[Standards-JIG] New version of chess game protocol

Robert B Quattlebaum, Jr. darco at deepdarc.com
Mon Oct 23 21:06:50 UTC 2006

On Oct 18, 2006, at 1:31 PM, Richard Dobson wrote:

> Robert B Quattlebaum, Jr. wrote:
>> Why is it necessary for a room to have a master/validator? I do  
>> not think this is necessary at all because any client which  
>> supports the protocol must have validity checking built in (for  
>> non-spectator person-to-person games). This would make it very  
>> obvious to a client when someone is cheating.
> A game validator/management component is not needed for all games,  
> but it is required for others, offhand games like monopoly,  
> scrabble, poker, battleships among im sure lots of others,  
> basically games where the clients do not know the full state of the  
> game (i.e. stuff like the cards in a hand, letter tiles each player  
> has), also where a single entity needs to provide services for the  
> game like dealing cards, dealing letter tiles (for scrabble), these  
> are things were the server needs to maintain what cards are unused  
> from a pack / letter tiles. These are things where you need a game  
> server component, and they are things that dont cleanly map onto  
> MUC due to things like all players shouldnt always being given  
> certain parts of the game state.
> If you look at my idea of having the game server that directly  
> deals with the game moves/turns, which also inturn (like the  
> workgroups XEP) uses MUC rooms for things like in-game chat, and  
> any broadcasts to all users (i.e. game state that all users should  
> see), that is a far cleaner solution rather than trying to hack  
> this all completely on top of MUC even where certain aspects do not  
> really fit in with it.

Ok, that sounds perfectly reasonable, but I would say that makes two  
classes of games: those which need a 'referee' (something to keep  
track of the game state independent of the players) and those which  
don't. Chess and checkers do not need referees, and thus I think  
requiring those games to use a game server for no other reason than  
to have them under the same roof is a serious flaw, IMHO.

>> Again, I refer you to sections 2.3 (Re-Use Existing Protocols) and  
>> 2.7 (Stay Flexible) of XEP-0134 <http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/ 
>> xep-0134.html>, Protocol Design Guidelines.
> I also refer you to 2.2 (Keep clients simple), using MUC as is  
> requires clients to implement the validity checking rather than  
> just using a server component that can do it.

I'm pretty sure that this is in reference to protocol complexity. For  
example, the SIP protocol requires very complex client  
implementations simply to be able to communicate, whereas jabber puts  
most of the complexity server-side. And this is a good thing.

What I am suggesting would actually simplify the chess/checkers  
protocol, and remove the dependence on some new server-side  
component--thus making it easier to use and adopt *right now*. Look  
what happened to pub-sub. Relying on new server implementations is  
dangerous for a protocol, and should be avoided if at all possible,  
and it is quite avoidable in this case. I see no reason to force  
chess and checkers (and other similar games) to use a game server  
when it is quite simply not necessary.

Unless you want to abandon the ability for two people to conduct a  
private chess/checkers game between themselves (which would be a  
horrible idea, IMHO), it seems that the clients MUST implement some  
sort of validity checking anyway. So my suggestion would not increase  
client complexity, only decrease dependency on fancy new server  

Robert Quattlebaum
Jabber: darco at deepdarc.com
eMail:  darco at deepdarc.com
www:    http://www.deepdarc.com/

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