Computer Chess Club Archives




Subject: Re: About Fafis...

Author: Mridul Muralidharan

Date: 01:00:22 05/30/05

Go up one level in this thread

On May 29, 2005 at 19:09:14, Vasik Rajlich wrote:

>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. :)

Hi Vas,

  Thanks for the link - will look into it later today.
My understanding of the legal system (atleast over here) is that even if a
thousand guilty escape , one innocent should not be punished.

But you are correct - even I dont really care about clone issue (you publish the
source , you expect others to use it - else dont publish it !) , and as I said
before , if I ever do opensource any of my programs , I still wont care if
someone clones them :)
All this discussions is just to support the rest who do and the lend moral
support to the programmers in general :-D
In most of clone "discussions" here (I might have missed some) , I always
support the programmer even when the evidence seems a bit too overwhelming and
back off only when it becomes a certainity ... maybe it is just the romantic in
me :)
Even if initially through a clone , I would prefer more people getting into a
field - later on they might start off on their own and create something really
interesting (ideas I mean - I dont care much about implementation details) ,


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