On discussing clones

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hgm
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Re: On discussing clones

Post by hgm » Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:04 am

I don't undertand the fuss.

Every engine should be considered a clone until prove otherwise.

I would say that is obvious. But the consequence is that postings stating the obvious and nothing else (like: person X thinks that program Y is a clone) are not of much interest. I also would not applaud a flood of postings here telling me that the sun is hot, or water is wet. Of course program Y is a clone, and of course X, not being an imbecil, knows that too. Now tell us something we didn't know...

I think we should create another section to this forum, especially dedicated to cloning issues. People that find such issues distasteful could then easily avoid reading about them, and stick to the other sections. From which threads starting as cloning issues would be moved to where they belong, and postings that suddenly bring up cloning accusations out of nowhere would be moderated because they are off topic.

To keep the cloning section manageable and interesting to read, the discussion on a particular program should preferably start because evidence was found that that program was not a clone.

IMO it would also help to start a discussion on what constitutes 'cloning'. Taking the piece-square tables from an open-source program is something entirely different than using a hex editor to alter the name of an engine executable. In my understanding of the law it is not a copyright infringement to use the same table of values. Not even if it looks literally the same (e.g. a comma-separated list of 16 values per line), as there are only so many ways that you can present a list of given numbers. (For that same reason code lines like 'for(i=1; i<N; i++)' are not copyrightable.) But certainly not if you multiplied all numbers by, say, 32.

Of course I have little respect for engine authors that revert to such unoriginal methods. But that is because I am judging the world through the glasses of a scientist, and not as an engineer. If my purpose was to create a strong engine that I could sell to the public to generate maximum income with minimal effort, it would of course be exactly what I would do. I would put all knowledge into it that was publicly available and freely obtainable. I would be stupid not to! And the bulk of my customers would not care, they pay me to get the strongest possible Chess entity, and could not care less if I obtained it from the lost and found or by rubbing a lamp. So if it is not illegal to do this, why not? That it is offensive to authors of other engines, well, too bad for them, and they know where they can stick it...

daws
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Re: On discussing clones

Post by daws » Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:18 am

hgm wrote: And the bulk of my customers would not care, they pay me to get the strongest possible Chess entity, and could not care less if I obtained it from the lost and found or by rubbing a lamp.
Yes but they might care if they read on an internet forum that commercial Program A is a clone of free Program B. Irrespective of whether the accusation is correct, they might think twice about buying Program A which they may now suspect is just a similar program to the free Program B.

Stan Arts

Re: On discussing clones

Post by Stan Arts » Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:30 am

Graham Banks wrote: Perhaps they could post here to let us know. :)
That decline was/is very clear to see. Not so much because writing something original became less interesting (one should code for his own enjoyment) , but because after Fruit and the wide public approval of cloning (Toga) the atmosphere atleast in CCC changed quite a bit. Before that, Crafty was also strong and open source but atleast Hyatt and others support amateurs, cloning heavily condemned and that made computerchess and the community quite interesting with a wide range of weird programs. Now the "public" looks down on you if you don't even atleast equal Fruit's strength, and that shows, with a whole herd of Fruit strength, identical (identical as in same type of search, same type of everything) programs. Nice.

The Fruit/Rybka matter faded out because I don't think there's any programmer anymore that doubts this to be true. (Not even those few (the CSTal guy, etc.) who enjoyed a good argument/flamewar over anything.)

Cloning suspicion should be brought into the open as much as possible. If someone accused me I would have no problem with that because I would simply participate in the discussion and refute the claim, for someone with an original program that does not take 3 minutes.

Stan

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hgm
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Re: On discussing clones

Post by hgm » Mon Feb 23, 2009 12:20 pm

daws wrote:Yes but they might care if they read on an internet forum that commercial Program A is a clone of free Program B. Irrespective of whether the accusation is correct, they might think twice about buying Program A which they may now suspect is just a similar program to the free Program B.
If A is shown to cearly outperform B, they still would prefer to pay for A than to get the inferior B for free. If the price is within reason.

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Sylwy
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Re: Nonsenses

Post by Sylwy » Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:43 pm

hgm wrote:I don't undertand the fuss.

Every engine should be considered a clone until prove otherwise.

Hello !

1.To deny your theory means that all the sources of the commercial chess engines must be displayed like posters on every wall ?
2.And the innocence presumption ?
3.And.................................

Regards,
Silvian
:lol: :lol: :lol:

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hgm
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Re: Nonsenses

Post by hgm » Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:13 pm

SzG wrote:Should be considered a clone, you say. A clone of what?
This seems unreasonable. How could anyone prove that his engine is not a clone of <any other> engine?
In the light of the harshness of the default assumption, "soft" proof should be considered sufficient. Willingness to provide sources for examination by a trusted party should be judged as very positive. The main concern is clones of open source engines, after all, so they will be easily recognized. And 'hex-edit cloners' are usually not able to provide any sources at all.
Sylwy wrote:Hello !

1.To deny your theory means that all the sources of the commercial chess engines must be displayed like posters on every wall ?
2.And the innocence presumption ?
3.And.................................

Regards,
Silvian
:lol: :lol: :lol:
As to (1): not necessarily. For one, they might not care at all if they are consideered clones. Furthermore, the trusted-party solution applies here just as well.

And " innocence presumption"??? What crock is that?

Volker Pittlik
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Re: On discussing clones

Post by Volker Pittlik » Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:39 pm

bob wrote:...The moderators should ... stay the heck out of technical debates that they have no business interfering in
...
We did not elect "thought police"...
As there is fortunately no one in this forum who -contradicting himself- has to decide who is allowed to participate in what kind of discussion.

vp

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Re: On discussing clones

Post by bob » Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:37 pm

Volker Pittlik wrote:
bob wrote:...The moderators should ... stay the heck out of technical debates that they have no business interfering in
...
We did not elect "thought police"...
As there is fortunately no one in this forum who -contradicting himself- has to decide who is allowed to participate in what kind of discussion.

vp
No, you just decide what can be discussed. Which is one step worse than deciding who can participate...

terminator

Re: On discussing clones

Post by terminator » Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:20 pm

hgm wrote:I don't undertand the fuss.

Every engine should be considered a clone until prove otherwise.
This is not a Victorian lunatic asylum. If you or anyone has irrefutable proof of a program being a clone do a "Sam Sloan", get your own website publish the findings and call a press conference.

F. Bluemers
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Re: On discussing clones

Post by F. Bluemers » Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:06 pm

terminator wrote:
hgm wrote:I don't undertand the fuss.

Every engine should be considered a clone until prove otherwise.
This is not a Victorian lunatic asylum.
isn't it?
atleast your posts seems to come from one ...

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