[Computer-go] SGF

Andries E. Brouwer Andries.Brouwer at cwi.nl
Thu Jan 5 05:58:19 PST 2017

On Fri, Dec 30, 2016 at 01:28:34PM -0700, Anders Kierulf wrote:

>> It would be good if your document would clearly state which properties
>> are part of the FF[4] standard and which ones you’re adding.
>> For example, JD (Japanese Date) is not in FF[4], yet is listed as
>> “standardized in this document”. It’s possible that such a property
>> should be added, but any properties added to FF[4] need to be
>> clearly marked so they can discussed.

I replied to this and some other things, but it took the reply
some days before it appeared on the list. Anders, I hope you
saw that reply.

> Of the above, the six properties BC, JD, LC, LT, OH, WC are not in FF[4].
> These properties are
> BC      Black Country
> WC      White Country
> JD      Japanese Date
> LC      Number of byo-yomi periods
> LT      Length of byo-yomi periods
> OH      Old Handicap

Here I want to elaborate on the "discuss" part.

At the time FF[4] was being defined, it was useful to discuss
what properties should be added, and with what syntax.

Unfortunately, SGF was left for many years without maintenance.
If some property was needed, people just invented and used something.
Different servers used different property labels for the same thing.
Today Chinese and Korean servers use what they use, and thousands
(indeed, millions) of game records exist with that usage.
They are not going to change their format because of any discussion here.

So, we are not in a position to define what must be used.
But we are in a position to describe what is commonly used,
so that people needing something can use what is used elsewhere.
And we can express preferences.

For example, the Foxwq server was started, and needed property labels
for Number and Length of byo-yomi periods, and chose TC and TT.
So, today OT[3x30s] and LC[3] LT[30] and TC[3] TT[30] are all used
to describe time settings for Master (AlphaGo) versus various opponents.
Since TC already has several other meanings, LC, LT seem a better choice
than TC, TT.


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