Today I’ll talk about a mishmash of small topics. Arena related, all.

###Smarter Arena Scheduler Yesterday’s news, literally. It’s running. Feedback appreciated, as always. As is normal, I’m getting the majority of my feedback from former devs, who have their own biases. I don’t get enough feedback from The Typical User.

###Push to Git During Tournaments Our current procedure disallows alterations of the competitor git repositories during tournament runs. This can be a problem for competitors who are actually using their repo as a version control repo, and not just as some crazy submit system that the devs seem to be excited about. After a careful examination of our tournament startup procedure, I’m sorry to report that we still need to lock you out of your repos. For about 90 seconds. Right at tournament startup. After that we can immediately let you back in. I have updated our procedure for tournament startup to reflect the shorter lockout time.

###Game Injection This comes up once in a while. Competitor A wants to play a game against Competitor B. He would like to go to somewhere on the website and select Competitor B from some sort of dropdown list and have a game run immediately. Of course some sort of mechanism would need to be in place to keep people from abusing such a feature.

This already exists. The antiabuse mechanism is that only arena devs have the necessary login info get to the page with the dropdowns. You want a game run? Ask an arena dev. We got your back. If you ask too often I’ll make you do pushups.

###Chess Arena Falls Apart During MegaMiner Yeah, sorry about that. Our manpower pool is limited. When MegaMiner is running, it’s the priority. A Bad Thing happened the day before MegaMiner, and we had to scramble like crazy to ensure MegaMiner happened at all. In the confusion we didn’t get certain backend doodads restarted. Woops!

###Final 4 of Global Division Someone suggested that immediately after the final sequence of the triple elim for the Student Division, we could show the Final 4 of the Global Division. I like it. We’ll look into it.

###Visualizer Arena Autolink There was a visualizer feature request that went something like this: I have this visualizer window open in front of me, on my computer. When I’m not actively debugging a specific game, it’d be neat if my visualizer could show the games that the arena played for me.

The first technical challege for that is on the visualizer. If the visualizer hits the beanstalk looking for a gamelog URL, and the beanstalk doesn’t have one ready to go immediately, the visualizer hangs and crashes. Anyone want to fix that? Please? It’s really annoying.

The second technical challenge is ensuring that nobody else can access your stream. The website already has a low-security password for you, used to access your git repo. Perhaps we can use that. Anyone want to join the dev team and implement this?

That’s it for today. Tomorrow I’ll talk about tournament structure, and why we do a triple-elim (hint: you asked for it).