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2003-01-03 21:49:13
What about using the w3c validator to play browser wars?  The user agent is "W3C_Validator/1.305.2.12 libwww-perl/5.64." I can copy URLs and play from there.  As a bonus, I can read about the numerous violations of w3c guidelines Eek.
2003-01-09 20:16:55
This brings up another point: anybody can use the w3c validator or an open proxy to play against themselves.  I know it would get horribly repetitive for whoever would do this, but a script running on one computer could do this.  I don't like registration (note guest status) because that just means signing up for two accounts.  I guess there really isn't a solution to this.
Stephen Brooks
2003-01-11 08:23:03
Thanks for pointing out the nature of my no-win situation.  Razz

"As every 11-year-old kid knows, if you concentrate enough Van-der-Graff generators and expensive special effects in one place, you create a spiral space-time whirly thing, AND an interesting plotline"

To be less terse (and embark on a probably-irrelevant ramble because I feel like it), I'm also not a great fan of 'registration' systems.  I'd prefer it if each person had one internet-identity that they sign in as (with some sort of central network of secure servers) and then were automatically logged in to all systems as themselves.  I heard it said somewhere that e-commerce is moving slowly in this direction, with the implication being that banks instead of 3rd-party sites will eventually provide the services necessary and people would just log in once to their digital 'wallet' and then would be able to buy items with a one or two clicks instead of having to fill in a lengthy form each time.  (See also this trend in "e-science" initiatives, whose big selling point is that scientists only have to have one password to access all academic data networks they are cleared for).  Having fewer passwords would probably also mean people would choose more secure ones and change them more frequently (if I decided to change one of my primary ones right now I'd have to go to about 10 sites and change it on all of them).

Anyway, even more annoying than having to register for every site is having to register TWICE on the SAME site.  That would have been the situation if I'd put a registration thing on Browser Wars.  I have thought about seeing if I can somehow use SQL to retrieve the logged in users+IPs list from this bulletin board so people who log in here can play "personalised" connect 4.

To go back to what you were actually talking about, the only way I can see of preventing excessive cheating and bot-usage is a "community" method, where people will post here if they see that sort of thing going on.  On a more sophisticated level I could generate browsable logs of activity, so people could see how the moves were being made against time, and have players be able to 'vote out' distrusted IP addresses from being able to play, at least for a few weeks.  The time-wise graphs might be able to show up certain kinds of bot activity.

[This message was edited by Stephen Brooks on 2003-Jan-11 at 17:46.]
2003-01-11 17:07:02
Would you be against blocking certain user-agent/IP combinations?  I don't mean browsers, really.  Just bots like the following since nobody really browses with them:

WDG_SiteValidator/1.5.5 ( (WDG validator)
Jigsaw/2.2.0 W3C_CSS_Validator_JFouffa/2.0( (W3C CSS validator)
ia_archiver ( (Internet archiver bot.  I doubt it's possible to play with this one, actually, but if someone is playing with this ID, they're faking it)
W3C_Validator/1.253 libwww-perl/5.64 ( (W3C HTML validator)
Python-urllib/1.15 ( (W3C HTML Tidy online)
W3C-checklink/ libwww-perl/5.64 ( (W3C link checker)
Page Valet 3.1 ( (Page Valet HTML validator)
Link Valet Online 1.2 ( (Page Valet link checker)
(NO ID STRING) ( (Page Valet xml validator)
Stephen Brooks
2003-01-12 08:51:42
Doing it by a combination like that certainly makes it specific enough.  Sometimes (e.g. with wget and GoogleBot) I think it's funny to make people use weird systems for playing the game, though.

I think I've got it logging all unrecognised browsers (appear as geese) ID strings to a file right now, so I'll search it for those strings to see if anyone has used them a lot.

"As every 11-year-old kid knows, if you concentrate enough Van-der-Graff generators and expensive special effects in one place, you create a spiral space-time whirly thing, AND an interesting plotline"
2003-01-12 08:57:44
I played one game with the validator just to see if it was possible Roll Eyes.
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