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Practiscore Drama


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#41 KenN

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 08:33 PM

Ken's thoughts on general issues raised:
 

 - what if I quit... Source code for PractiScore is in escow. That means USPSA has source for all of it. I'd probably just make it open source if that were the case, there are
   far more parties than USPSA involved, 6 or 7 sports (and growing), lots of outlaw matches/clubs.

 

 - anonymous letter... it came with other stuff that seemed quite real. It had specifics only I and other parties would know. 
   I debated what to do, maybe it's right, maybe I'm just irritating ADs. I don't know. I felt I had no other way to let them know we were helping their clubs and members.
   I appreciate the support, an outpouring really. A large part of the reason I do this is legacy.

 

- contract with USPSA. There is one. It involves no money but specifies USPSA can have scoring data, and that NB can have access to data necessary to score.
   It's simple, maybe too simple but all other sports get by without one. It never occurred to me to have one, but signed what was offered.
 
- Eric Griggs  and I get along just fine and we have a phone call scheduled to try and sort out his list of issues. I have no recollection of any contact with him prior. But
   we start from where we are, so after Nationals, we will sort it out.
 

 -  data access... is available via web api or PSC (practiscore data file) decoding. Some private people have done this decoding for partiular purposes (like some cool rangemaster /MD support tools we hope to introduce into our eco system soon).  And some sports. We support it when asked. Like we do any other support.  So if a sport wants to include results on their page, have at it. We've supported USPSA in this, with some results shown in April, but it hasn't progressed beyond that to my knowledge. We are working with 3GN on this as well now.

- money.... never got any, ever.  Past sponsors you've seen were just me helping friends and companies I liked or that did me solids elsewhere.
  We've never asked for money for the scoring software, but I suppose wouldn't turn down donations from sports, benefactors or competitors.
  But...  PS is free to clubs and sports. Always has been. Always will.

- why do it then... well, it needed doing.  And it grew far more than the moonlighting project I envisioned when starting it.
  Now we face the dilemma of how to keep it going at a larger scale. 

 We are working now on a socialization of the results in PractiScore, basically FB like features, with dedicated competitor pages, match pages, sport pages, sponsor/vendor pages, and discussion, video, photo, sharing, liking, tagging, #, and so forth. Our hope it to snatch a large part of the shooting activity currently happening on FB, with ads similar to in post FB ads.  It's speculative, we will see.  If it fails, then I guess I'll decide what to do then, but Open Source is most likely.  We also plan launch of PractiScore Competitor, which is used by competitors to track their results easily, and edit scenarios of "what if" scoring.  It will be a paid app. Price TBD. But not much.


Ken N.



#42 snark

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 08:57 PM

FWIW, the system used at the Fl Open is indeed cool, but not free. As in something like 10% of match fee per shooter not-free.

I think for that they bring everything in though.

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#43 Dr. Yellow Visor Guy

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 09:01 PM

FWIW, the system used at the Fl Open is indeed cool, but not free. As in something like 10% of match fee per shooter not-free.

...

 

 

No wonder someone has their panties in a wad over Practiscore. 



#44 thegrandwazoo

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 09:09 PM



#45 md12393

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Posted 18 September 2014 - 12:50 AM

I manage 37 Developers and anyone of them can write code better than me. However, none of them can manage or actually "talk to the customers" like I can.


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#46 ZackJones

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Posted 18 September 2014 - 04:26 AM

Here is the reply I got from USPSA from my email:

"Hi Zack,

USPSA has no intention on getting rid of Practiscore. The scoring program works great and all the clubs love it...we just want to ensure that it's integrated with our website and organization in a way that benefits both parties. USPSA is on the verge of updating our database, website, and classifier upload to an automated system, and we want Practiscore to be an integral part of that. We will continue to work openly and honestly with them to ensure better scoring and score uploads for all affiliated USPSA competitions.

Thanks for your email,

Phil Strader"
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#47 ac4wordplay

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Posted 18 September 2014 - 08:49 AM

Here is the reply I got from USPSA from my email:

"Hi Zack,

USPSA has no intention on getting rid of Practiscore. The scoring program works great and all the clubs love it...we just want to ensure that it's integrated with our website and organization in a way that benefits both parties. USPSA is on the verge of updating our database, website, and classifier upload to an automated system, and we want Practiscore to be an integral part of that. We will continue to work openly and honestly with them to ensure better scoring and score uploads for all affiliated USPSA competitions.

Thanks for your email,

Phil Strader"

 

Maybe Ken Nelson will comment on this - that could be informative.



#48 EGriggs

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Posted 18 September 2014 - 11:24 AM

Ken's thoughts on general issues raised:
 

 - what if I quit... Source code for PractiScore is in escow. That means USPSA has source for all of it. I'd probably just make it open source if that were the case, there are
   far more parties than USPSA involved, 6 or 7 sports (and growing), lots of outlaw matches/clubs.

 

 - anonymous letter... it came with other stuff that seemed quite real. It had specifics only I and other parties would know. 
   I debated what to do, maybe it's right, maybe I'm just irritating ADs. I don't know. I felt I had no other way to let them know we were helping their clubs and members.
   I appreciate the support, an outpouring really. A large part of the reason I do this is legacy.

 

- contract with USPSA. There is one. It involves no money but specifies USPSA can have scoring data, and that NB can have access to data necessary to score.
   It's simple, maybe too simple but all other sports get by without one. It never occurred to me to have one, but signed what was offered.
 
- Eric Griggs  and I get along just fine and we have a phone call scheduled to try and sort out his list of issues. I have no recollection of any contact with him prior. But
   we start from where we are, so after Nationals, we will sort it out.
 

 -  data access... is available via web api or PSC (practiscore data file) decoding. Some private people have done this decoding for partiular purposes (like some cool rangemaster /MD support tools we hope to introduce into our eco system soon).  And some sports. We support it when asked. Like we do any other support.  So if a sport wants to include results on their page, have at it. We've supported USPSA in this, with some results shown in April, but it hasn't progressed beyond that to my knowledge. We are working with 3GN on this as well now.

- money.... never got any, ever.  Past sponsors you've seen were just me helping friends and companies I liked or that did me solids elsewhere.
  We've never asked for money for the scoring software, but I suppose wouldn't turn down donations from sports, benefactors or competitors.
  But...  PS is free to clubs and sports. Always has been. Always will.

- why do it then... well, it needed doing.  And it grew far more than the moonlighting project I envisioned when starting it.
  Now we face the dilemma of how to keep it going at a larger scale. 

 We are working now on a socialization of the results in PractiScore, basically FB like features, with dedicated competitor pages, match pages, sport pages, sponsor/vendor pages, and discussion, video, photo, sharing, liking, tagging, #, and so forth. Our hope it to snatch a large part of the shooting activity currently happening on FB, with ads similar to in post FB ads.  It's speculative, we will see.  If it fails, then I guess I'll decide what to do then, but Open Source is most likely.  We also plan launch of PractiScore Competitor, which is used by competitors to track their results easily, and edit scenarios of "what if" scoring.  It will be a paid app. Price TBD. But not much.


Ken N.

 

Let me clarify a couple of things for the masses.

 

1) Practiscore works great for local matches. It adds a little time on the registration at the beginning of the match, but more than makes up for that on getting the scores out when the match is complete. 

 

2) Scoring a local match and scoring a major match are 2 totally different ball games.  You could score a local match on a napkin in crayon and most people wouldn't care.  There has to be a legal paper trail complete with time stamps and signatures for major match scoring, if not the scores have no integrity.

 

3) My issues with the program came from attempting to talk to Ken and getting no feedback and what seemed like no willingness to improve the system.  From talking to Ken recently, he seems open to making the system work for what the RM corps needs.  If he is willing to work on covering the concerns of the corps then I am more than happy to try to help make improvements. 



#49 Motosapiens

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Posted 18 September 2014 - 11:36 AM

group hug!

 

and everyone gets tied to the radiator!


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#50 J.A.Nine

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Posted 18 September 2014 - 11:37 AM

2) Scoring a local match and scoring a major match are 2 totally different ball games.  You could score a local match on a napkin in crayon and most people wouldn't care.  There has to be a legal paper trail complete with time stamps and signatures for major match scoring, if not the scores have no integrity.

 

That's why there's a review function, but most shooters don't bother to ask the scorer or RO to review before they submit.


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#51 not that bryan

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Posted 18 September 2014 - 11:56 AM

Let me clarify a couple of things for the masses.

1) Practiscore works great for local matches. It adds a little time on the registration at the beginning of the match, but more than makes up for that on getting the scores out when the match is complete.

2) Scoring a local match and scoring a major match are 2 totally different ball games. You could score a local match on a napkin in crayon and most people wouldn't care. There has to be a legal paper trail complete with time stamps and signatures for major match scoring, if not the scores have no integrity.

3) My issues with the program came from attempting to talk to Ken and getting no feedback and what seemed like no willingness to improve the system. From talking to Ken recently, he seems open to making the system work for what the RM corps needs. If he is willing to work on covering the concerns of the corps then I am more than happy to try to help make improvements.


Practiscore worked great at the GA State match the last 2 years (maybe 3) running around 250 shooters.
Practiscore worked great at Area 6 this year with running 400 shooters.

A signed paper backup with date and time serves as the fail safe for electronic issues.

I haven't seen any issues that aren't also problems with paper scoring.

#52 rballz

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Posted 18 September 2014 - 12:07 PM

That's why there's a review function, but most shooters don't bother to ask the scorer or RO to review before they submit.

 

We show the shooter the review screen at our local club - most shooters are surprised about it.

 

We have them press the final submit button from that screen as a sort of 'signing off' on the score.


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#53 ZackJones

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Posted 18 September 2014 - 12:17 PM

Worked great at the AL sectional as well. Eric what changes do you think need to be made to make it better?
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#54 Dr. Yellow Visor Guy

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Posted 18 September 2014 - 12:20 PM

It'd be neat if there was a shooter initial feature in the program. Call it "major match" mode and the shooter uses a stylus or finger to initial score on the device.

No paper required, perfect data integrity.


Practiscore seemed to work pretty well at battle in the bluegrass this year.

#55 J.A.Nine

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Posted 18 September 2014 - 12:31 PM

They used paper at Area 4 to give shooters something to sign, but it was basically copying the data off Practiscore just so a shooter can sign off on it and have a paper chain. The import of the Practiscore data onto the USPSA website was totally FUBARed for some reason.


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#56 rvb

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Posted 18 September 2014 - 01:01 PM

It'd be neat if there was a shooter initial feature in the program. Call it "major match" mode and the shooter uses a stylus or finger to initial score on the device.

No paper required, perfect data integrity.
 

 

 

Perfect integrity means the score can't be changed w/o the proper approval and I agree this is a shortcoming of the current PS system.  At the club level the impact is no different than paper as anyone running a clipboard could suffle to their sheet later and scribble out a penalty or scribble in a better time and the stats guy would assume it legit, just like w/ PS they could go in and modify their score and the stats guy would assume it's legit.  Perfect integrity would require a RM/MD/RO whatever to authorize a change to a score that has been saved (via a password for example) as well as document the reason for the change (reshoot due to WSB change, scores entered for wrong competitor, etc etc).  With paper at a match, usually the stage score guy is in control of them until they go up to the shack to get entered, so the competitor doesn't really have that opportunity to fudge them.

 

KenN, I appreciate your input here.  It's great to know there is at least some contract in place and the source is escrowed. My concern is about the future plans USPSA has. They are updating their website and database, and have declared PS an offical scoring system, but it's success hinges on your generosity to do the work necessary on PS. In my line of work, customers would have my head on a platter if I said we had no way to ensure a critical piece of the system was completed on time or correctly becuase a company was doing it for us pro-bono because it was fun for them. This is not a dig on you or PS, it's a dig on USPSA not being in control of their projects. If this is an indication of how uspsa runs these efforts, then it's no wonder why it's been several months and we still are doing monthly classifier updates...

 

the social media plans for PS sound interesting, but there is a lot more that needs done first.  Data integrity, direct uploading of scores and classifier/activity reports to uspsa, better use of uspsa's member database (for easier, error-free registration), and methods to provide real-time scoring are all things that would make this great tool awesome.  Those should take priority over yet another social media outlet, imo. Of course, I understand some of that you can't do until USPSA gets their website/database architected.

 

Thanks,

-rvb


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#57 EGriggs

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Posted 18 September 2014 - 01:23 PM

Worked great at the AL sectional as well. Eric what changes do you think need to be made to make it better?

 

Let me talk to Ken and see what is possible, I know what "I" think the system needs and I will send a message to the other RMs to see what concerns they have.  I will have further info after that phone meeting.  I am not sure how quickly that meeting will occur, by the time he is getting done with Nationals I will be putting the Illinois Sectional on the ground.  We will get it figured out.


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#58 GuanoLoco

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Posted 18 September 2014 - 01:25 PM

Let me get this right: Ken is a proven commodity that cares and has been developing for FREE.

If HQ attempted to create/maintain Practiscore on its own I predict a late, buggy, over-budget 'solution' that meets NO ONE's needs.

USPSA should be providing a well-reasoned, prioritized set of suggestions/requests for Practiscore and doing its best to collaborate.

Open-source Practiscore is an interesting idea.
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#59 EGriggs

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Posted 18 September 2014 - 01:27 PM

It'd be neat if there was a shooter initial feature in the program. Call it "major match" mode and the shooter uses a stylus or finger to initial score on the device.

No paper required, perfect data integrity.


Practiscore seemed to work pretty well at battle in the bluegrass this year.

but no paper trail, say someone wants to arb something on that stage and they have an hour to do so.  When did that hour start?  How do I prove when it started?  At area 4 the only thing with a time stamp was walking around with the shooter, how do I know they didn't change the time? There are a lot of behind the scenes issues that you would never think of as a shooter unless you have administered a match, like I said, I will talk to the other RMs and Ken and I will get it figured out!!



#60 Dr. Yellow Visor Guy

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Posted 18 September 2014 - 01:39 PM

Eric pointed out on FB there's an Opportunity for data corruption (at majors) when the kindle guy tells the paper backup guy the score. It's a fair point. That's part I what I meant by data integrity as well.

Kindle guy inputs 29 A, 1C, 2D, yells that to paper guy who hears 29A,2C,1D. (Due to noise level, auditory dyslexia, hangover, whatever)

sign electronically and that source of data corruption is a non issue.

Unless the shooter steals a device or somehow gets the password to the network, there's no opportunity for scores to be altered. But having some sort of "once initialed and saved it's locked" feature wouldnt be a bad idea.




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