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An Impassioned Plea BBO Forums

#21 User is offline   GrahamJson 

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Posted 2017-November-14, 16:03

I have commented quite frequently in the past, but it is not always easy to do. It’s ok whilst the thread is one of the one or two featured on “Messages”, but once it disappears from that the only way to follow the thread, at least using a iPad, is by opening another message then clicking on the “BBO discussion forums” link at the top of the page then opening further links in order to get to the thread that you are interested in. If that were not tedious enough, the latest version of the BBO app makes it even more difficult as it is no longer possible to expand the page to make it easier on the link you need. Also it now seems to take multiple clicks before you are actually taken to the thread that you are after. This seems to be yet another example of where the new version of BBO is far worse than the previous version.

This is the third version of BBO that I have used. The first version was fine. The second not so good. The latest appears to have no advantages over the previous versions and has obvious disadvantages, the most obvious being the lack of landscape view support. Unless they can make it far easier to comment on threads the lack of input will only get worse.
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#22 User is offline   The_Badger 

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Posted 2017-November-14, 16:39

View PostGrahamJson, on 2017-November-14, 16:03, said:

I have commented quite frequently in the past, but it is not always easy to do. It’s ok whilst the thread is one of the one or two featured on “Messages”, but once it disappears from that the only way to follow the thread, at least using a iPad, is by opening another message then clicking on the “BBO discussion forums” link at the top of the page then opening further links in order to get to the thread that you are interested in. If that were not tedious enough, the latest version of the BBO app makes it even more difficult as it is no longer possible to expand the page to make it easier on the link you need. Also it now seems to take multiple clicks before you are actually taken to the thread that you are after. This seems to be yet another example of where the new version of BBO is far worse than the previous version.

This is the third version of BBO that I have used. The first version was fine. The second not so good. The latest appears to have no advantages over the previous versions and has obvious disadvantages, the most obvious being the lack of landscape view support. Unless they can make it far easier to comment on threads the lack of input will only get worse.


That's interesting in itself, Graham. My bridge partner uses "Paddy" (her name for an iPad) regularly but changes to an desktop computer to play, and I get the impression that she has far more access to the Bridgebase site as a whole from her desktop than her iPad. I use a Windows 10 laptop and can be on the whole Forum site in seconds.
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#23 User is offline   gszes 

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Posted 2017-November-14, 19:33

MANY (sigh) years ago I read a post that went something like this-- :That's what I like most about this forum (BBO), while most posters are passing at the 2 level, there are others thinking about the possibility of slam and explaining why:

IMHO there are far too many posts that answer a simple question with a simple answer even though the TOPIC is one of reasonable complexity. It is nice to note that a World Class player(s) chose a specific action BUT it is USELESS information for someone reading that answer because it does not provide the THINKING involved in the decision process. I see far too many simplistic replies and not enough EDUCATIONAL replies. That makes BBO a far less useful tool for someone trying to LEARN how to play bridge. I hope MIKEH comes back and provides more of his in depth type of analysis. I did not always agree but at least I would try to explain WHY.

The personal attack issue is important BECAUSE IT IS A COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME FOR SOMEONE TRYING TO LEARN (damn caps lock). Stop wasting the readers time with ANY form of personal attack. Make your arguments in a quiet (ok go ahead and use caps lock for emphasis) logical fashion and let the facts of your argument speak for themselves. Quit worrying about WHERE a post belongs sheesh. New players do NOT KNOW ENOUGH to properly post things in the best spot. The last thing we need is a bunch of :experts: yammering on about why they have to read these improperly placed posts. Just get on with your life and move on to the next question if you have nothing useful to add to the discussion. This endless ranting discourages new players from posting questions and that -by definition- is a BAD thing for any forum that is trying to grow.
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#24 User is offline   GrahamJson 

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Posted 2017-November-15, 05:08

As I previously mentioned, one problem is simply that the forums are difficult to access, at least with an iPad. Why not under Messages have News and Forum as separate categories? Then under Forums have all the topics under which posts have been made over the previous few days. If necessary you could scroll down if the number of topics exceeded the page length. That would make it far easier to see if there had been any new posts in any thread of interest.
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#25 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-November-15, 10:30

View PostGrahamJson, on 2017-November-15, 05:08, said:

As I previously mentioned, one problem is simply that the forums are difficult to access, at least with an iPad. Why not under Messages have News and Forum as separate categories? Then under Forums have all the topics under which posts have been made over the previous few days. If necessary you could scroll down if the number of topics exceeded the page length. That would make it far easier to see if there had been any new posts in any thread of interest.

The forum isn't really intended for mobile devices; there's a mobile face, but it's not designed well. The vendor has probably made substantial improvements in this area, but we're unfortunately running a version that's several revisions out of date. Our attempts to upgrade have run into snags because our customizations (like the hand diagram tool) aren't compatible with the new version, and they don't provide tech support for customizations. So we're sticking with this version.

So enhancing its availability in the mobile app will probably just lead to frustration.

#26 User is offline   onoway 

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Posted 2017-November-27, 18:05

Seems to me that the number of people generally is dropping, every time there is an update and certainly after the enforced migration to the web version. Certainly I know a number of people who dropped out of BBO to find other things to do when the move to the web was (largely) enforced this year.

As far as the forums: I used to post on various threads, although to be honest mostly eventually ended up being mostly in the water cooler. That was an eye opener in terms of abusive personal attacks, although I was only a target once or twice and the remarks were not quite as extreme as they were towards some others. It seems as though some people would rather search out things to be vitriolic and vicious about than to simply pass on by. When I asked some very thoughtful and intelligent people why they never posted even in the water cooler, I was told that the forums were the bailiwick of a few people in a clique, and they had no interest in getting involved. Eventually, at least in the water cooler that appeared to be true, and heaven help anyone who dared propose an alternate point of view to the dominant posters. I got bored with the whole thing, although some posters had interesting things to say and thoughtful comments to make about things they disagreed with, there was far too much "why don't you go drown yourself, you useless moron" type of comment to make it worth while. This attitude seems reflected in a comment made on this thread, which is why not close down the water cooler or at least restrict the topics, presumably to those interesting to the person wanting to control/dominate what people can talk about or how discuss.

All that said, I was looking at the tourneys a few minutes ago. 28 tourneys posted/running. 26 of them were for individual players. I don't see how this is promoting bridge which at least originally was a social event, although perhaps it is good for the bottom line in the short term. I remember when BBO first broke the 10.000 people online mark. It was quite a while ago. Now it seems BBO is frequently back to that level and shrinking. Clubs are shrinking, WP used to have 20 tables or more most of the time, virtually all with people, no GIBS. Often now there are no tables going. There used to be a host of public tourneys to choose from, but the instant individual tourneys have decimated them, being as there isn't any waiting or looking for a partner, so now often there are no free public tourneys at all running. If they aren't connecting on BBO as players, why would they post in or even read the forums? Many of the questions really seem to come down to partnership communication, or they used to, and since most people these days appear to be playing with GIBs, what's the point? The people who are working on partnerships that I know all have experts they are already working with.
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#27 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-November-27, 19:43

View Postonoway, on 2017-November-27, 18:05, said:

All that said, I was looking at the tourneys a few minutes ago. 28 tourneys posted/running. 26 of them were for individual players. I don't see how this is promoting bridge which at least originally was a social event, although perhaps it is good for the bottom line in the short term. I remember when BBO first broke the 10.000 people online mark. It was quite a while ago. Now it seems BBO is frequently back to that level and shrinking. Clubs are shrinking, WP used to have 20 tables or more most of the time, virtually all with people, no GIBS. Often now there are no tables going. There used to be a host of public tourneys to choose from, but the instant individual tourneys have decimated them, being as there isn't any waiting or looking for a partner, so now often there are no free public tourneys at all running. If they aren't connecting on BBO as players, why would they post in or even read the forums? Many of the questions really seem to come down to partnership communication, or they used to, and since most people these days appear to be playing with GIBs, what's the point? The people who are working on partnerships that I know all have experts they are already working with.

Online bridge is very different from f2f bridge. It caters to people who want to login whenever it's convenient to them and play for a little while. Indies and robot tournaments are perfect for this style.

f2f bridge requires planning a time to go to the club or tournament, and arranging to play with a partner is easier when doing this.

#28 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-November-27, 20:07

View Postnige1, on 2017-November-14, 09:16, said:

The water-cooler is a major BBO asset. It's informative and generates lots of traffic. You might speculate on the psychopathology of some posters but hating them seems excessive. Abusive posts are a small minority and can be handled by more moderation -- preferably self-moderation.


Also restricting the topics seems silly. No one is forced to read a thread that doesn't interest them.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein
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#29 User is offline   onoway 

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Posted 2017-November-29, 13:16

View Postbarmar, on 2017-November-27, 19:43, said:

Online bridge is very different from f2f bridge. It caters to people who want to login whenever it's convenient to them and play for a little while. Indies and robot tournaments are perfect for this style.

f2f bridge requires planning a time to go to the club or tournament, and arranging to play with a partner is easier when doing this.


Precisely my point. Many of us have very limited access to f2f bridge and in the past BBO has spoiled us by offering many options to play online with a variety of potential partners. Now, for one reason or another, many people play only with a limited group of known friends, and so it's so much easier to play the endless hands than make the effort to foster a partnership or try to find a partner for a tourney if none of your friends happens to be online or free at the time.

I do this myself, play the endless hands, but it might as well be donkey kong or angry birds as anything else, it isn't bridge as far as I'm concerned, it's just a way to fill time that requires no real effort. Learning to deal with the bots isn't the same thing at all as working out a partnership with a person, but it encourages people not to bother making any effort, or make any sort of commitment. It's difficult to me to see how this promotes "bridge" which is a difficult game to play well and, to my way of thinking, only really rewards a compatible human partnership of whatever level. This is certainly not being fostered by the instant gratification of the bot tourneys.

It also isn't being fostered by the unnecessarilly complicated steps needed to do anything at all on BBO now. As host, I was totally stymied trying to get rid of a bot so a player could sit at a table the other day and ended up needing to reset the table. At another table, an opp was totally unable to invite a bot to play so HE had to reset the table. Another player couldn't even FIND the table, as she said clubs were not in the list of options on her iPad. I'm not able to access BBO proper on my iPad at all. although I can access the forums, if I want to play with anyone I have to find a library or a "real" computer somewhere. It's all just easier to forget it, and to my mind, it's a wonder there are still so many people playing here with actual human partners and opps. It's certainly no surprise at all that there are fewer people posting in the forums.
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