Specification for ECF LMS API ?

General discussions about grading.
John Upham
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Specification for ECF LMS API ?

Post by John Upham » Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:36 pm

Apologies for not knowing who will know the answer to this so I'll ask anyway...

Can anyone point me at the specification for the API so that the Leagues using the Chess 365 LMS (i.e. mine!) can shunt their monthly data in to the ECF grading system ?


Thanks !
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Nick Grey
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Re: Specification for ECF LMS API ?

Post by Nick Grey » Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:25 pm

I thought next year with no shunt on. Ask ECF not under grading system ?

Brian Valentine
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Re: Specification for ECF LMS API ?

Post by Brian Valentine » Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:58 pm

At present there is no specification available.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Specification for ECF LMS API ?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:13 pm

Brian Valentine wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:58 pm
At present there is no specification available.
Conspiracy theories were out in force at a recent County AGM.

Bullet points

ECF want to force everyone to use its LMS
ECF want to abolish graders

The BCF allegedly wanted to abolish graders twenty to twenty five years ago and arguably they did so up to a point. That was when the central grading system took over the process of estimating grades for new players. That reduced local graders to the task of collecting and validating results, rather than setting the terms for the input of new players.

David Sedgwick
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Re: Specification for ECF LMS API ?

Post by David Sedgwick » Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:11 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:13 pm
ECF want to abolish graders
There appear to be two possibilities:

1. ECF want graders to do six times as much work as they do now.
2. ECF want to abolish graders.

Most graders I know would be quite happy with the second possibility, but are up in arms about the first.

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Specification for ECF LMS API ?

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:16 am

I think I might go with 1b: ECF want graders to do work six times as often as they do now, and don't realize that this does in fact increase their workload.

(This shows every sign of being an Alex H initiative, and I've worked with Alex H a lot and have some idea of where his blind spots lie.)

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Specification for ECF LMS API ?

Post by Alex Holowczak » Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:11 am

IM Jack Rudd wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:16 am
(This shows every sign of being an Alex H initiative, and I've worked with Alex H a lot and have some idea of where his blind spots lie.)
Given that grading is the responsibility of the Director of Membership, and the LMS is the responsibility of the Director of Home Chess, neither of which are me... :roll:

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Re: Specification for ECF LMS API ?

Post by Angus French » Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:51 am

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:11 am
IM Jack Rudd wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:16 am
(This shows every sign of being an Alex H initiative, and I've worked with Alex H a lot and have some idea of where his blind spots lie.)
Given that grading is the responsibility of the Director of Membership, and the LMS is the responsibility of the Director of Home Chess, neither of which are me... :roll:
Though, Alex, you kicked off the project when Director of Home Chess.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Specification for ECF LMS API ?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:56 am

David Sedgwick wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:11 am
Most graders I know would be quite happy with the second possibility, but are up in arms about the first.
If you had a reliable and comprehensive result reporting service, you wouldn't actually need local graders. All the leg work in identifying players and inputting results would be done by match captains, club secretaries or local tournament organisers. The national grading or rating process would be to download the result data and do something with it.

Monthly grading shouldn't add any extra work for most Congresses as results are submitted as often as the event takes place. For other events such as leagues and club events, what used to take place every six months is now required every month in which there's activity. Inefficiencies that are tolerable in a process taking place every six months, become a serious pain every month.

Ian Thompson
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Re: Specification for ECF LMS API ?

Post by Ian Thompson » Wed Aug 21, 2019 9:11 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:56 am
All the leg work in identifying players ... would be done by match captains, club secretaries ...
My experience as a grader is that most match captains and club secretaries are unwilling to/incapable of doing this. They'll wait until someone asks them whether Fred Bloggs who played for them is the same Fred Bloggs as played somewhere else. There's then perhaps a 50% chance of them finding out and answering the question.

Angus French
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Re: Specification for ECF LMS API ?

Post by Angus French » Wed Aug 21, 2019 9:12 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:56 am
...All the leg work in identifying players and inputting results would be done by match captains, club secretaries or local tournament organisers...
For leagues it's all too easy not to do the work to check whether new club player, John Smith, is new to competitive chess or, in fact, John Smith of some other club in some other place. If the work of the local grader is delegated to multiple match captains and club secretaries then I think there is a risk to data quality.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Specification for ECF LMS API ?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Aug 21, 2019 9:46 am

Angus French wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 9:12 am

For leagues it's all too easy not to do the work to check whether new club player, John Smith, is new to competitive chess or, in fact, John Smith of some other club in some other place. If the work of the local grader is delegated to multiple match captains and club secretaries then I think there is a risk to data quality.
That presumably remains a problem with any LMS including the ECFs. You have to have someone then charged with maintaining the integrity of the results reporting together with promoting an attitude that when people complain about grades being incorrect, their first port of call should be as to whether results are correctly reported. Even basic LMS systems are an advance, in that results can be seen.

John Upham
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Re: Specification for ECF LMS API ?

Post by John Upham » Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:03 am

Brian Valentine wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:58 pm
At present there is no specification available.
Brian,

Is there a timescale for when this will be available ?

(Perhaps there is no intention to make it available and to expect everyone to migrate to the ECF LMS)

I need a little time to develop and test the code so that I can drip feed results from my various leagues on a monthly basis.

I assume that this is what the ECF is aiming towards ?
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Brian Valentine
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Re: Specification for ECF LMS API ?

Post by Brian Valentine » Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:30 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:13 pm
Brian Valentine wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:58 pm
At present there is no specification available.
Conspiracy theories were out in force at a recent County AGM.

Bullet points

ECF want to force everyone to use its LMS
ECF want to abolish graders......
The ECF will not force everyone to use LMS. I expect the LMS to be used in pilot phases of the project, but will roll out the outcomes as soon as things there become stable

The ECF recognises that monthly grading will only work if we abolish much workload that graders do at present. We have to develop tools that can facilitate this desire.

As for John's cry for a schedule, when one is reasonably settled it will be published. While we have a fair idea of the challenge ahead there are a few issues still in flux. We have settled on publishing an old style grading list for next August; our objective is to have a beta version of the new system working early in the new year bringing it up to a standard to take over thereafter. As I allude above this is looking a challenge!

Brian Valentine
Manager ECF Grading

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Specification for ECF LMS API ?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Aug 21, 2019 2:21 pm

Brian Valentine wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:30 pm
The ECF recognises that monthly grading will only work if we abolish much workload that graders do at present. We have to develop tools that can facilitate this desire.
Something that enables the existing League management systems to easily submit results would therefore seem desirable.

A utility that could read and process pgn files could be useful for club officials to submit results of internal tournaments.

I'll explain why. Everyone who maintains a personal database of their own games has a means to create a pgn file. So if submitting results for a club tournament, you set up a pgn database of games but with results only, no moves.

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