Computer Chess Club Archives




Subject: Re: About Fafis...

Author: Vasik Rajlich

Date: 12:45:05 05/30/05

Go up one level in this thread

On May 30, 2005 at 11:57:01, Mridul Muralidharan wrote:

>On May 30, 2005 at 05:11:50, Vasik Rajlich wrote:
>>On May 30, 2005 at 04:00:22, Mridul Muralidharan wrote:
>>>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) ,
>>I tend to think like this myself but over time I've come to realize that if
>>everybody was like this, there would be a lot of robbers and thieves floating
>Well , not everyone thinks that way (unlike you and me :) ) - general people
>usually are the first to brand someone as a criminal on the basis of flimsy
>evidence : usually what gets fed to them through the media and based on
>sensational/gruesome facts.
>As an individual , everyone is free to form their own opinions (and he does not
>need to justify/defend it to anyone).
>But before we (as a community) declare that something is a clone , get it
>removed from tourny's , brand the author as a clone-creater , etc (which could
>be considered parallel to dishing out a verdict in court ?) we should try to be
>more rigourous.
>For me personally it is not important whether program X (whether written by me
>or not) is branded as a clone : since I do think for kicks during free time ,
>but not everyone will take this attitude : and I want to give those people
>support who might not be very vocal or have a large support group - until
>atleast it is conclusively proved.
>>A lot of wrongdoing depends on the uncertainty of the audience - people may
>>pretty much understand what is happening, but they can't "prove" it, while
>>others are talking about "innocent until proven guilty" and in other ways
>>rewarding doing nothing. In the meantime, the robbers are laughing all the way
>>to the bank.
>Very true - we have way too many incidents in nearly all countries about people
>who have scammed , conned , robbed (some going into billions of dollars) and
>still walk around free.
>I heard that a murderer in highly publicized case in US also escaped this way
>(vaguely remember hearing something like this).
>But that does not remove the fundamental tennent of the justice system , which
>is justice and the accused is held innocent until proven guilty.
>In some case , this gets modified as proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt -
>which is when a really unlucky innocent guy gets the sentence based on
>circumstantial evidence. (I dont know how many actual cases have gone through
>like this , but there are way too many movies here which highlight these
>loopholes here :) )
>Innocent until proven guilty does not mean that the robbers get to roam around
>It means that the system will not brand someone as a criminal until the
>investigation is over and all sides of the case/arguments are looked into - the
>case is still in active scrutiny and until it is cleared , it will be ...
>There just wont be a bias against the accused. (Example : society looking at a
>chain killer with very hostile viewpoint , if public decide his case, he will
>get lynched - but if justice is to be served , the court will hear his side ,
>give him oppurtunatet to defend (most important !) and then decide impartially
>on the basis of the facts presented - not on passion).

The cases where this really becomes a tricky area is when it's pretty obvious to
anybody with some common sense what has happened, but there is still the
question of going through the correct process.

For example - imagine that you are a cop trying to put Al Capone in jail.
Everybody knows he should be there, but you haven't been able to formally
collect the evidence. Now, you have a chance to illegally sieze the key
evidence, in such a way that you'll still get it admitted. Do you do it?

Actually, there was a really cool (and really old) movie about this sort of
thing. The name was something like "The Star Chamber" or maybe "Red Star
Chamber". A bunch of cops got sick of criminals wiggling out by legal loopholes
and technicalities, so they made a secret group. They would meet, review a case,
and if they voted unanimously that the guy was guilty, one of them would get the
task to kill him. I think you can probably guess how the plot developed :)


>>That's what happens when things start to fall apart.
>>Of course this is all maybe a bit too dramatic for copying some computer chess
>>code. BTW - do check out that link - it's pretty funny IMHO ...
>Very true :)
>I did look at the website and had a real good laugh :)
>One important question I had though was - I would be scandalised with the nodes
>to depth and branching factor :-)
>PS : Feeling damn sleepy , so maybe the post is semi to full rambling and
>totally incoherent - will rephrase/repost if that is the case tommorrow morning
>Personally I get disturbed when I see accusations like this - I like to keep the
>field clean if possible with as much cooperation between contributors : ah well
>, I like to live in utopia :-D

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