KGS forum at SL discussion

    Keywords: Online Go

Hello all,

Apologies in advance if this notice is misplaced: please feel free to move it somewhere more appropriate.

I'm writing with great sadness to relate that Paul Pojman, who went by qipoj on KGS, passed away this week after a brief battle with lung cancer. Go was a lifelong love of Paul's, and I believe that playing on KGS with other students of the game was a great source of happiness to him. If you knew Paul through KGS, please feel welcome to share a memory at

Blake: I haven't been active in a while, as I always drop away from Go during the school term, but since my return I have noticed an extremely large number of KGS topics on Sensei's Library. I'm a fan of KGS myself (and have played there for a long while), but would this not be better served with some sort of official KGS board? Right now, KGSTeachers, KGSMentoringScheme, KGS Teaching Ladder / Games List, KGS Teaching Ladder / Archives, KGS Rooms / English Chat Room (a lovely little r.g.g-like flame war), KGS Wishlist / Game Handling, KGS Wishlist / General UI, KGS Teaching Ladder / Games List 2, KGS Issue - Escapers, KGS Issue - Client Memory Consumption, and KGSStatus all appear in the last two days. I humbly submit that this is just a tad ridiculous, especially as the KGS topics seem to outnumber the non-homepage, go-related modifications in the same timeframe.

Dave: So what is your point? I do not contribute to the KGS pages myself (with rare exceptions) but what is there about enthusiasm on the part of others that offends you? :-) The search page returns 57 pages with KGS in the title (out of 8700 odd currently). If you wish to complain about us slackers for not posting more on the other 8650 pages, be more blunt about it I say. Go ahead, get it off your chest! However, I think you ought to make an exception in Unkx80's case, he has been doing more than his fair share in cleaning up the problem pages. ;-)

Blake: It doesn't offend me, per se, but, at the same time, it just seems like it might be better suited to a message board provided by Kiseido or somesuch. And I'm bothered by the spilling over of the current debates about KGS adminning policy. I know the old server wars spilled over to some extent, but do we really need SL inheriting the r.g.g problems? Just my two cents.

Neil: most of the pages you cite have nothing to do with the r.g.g silliness, and if SL can't be used for things like teaching, then it's doomed to be come a dull shell of an encyclopedia.

Blake: Well, I must admit that, when I discovered this most recent crap, I probably went a bit overboard. My problem is not generally with the teaching subjects, but the things like KGSWishlist and its various deriviatives seem fairly unrelated to Sensei's Library. For things like technical problems, discussions of policy, feature requests, and so forth, is Sensei's Library really the place? I don't think so. SL is about go, not about any particular server. Kiseido is able to fund and support KGS, correct? Why don't they also provide a discussion forum for this sort of thing? By all means, keep the actual, valuable-to-the-entire-community things, like teaching and so forth, here; but send the things that most people won't be interested in elsewhere. :) My total is now $.06, I guess...

unkx80: For some reason, wms doesn't seem to want to set up some forum on the Kiseido servers, so I guess we will have to bear with it for the moment...

Hu: The solution of first resort for "bad speech" (speech created by a first party but not desired by a second party) is not to delete the "bad speech", but to create more "good speech". This is especially easy on a Wiki. Those who like freedom of speech and have thought about the issue realize that it is the disliked speech of the despised minorities that needs to be protected.

I think it is fabulous that a group of devoted Go players is eager to create, maintain, and extend the aforementioned 57 pages to help themselves enjoy their Go experience better. How can this be "not Go" or not desirable?

An exception to the "more speech" rule is the way SL has avoided almost all of r.g.g silliness. If things become too heated, then the heat is edited out. There is no reason to imagine this won't continue. Think of it as the chilling phase of the distillation of knowledge.

Issues that may seem to be of a technical nature relating to a server have a place here. To draw an analogy, we would not want to delete technical discussions about gobans, stones, and other equipment such as clocks. Consider a client / server combo to be yet more "equipment". Similarly we do not delete pages that relate to Go clubs. Consider your favorite server and not so favorite Go servers to be clubs.

It makes no sense to restrict pages to "valuable-to-the-entire-community things". For example, some people have no interest in Rengo, small boards, Go history, or variants. We would not think of deleting those pages. Furthermore, who would decide which large groups of pages would not be valuable to the entire SL community?

Arno: well said, Hu. If things ever get out of hand, we can always take the RecentChangesGames approach and create a separate RecentChanges page for discussions. After all, noone is concerned about KGS having some 60 pages (0.66% of all pages) on SL, but that it takes up more space in RecentChanges.

Blake: I see what you're saying. At the same time, though, to me this looks like something Kiseido needs to provide which they are currently failing to do--and so Sensei's Library is being used for it. Sensei's Library is not the optimal location for that sort of thing (witness the recent flap over "censorship" after Arno edited something). The problem with your idea, Arno, is that it doesn't distinguish between types of discussion. Seeing bullet point 482 on the KGSWishList, and then the subsequent thirty responses, and then the editing and moving it to KGSBulletPoint482Discussion?... none of that interests me. A problem's solution, and the discussion of that solution, might though. Would both of these pages be "discussion" of the same type? Would one be sequestered while the other wasn't? If not, how do you determine the difference? And, if you insist that there is a difference, how do you define that difference? Isn't determining a difference such as that, and applying it proactively, essentially just saying "this doesn't really belong here, but instead of saying so, I will put it in the 'KGS Discussion' category?" I humbly suggest that KGS is much less widely used in the go community than gobans, stones, and other such equipment.

Also--regarding "editing out" the "heat." This would apparently not be acceptable to some people, as there have been posts recently attacking Arno for "censorship," as I said before. An illustration of my fears about the involvement of Sensei's Library in the Perpetual Flamewar, I'm afraid. $.08

unkx80: Although I do not participate in the KGS discussions, I am guilty of having moving stuff into KGSxxxDiscussion. But we have to take care of people who browsers cannot handle long pages, no? And then soon, I guess this discussion will be moved to some KGSxxxDiscussion. Anyway, I am outta this discussion.

Dieter: Indeed. Imagine all real life clubs would discuss their internal etiquette on Sensei's Library. Whether this part of the room would be for those who like tournament conditions (silence, no smoke) and that part for social activities and how many square inches should be allocated to either activity. Imagine bulletin board for all real life clubs with results and announcements. That is not the same as informing the Go world of your existence. Since servers are easily accessible for everyone, it is a good thing that we are extensively informed about the services offered. I'm sure that is what Blake intended to say and no I don't think he has to come up with a positive alternative or provide Go content as a counterweight to the KGS bulk he experiences as unfit for this environment.

Neil: The censorship "flap" was a non-issue. A non-participant of SL tried to turn me into a victim for his pet cause, but he failed miserably. I'd worry more if an actual SL participant threw a fit.

Hu: It is suggested that speech about the minority's concerns be deleted because KGS is not used by the majority of Go players. Minority speech needs protection. Just because my goban is fabricated from rented electrons does not make it any less worthy than another person's.

In editing out heat, we should not be surprised if sometimes the distilled product is revaporised. This too is part of the distillation process. If we have faith in the Wiki process, we can confidently expect the distillation to be effective even if it takes time or several runthroughs.

Unfortunately, it seems that the original objector has not proposed any other SL solution than to delete the material he objects to.

Fwiffo: Perhaps the heirarchy of KGS pages needs some sort of uber-refactoring/WME. There are some obsolete pages, stubs and some pages that ought to be combined. Do KGS Tutors and KGS Teachers need to be separate pages? What about KGS Client Support for Mac OS 9 and KGS Issue - Client Memory Consumption? Are they useful to anyone right now? Neither is a good WikiName - maybe there should be a single generic KGS Technical Issues? page for stuff like that (with obsolete discussion getting pruned over time). The KGS User's Guide could do with some refactoring - is that the intent of KGS Tips? Could debates about policy, such as KGS Rooms / English Chat Room all be isolated to KGS Rooms / Policy Discussion?

Anyhow, I certainly am not in favor of removing too much of the KGS stuff on Sensei's, but I do agree that it's gotten to the point where it's more messy than helpful.

dnerra: Just one comment, without going into the discussion: I suggest we should have a consensus (i.e. make it part of the Wiki Etiquette) that changes to message board like pages use the minor edit checkbox. It shouldn't be the burden of everyone else to filter these out.

axd: I would even suggest to create a separate pagetype called "Discussion" (or should it be a keyword?), and require all discussions be carried on this page type, and this page type only. Page creators should take responsability to maintain the content up-to-date, and monitor discussion threads to distill essential content - maybe summarise the ongoing discussion. (I'd like to use this occasion to propose to (be able to) associate (pastel) page background colors to (some?) page types: the current pages bear this light horizontal stripe pattern that might also tote the page background color.) By the way, I still don't understand why rgg isn't used as the main medium for discussion, as it is designed for this, and SL to condense the outcome; IMHO, I think SL is not designed with discussion threads in mind, but rather for reference. I maintain that SL - while its somewhat chaotic nature has its charms - is difficult to access for beginners because of the sometimes "never" ending discussions, or even worse: statements, overridden a few paragraphs further, inducing doubt (and let the beginner wander off further in the hyperlink jungle, searching for the answer.)

Blake: Hu, please understand that I am not advocating "censorship" on Sensei's Library. For the most part, I am advocating a Kiseido-provided message board for a lot of the things--technical issues and the like. I don't think that's unreasonable. If there were a Kiseido message board where technical issues and wishlists could be discussed, I think that much of the KGS-related traffic would voluntarily move there. What I said last night may have been a bit inflammatory, looking back on it, but I still don't think that my basic suggestions are unreasonable. And, as I said, this is not an attack on your "goban of rented electrons." As a matter of fact, when I'm on KGS we two are usually in the same rooms, no? $.10

starline: I'm not against KGS using senseis as a forum, but I do think that KGS would be better off having its own forums. This has been seen to work very well on the Dragon Go Server, and the result is a better signal to noise ratio for DGS than KGS on senseis.

kokiri: I've been agonising about this myself for a while. First up, I don't have a problem with the KGS crowd - their enthusiasm speaks well of the health of the on-line go community, I feel. However, the recent rise in KGS chatter has paralleled a fall in the real 'over the board' discussions. The lie that is the 'sensei's as an encyclopedia' concept is evident from the importance that RecentChanges has in sensei's library and I, for one, do find that there's less there of interest than in the comparatively recent past.

I think, in part that this is a measure of success. Through the hard work of many there's now an impressive amount of joseki and yose related material as well as stuff covering everything essential that I can think of. we spent a while last year thrashing around with the higher level terms used to describe go, generating interminable discussion pages that have mostly been distilled into interesting pages and there isn't an obvious hole that needs to be filled on SL now. so the problem appears to be what now?

SL is more than just a static repository on information - my view of it is as a sort of communal sensei - you come to it saying 'well this came up in a game that i had the other day' and maybe the answer is to look up the joseki which you could do in a book but maybe one of the many contributors will show how the direction of play should be different or some other insight that a book wouldn't be able to show you.

The obvious route to this is the BQM and AmateurFuseki pages etc, where people can ask questions, or provide positions for discussion and bill, HolIgor and a lot of other people are always willing to advise. It's very interesting how different opinions on apparently simple positions can be.

I'm starting to ramble a bit, but in summary, i think that the more diagrams that get generated be they life and death problems, pro positions, amateur fuseki or games on SL, whatever, for us all to throw unqualified opninions around, the better SL as an experience rather than an encyclopedia is. Nobody should think twice about posting a question, and in fact maybe we should root around more to find things worth discussing.

Joshual000: KGS is great, it's a wonderful server to meet & play go against players around the world.

That said, I'm wondering if there's a more techincal solution to the problem (and I do use the word problem) of real content being obscured by the sheer number of kgs related edits. I'm thinking of an additional feature for the customized RC views. They can already be limited to 'watched pages', why not the reverse 'filtered/blocked pages'. Or filtering discussion page edits, or some other way of using this existing feature set to pare down the full (RC) set rather than display only an explicit (RC) set. Dieter: See how to unwatch pages.

wms: Well, I've said it before, but to answer the comments "Can't Kiseido run their own discussion forum", I'll say it again: If people want KGS pages out of Sensei's, I'll move them. I'll let Arno be the judge of whether they should stay or go. But I'd prefer to keep them here, because Arno does a great job with this wiki, so to run my own KGS forums I'd have to duplicate a lot of his work. In fact, I'd probably just take all his wiki code and put it on another server somewhere, then try to track his changes as he makes them. Anyway, I'd rather not have to do this work, so as long as Arno is happy keeping KGS pages here, I'm happy having them here.

Blake: To be honest, I'm not even sure that a wiki is the optimal solution to the problem. Perhaps a more conventional forum would be more appropriate, allowing a select few individuals to moderate the discussion and direct it. This is a more robust model for discussions that are likely to be lengthy and somewhat contentious (ie. "new feature" discussions) anyway. As I said, I don't necessarily want to move things like the teaching games/mentor schemes, et cetera, but rather the wishlist and its (many) associated pages, discussion, and so forth. I think exiling all KGS-related materials would be shortsighted and kind of silly, but I don't think that the wishlist belongs here.

Neil: Right. Discussion between users about their activities on KGS is one thing. Interaction with Kiseido is another matter entirely.

Joshual000: I truly believe the KGS pages have a good home here, this isn't my issue. (I've contributed to several of the pages on occasion) Obviously space and traffic are non-issues at this point, and at any reasonably forseeable point.

My point is there are times I'd like to view a recent changes list with all KGS pages excluded. Alternatively there are times I'd be interested in how a discussion thread is panning out, etc.. I think this sort of filtering is what the configurable recent changes views are halfway accomplishing. I just happen to think that adding an explicit 'exclusion' list would finish off the functionality.

As a side comment, it's intersting that this discussion is occurring - as it's appears somewhat parallel to the recent chat policy changes @ KGS.

Arno: as discussion threads (we had threads unrelated to KGS too) seem to be of concern to many people I think that maybe we should find a technical solution to this. Repeating myself: the real problem are not the pages, but the place they take on RecentChanges (22% of all edits during the last month were edits of pages starting with 'KGS'). I'd like to hear possible solutions or your vote on VoteDiscussionPages.

(Vote Discussion Pages / Discussion)

Note: the mentioned "exclusion list" is already reality. (Watched pages category #3 are excluded from listing in RC by default).

Joshual000: I missed that somehow, thanks for the tip. This is quite adequate for me.

Charles Matthews My analysis: (a) RecentChanges/OnlineGo is now required and probably would be welcomed by many here; (b) axd is basically correct about SL.

kokiri here are a couple of reasons why SL is a better discussion medium than RGG -

  1. it's quicker for those who have to read rgg through google groups,
  2. the diagrams are better

to say nothing of the FlameWars that are a big put-off when it comes to contributing to RGG. Whilst the reference material is a very important part of SL, I disagree that that necessarily means that discussion is bad - i think that some of the most interesting things have arisen from positions in ongoing games. I don't envisage a situation where we finish all the theory we view necessary, pat ourselves on the back, say job done and all work on Sl ceases.

I agree that Sl is probably a bit hard to understand for the beginner, but that just means more master editing. At the moment i think Dieter is probably the only person actively master editing old pages in any volume. Yosh!

AvatarDJFlux: Hullo everybody again! Long time no see, eh?
In fact personal laziness about the Net in general and almost no interest in most of the recent "Recent Changes" brought me to be absent quite a lot from the Library - but who am I to argue on what's interesting and what is not for fellow deshi's??!?
Therefore: yes, I would support Charles that something of a RecentChanges "special" for certain threads is required. From my very personal point of view the list of pages to insert in the Watched pages category #3 is too long: how many pages for KGS discussions do we have??!?
Ciao, happy to be here again!

KGS forum at SL discussion last edited by on September 22, 2012 - 03:27
RecentChanges · StartingPoints · About
Edit page ·Search · Related · Page info · Latest diff
[Welcome to Sensei's Library!]
Search position
Page history
Latest page diff
Partner sites:
Go Teaching Ladder
Login / Prefs
Sensei's Library