ProtoBowl

Packet databases and other quizbowl sites, apps, or software should be discussed here.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by Emil Nolde » Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:54 pm

So, as I said, ban tribunals can be triggered by profanity?
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by kevink » Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:40 pm

thyringe_supine wrote:So, as I said, ban tribunals can be triggered by profanity?
Not automatically, but yeah, it's enough to give others the option of starting a tribunal. We figure it's a good compromise between people who complain about profanity and people who choose to use that kind of language.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by vestben » Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:57 am

Hey Protobowlers! I've added some new question types to the database, although they are definetly for all intents and purposes in a beta phase. The first is HOSA, which was requested by a Protobowl user, and is accessible at http://protobowl.com/hosa/lobby , right now there are about 1400 HOSA questions and I'll probably be adding more as time goes on. The other type is Jeopardy, available at http://protobowl.com/jeopardy/lobby . There are currently about 2200 Jeopardy questions, though I plan to add the entire 120,000ish of them once I broadly classify them. Aside from feedback from these slightly different question types I was wondering if any of you have suggestions for other question types to further diversify the database. Of course the site still has Quizbowl roots and I also have plans to greatly expand the number of questions available on that domain as well.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by Emil Nolde » Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:50 pm

@KK Well yes, but I think that anyone whose actions wouldn't trigger a tribunal anyway would stop if someone actually said that it bothered them. I know I would, and as I said it does open a bit of a backdoor to get rid of users just because.
@BV This is cool, although I'm not familiar with HOSA. Is there any way/will one be created to enable multiple question styles at once? Does the extra part in the address change that, or does the extra part change the ability for users to create rooms?
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by vestben » Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:10 pm

thyringe_supine wrote: @BV This is cool, although I'm not familiar with HOSA. Is there any way/will one be created to enable multiple question styles at once? Does the extra part in the address change that, or does the extra part change the ability for users to create rooms?
That's actually a pretty good idea, I'll think about implementing a way to mix and match question types. Right now though the url is essentially /type/roomname and it defaults to qb if you don't have an extra parameter (which is why 'regular' rooms are just /lobby, etc, though they are also accessible as /qb/lobby). So essentially if you want to make a new jeopardy room you would type /jeopardy/your-room-name. As far as the language engaging tribunals is concerned I'll leave Kevin to figure that out, we have been thinking of other possible ways to allow people to eliminate language if they don't want to see it, such as censor bars or aliasing.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by Dewey » Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:23 am

I was also wondering when/if bonuses will get enabled. I think it would be really nice for practice and a good feature.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by vestben » Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:58 am

Dewey wrote:I was also wondering when/if bonuses will get enabled. I think it would be really nice for practice and a good feature.
We will be looking into adding more team functionality, however, at the current time the system isn't established enough to allow for bonuses to be done in a way that would make sense.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by mithokie » Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:48 pm

If I create a new room by typing in a name Example: "protobowl.com/example", can I then invite people to join me by sharing the link to that room?
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by kevink » Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:18 pm

mithokie wrote:If I create a new room by typing in a name Example: "protobowl.com/example", can I then invite people to join me by sharing the link to that room?
Yes
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by Emil Nolde » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:03 am

Hey, so, this isn't exactly a really constructive thing, but perhaps the slogan or whatever you would like to call it needs changing. You're really being too modest. It says 'doing one thing and doing it acceptably well'. In my humble opinion, it should now read 'doing a number of things acceptably well'. With all of the new features being added, I think it's definitely warranted.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by The ChatSack Triple-Play » Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:55 pm

I would suggest you impose an upper limit, say, 1000 characters, on the length of possible chat messages / question responses, since there are people pasting in enough text at once to freeze the page until it's reloaded.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by kevink » Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:34 pm

HopefullyUnknown wrote:I would suggest you impose an upper limit, say, 1000 characters, on the length of possible chat messages / question responses, since there are people pasting in enough text at once to freeze the page until it's reloaded.
Okay, the limit's been added to the release which should be deployed tomorrow or so.

As for the bug which gave fireworks to everyone, it was an odd integer overflow thing that made the algorithm think it was new year's.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by Emil Nolde » Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:59 pm

Not really able to envision how this could be implemented without making everything even more chaotic than it sometimes is, but could measures be made to allow legitimate users to ban trolls without a vote? Not really any way this could not be abused, but right now many times there are enough trolls so that they can make attempts to get rid of them futile.
Particularly, could a way to pocket ban users whose usernames contain yours be created? Sometimes trolls name themselves after me.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by jonah » Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:09 pm

thyringe_supine wrote:Sometimes trolls name themselves after me.
I think you have this backwards.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by Emil Nolde » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:31 pm

Not actually. Have you seen what goes on at times? It gets frustrating
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by vinteuil » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:18 pm

thyringe_supine wrote:Not actually. Have you seen what goes on at times? It gets frustrating
Right now: middle school geography only in the lobby, with the same 5 people reflex-buzzing on contentless, clue-less words ("this state" buzz alaska).

Maybe the lobby should be locked to HS everything? Or College everything and /hsquizbowl locked to HS everything?
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by vestben » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:53 pm

perlnerd666 wrote:
thyringe_supine wrote:Not actually. Have you seen what goes on at times? It gets frustrating
Right now: middle school geography only in the lobby, with the same 5 people reflex-buzzing on contentless, clue-less words ("this state" buzz alaska).

Maybe the lobby should be locked to HS everything? Or College everything and /hsquizbowl locked to HS everything?
Yeah it's become a very annoying problem, I think that what you are suggesting would be appropriate. I'll talk it over with Kevin and we'll try to figure something out.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by Emil Nolde » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:53 pm

Category hijacking doesn't really happen often, but what's really annoying are the offensive usernames and chat messages; especially when it starts lagging as a result.

Perhaps could users who themselves have recently triggered the banhammer icon be disallowed from voting in ban tribunals?
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by Cheynem » Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:40 pm

I peeked into this a few times--with all due respect to the technological innovation that produced it, it's terrible. It's obviously just people cheating, making racist/offensive comments, and playing on sets they've read a million times. I can't see how this would be enjoyable or recommended for anyone and I will strongly advise all new players to avoid it.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by vinteuil » Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:07 pm

Cheynem wrote:It's obviously just people cheating...and playing on sets they've read a million times.
Actually, this is some of the attraction of it for me—it's strategically like playing against a very good team.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by vestben » Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:11 pm

Cheynem wrote:I peeked into this a few times--with all due respect to the technological innovation that produced it, it's terrible. It's obviously just people cheating, making racist/offensive comments, and playing on sets they've read a million times. I can't see how this would be enjoyable or recommended for anyone and I will strongly advise all new players to avoid it.
You might not see why it's enjoyable because of the idiocracy of /lobby, I implore you to try it in a private room by yourself or with friends, and then reconsider your stance on Protobowl. I believe that the app is a helpful thing for new players as it allows you to learn the format and content of quizbowl questions in a dynamic and fun environment, I don't know of any other option that are similar. Reading packets is terribly boring and quizbowldb is nearly the same. Protobowl is supposed to emulate playing real QuizBowl with real people, and people can be offensive and rude so just move away from them, it's only a click away.

Edited - My initial response was not very well thought out, sorry if I came off as insulted, rude, or hostile.

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Last edited by vestben on Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by conquerer7 » Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:25 pm

Well, that's why our school has a room just for our team. The lobby is terrible... At times, our room has expanded in improv matches to include several of the best NJ quizbowlers. I imagine the same goes for a lot of other good teams.

Going a different direction from Ben, I've found it valuable simply because I can get a continuous stream of science, instead of having to open a new packet every 4 questions. That's made my practice far more efficient. And, if you're not out to use it to learn things, and just want to compete, there's nothing faster than this.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by AKKOLADE » Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:40 pm

vestben wrote:You're obviously making assumptions based on a limited exposure to the application and you seem to be easily offended by what most consider to be normal internet banter, you also don't seem to be aware that you can easily get away from it. The public rooms, i.e. /lobby, is indeed a place where people who want to be annoying congregate, there is simply no way to stop that, you can however click the new room button and play by yourself or with friends. The attitudes of people in the public rooms is a product of the internet and the people who derive joy from making people angry, the application itself is by no means at fault for this or a cause of the behavior.
Hey, so, I've been to a few parts of this "Internet" we're discussing. Racist discussions are typically only on the crappy, racist parts of it. Saying that it's representative of the Internet is wrong, to say the least.
Cheating is also nearly impossible, or at least its difficult enough that it isn't widespread, so either you're getting beat by people who are better than you or you are just mad that others know things you do not.
Pretty sure that Mike Cheyne does not have a case of the umadbro blues motivating his complaints.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by Cheynem » Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:56 pm

First of all, I want to make it clear that I was not impugning the people who developed ProtoBowl--in terms of technology and application, it's fine. By me saying it is terrible, I am referring to its uses, not the intent or design behind it.

Some responses:

1. Yeah, I admit I was only in the lobby, which to be honest, is where newer people would enter in the first place, so it's their exposure to it. I don't doubt that if you play it privately with people that you know, you can get some utility out of it, sure.

2. Maybe this was "normal Internet behavior" that I saw in which people were threatened with bans every five seconds, people routinely called each other profanity-filled insults and racial slurs, and accused each other of cheating. But it's not a kind of normal that I find very productive.

3. Cheating is not impossible. I'm not a high school player, but I saw at least 4 questions I remember from NSC's I've staffed at that I remembered the answer to. If you played ProtoBowl frequently, you'd remember questions. It happens. There were at least 8 times I saw in the ten minutes I watched that people would buzz on the first clue that I seriously doubt are buzzes obtained from anything other having seen the question at some point.

4. I admit that there are certainly lots of people better than me, but I'm not complaining out of sour grapes since I was barely playing anyway and don't plan on going back.

5. I'm sorry if you found my comment brash and unhelpful, but I sincerely believe this is not a good program for people to learn or get utility from unless I guess they set up a private room that they can control themselves. The lobby and other uncontrolled main rooms that I have observed are not good environments for quizbowl. Again, this is not a slam on you, the designers, or the program in and of itself, but in how people are using it.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by kevink » Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:37 am

Cheynem wrote:I peeked into this a few times--with all due respect to the technological innovation that produced it, it's terrible. It's obviously just people cheating, making racist/offensive comments, and playing on sets they've read a million times. I can't see how this would be enjoyable or recommended for anyone and I will strongly advise all new players to avoid it.
I guess I'll try to respond to this as well as to distinguish my opinion from Ben's.

Protobowl is run, perhaps undesirably, in a very laissez faire manner. Daily it reaches periods wherein over 60 players are active (with almost twice that number online), and we simply don't have the resources to hawkishly enforce a nanny state. But even at those peak hours, the number of active users on lobby rarely ever exceeds 10. The vast majority of Protobowl users are on private rooms for private study or for a particular team. The behavior on lobby isn't at all indicative of the holistic culture of Protobowl users.

We have perhaps unduly neglected the importance of shaping a culture. For a close knit team, this isn't an issue. But that laissez faire dynamic usually falls apart in communities of strangers.

And if there are any weird typos that will be because I wrote this on my phone
The existing incarnation of Protobowl is almost entirely my work, and the design is based much more on technical merit than community building. It works great offline as well as online and seamlessly transitions between single and multiplayer situations. Names can be updated retroactively in real time, a cool albeit useless feature. Chat messages show up as they're being typed (I was fairly active on Google Wave when it was not totally dead, and it was a sort of homage to what it could have been).

These aren't technically trivial features, and that's in part why they're there. The problem of racism, whether technically rooted or not, might stem from this anonymity. It's true that racism is not rampant in the Internet as a whole, but it's endemic to places lacking in competent moderators.

Incidentally the numerous quasi democratic voting schemes in Protobowl are more often than not useless. Because there aren't any established standards, rather, people simply base acceptable behavior on the status quo, only the most egregious offenders are duly punished.

The fact that going to Protobowl.com redirects to the lobby is really the product of technical lethargy. I don't want to make a qualified home page unless it's done well. Maybe the anonymity and racism should be preserved somewhere, but it's certainly not a healthy part of of the first time user experience.

Fortunately the next incarnation which is spearheaded by Ben has some semblance of a proper home page. Ideally we can move into the realm of personalized one on one type matches which are generated with reference to category and difficulty preferences. Because frankly even if it were rid of racists and cheaters, the people there are much too advanced to mesh well with new players.

In the mean time, perhaps it would be a good idea to delegate moderator privileges to certain people here to protect lobby. Anyone interested in volunteering can post a reply here or pm me.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by Matt Weiner » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:23 am

Yeah, I find it patently ridiculous for people to get up in arms about linking new players, coaches, and teams to THIS site under the premise that they will be "attacked" and made to feel "unwelcome" because of things said to occasional idiots years in the past, but everyone's first response to new players asking to improve is to send them to ProtoBowl so they can get bombarded with the most heinous racial slurs imaginable and an endless succession of mystifying "ban tribunals" while the two people who are actually there to practice quizbowl keep answering questions they've previously memorized on the third word.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by Capitoline » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:27 am

conquerer7 wrote:The lobby is terrible...

I've found it valuable simply because I can get a continuous stream of science, instead of having to open a new packet every 4 questions. That's made my practice far more efficient. And, if you're not out to use it to learn things, and just want to compete, there's nothing faster than this.
I agree, using the main lobby is a complete waste of time because of racists as well as people who already know the questions. However, private lobbies avoid both these flaws, and are useful for practicing questions in one category.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by Emil Nolde » Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:06 pm

Lobby does have merit . . .
To be sure, it's absolutely nuts at times, and has attracted many less-than-ideal users, but there's certainly a not-so-very fine line between saying the app harbors hate speech and is bound to give the quizbowl community a bad rap and feeding and/or joining the trolls. Just because you're Jane Goodall doesn't mean you must be vehemently for or against the flinging of excrement.

I think that if the infrastructure of the site should be changed, there should be a place for hooligans. Particularly, I think this is because I seriously doubt there'd be a way to keep that down entirely. Besides, to be perfectly honest, it isn't really, in small doses, THAT bad. I mean, yes, the maturity level is at about -273.15 degrees Celsius, but I don't think really warrants anything more than a small sigh.

Also, seriously, I was unaware of the factoid on private-room usage. I've only ever used them when lobby lag was too great or when my friends or teammates were on.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by vinteuil » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:13 pm

thyringe_supine wrote:I think that if the infrastructure of the site should be changed, there should be a place for hooligans.
The room for banned people is called /b for a reason
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by Capitoline » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:51 pm

thyringe_supine wrote:Lobby does have merit . . .
To be sure, it's absolutely nuts at times, and has attracted many less-than-ideal users, but there's certainly a not-so-very fine line between saying the app harbors hate speech and is bound to give the quizbowl community a bad rap and feeding and/or joining the trolls. Just because you're Jane Goodall doesn't mean you must be vehemently for or against the flinging of excrement.
The lobby certainly does harbor hate speech at times, though not always, and this is certainly a detriment to my experience using it.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by Emil Nolde » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:39 pm

perlnerd666 wrote:
thyringe_supine wrote:I think that if the infrastructure of the site should be changed, there should be a place for hooligans.
The room for banned people is called /b for a reason
I was actually under the impression that it stood for /banned. If that's what they meant, then most certainly /lobby should be renamed, because I would guess that once they're voted off the island, the banned user either finds a way back on or logs off, because he/she isn't getting to annoy users, so /lobby would have more of those characteristics, as the random place where people don't censor themselves. I don't think /b has really been used very much at all.
And I don't mean that there should be a holding cell, really, there should just be a place where certain kinds of behavior aren't policed. If you pollute the good userbase, you aren't restricted to the one room, you're banned from all rooms.
It would be for users who choose to go there, not for users who would choose to harass others on purpose. Those guys get excluded.
Capitoline wrote:
thyringe_supine wrote:Lobby does have merit . . .
To be sure, it's absolutely nuts at times, and has attracted many less-than-ideal users, but there's certainly a not-so-very fine line between saying the app harbors hate speech and is bound to give the quizbowl community a bad rap and feeding and/or joining the trolls. Just because you're Jane Goodall doesn't mean you must be vehemently for or against the flinging of excrement.
The lobby certainly does harbor hate speech at times, though not always, and this is certainly a detriment to my experience using it.
I wasn't really talking about the one room, I was speaking more of the whole thing. Besides, if you find it offensive, go somewhere else, though I personally am not bothered. I don't really take 'hate speech' to be someone spamming profanity. I take 'hate speech' to be more intelligent and malicious in intent, a coordinated attempt to make people feel bad. There's a difference between being dumb and being mean. Between using words and meaning them. If people can't tell the difference, then I'm not sure how exactly you get along with people in real life
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by Auroni » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:51 pm

Way to further reinforce the idea that new teams and people should not use Protobowl.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by Cheynem » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:58 pm

When I interact with people--my friends, my family, my colleagues--I do not routinely use racial slurs, homophobic words, or malicious profanity.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by Emil Nolde » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:32 am

Fine, but there are some people that do, in certain situations, use bad words. But I do agree, people who are bothered by this activity should not use /lobby if it affects them that much.
However, I would also say that frankly, that's being rather reactionary, and I would advise anyone who gets offended by this to try to develop a thicker skin. Profanity is a part of the English language, and I think it's unrealistic to expect people to not use it just because you don't want to hear it.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by mhayes » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:34 am

There's a difference between being dumb and being mean. Between using words and meaning them. If people can't tell the difference, then I'm not sure how exactly you get along with people in real life
Homophobic, racist, and sexist insults go beyond the threshold of simply "being dumb". I hope you understand this.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:46 am

thyringe_supine wrote:Fine, but there are some people that do, in certain situations, use bad words. But I do agree, people who are bothered by this activity should not use /lobby if it affects them that much.
However, I would also say that frankly, that's being rather reactionary, and I would advise anyone who gets offended by this to try to develop a thicker skin. Profanity is a part of the English language, and I think it's unrealistic to expect people to not use it just because you don't want to hear it.
I think you're really missing Mike's point here, James. There's a huge difference between simple "profanity" and racial/sexual/ethnic/whatever slurs, and you can see part of that difference in the fact that profanity is banned only in the high school section of this forum and slurs are banned everywhere. Even out of context, slurs serve to create an uncomfortable and hostile environment. Mike Cheyne as a college player approaching the end of grad school and thus probably the end of his career (I'll miss you, Mike!), is not protobowl's target audience and seems to have just wanted to see what it's all about. His point is that the lobby, the current introduction to the site, seems likely to drive off new players, who should be at least part of the target audience of a tool designed to help people practice and study. Some of these people are legitimately quite young and may not have had much exposure to obscenities, and it's the job of a tool that aims to help people to welcome them on its entrance page rather than make them immediately uncomfortable. Hopefully the future dedicated homepage Kevin mentioned above will eliminate this issue. Otherwise I hope to see fewer people answering questions of "I'm new, how do I get better?" with "protobowlprotobowlprotobowl."
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:50 am

If you have defeatist attitudes like "that's just how the internet is", then bigoted "jokes" certainly will always be just how the internet is.

(preemptive "bigoted jokes are not exempt from criticism" remark here)
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by Emil Nolde » Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:05 am

Fine, that's probably true, but when it comes down to it, how is it helpful to say "This is terrible, people do bad things here"? It's certainly better to light a candle than to curse the darkness, but if you can't find a match, then I'd say that it's in your best interest to develop night vision.
Protobowl is a good and useful tool, so what is the purpose of pretty much slamming the guys that have worked hard to fix this and many other problems? Instead of sticking thumbs in beltloops and saying "I disapprove of this", why not try to work on the changes you'd like to see?
But at the present, seeing as the problem has been going on for a while, it would seem that if you personally aren't going to work on making it better, you should either be quiet about your negative opinions or learn to accept things as they are.

tl;dr If you're so opposed to the way things are, either keep quiet or try to support the app in ways you think are appropriate. Complaining like this is pretty stupid, I think, and right now it's annoying me more than these venomous trolls.

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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:14 am

I don't think anyone's slamming Ben and Kevin here. They made a cool thing that required lots of technical skill and has a lot of potential utility. What people are saying is that some sort of effort should be made to have a more user-friendly entrance to the site so that no one feels unable to enjoy Ben and Kevin's product, whether that be from increased moderation (see the call upthread for someone willing to do that, though unfortunately so far it seems that the only people who care about the experience of new players are much older players who have no use for protobowl and no time to spend monitoring it) or from a different entrance to the site such as some kind of stable homepage without chatter on it. I really don't understand why you feel the need to continue defending moronic, immature behavior at the expense of younger players' learning opportunities.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by vinteuil » Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:22 am

The Laughing Cavalier wrote:whether that be from increased moderation (see the call upthread for someone willing to do that, though unfortunately so far it seems that the only people who care about the experience of new players are much older players who have no use for protobowl and no time to spend monitoring it).
I have started moderating after inquiring via PM to Kevin. I actually haven't encountered any major offenders yet (maybe the presence of a moderator helps by itself), although I've only been on for about an hour total today.

I want to see ProtoBowl turn into a great experience for everyone, and I think that increasing moderating presence will help.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:31 am

perlnerd666 wrote:
The Laughing Cavalier wrote:whether that be from increased moderation (see the call upthread for someone willing to do that, though unfortunately so far it seems that the only people who care about the experience of new players are much older players who have no use for protobowl and no time to spend monitoring it).
I have started moderating after inquiring via PM to Kevin. I actually haven't encountered any major offenders yet (maybe the presence of a moderator helps by itself), although I've only been on for about an hour total today.

I want to see ProtoBowl turn into a great experience for everyone, and I think that increasing moderating presence will help.
Yay! Happy to see high schoolers looking out for their fellow players. I've been around too long to really understand the recent surge in popularity of online study tools (5 years ago when I first looked for a packet database probably a third as many existed, and they weren't terribly well stocked, especially of high school material, so you guys are really in a brave new world of options), but if they're going to benefit established players, I see no reason they shouldn't also provide a space for newbies. The chance to interact with other quizbowlers should be a good experience, not a hostile one.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by Emil Nolde » Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:35 am

I'm not trying to defend moronic or hostile behavior, I am just trying to see whether there is a way to make the experience enjoyable for everyone, without enforcing some sort of 'nanny state' as I believe was mentioned upthread.

@perlnerd Ah, so you are Pierre de la Rue.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by Cheynem » Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:36 am

I again want to be clear that I'm not thrashing anyone's work and I think by itself this is a cool program. I probably should have phrased my initial post more carefully, but basically I had seen a lot of people giving advice to use protobowl or praising it as a learning tool. I checked it out and found it very confusing, disappointing, and toxic. If people stepped up to improve it either through moderating or making it more apparent to new users how to use it properly, then, sure, I think it could be more useful.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by vinteuil » Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:41 am

thyringe_supine wrote:I'm not trying to defend moronic or hostile behavior, I am just trying to see whether there is a way to make the experience enjoyable for everyone, without enforcing some sort of 'nanny state' as I believe was mentioned upthread.
I think that the economics analogies aren't really helpful here; this is a service that is provided, not a government. Protobowl is a wonderful service, and protobowl.com can grow to be a nice community; as I posted before here, it's a lot of fun to play on teams of people who don't know each other, and this spirit of friendly competition (with other teams) and cooperation can definitely be extended to the lobby as a whole. Of course, there is no reason not to leave the private rooms as freely customizable as possible.
thyringe_supine wrote:@perlnerd Ah, so you are Pierre de la Rue.
Yeah, I play as a composer (whose name I've mentioned on these forums before, I think), big shock. It's public knowledge.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by AKKOLADE » Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:46 am

thyringe_supine wrote:I'm not trying to defend moronic or hostile behavior, I am just trying to see whether there is a way to make the experience enjoyable for everyone, without enforcing some sort of 'nanny state' as I believe was mentioned upthread.
"I'm against a 'nanny state' where people are told to not post slurs in a tool that's supposed to help draw new people to quiz bowl/help people improve at quizbowl, but I'm okay with telling other people to not complain about this."

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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by Auroni » Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:15 am

This is the simplest thing imaginable. New people want a resource to help them improve at quizbowl. The Protobowl lobby is tainted with racist, sexist, and homophobic content. Therefore, new people should not be directed to Protobowl until all of the racist, sexist, and homophobic content goes away.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by Emil Nolde » Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:55 am

Hey, look at me, this is me quietly and gently setting the issue down, like you might deposit an orphan-containing basket on a doorstep, and then tiptoeing away and vanishing into the vastness of the night. As I do so, a small subtle whisper tickles your ear.
It says:
What we do or do not agree is or is not appropriate within the confines of this thread is unlikely, I think, to motivate new users to use or not use it. Therefore, I would say that makes it even more pointless to argue over. Most likely, those who have used it will continue to do so, and those who won't probably wouldn't have started anyway.


So, on to more practical things. As I mentioned earlier, I had no idea private rooms now hold the majority of traffic. What exactly would the statistical breakdown look like between private and public room usage? Do people who use private rooms usually just stay by themselves?

Also, is it likely that some sort of theme gallery may be implemented? As well designed as the interface is, I'd relish the opportunity to change it up some. How about . . . lavender. Yeah, that sounds cool.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by Cheynem » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:08 am

Saying something in italics does not make it true.

The point for me, anyway, is not new people using ProtoBowl more or less, but in using it in a productive, useful way.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by kevink » Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:03 pm

Some updates:
  • Ban tribunals can not be created if one or more moderators are present and active
  • You can't run immediately again for access to the room settings if your previous election campaign was unsuccessful (If you ran, and not enough people voted, you can't run again for 4 minutes, and if you ran and more than half of the people voted deny, you can't run again for 12 minutes)
  • Likewise if you unsuccessfully try to levy a tribunal against someone, you aren't allowed to create other ban tribunals for some amount of time
  • The profanity filter is more sophisticated, actually, it's probably overengineered now, but it's still not that reliable.
  • Moderators can ban anyone from the extra info popovers of the leaderboard
  • New multi-level authorization management system (0 = normal users, 1 = unlocked rooms or elected user, 2 = designated moderator/admin, 3 = secret ninja).
  • There's now a custom "topic" (a la irc) property of rooms which can be set by secret ninjas (i.e. Ben or me). It shows up as a box below the timer, and it could be used to contain a short list of rules/etc.
  • There's a silent mode which can be enabled by secret ninjas (i.e. Ben or me) which stops everyone except auth level 2 or higher (secret ninjas and moderators) from saying anything
  • Pausing can be disabled by secret ninjas
  • There's a no_escalate mode which can be enabled by secret ninjas which prevents the room settings from being altered by anyone
Some non-spamming related things
  • The leaderboard popovers no longer have difficulty closing properly sometimes
  • New class of notifications which only show up for the user that triggered it
  • Users get disconnected if they've been idle for over an hour to reduce lingering server connections
  • IP bans now last longer (25 minutes instead of 15)
  • Keeps track of correct streaks
  • Improved personal message style chats. You can press @ (shift + 2) to start a message to a certain user, or you can press "w". When you press "w" again, it'll automatically fill in your last personal message recipient. "t" means sending a message to your current team.
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Re: ProtoBowl

Post by Auroni » Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:33 pm

One thing you can do instead of creating endless ban filters is to integrate Protobowl with Facebook, so that people use their real names in the lobby and in games. That way, you remove their cover of anonymity and make them accountable for disgusting things that they say.
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