I had a good laugh about this letter, which reads between the lines: ‘Rybka is too good, please ICGA, do something about it’. This is the comment I made on the Rybka forum, to place it in a historical context:
‘Picking ideas from other programs was already normal in the 1990′s. I have heard some of the top programmers by then speaking about this many times. Probably I shouldn’t have heard these conversations, but they were also not too eager to hide them. Decompiling and looking for ideas was just as normal in 1998 as it is right now. Claiming otherwise is just pathetic.
Please also note that Shredder, Fritz, Hiarcs and Junior were not greatly improving (20, maybe 30 elo a year) until Fruit came out. And they were even improving faster after Strelka. Don’t forget Zappa either, which was not very strong and after Fruit came out suddenly became very strong and won the world title.
As far as I am concerned, most of these programmers are sour losers and now they see their businesses implode, they try to do something about it.’
I am 100% sure most of the programs mentioned have made ‘huge and dramatic’ progress thanks to Rybka and Rybka derivatives, as well as thanks to Fruit. The whole things looks very hypocrite to me, but in this crappy chess computer world it doesn’t surprise me at all.
Some more I wrote on the Rybka forum, to give non-insiders a better idea what has been going on in the chess computer world for ages:
‘As a matter of fact, I have been in this computer chess world for some time and I can tell you that it was perfectly normal for the top guys to decompile the programs of their competitor (‘to look for ideas’) more than 10 years ago. I have overheard conversations by the top programmers by then, even bragging about it that ‘they had found some interesting stuff in program X or Y’. They were not even interested in this being a secret. One of the most funny remarks was a programmer, who had decompiled Chess Tiger and proudly told during a Leiden tournament that ‘Chess Tiger was showing around 1000-1500 kn/s on the GUI, while in fact it was searching much faster, around 4000 kn/s.’ The same Chess Tiger author who later was mad about Rybka not showing the right node count. Another nice one was a program author, who was working together with Cozzie at the time and who claimed that ‘Zappa is much like Fruit, but with better king safety’.
I would say: let the programmer who has never been guilty of looking into and taking idea’s from another program throw the first stone.
> Another nice one was a program author, who was working together with Cozzie at the time and who claimed that ‘Zappa is much like Fruit, but with better king safety’.
Nice of you to just throw this out like it's a fact. My guess is that it comes from Vincent, the same guy who claims that Cozzie was the author of Rybka. Nevertheless, he has never seen the Zappa source code. I have, and I can assure you that there's nothing that even approaches copying code, and I can't even think of anything in it that could be thought of as taking ideas. So how about having some actual evidence if you're going to say stupid things like that? Of course, there is none.
And for the record, the last public version of Zappa was only about 80 elo weaker than the 2005 WCCC version according to CCRL. And Zappa won CCT in February 2005. Fruit 2.1 came out in June 2005. So your story that it was "not very strong" is just total BS.
BTW, what do you think about the versions of Rybka before Fruit? Turns out they were just Crafty clones.
> BTW, what do you think about the versions of Rybka before Fruit? Turns out they were just Crafty clones.
Are the hearings finished and have all the facts been presented ;and you are now giving us the summary? Is that right?
I'm sure you're not one of the members of the panel. No one would be that stupid to give verdict before the hearings even started. The entire panel might soon turn into a ship of fools.
Was it part of your studies or did you get financial recompensation for the hard work on Rybkas closed code? Dont you feel ashamed because you had no authorization from any legal institution? Do you think that the publication of decompiled code of a closed program is sober in a legal sense? If it's not totally sober then what have you to do in the tribunal?Have you no other job to do? Do you want to infect (poison) the others there with your illegal and vicious energy? Before you'll run away to mama, will you please apologize to this friendly Jeroen who already has a long history of successful cooperation with many different programmers in the past decades?
Do you want to ruin your own future just because you were invited to take part in this witch-hunt against Vas? Or is it your intention that our little community of computerchess should be going down in flames too?
> But something about computer chess just brings out the poison in a greater concentration.
I don't think our community is special in this regard.
Company A discovers that Company B has a new product out that is stepping on one of its patents. Letters are sent out to cease and desist, but to no avail, so Company A instigates legal action against Company B. Company B reacts by saying Pot is calling Kettle black! Company B believes Company A is stepping on its patents and counter-sues. Both companies have their legal departments engaged and both come up short. Outside firms are engaged to help. Things move along, and bills start coming in. Both companies realize that they are paying a fortune for legal fees and will lose money, even if they win in court.
After some exploratory talks, the top people at Company A and Company B come up with an alternative. They each give each other the rights to use all of their patents! If one company has a much more extensive patent portfolio than the other, it may receive some amount of money periodically to compensate for this.
This happens all the time...
Vasik Rajlich- Workshop In Computer Chess Engine Development
(Rybka source code will be furnished upon enrollment)
Enrollment starts here-
(computers funished by lukas enterprises)
Pardon me over a year! The spark that lit this fuse and that started Watkins on his crusade-no doubt and he's been at it ever since. Just a little weirdness there.
> I'm not saying that they are all motivated by jealousy- but they weren't motivated by the likes of David Levy over the course of the past year either!
I am just throwing this out there because I really don't know but maybe....just maybe they were waiting for the author (Fabien) to make a formal complaint. Just like many of us were waiting for Vas to make a formal complaint regarding the ipps etc.
Vas never did. He left it flapping in the wind.
The claim against Vas is not that he took ideas from fruit or looked at the code but that he took code from fruit.
Note also that part of the programmers who complained are not commercial opponents of rybka.
> Note also that part of the programmers who complained are not commercial opponents of rybka.
Some are not commercial, but all are opponents
Thus, the end result is that nobody has lost and everyone in the community has gained. I can see why Fabien (and ONLY Fabien!) might want to sue for his share of the revenue, but that should be up to him, not everyone else. In the meantime, "Little fish" is in the same general situation as "He who escapes". On the one hand, it seems difficult to allow "Little fish" to participate in major tournaments, but on the other hand, I think that it's silly for people to think of Vas as some sort of evil villain, which is the impression I get of the feelings conveyed by the posts of many. If it wasn't for Rybka, there would be ZERO single CPU-programs rated over 3000 on the CEGT 40/20 list.
> After giving much consideration to the various arguments in the various fora, I have come to a conclusion in my feelings on this. All in all, long story short, it seems likely, based on the claims by other programmers, that Vas violated the GPL. However...what harm has this caused? Who has been harmed by Vas violating the GPL and writing his engine? No, I'm not asking "who could have gained had Vas acted correctly"--I'm asking who has been harmed. (Teams finishing behind Rybka in the WCCC would have trouble making this claim because Rybka didn't start winning until it had such a small percentage of Fruit code in it that no court would hold Vas and company accountable any longer.) Meanwhile, weigh this against who HAS gained. The entire computer chess community has gained due to Rybka's existence. If there wasn't the motivation of large commercial gain, Vas simply would have kept his ideas to himself, there wouldn't have been higher-level engines against whom to have competition and a new level of possibilities of improvement (one main reason why competitors' engines experienced larger than normal jumps in elo), and there certainly wouldn't have been the decompilation and exposure of ideas (for better or for worse, the other main reason for competitors' engines larger than normal jumps in elo, especially the ones that started to play more "Rybka-like" after this exposure).
> Thus, the end result is that nobody has lost and everyone in the community has gained. I can see why Fabien (and ONLY Fabien!) might want to sue for his share of the revenue, but that should be up to him, not everyone else. In the meantime, "Little fish" is in the same general situation as "He who escapes". On the one hand, it seems difficult to allow "Little fish" to participate in major tournaments, but on the other hand, I think that it's silly for people to think of Vas as some sort of evil villain, which is the impression I get of the feelings conveyed by the posts of many. If it wasn't for Rybka, there would be ZERO single CPU-programs rated over 3000 on the CEGT 40/20 list.
The main problem is the hypocrisy in the rybka team in going after Houdart and the ipps for what likely is the same thing the happened with Rybka and Fruit. And if this is all true then the Rybka team misled the community. Intentions matter in life.
> While the offense is the same, the amount by which it was done in "He who escapes" was much, MUCH greater than the amount by which it was done in "Little fish". In "Little fish", the vast majority was completely new, with a few old things left in, most likely (hopefully) from using Fruit as a template. In the case of "He who escapes", on the other hand, you're dealing primarily with "Little fish", with some new stuff and bug-fixes. "Little fish" is mostly fish with a pinch of fruit, while "He who escapes" is mostly fish with a pinch if prestidigitation.
This is probably why Houdart does not enter into competitions. He is often vague on talkchess with his denials. He always gives himself enough wiggle room just in case.
For now I am sticking with my new favorite fun engine: Rebel 12!
You are a schoolteacher you said? You have students write reports?
Is this what you say when a student plagiarizes another student or source, "nobody has lost and everyone in the community has gained"? Or maybe some similar excuse? Kid goes home at the end of the day with a good grade and everyone is happy.
So with you, "the ends justify the means".
Aha... now I read from you, it matters on "the amount" one has done something. This becomes the "rybka escape clause" one has to make assumptions on the amount (as you did for both Vas and Houdart). Under a certain amount -> this is OK. Over a certain amount -> Not OK. Kind of like, hmmm... salting one's food. We all know when too much salt has been used and that is not OK. A pinch of dishonestly, this is ok as long as the product is savory.
Do you play chess this way too? If we were to play a game otb, you would allow me to cheat? And at the end of the game I would hear, "Wow, well done (you cheated only a little) you deserve the win." It would be quite entertaining to determine the amount I could cheat you before you say, "oops, you cheated too much".
Thus, as I'm sure you realize, your examples don't hold much water. Your first example would be more applicable if it was a situation in which the student took an original quotation, planned to change it into something of his own, and then forgot. (In Vas's case, this is really the only thing for which there is any solid evidence for--the claims of more than trivial matches of code are, at this point, unproven.) It would also be very difficult for him to admit past mistakes at this point because that would also be an admission of guilt in a case where it would be unclear in court if he has actually clearly violated any law based upon the evidence given (decompiled machine code matches is very different from original code matches). Thus, silence is the correct thing to do at this point for him, especially if the copying isn't egregious, is in non-essential parts separate from the main program itself, and was unintentional (which can easily be understood, especially if Vas was using Fruit as a template for new Rybka).
Your second example is one that eliminates any shades of gray in the morality arena, something that simply cannot be done in any but the simplest cases.
In terms of the morality issue, I'm trying to talk some sense into people who seem to be trying to think of Vas as some sort of evil, violent criminal, and who are calling for his head. Obviously, he's not evil or violent, but the fervor in which some people are going after him, especially on TalkChess, is astonishing.
P.S. Concerning having students writing reports, when I was in my first year of full-time high school teaching (after already having experience at the college and university level), I was big enough into cracking down on cheating that I uncovered what was eventually found to be an incredibly large cheating ring that had been going on in my class for years with previous students. The only reason that I was the one to uncover it was that I was particularly detailed in my grading and because it had become large enough to be noticed beyond simple isolated incidents. In the end, it turned out that nearly the entire junior class was involved. However, there were major differences in the way that punishment was handed out. Some were involved in a passive sense: they had received illegitimate information, but probably not used it, and had simply passed it on like everyone else. Then, there were students who were originators and leaders. Naturally, the first group obtained noticeably lessor punishment (lack of credit) than the second group (suspension from school in addition to lack of credit).
When enforcing "the law" one never looks at “the degree the law was broken”. Either the elements of the crime were met to establish a charge or they were not met… very simple. There are no “degrees” to residential entry (unlawful entry)… either “they” forced their way into a home or they did not. I realize there are “degrees” of murder, which I think stupid (oh the crime was heinous, but not “heinous enough”). Either it was purely an accident or it was not. Automobile accidents… a true accident is one thing. DUI is no accident.
>if it was a situation in which the student took an original quotation, planned to change it into something of his own, and then forgot.
Ah... my response to that I must borrow from "The Green Mile": "How old were you before your momma taught you to raise the toilet seat before you began to piddle?"
>Naturally, the first group obtained noticeably lessor punishment (lack of credit) than the second group (suspension from school in addition to lack of credit).
Iow, the first group was not punished and the second group actually given a reward. We are talking about minors here so that is effectively what happened. Unless "no credit" meant not passing the course? Doubtful since everyone has to pass.
Speaks volumes to precisely why we have the kind of society we have today. No one takes responsibility. People who commit the most heinous of crimes given probation or extremely short prison terms. (btw I abhor the very idea of prisons). Basically either the behaviour is ignored or so lightly punished, there is no incentive for doing what is "right".
In ya'lls case... you actually wish to reward Vas despite whether he has done anything right or wrong. But Houdart you wish "to punish". What a contradiction...
And lest anyone think this means I am one of those "calling for Vas's head" you are sadly mistaken.
To your Talkchess point Turbo... I would like you to quote one post that indicates, "Vas as some sort of evil, violent criminal, and who are calling for his head". I have spent quite of bit of time there recently and have not gleaned that from any of my perusing. It seems very balanced there... many believe Fruit was plagiarized, many do not, and some outright refuse to believe anything "negative" about Vas.
> Shades of grey are for those who like to complicate and muddy the waters until the lines between "right" and "wrong" are so blurred there is no right or wrong
Wrong. Recognizing that there ARE truly shades of gray is the first step to making correct decisions, i.e. using your brain for each specific instance instead of trying to pigeonhole things into things that they are not and/or offenses with explicit penalties that apply to ones that are far more egregious.
> >if it was a situation in which the student took an original quotation, planned to change it into something of his own, and then forgot.
>Ah... my response to that I must borrow from "The Green Mile": "How old were you before your momma taught you to raise the toilet seat before you began to piddle?"
I'm not saying that Vas didn't do anything wrong--I'm saying that from what I've seen so far from BOTH sides, this could very easily be explained as a situation of Vas using Fruit as a template to develop Rybka 1.0 Beta, changing all of the non-Rybka stuff into new code, and then forgetting about some. This is precisely how most computer programs are developed for real-world applications.
>Iow, the first group was not punished and the second group actually given a reward. We are talking about minors here so that is effectively what happened. Unless "no credit" meant not passing the course? Doubtful since everyone has to pass.
>Speaks volumes to precisely why we have the kind of society we have today. No one takes responsibility. People who commit the most heinous of crimes given probation or extremely short prison terms. (btw I abhor the very idea of prisons). Basically either the behaviour is ignored or so lightly punished, there is no incentive for doing what is "right".
They were punished, not rewarded, because suspension shows up in any transcripts when the students apply for college. It also prevents them from being allowed to participate in their after-school activities and sports for awhile.
In terms of the credit, for the lab reports that were copied (in all or in part), students on both sides (giving and receiving aid) had their grades changed to zeros by me. The other offenses, which was the large "ring" were different--they were passing information about homework, and the lower levels of this was actually okay within the bounds of the rules. It eventually became a more significant offense, and it was difficult to say exactly where and when it crossed the line (though it had clearly done so in previous years, according to students of previous years who participated in this "process"). Maddeningly, these students received relatively little penalty (primarily due to parental pressure--and one wonders where the students gained these bad habits...), though in the end, that was probably justified in the end because they generally performed quite well on the final exam (perhaps because they were very highly motivated to be seen in a redeemed light). Thus, their performances on the exam, which were not influenced by any cheating, justified their passing the course.
> you actually wish to reward Vas despite whether he has done anything right or wrong. But Houdart you wish "to punish". What a contradiction...
What are you talking about? Where do I ever support rewarding Vas at this point?
Concerning TalkChess, there seem to be a few people following in the steps of Deeb and a few other talking heads--perhaps it's simply the annoying minority, but it's noticeable nonetheless.
>This is precisely how most computer programs are developed for real-world applications.
Gee I must have been sick the days my profs taught this for my Pascal and FORTRAN classes.
Bear with me for another analogy. So I take a classic like "Ice Station Zebra" and I change the setting to N/S Korea. "Rewrite" all the names/dates/places. It is really the British that want to go in with a Chinese double agent facing off against the
North Koreans... blah blah blah. All of a sudden this is ok because it is a re-write or translation?
You cannot take an engine, rename all the variables and transcode it to another language. That is not an original work. This is why you see Dr. Hyatt say re: so many students writing chess engines, "they try and fail" because of the tremendous amount of work involved. And the temptation is certainly there to do what is plainly evident re: that which is being done now. Take a strong version, re-write and re-write... make sure you rename everything, work out "the bugs" you see... (interesting how those are sometimes copied in the initial works).
Maybe I mis-understand your idea of template... Maybe you mean "template" like an APA template for MS-Office.
Turbo there are some very interesting posts that imo are worth reading at Talkchess. Just search out prominent names like Hyatt, Fabien etc. You might not like hearing what they say, but does that make their testimony worthless?
Re: the "Dr. D" sorry, yes, I confess, I remember now his posts are the extreme. I tend to zoom past his i.e./therefore "out of sight, out of mind".
You reward him by saying things that are not true... but keep posting all these "zingers" as they are quite entertaining.
> Gee I must have been sick the days my profs taught this for my Pascal and FORTRAN classes.
That's because programs nowadays are far more complicated than they were when you took Pascal and FORTRAN classes. Of course, I do agree that proper citations should be used...but the reality is that the majority of modern programs, especially many games, probably contain uncited code as building blocks because it is so impractical not to do so.
> Maybe I mis-understand your idea of template... Maybe you mean "template" like an APA template for MS-Office.
My general idea is that you start from something that has already been done, make the changes into what you need for the parts that you need, eliminate the rest, change anything else that needs to be changed to make it legal, and include that among the main original stuff that you have written.
> Turbo there are some very interesting posts that imo are worth reading at Talkchess.
I have been reading these all along. I am a member of TalkChess now, and have been for about the past month or so.
> they generally performed quite well on the final exam (perhaps because they were very highly motivated to be seen in a redeemed light). Thus, their performances on the exam, which were not influenced by any cheating, justified their passing the course.
or maybe the ring was more complex, and they actually got their hands on the exam before hand.....
> (btw I abhor the very idea of prisons)
This is an interesting statement, and a different subject, but I'm naturally curious: what would you prefer instead? (I guess that this may soon get branched into a different forum. :-) ) Maybe you've mentioned this before, but I have forgotten your answer.
Madame Guillotine perhaps.
no need then for prison.
anyway this and my last post are meant to be taken in a light-hearted manner.
> (btw I abhor the very idea of prisons)
No! no, I cannot let this go! What could you possibly know about the prison system? eh! I am all ears!
This extremist philosophy is in my view problematic and dangerous. Its a bit like saying that any move in chess either is a mistake or it isn't. This type of thinking does not make you a good chess player.
In chess as well as in life we all make mistakes. In life some situations are very demanding and it easy to make the wrong choices (luckily most of us never encounter such situations). I think this is somewhat analogous to chess. No human is perfect , but some people makes fewer mistakes and more good moves. Something similar applies to morality.
You say "Stealing is stealing", "lying is lying" and "Cheating is cheating", but this type of consideration fail the capture the subtlety of many real life dilemmas.
Take for example the discussion some people have about the relationship between Rybka1.0 and fruit. I am convinced that Vas is a person with a lot of integrity, but like magicians he is entitled to some secrecy. To call a magician a liar and cheater is completely missing the point. I will not discuss that actual case, but I in my view it is completely acceptable to use published ideas in new creative ways. Your remark "stealing is stealing", "lying is lying" and "cheating is cheating" is in my very a very dangerous dogmatic way of thinking. I don't think this way of thinking makes us better and more moral humans. Similarly, dogmatic and schematic thinking in chess does not make us better chess players.
>This extremist philosophy is in my view problematic and dangerous. Its a bit like saying that any move in chess either is a mistake or it isn't. This type of thinking does not make you a good chess player.
you make an incredible leap from "lying is lying"... across a wide chasm... to "extremist and dangerous"... extrapolating to apparently that is how I view chess and determining a move or how I view "life". I could grant you (a description of me as) "fat and ugly" but "extreme and dangerous".
Like my whole way of interpreting and reacting to life is somehow summed up in a few words I posted above... like some mindless automaton programmed with just a few lines of code.
As few dealings as we have had... you ought to regard me a little higher than what you said previously.
As uncomplicated and insignificant a person that I know that I am... I still believe as the prophet said, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made."
Ok point taken
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