Swiss Manager - Help Needed

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Alex Holowczak
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Re: Swiss Manager - Help Needed

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:38 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Alex Holowczak wrote: You have to enter the date format in accordance with the relevant ISO format. Given the multitude of different formats a date could be written in, you can't really blame the programmer, or FIDE, for wanting dates submitted using the ISO format.
I think being unfriendly to users in software design is an entirely valid complaint. It's been possible to specify date formats in spreadsheets since at least Windows 3 in 1990 and probably before. The trick is to store dates as the number of days since 1st Jan 1900 or earlier. For that matter presentation of dates is a global Windows setting.
I just don't think it's a big deal. Just remember that the date needs to be in the ISO format and put it in. Yes, it's not the way we normally write a date in the UK, but in the grand scheme of things one has to worry about on a daily basis, who cares?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Swiss Manager - Help Needed

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:50 am

Alex Holowczak wrote: Just remember that the date needs to be in the ISO format and put it in. Yes, it's not the way we normally write a date in the UK, but in the grand scheme of things one has to worry about on a daily basis, who cares?
I would suspect "software design theory" would consider that a poor practice. By all means store dates internally in ISO format and as part of file design. For user input, you include a filter, so that if an input format of dd/mm/yyy or dd/mm/yyyy is the user's preference, the program accepts that as input and then translates.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Swiss Manager - Help Needed

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:45 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Alex Holowczak wrote: Just remember that the date needs to be in the ISO format and put it in. Yes, it's not the way we normally write a date in the UK, but in the grand scheme of things one has to worry about on a daily basis, who cares?
I would suspect "software design theory" would consider that a poor practice. By all means store dates internally in ISO format and as part of file design. For user input, you include a filter, so that if an input format of dd/mm/yyy or dd/mm/yyyy is the user's preference, the program accepts that as input and then translates.
Good for them. Rather than grumble about it though, I'll just put it in the way it wants it, and move on with life. :)

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Swiss Manager - Help Needed

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:02 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote: Good for them. Rather than grumble about it though, I'll just put it in the way it wants it, and move on with life.
Is that going to be your attitude to observations about the ECF's League Management Software, or being grading, no longer a Home Director responsibility ?

NickFaulks
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Re: Swiss Manager - Help Needed

Post by NickFaulks » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:17 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Alex Holowczak wrote: Good for them. Rather than grumble about it though, I'll just put it in the way it wants it, and move on with life.
Is that going to be your attitude to observations about the ECF's League Management Software?
Ouch!

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Swiss Manager - Help Needed

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:29 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Alex Holowczak wrote: Good for them. Rather than grumble about it though, I'll just put it in the way it wants it, and move on with life.
Is that going to be your attitude to observations about the ECF's League Management Software, or being grading, no longer a Home Director responsibility ?
No, it's going to be my attitude to your observations about the ECF's League Management Software; but helpful comments are always welcome.

Ian Thompson
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Re: Swiss Manager - Help Needed

Post by Ian Thompson » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:30 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Paul McKeown wrote:There are other localisation issues I could suggest, such as the order for entering dates, which ought to be locale sensitive, or at least configurable.
You have to enter the date format in accordance with the relevant ISO format. Given the multitude of different formats a date could be written in, you can't really blame the programmer, or FIDE, for wanting dates submitted using the ISO format.
You might store it internally in ISO format; you might output it to other applications in ISO format. I can think of no good reason why a program should not accept input in the format defined in the (Windows) computer's regional settings if its been well written.

Michael Flatt
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Re: Swiss Manager - Help Needed

Post by Michael Flatt » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:10 am

This thread does illustrate the difficulty a number of controllers have experienced in using Swiss Manager to run tournament which arises purely from the complexity of the software and that it is feature rich.

Intrinsically, Swiss Pairing is not a difficult task once one is familiar with the basic rules. Translating that into a reliable and simple-to-use computer program does demand a certain expertise, which is why we don't all attempt to write our own.

Thus, controllers new to computer pairing programs would be best advised to gain experience on a less sophisticated pairing program prior to deciding whether Swiss Manager has sufficient advantage to invest the time and effort necessary to master its various intricacies.

Gaining mastery in more than one pairing software also permits a selection of which is the most appropriate to use in a particular tournament.

The Arbiters Association, which comprises a wide range of experienced and less experienced arbiters amongst its membership, would appear to be an appropriate organisation to run training sessions and advise on computerised Swiss pairings. It keeps in contact with its members with a newsletter specifically covering matters of interest to arbiters.

Chess Arbiters Association website: http://www.chessarbitersassociation.co.uk/

Brian Towers
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Re: Swiss Manager - Help Needed

Post by Brian Towers » Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:26 pm

Michael Flatt wrote:Intrinsically, Swiss Pairing is not a difficult task once one is familiar with the basic rules. Translating that into a reliable and simple-to-use computer program does demand a certain expertise, which is why we don't all attempt to write our own.
I don't think you quite understand what is going on under the bonnet. They will all tell you that you need to have Java installed because they nearly all use the same free Java pairing engine. They are mostly not translating the pairing rules into code.

The main differences are the user interface and the web capability. Crucially Swiss Manager has a free associated website with automated uploading of the tournament to that website. A competitor like Vega will generate the web files for you but it is then up to you to upload them to your own website and do any plumbing in required.
Ah, but I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Swiss Manager - Help Needed

Post by Alex Holowczak » Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:12 pm

Brian Towers wrote:
Michael Flatt wrote:Intrinsically, Swiss Pairing is not a difficult task once one is familiar with the basic rules. Translating that into a reliable and simple-to-use computer program does demand a certain expertise, which is why we don't all attempt to write our own.
I don't think you quite understand what is going on under the bonnet. They will all tell you that you need to have Java installed because they nearly all use the same free Java pairing engine. They are mostly not translating the pairing rules into code.

The main differences are the user interface and the web capability. Crucially Swiss Manager has a free associated website with automated uploading of the tournament to that website. A competitor like Vega will generate the web files for you but it is then up to you to upload them to your own website and do any plumbing in required.
This is exactly right. FIDE's Swiss Pairings commission produces JaVaFo, which is what Swiss-Manager runs to do the pairings. So do lots of other pieces of software, such as Swiss Master, because why wouldn't you use the freely supplied version, given the effort of coding your own? UTU doesn't use it, though... But this is why I have relatively high confidence when people say the pairings are wrong. Well, we used the thing FIDE provides to the software manufacturers that's in accordance with its pairing rules. It may not be foolproof, but it's a strong start.

Swiss Master and Vega have the same website issue, and I generally find webmasters are much happier to put links to Swiss-Manager, rather than set up separate FTP areas for arbiters to upload web files.

Michael Flatt
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Re: Swiss Manager - Help Needed

Post by Michael Flatt » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:15 pm

Brian Towers wrote:
Michael Flatt wrote:Intrinsically, Swiss Pairing is not a difficult task once one is familiar with the basic rules. Translating that into a reliable and simple-to-use computer program does demand a certain expertise, which is why we don't all attempt to write our own.
I don't think you quite understand what is going on under the bonnet. They will all tell you that you need to have Java installed because they nearly all use the same free Java pairing engine. They are mostly not translating the pairing rules into code.

The main differences are the user interface and the web capability. Crucially Swiss Manager has a free associated website with automated uploading of the tournament to that website. A competitor like Vega will generate the web files for you but it is then up to you to upload them to your own website and do any plumbing in required.
The user of the pairing program really has no interest in the detailed coding, particularly if the relevant FIDE commission have endorsed the program as being capable of producing satisfactory pairings.

What is important, at least in my view, is the ease of operation and ability to manage the pairings according to the particular circumstances of the tournament; i.e. introduction and removal of players, correction of results, manual repairings and whatever other deviations might arise for whatever reason.

Individuals have different experience and expectations of computer pairing programs which after all are simply aids to the controller of the tournament.

Some programs simply have better designed user interface than others and that can be a significant factor in making the choice over which piece of software to use.

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Adam Raoof
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Re: Swiss Manager - Help Needed

Post by Adam Raoof » Fri Aug 18, 2017 2:48 pm

Adam Raoof wrote:Please feel free to share this link

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bX4 ... sp=sharing
P.S. - if there is demand for a hands on class to walk people through the software, I can do this remotely via webinar or I can get a venue. I would charge a reasonable price. Email me at adamraoof@gmail.com

In practice you can probably use the software out of the box just by reading the FAQ and experimenting with the example tournaments given, but I do appreciate that we all learn differently!

Paul McKeown
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Re: Swiss Manager - Help Needed

Post by Paul McKeown » Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:19 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:for example, it has a function that allows you to set the rating categories for rating prizes, but I've never really experimented with that.
I've experimented with that. It isn't flexible, and doesn't produce the results I need. Better off with Excel.

Paul McKeown
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Re: Swiss Manager - Help Needed

Post by Paul McKeown » Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:20 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:For the experts, though, here is a question.

Is there a way to get a full report (or a means to export the data) on all the players in an event, with all the entered data provided, including name, id, FIDE id, grade, rating, gender, club, date or birth, etc?

Or even better, that plus all the games played. That would be perfect for generating the necessary info for ECF grading, for instance.

However, if such a thing exists, I haven't found it, and I end up hacking together various columns from various reports to get what is needed, which seems like unnecessary drudgery.
The experts dodged that question.

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Re: Swiss Manager - Help Needed

Post by Paul McKeown » Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:26 pm

Michael Flatt wrote:Yes, I did find Matt Carr's User Guide to Swiss Manager written specifically for the Megafinals to be very informative and helpful. Thanks are due to Sarah Longson for circulating it to Organisers of Megafinals.
I agree that Matt's guide is useful.

I think it misses detail in one area. When it comes to importing players from a file, there is additional information necessary, e.g. field format required for the file to be imported.

Otherwise a good document.

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