and each time I do so , a new program seems
>to be accused of being a clone : personally I dont care , it is a hobby for me ,
>something I use to fill my remaining freetime with when I am not busy with other
>opensource projects I am involved with - but true , there are people who take it
>seriously and for them and for the future (if not for other reasons) we should
>try to keep this field as clean as possible.
>But that should not be at the expense of any tom dick and harry coming out and
>accusing programs of being a clone.
>That is why I said - we should have a better process for clone issue : how clone
>suspicions are raised , how they are probed into , how they are proved/disproved
>, etc : a bunch of amateurish tests should not be the basis of flame wars here.
>Makes the whole forum (and field for that matter) more and more unreadable and
>  The analogy you raised is not really valid in this context (IMHO :) ).
>I wrote a long response in this space on that - and then removed it.
>That is not the matter we are discussing here :) - it will most probably only
>expose my ignorance of the issues concerned since I have never physically been
>to the places mentioned like you though I am made aware of the ground realities
>through my friends.
>Anyway , you are correct about the first point - my understanding (from what
>little I read among the accusations and counteraccusations that kept flying
>around) was that Patriot 2 was accused of being a clone , author did not expose
>the source code , branded as a clone by the community here based on the
>circumstantial evidence found (I read a few - maybe I missed a lot more) and the
>ones I read looked not very solid to me (I have not done any research on Patriot
>and never used it for that matter , so likely that I am missing the finer points
>of the Patriot2 clone issue).
>My main problem with these accusations is that :
>1) People here follow the maxim guilty until proven innocent.
>2) Sensationalism in the accusations - I see more and more of this in the media
>where it is better to say something bad to get the max amount of publicity and
>attention : same thing is being "imported" into CCC.
>3) In general , it is the author's reputation which is more at stake than the
>program as such , and mudslinging is affecting the author's reputation (the
>accusations might or mightnot be correct).
>Hence , even if something is disproved - the result is not going to remove the
>damage already done to it !
>"An arrow which leaves the bow and a word which leaves the mouth cannot be taken
>back" - an old saying here :)
>I believe in "Innocent until proven guilty" too much (it might be a
>cultural/upbringing thing, not sure) , which is why these discussions disturb me
>Very few people seem to stick up for the author in general - like Peter Skinner
>seems to be doing right now (just skimmed through the posts now) , the more
>vocal group are the ones who are accusing. The others seem to be maintaining a
>studied silence - true , you should try not to react until you get all the facts
>- mark of a wise man , but sometimes it galls me when the more vocal group makes
>the community believe in an issue just because they keep repeating it and the
>others dont challenge or respond until everyone believes it !
>I have seen way too many "discussions" of this nature in other forums online and
>now recently in CCC also.
>Justice happens when both sides are looked at impartially : assuming people are
>really interested in getting to the roots of the problem. (which most of us in
>CCC here are I assume).
>Note : even now I am not really saying whether the programs are clones or not ,
>I dont have the data , unfortunately neither the time to investigate , or the
>patience for it right now and really appreciate the work people are puttig in
>this work.

Hi Mridul --

Ok there is no way I can write something intelligent at this hour :)

There is a balance of course between persecuting too many innocents, and
defending too many who are guilty.

I guess I don't see this particular cause as very attractive.

Here is some more stuff about it:

But frankly - I don't really care. :)


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