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Scott Crom
June 2nd, 2005, 09:32 AM
Marijke asked if I'd be happy to continue producing the
WORDSABC.DIX and WORDS123.DIX files.

Actually, this is an appropriate time for me to retire from that
position, given other things that are going on in my life.

Would you be willing to take it over yourself, or seek out some
other volunteer?

I'm glad you have the lists through Round 1610. I have the words
and dealers through Round 1614 (still in progress as of now), and
would be glad to pass them along to the appropriate person.

It's been great!

Scott



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John Barrs
June 2nd, 2005, 09:59 AM
Scott

If I am not killed in the rush of volunteers... I could carry on with the files...

But if Paul keeps the data up on site (up to 1614), is it necessary? - (or is the data he is keeping on site coming from you?)

JohnnyB





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Marijke van Gans [PG2002]
June 3rd, 2005, 09:11 AM
Scott,

> Marijke asked if I'd be happy to continue producing the
> WORDSABC.DIX and WORDS123.DIX files.
>
> Actually, this is an appropriate time for me to retire from that
> position, given other things that are going on in my life.

Fair enough, and thanks for your efforts.

> Would you be willing to take it over yourself, or seek out some
> other volunteer?

No prob. I've done it before, as you know.

Actually, there is as i said no point in doing double work. Lists in various
formats are being maintained at Paul's site, i'll look into teaching
Dixomatic to use what's there, or into converting it.

PS those various "hundreds" you prepared from the game's earliest days are a
gem. I finally managed to snatch them off GO TAPCIS just weeks before it
went! When i tried to do so a few years ago my 'phone connexion was often
not reliable enough to swallow big files whole, and i didn't really have the
diskspace then, always teetering at the edge of the last half meg free <g>.

--Regards, marijke




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Marijke van Gans [PG2002]
June 3rd, 2005, 09:11 AM
Johnny,

> If I am not killed in the rush of volunteers... I could carry on with the
files...
>
> But if Paul keeps the data up on site (up to 1614), is it necessary? -
(or is the data he is keeping on site coming from you [Scott]?)

As to the last question, i think Paul maintains his own lists (the one i saw
on the web went right up to the current round) and may have been doing so
for quite a while. Coryphæus apparently reads some kind of database format.

The need for downloadable lists in ASCII text format is there for

- those who don't use Cory, nor a database program that reads whatever format
the non-ASCII lists are in, and don't want to have to go to the web each
time to check in the human readable table whether a word is on the list.

This is the original purpose of old-word lists in ASCII, for people to
peruse by hand (to make sure they don't re-deal a word dealt before)
after downloading them from the old TAPCIS forum. For this purpose, any
ASCII human readable format will do.

- Since Dixomatic was written, which reads WORDS123.DIX and/or WORDSABC.DIX
in the then current format, there's a second reason to have such lists. It
can check the word you propose to deal against the list. For this purpose,
only that exact format will do, unless i change the program.

So for the time being, a new maintainer would certainly be welcome. I
already have to tweak Dixomatic to cope with new types of headers and other
message separators in incoming definitions and votes, so i could do without
having to devise a new way of reading old word lists as well right now!

If nobody else had stepped forward, i would probably have updated
WORDSABC.DIX and/or WORDS123.DIX from time to time for the next half year or
so, until such time as i might get round to teach Dixomatic to read the
other formats on Paul's site.

But if you would be willing to do that that would be wonderful. It's not a
lot of work. I can email you the latest lists up to 1610. Updating
WORDS123.DIX is done by adding the recent words at the end (also those who
weren't played, with a star) while updating WORDSABC.DIX is done by
inserting them alphabetically (or by alpha-sorting the whole WORDS123.DIX on
the appropriate columns in e.g. QEdit).

- For the purpose of humans browsing the files, both ...ABC and ...123 seemed
to be popular in about equal measure, going by download numbers. It would be
up to you if you want to maintain one or both.

- For the purpose of automation in Dixomatic, either one will do (it searches
the whole list anyway and doesn't care about the order). Dix *is* written
very stupidly though: the word, dealer and round number must all start at
exactly the right column (if your editor replaces spaces by tabs it would
completely confuse the program, for instance).

You'd be stepping in a long and honorable tradition. Toni Savage uploaded
the big list comprising over a thousands rounds, but when i started looking
for old words, somewhere in the 1200s if memory serves, it was about 150
rounds old with no on-going project to keep adding to it. I offered to do
that (using Toni's list, and drawing on private archives from Scott Crom and
Dodi Schultz to fill the gap) and uploaded updated lists for a while. Later,
Scott took over this task, and i think he's now done it longer than i ever
have. I don't know when Paul started doing non-ASCII lists.

As to frequency, that's up to you. My philosophy was to post updates as few
and far between as possible, to save people the inconvenience of having to
download updates all the time. On the old TAPCIS forum, messages used to
scroll off after about 12-15 rounds played, and i only replaced a pair of
lists when the words not on it were scrolling off the board. At some stage,
Scott got fed up with my lackadaisical attitude and made the trains run on
time <g>, uploading a new pair of lists after every round divisible by 10,
regular as clockwork.

Nowadays, message scroll rate is no longer a consideration. People's memory
is. It's highly unlikely someone will pick a word that was dealt in the last
half dozen rounds, but they may well pick a word played 50 rounds ago
(especially if they were on holiday at the time).

What say you... do you feel like extending the tradition a bit longer?

We'd have to pick a good place on Paul's site to upload them, preferably a
directory name short enough so the URL fits on one line in a message when we
tell people where to download it from <g>. Uploading to tapcis.com is by
attaching it to a message and asking Judy to make it "sticky".

Another consideration -- i'd like to know if anybody here uses NotePad to
read the WORDS???.DIX files. NotePad (and perhaps some other editors) can't
load files bigger than 64K! When i first prepared word lists, they were
perilously close to 64K already, due to a wide column accommodating some
very large words, with many spaces in that column in almost all rows. I just
swapped the columns around, making the word the last column (which by the
nature of text files is of variable width), and the file became 40something
K. Now at round 1610 however we've almost reached the 64K = 65536 again....
but if nobody uses Notepad (i don't) then we can happily ignore that and
just keep growing them. Dixomatic was, from the start, written to
accommodate the lists however long they grow.

PS for those who like history: there were also self-extracting archives for
rounds 1-25 and 26-50, and in more recent years Scott embarked on a project
to upload complete archives (including fake defs etc.) for the rounds up to
500, a hundred at a time. They were on the TAPCIS forum, i don't know where
they are now. Possibly on the list's website and/or at tapcis.com (i have
copies and could email them if necessary).

--Regards, marijke




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