paulo wrote: SzG wrote:
paulo wrote:Today only a complete asshole would start coding a new engine from scratch, i.e., ignoring all the (best) available ideias and resources.
The two are not the same. You can start from scratch using all the available ideas together with yours. And you can start from a complete code and put in your ideas.
Nope. It's exactly the same thing as long as you agree the existing code you are basing is the best. Furthermore I strongly believe any experienced software developer agrees with this.
You are not thinking about this correctly. Yes, experienced software developers build on the work and libraries of others. That is not what I am discouraging.
Take your program to a chess tournament. Tell the organizers that you want to enter version 1.5 of your program, but that you also would like to enter version 1.4, 1,3, 1.2 and 1.1 of your program in addition. You will NOT be allowed to do this, because it's wrong on so many levels.
Instead, you will be asked to pick a representative program, presumably the latest and greatest version.
So just starting with the robbo base, changing the name and author does NOT make this a program worthy of new moniker. Even if you do substantial work on it, you cannot easily shed it's original roots. In the same way I cannot enter Komodo 1.3 in a tournament and also some ancient version of Doch claiming it is completely different.
The same goes for the rating lists. When SF 2.0 came out, they stopped testing 1.9 because in their wisdom they believe that only a single program should be represent a family of programs.
I know that what you said seems reasonable to you, but it was not well thought out. Here is the way this should be done:
Let's say I want to branch off from the robbo sources. There is no legal or ethical reason I cannot do so. However, I cannot and should not represent this as some kind of separate family of programs. When any tournament or competition is held, the BEST of a given family can be chosen to represent the entire family, to be decided by the original author. And it's far better when doing this to make it all transparent. Make the sources available and don't hide anything, just be up-front and forthcoming.
If you don't like that, then write your own program from scratch and make it a true original and figure out how to do evaluation for yourself and give your program a real personality and a playing style of it's own. Then you can compete as a distinct entity.
You should keep in mind too that a tournament is in fact a real competition between program authors. Every author there wants his program to win. When I go to a tournament with Rybka in it, I know that I will be competing in some sense against Vas. Is it really right that I have to compete against him several times in the same tournament facing a "pseudo author" opponent who probably knows only a fraction of what I know about computer chess?
The presence of really strong programs in tournaments adds to the prestige and dignity of the tournament, but having multiple versions of the same program tears it down by turning it into a "single author" competition. It becomes, who can improve Ippolitto the most? Let's have a contest to see!
But more importantly, you have to ask the question, "is it really good for computer chess for any author to be able to create yet another 'brand new' chess program in 5 minutes?"