WUStL Updates Statistics Live!: real-time Web scorekeeping

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WUStL Updates Statistics Live!: real-time Web scorekeeping

Post by The Friar »

I am pleased to announce the public beta release of WUStL Updates Statistics Live!, a new online application for real-time quizbowl scorekeeping and stats. Members of the quizbowl community are invited to create free accounts and begin learning and using the system immediately.

This release follows the first fully successful use of WUStL for a regular-season tournament, the November 12, 2011 Gateway Invitational Tournament at Washington University in St. Louis. Full stats and standings are available here.

Features:

WUStL allows tournaments to run faster, with fewer errors, using fewer staff, by eliminating paper scoresheets in favor of a point-and-click game entry interface. Using WUStL, scorekeepers and moderators can digitally enter each question as it is played and update results instantly at the end of each game.

WUStL natively supports several different good quizbowl formats. Tournament directors can specify whether or not their event will include negs, 15- or 20-point powers, and bouncebacks, and see stats calculated and reported accordingly. WUStL organizes stat reports by tournament phase (prelim, playoff, superplayoff) and bracket as appropriate.

Instead of requiring distribution of tournament-level passwords, WUStL allows tournament directors to manage their staff by approving (or ignoring) requests from users wishing to join the staff. The request system allows for better security and staff accountability while reducing communication demands on participants.

WUStL can be used in any number of game rooms at once from any computer, tablet, or smartphone with a reliable Internet connection and a Web browser. WUStL supports Mozilla Firefox and (mostly) Safari, but is optimized for Chromium/Google Chrome.

How to get started

Visit the WUStL home page at http://young-frankenstein.wustl.edu and create your free account. Once you have an account, search for tournaments to join, or create your own. Connect to your tournament and explore the intuitive, point-and-click interface.

Before using WUStL in a tournament setting, it will be helpful for all staff to have some prior experience. Teams should feel free to create test tournaments, or to use the system to keep score at practices.

How to support WUStL

WUStL is provided free of charge, and always will be. Of course, voluntary financial support of the project will not be refused.

WUStL is not currently open-source software, but if you are interested in helping with its development, please contact me. If I get around to working together with other contributors, I will need folks ready to write in PHP, JavaScript, MySQL, HTML5, and CSS3.

As stated, WUStL is currently in public beta, and developmental feedback is always appreciated. While the system is ready for live use, development of WUStL will continue as I find opportunity. If you find any issues with WUStL, please bring them up in this thread! If there are features you would like to see added, please discuss them here as well. I can't promise that all such feature requests will be prioritized, but it will always help to hear where the quizbowl community would like this project to go.
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Re: WUStL Updates Statistics Live!: real-time Web scorekeeping

Post by ryanrosenberg »

Just spent 15 minutes or so testing this out, and it seems to be workable in a game setting--the biggest hassle would be inputting all the teams and names at the beginning of the tournament and, of course, making sure everyone knows how to use the program.

I don't how this would work on IE, but if there was support for that, it'd be great, as it would allow for public high schools with draconian computer policies to use the program.
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Re: WUStL Updates Statistics Live!: real-time Web scorekeeping

Post by mhayes »

I might be wrong, but am I to understand that this program can "live-cast" match statistics?
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Re: WUStL Updates Statistics Live!: real-time Web scorekeeping

Post by The Friar »

mhayes wrote:I might be wrong, but am I to understand that this program can "live-cast" match statistics?
WUStL can "live-cast" tournament statistics. Each game's results are available online as soon as the game is over.

I'm not developing MLB Gameday for Quizbowl -- something that would allow spectators to watch games in progress is beyond my capabilities at this time.
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Re: WUStL Updates Statistics Live!: real-time Web scorekeeping

Post by Urech hydantoin synthesis »

Would there be any way to integrate the stats into SQBS after a tournament?
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Re: WUStL Updates Statistics Live!: real-time Web scorekeeping

Post by The Friar »

Dripping Springs State Park wrote:Just spent 15 minutes or so testing this out, and it seems to be workable in a game setting--the biggest hassle would be inputting all the teams and names at the beginning of the tournament and, of course, making sure everyone knows how to use the program.
Yeah, as it stands, there's a bit of a workload on the tournament director or appointed admins at the beginning of the day. Part of that is intentional: I'd like to keep tournament-wide tasks like those in the hands of a few maximally experienced people at each event rather than asking every moderator to be responsible for them. Part of that is a function of that being the easiest way to design the site; abilities like adding or renaming players may yet be added for moderators.
Dripping Springs State Park wrote:I don't how this would work on IE, but if there was support for that, it'd be great, as it would allow for public high schools with draconian computer policies to use the program.
You bring up a good point. I have largely not developed for IE so far because it's least easy for me to access and test things on; my own equipment all runs Linux. In most places, though, it's the most accessible Web browser. As development progresses, I'll test in a wider range of environments, and support for things like Internet Explorer will increase.
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Re: WUStL Updates Statistics Live!: real-time Web scorekeeping

Post by The Friar »

Tommy Tutone 2 wrote:Would there be any way to integrate the stats into SQBS after a tournament?
There are no such plans. WUStL is a replacement for software like SQBS. Anything SQBS can do, WUStL will be able to do. It's not clear what benefits users would get out of export into SQBS. Likewise, import from SQBS is also not going to be supported, since SQBS does not include question-level data.
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Re: WUStL Updates Statistics Live!: real-time Web scorekeeping

Post by Windows ME »

The Friar wrote:
Tommy Tutone 2 wrote:Would there be any way to integrate the stats into SQBS after a tournament?
There are no such plans. WUStL is a replacement for software like SQBS. Anything SQBS can do, WUStL will be able to do. It's not clear what benefits users would get out of export into SQBS. Likewise, import from SQBS is also not going to be supported, since SQBS does not include question-level data.
Well, for one, your results output is not that aesthetically pleasing [this is Canadian for "looks really ugly"] and is not as easily navigable as SQBS [SQBS allows you to jump between teams and players with one click].

Obviously with any new technology there will be some resistance but I'm thinking the option to convert to SQBS format might help you out.

(and should be worth mentioning that I definitely like this idea in theory)
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Post by The Friar »

fourplustwo wrote:Well, for one, your results output is not that aesthetically pleasing [this is Canadian for "looks really ugly"] and is not as easily navigable as SQBS [SQBS allows you to jump between teams and players with one click].
The issue of navigability is an interesting one. A link for moving between player- and team-level reports (and the round report that I'll implement very soon) would not cost a great deal of effort to add.

I hear your point about smoothing the transition for SQBS users as an argument in favor of export functionality. That said, if folks are using WUStL just to export results to SQBS, they aren't transitioning.

Furthermore, export to SQBS would take a whole lot of effort to implement. If I'm going to spend that much time on this project, I mean to spend it on making WUStL itself as great and functional as it can be, not on making it interoperable with other standards.

I hope I do not come across as hostile to SQBS. SQBS will continue to be a Great Thing in lots of situations -- in particular, at tournaments where Internet access isn't a reality, which will be lots of places (especially high schools) for many years.
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Re: WUStL Updates Statistics Live!: real-time Web scorekeeping

Post by jonpin »

Some suggestions:
* Make an "about" page (or at least a placeholder so the link doesn't 404)
* Only allow viewing of tournament phases that actually exist
* Box scores
** Ideally game-by-game individual and team stats (for GIT, I can tell that ILL-B had better stats than ILL-A but apparently lost two games, I'd like to know what the scores were and whether ILL-B negged themselves out of them or what)

I'll look around a bit more later on and maybe have some more feedback, but for now I'll just say this is a fantastic idea with an astoundingly sweet acronym.
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Re: WUStL Updates Statistics Live!: real-time Web scorekeeping

Post by The Friar »

jonpin wrote:Some suggestions:
* Make an "about" page (or at least a placeholder so the link doesn't 404)
* Only allow viewing of tournament phases that actually exist
* Box scores
** Ideally game-by-game individual and team stats (for GIT, I can tell that ILL-B had better stats than ILL-A but apparently lost two games, I'd like to know what the scores were and whether ILL-B negged themselves out of them or what)

I'll look around a bit more later on and maybe have some more feedback, but for now I'll just say this is a fantastic idea with an astoundingly sweet acronym.
About, box scores, and gamewise results (both round reports and, eventually, scoresheets) are all things already on my list of important things to do soon.

"Only allow viewing of phases that exist" would take more cleverness on my part.
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Post by The Friar »

Oh, and Illinois B did pretty much neg themselves out of both of their games against Illinois A.
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Re: WUStL Updates Statistics Live!: real-time Web scorekeeping

Post by Avram »

I'm glad to see another attempt to get tossup-by-tossup entry happening. As I've been through much of this before with my entry into the web stats world (code.google.com/p/qbsql/), I know it takes a bit of code wrangling to get anything going at all.

I'd echo the concern with the stats output-- web stats should be more interactive, with sortable columns and clickable teams. That's the kind of stuff the web is for.

Also, the SQBS format, like it or not, is a real standard for quizbowl. NAQT uses it for stats submission, and it works, despite being a little opaque. When I implemented SQBS import and export for QBSQL, it didn't take more than an evening and a description of the file format. And now people can create teams in SQBS and import them into QBSQL, or run stats in QBSQL and export them for consumption by those who prefer SQBS. So look into implementing it-- you can see my code at the address above (although keep in mind the license requirements before borrowing too much of it).

There are general issues with the interface that need to be worked out-- it could use some TLC from a person with an eye for app design, since it is more than a little confusing to navigate as it stands.
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Post by The Friar »

As noted above, clickable, navigable stats are high on the priority list. A simple Round Report will get cooked up this very weekend, or my name's not Harcourt Fenton Mudd. Things akin to team and individual details will come along subsequently. One-click sorting was supposed to happen already; some of the code is written, but I have prioritized other aspects.

It may be evident from the beta version now available that: (a) I've thought of the project all along in light of the question "What does it do?" as opposed to "How does it look (feel)?"; and (b) I've concentrated on getting the minimum necessary stuff ready to run a tournament and having that work correctly as opposed to envisioning at once all the features it should ultimately have and showing them all off at release time.

Indeed, I'll admit to being neither a professional in nor a student of how to create software. Many times, things that I figured should take me very little effort utterly exploded into giant time-sucks (in early June, I imagined I'd include automated scheduling, lol) for lack of deep knowledge. A big driver of the design choices I've made so far has been asking myself, "What will it be easiest for me to learn how to do by (the initial test at St. Charles Open in July|GIT in November|WUHSAC in January)?" A second has been, "What did the July staff find to be the biggest obstacles to usability?"

On that note, another way of stating why I don't see SQBS import/export as a high priority is that it would be a challenging, learning-intensive way of adding usability that I can probably add much more easily by writing it myself, since that writing will be similar to stuff I've already done. The reporting capabilities of WUStL are indeed going to converge to those of SQBS before the former is out of beta. At that point, it's hard to imagine what people will get out of using WUStL to produce reports on tournaments they recorded in SQBS or vice versa.

Without question, if I'd been aware of QBSQL back when I actually first started (then abandoned, to restart only this summer) this project two years ago, my first move would have been to write and ask you, "Hey, would you like to add question-level data capabilities to QBSQL? I'd write you a scorekeeper interface if you did the back end."

I definitely appreciate feedback from those with substantial experience in app design, yourself or a Ray Lehnhoff or whoever. Having looked at it once, are there any specific recommendations you have for cleaning it up? Where did the confusing portions locate, in your opinion -- the tournament control panel, the game entry interface, or elsewhere?

Thanks very much for your contributions and comments.
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Re: WUStL Updates Statistics Live!: real-time Web scorekeeping

Post by Council of Trent Reznor »

The Friar wrote:Oh, and Illinois B did pretty much neg themselves out of both of their games against Illinois A.
That was our clever plan all along.

I played Gateway, and this was the smoothest scorekeeping I've ever seen in a decade of playing quizbowl. Every room could see the results of every other room in realtime, individual stats can be reviewed anytime, without having to wait for printouts, and there's no more need for a stat keeper to enter huge piles of paper sheets before determining rebracketing or playoffs. This is absolutely revolutionary, and I'd like to be the first to congratulate Gordon for developingthis.
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Post by The Friar »

Today's updates:
  • Scoreboard
    • Scoreboard will not work with your existing test tournaments.
    • Scoreboard is not Round Report. I realize I promised Round Report.
    • So far, no individual stat lines in scoreboard, but only teams.
  • Cosmetic changes to stats tables
    • less obtrusive cell borders
    • saner cell and table widths
  • fixed two bugs in game entry page
    • "DEAD TU" no longer increments bonus number
    • -5 buttons for empty seats remain disabled from one cycle to the next
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Post by ryanrosenberg »

Having PPG or PP20TUH in the individual stats would be nice if it isn't too much work.

Scoreboard looks nice, and the cosmetic changes are much appreciated.
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Post by touchpack »

I played at GIT, and really think this is a great program that I hope sees more use in the future. One thing that I noticed though, was a couple times the system gave a team -5 for the question but did not award the player that negged the neg (obviously not a HUGE deal, but it does alter the individual stats a little).

I also agree with the issues of navigability and PP20TUH--I hope to see those issues fixed in the future.
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Post by Avram »

Since this is clearly not a commercial venture, I recommend you put the code up on Github under a nice license like AGPL, and we may yet be able to bolt together QBSQL and WUStL to make something full-featured quite quickly. In PHP and web design, showing is often easier than telling, and if it's up on GitHub we can use line comments, issue tracking and forks to actually experiment a little. If you put up the code, I'd be glad to help shepherd this to final release.
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Post by jonpin »

As I haven't had an opportunity to play around with it, I'm wondering: during a game, is a scoresheet-like substance available for viewing and editing, for if there's a score discrepancy or a protest? Come to think of it, a fantastic feature that might be useful is a button to mark a protest on a specific question at the time it occurs (and perhaps a five-second description of the nature, to avoid situations where ten minutes later at the end of the game, people have different stories about what was said or done).
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Post by The Friar »

Avram: Perhaps in the future. Eh, definitely in the future, but not right away. Having now sunk some time and effort into it, I wouldn't currently describe myself as nearly so enthused about the idea of integration with QBSQL as I would have been if I'd known about QBSQL much earlier.

Jon: The scoresheet is displayed at the bottom of the game entry page. Every time a tossup-bonus cycle is finished, a row is added to the scoresheet. In the middle of the row is a link that says "Fix", which allows the whole cycle to be re-entered. Screenshot The protest checkbox was an early design idea, but was never worked in.
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Post by The Friar »

The fourth Friday of every month will be Feature Friday at WUStL!. I'll debut new portions of the system on those dates.

In November, I'm going to present just a few very minor things: sortable individual and team stats; a checkbox to mark a tossup as being read without a bonus; and maybe, if very lucky, some improvements on the staff request/invitation system to improve user-friendliness.

In December, I'm going to provide an overhaul of the stats and standings reports, providing more reporting options and unifying their inner workings while retaining most or all of the existing style sheet. I should also succeed in providing the ability for admins to fix scoresheet errors in games already submitted. If very lucky, I'll improve the staff request/invitation system as well, unless it's already happened.

In January, I'll deal with whatever manner of import/export of data I decide to take on in this project. I've been asked about bulk import of players and teams; that could certainly happen in January. Export of data to QBSQL and/or SQBS will also be tackled at this time, if at all. If very lucky, I'll improve the staff request/invitation system as well, unless it's already happened.
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Post by The Friar »

The Tuesday before the fourth Friday of every month will be Test Tuesday. As a housekeeping measure, I'll clear out people's test tournaments every month on that date. If you wish to resume learning the system, keeping score at practice, etc., feel free to create test tournaments again.

When I get around to improving the request/invitation system, I will also go and create a public test tournament that everyone can use to learn scorekeeping. Every account will automatically have access to this tournament.
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Re: WUStL Updates Statistics Live!: real-time Web scorekeeping

Post by grapesmoker »

I know I'm late to the party, but: what are you using for development?
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Post by The Friar »

grapesmoker wrote:I know I'm late to the party, but: what are you using for development?
Server-side scripts are PHP 5 written from scratch; client-side scripts are JavaScript written from scratch (or JavaScript echoed by PHP). Other details: HTML with traces of HTML5, CSS3, MySQL Server 5.1, Apache2, Ubuntu 11.04, gedit for text editing.

The party, incidentally, is just beginning.
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Post by The Friar »

New Stuff For Feature Friday, November 25, 2011
  • Public Test Tournament: A new sandbox-type environment allowing users to learn all the features of WUStL. Every user is an admin of the public test tournament (and is made an admin again on logging in, so no one can be permanently kicked out). This will remove the need for each new user to create their own test tournaments.
  • Search and Add Staff: Admins can now look up users and add them to their tournament staff right from the tournament control panel, rather than waiting to receive staff requests from each user who wants to participate.
  • About: A page of basic description and contact information has been added.
  • Minor Changes
    • Sortable team and individual statistics
    • "Tiebreaker/No Bonus" option when scoring bonuses
    • Tournaments can be sealed by admins against future changes once complete
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Post by The Friar »

Due to unforeseen technical difficulties (read: passenger in car sat on my laptop and smashed the screen), December's Feature Friday will be delayed to the 5th Friday of the month.
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Post by Coldblueberry »

I like it a lot and it has so many features for a beta product.

Anyways, I messed around with it some more and answered a couple of my own questions so I deleted those.

A few more questions and/or bugs...

If I made a mistake on bonuses and entered like 20 instead of 30....right now the "fix" button just deletes the line. Will we be able to edit it soon? Sometimes we catch mistakes at half time and...deleting TU6/Bon6 will screw up the numbering of everything. Also, numbering please.

After submitting the game I'd like to be able to view/edit it.

There's a bug with Requests to Join Staff (or maybe lag) but I couldn't see requests for a while until I decided to try searching for a particular username in the "search for staff" option in the red box to the right. Then all of the requests showed up...

I would appreciate PPG or PP20TH but I guess ACF doesn't do 20 so...maybe an option for this. Maybe an option that's there but I haven't found.
Can the "Teams and Players" tablink be given to non-admin staff members? I'm not sure if it's very efficient to have an admin take down every roster (especially with a lot of teams) at the beginning of the tournament...room mods/scorekeepers should be able to add in names for their individual rooms.


Anyways, great program.
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Post by The Friar »

Coldblueberry wrote:If I made a mistake on bonuses and entered like 20 instead of 30....right now the "fix" button just deletes the line. Will we be able to edit it soon? Sometimes we catch mistakes at half time and...deleting TU6/Bon6 will screw up the numbering of everything. Also, numbering please.
Tossups and bonuses are numbered down the center column. As for the "Fix" link, it both deletes the row and starts a new one with the same tossup and bonus number as the deleted one. When you click "Fix", reenter the line as it should have been. The deleted row is currently just placed at the end of the scoresheet, because dropping it into the middle of the sheet is difficult. Eventually I may sit down and figure out how to do that, though.
Coldblueberry wrote:After submitting the game I'd like to be able to view/edit it.
This is one of the major improvements I have meant to make by the end of this month. Scoresheets for each game should definitely be reviewable, and admins should be able to edit them.
Coldblueberry wrote:There's a bug with Requests to Join Staff (or maybe lag) but I couldn't see requests for a while until I decided to try searching for a particular username in the "search for staff" option in the red box to the right. Then all of the requests showed up...
I don't think it's lag. I should figure out what's going on with this!
Coldblueberry wrote:I would appreciate PPG or PP20TH but I guess ACF doesn't do 20 so...maybe an option for this. Maybe an option that's there but I haven't found.
There isn't yet, but, as with the ability to view and edit scoresheets, more readout options for stats and standings constitute my priorities for work this month.
Coldblueberry wrote:Can the "Teams and Players" tablink be given to non-admin staff members? I'm not sure if it's very efficient to have an admin take down every roster (especially with a lot of teams) at the beginning of the tournament...room mods/scorekeepers should be able to add in names for their individual rooms.
It's not the most efficient thing, but giving game room staff the ability to edit rosters without, say, the abilities to add or delete teams, mess with each other's corrections, or override admin decisions would take a good chunk of effort to code up. Eventually, I hope to give moderators the ability to add or edit player names on the game entry screen. For now, my recommended solution would be to create several admins who can distribute the work of entering rosters among them.

Thanks very much for your interest! Check back in January after I've done the updates for this month and see what stuff is new.
Gordon Arsenoff
Rochester '06
WUStL '14 (really)

Developer of WUStL Updates Statistics Live!

nadph
Rikku
Posts: 253
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 4:21 pm

Re: WUStL Updates Statistics Live!: real-time Web scorekeeping

Post by nadph »

Is this still happening?

EDIT: to clarify, per Charles' post below, I mean "is development on this thing still going on?"
Last edited by nadph on Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
Nikhil Desai
Bellarmine College Prep '12
Stanford '12-'15, '18

Charbroil
Auron
Posts: 1145
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2006 11:52 am
Location: St. Charles, MO

Re: WUStL Updates Statistics Live!: real-time Web scorekeeping

Post by Charbroil »

nadph wrote:Is this still happening?
We used this at our tournament (http://www.hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewto ... AC#p234183) and it more or less worked. I don't know what the current status on this is, since I know Gordon was planning on adding more features.
Charles Hang
Francis Howell Central '09
St. Charles Community College '14
Washington University in St. Louis '19 (President, 2017-19)

Owner, Olympia Academic Competition Questions, LLC
Question Writer, National Academic Quiz Tournaments, LLC and National History Bee and Bowl

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