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Making sense of the 'TD' screen Make the TD screen more cohesive

#1 User is offline   Vesian 

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Posted 2020-September-14, 15:01

AS a long-standing player on BBO I've not really felt the need to use the BBO forums. But now I feel very strongly about the plight of fellow TD's

I've been more involved as a TD since the start of the Covid 19 pandemic, seeing a definite need for players. Running a weekday tournament since March has been quite a challenge - but - very worthwhile for many reasons. I started from scratch and now have over 300 members.

I have been using V3 of the BBO software all this time and am pleased see a few pertinent changes for the better. The 'players' screen does the job quite convincingly.

Sad to say this is definitely NOT the case when running club tournies!!! The TD's screen is very difficult to understand with little or no apparent logic - constantly having to use 'workarounds' to solve problems.

It would be a great to see the programmers prioritised these issues. The main 'monitor' section of the screen works flawlessly. BUT - all the information on the right hand side is nonsensical - seeming to follow no real reference to the played hands!

at least two of the titles - Recent results and Recent Tournaments are completely unnecessary! Surely all references should be focused on the tourney running at the time which is being monitored\managed by the TD ??

The 'Reset' button performs no actual function, at present, but could put to good use - options are many-fold.

Bottom right-hand corner is - in principal - a great idea where a 'contested' hand could be played without leaving the table that is in play.

This is quite impossible without using a workaround via Players Results. So that area of the screen is totally unusable in it's present form.

Placing 'prompt' screens in the corners seems reasonable initially. But, using large screen these prompts outside the field of vision.

As an example any prompt in the bottom right could be moved into the right-hand side of the chat box (where very little text appears). Centring this 'box' upwards would make it more practicable to see.

Moving from one table to another - if the hand is in play - surely there should be no result on display- as an ex-programmer this should be an easy fix!

I've been a member of BBO for a great many years longer and have seen many changes. The present version has the opportunity to exceed,and excel, all other on-line bridge clubs. I would like to see that happen.

Not using flash is on of many bonuses we all enjoy - long overdue.

My comments are designed to be constructive. I'm sure we'll see a more user-friendly edition - for TD's - in the near future.

Can you guys step up to the plate and excel? I'm sure the answer is yes!!

Tony (Vesian) - a very frustrated TD.

Kind regards

Tony (Vesian) TD for the English Acol Club.
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#2 User is offline   Gerardo 

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Posted 2020-September-14, 19:30

The tabs on the right hand side belong show information about you as an user.

Except the Director tab. There information about the tourneys you are directing (or scheduled to direct) is shown.

#3 User is online   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-September-15, 02:14

View PostGerardo, on 2020-September-14, 19:30, said:

Except the Director tab. There information about the tourneys you are directing (or scheduled to direct) is shown.

But not the tourneys you already directed, alas. Nor do they appear as such under My Hands.
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#4 User is offline   Vesian 

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Posted 2020-September-15, 08:09

Thanks for the reply - I feel you have misunderstood. I made no reference to the tabs. Please re-read - thank you

Tony (vesian)
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#5 User is offline   Gerardo 

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Posted 2020-September-15, 08:41

You did mention "right hand side", "recent results" and "recent tournaments" (which I do see in the History tab in the right panel).

That's what I understood, so indeed, looks like I misunderstood you.


#6 User is offline   Vesian 

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Posted 2020-September-15, 13:49

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Hi Gerardo,

My discussion is concerning the Results screen and the playing a previous hand screen both of which are on the right hand half of the main TD screen.

I wish to draw your attention to both of these areas of the screen discussed in my original article.

The 'results', as such are meaningless and the 'play' screen does not work properly! The reset tab also does not work.

The results for each hand do not stay in sync with each table - a prerequisite for all TD's (This feature works fine in the 'players' screen).

The labels mentioned, 'Recent Hands' and 'Recent Tournaments' are of little value whilst a tournament is is play.

For a TD to fully understand, all references need to be to focused on the current tournament.

As a fully experienced member of the BBO Support Team I would like to see a fuller explanation of these difficulties from you.

This would settle my frustration!! (smiles)


Tony (Vesian)
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#7 User is offline   Gerardo 

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Posted 2020-September-16, 11:43

What is your goal? Deciding an adjustment?

If so, you are looking at all you need to know, the board you are looking at. What happened at other tables is irrelevant for that decision, and so are their results.

Of course the only thing relevant in the History tab there is "My table", as the other tabs are related to you (as is "My table" ) not related to the tourney!

There is an Adjust entry in the menu if you are a TD, as a shorcut (instead of going to the Director tab, choose Adjust, fill the data from the board you want to adjust).

That's the only TD related action outside the TD/Director tab.

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The 'results', as such are meaningless and the 'play' screen does not work properly! The reset tab also does not work.


Already agreed on other table results'. No idea what do you mean by 'play' screen not reset tab (unless you mean V2 here)

I guess it would be possible to add play/rest to that menu; however, it would tie the TD to that screen until an adjustment is resolved.

Suggest using the handviewer link entry in the menu, which opens the hand in a new window and allows you to play the cards if you need them, at your own time (when you don't have other calls to attend).

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The results for each hand do not stay in sync with each table - a prerequisite for all TD's (This feature works fine in the 'players' screen).


You lost me here. what is the 'players' screen? Still, results are not relevant, but I'd like to understand what do you mean.

When you join a table, you see the results for the current board, table and section.

A table might shown different scoring for the same result than another table, if they are in different sections.

I might be misunderstanding you again, though.

#8 User is offline   bjacobs 

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Posted 2020-September-16, 18:31

I have a contrary view: I think the director facilities are pretty good, as a whole.

There have been some crucial improvements in the last few months, in particular: adding sound prompts for director calls/disconnections, and allowing robots to fill in at various stages (sitouts and temporary disconnects).

There is just one horrible bug that needs to be fixed (which is what I think Tony is referring to above):

In the History tab, when you move from one table to the next, the list of results updates, but the individual board display does not: when you click on a result, you get the bidding/play details for the original table. The same restriction occurs when right-clicking on a player and selecting Player's Results. So you cannot follow up on bidding and play situations. To overcome it, you have to log off and log on, which is super-annoying.
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#9 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2020-September-16, 18:42

View Postbjacobs, on 2020-September-16, 18:31, said:

To overcome it, you have to log off and log on, which is super-annoying.

You don't have to log off. I don't know the exact conditions, but if I get out of all tables from the tournament and then select one from the Show Tables option I can normally see the correct results. Maybe bringing up the player's results directly from the TD menu gets you to the correct one as well, although I'm not convinced of that. I'll try to play with it next week to work out exactly how it works.

That's not to say it is any less annoying. But it is easier than logging off.
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#10 User is offline   Vesian 

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Posted 2020-September-17, 08:16

Hi Gerado,

Thank you for your text message - some details have helped.

You ask - what am I hoping to achieve ? - I'll try to answer that using a different method.

From the 'HISTORY' tab - Recent Hands and Recent tournaments have little or no relevance to the tourney being played. I would prefer to see full synchronisation of the results of the hands played and be able to cross reference a result against other tables that have played that hand.

Another subscriber to this topic (bjacobs) has hit the nail on the head. There is a glaring problem with how the results are displayed. Maybe another label is required ? (Say) 'Other Tables'. (showing how others have fared with the same hand?).

Deciding an adjustment. I find this aspect very difficult - without playing the hand through as TD. I can only do that via 'Players Results' which is extremely clumsy. This is why I mentioned the 'hand' box - bottom left on main screen.

The 'REFRESH' apparently performs no function that I can see - which is a real drawback. When changing tables - if the hand is not complete - then surely there should be no result showing ?


What did I mean by 'players screen' ? I meant as opposed to the TD screen. (The screen presented to the players in that tournament). I tend to have only one section at the present time.

I truly appreciate you (trying!) understanding the issues I feel would better solved.

Thank you.

Tony (Vesian)
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#11 User is online   jnichols 

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Posted 2020-September-17, 11:17

View PostVesian, on 2020-September-17, 08:16, said:

From the 'HISTORY' tab - Recent Hands and Recent tournaments have little or no relevance to the tourney being played. I would prefer to see full synchronisation of the results of the hands played and be able to cross reference a result against other tables that have played that hand.


I think you are 100% correct. The "History" tab is for players. It shows the hands and tournaments that the person logged on has played. Why would you want to look at the hands you played last week when you are directing today?



John S. Nichols - Director & Webmaster
Indianapolis Bridge Center
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#12 User is online   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-September-17, 13:03

View Postbjacobs, on 2020-September-16, 18:31, said:

I have a contrary view: I think the director facilities are pretty good, as a whole.




Either you have been directing on BBO too long or you haven't been directing long enough.
The facilites are still a mess, although much improved in the last few months.
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#13 User is offline   bjacobs 

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Posted 2020-September-17, 17:14

View Postpescetom, on 2020-September-17, 13:03, said:

Either you have been directing on BBO too long or you haven't been directing long enough.
The facilites are still a mess, although much improved in the last few months.


Any facility that is developed incrementally is going to have a degree of messiness.

Programmers always want to throw everything away and start again. But it's a very expensive process, usually not viable.

And if they are not going to start again, it becomes more and more difficult to add features or fix problems, for fear of breaking the spaghetti of code that's there. You've seen that, right? The most recent was when the change to larger tournament id numbers broke the system.

So be careful what you wish for.
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#14 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2020-September-17, 20:04

View Postbjacobs, on 2020-September-17, 17:14, said:

Any facility that is developed incrementally is going to have a degree of messiness.

Programmers always want to throw everything away and start again. But it's a very expensive process, usually not viable.

Indeed. Netscape tried that with their web browser at the height of their market share.

It didn't go well.
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#15 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2020-September-18, 01:25

View Postjnichols, on 2020-September-17, 11:17, said:

I think you are 100% correct. The "History" tab is for players. It shows the hands and tournaments that the person logged on has played. Why would you want to look at the hands you played last week when you are directing today?

Why should you not be able to look at the hands you played last week when you are directing today?
Gordon Rainsford
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#16 User is online   jnichols 

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Posted 2020-September-18, 10:24

View Postgordontd, on 2020-September-18, 01:25, said:

Why should you not be able to look at the hands you played last week when you are directing today?


When you are directing you should concentrate on that.
John S. Nichols - Director & Webmaster
Indianapolis Bridge Center
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#17 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2020-September-18, 15:21

View Postjnichols, on 2020-September-18, 10:24, said:

When you are directing you should concentrate on that.

Do you actually direct online? There is very little to do most of the time. If I were forced to concentrate solely on that I would be totally bored.
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#18 User is online   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-September-18, 15:36

View Postsfi, on 2020-September-18, 15:21, said:

Do you actually direct online? There is very little to do most of the time. If I were forced to concentrate solely on that I would be totally bored.


It depends, on many things.
Things have improved since they included a feeble noise for Director Calls, but you still have to watch for players going red, unless you are one of the fortunate caste of ACBL/virtual club directors who I gather get a Call for this.
If you use human substitutes then you certainly can't lose attention for too long.
But even using robot subs you have to watch for the original player to reappear and then reseat them (again unless you are part of some fortunate caste).
And then it depends on the propensity of players to call you and how proactive (if at all) you are about detecting infractions without such calls.
Whether or not it is boring to watch what happens depends upon your degree of interest in other people's bridge, of course.
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#19 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2020-September-18, 17:58

View Postpescetom, on 2020-September-18, 15:36, said:

It depends, on many things.
Things have improved since they included a feeble noise for Director Calls, but you still have to watch for players going red, unless you are one of the fortunate cast of ACBL/virtual club directors who I gather get a Call for this.

I do - I didn't realise this was not general behaviour. If that didn't happen I get why someone would be staring at the table screen. And then asking for a fix. :)

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If you use human substitutes then you certainly can't lose attention for too long.
But even using robot subs you have to watch for the original player to reappear and then reseat them (again unless you are part of some fortunate cast).

Our players simply get reseated. I have to manually swap the robot in, after giving them a minute or two to show up. Again, if that doesn't happen for some it seems like poor design.

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And then it depends on the propensity of players to call you and how proactive (if at all) you are about detecting infractions without such calls.
Whether or not it is boring to watch what happens depends upon your degree of interest in other people's bridge, of course.

I'm not sure how you would go about detecting infractions - watching the game and paying attention to the comments? I do that at times, but the chance of seeing something controversial is pretty small. And if someone mentions something I can look back through the entire history of the session to investigate.

And don't get me started on the bridge itself...

I get that I run small games, but a friend runs sessions with 90 (pairs or tables, I'm not sure which) and he said he occasionally has to pause the movie to deal with something significant. If the system alerts you and swaps players back in, there's not that much that I seem to be able to do proactively. It's just not a full-time endeavour most nights.
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#20 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2020-September-18, 22:09

View Postsfi, on 2020-September-18, 15:21, said:

Do you actually direct online? There is very little to do most of the time. If I were forced to concentrate solely on that I would be totally bored.

Not just online. When I've directed at f2f clubs in the past, I often spent most of the time playing on BBO (unless I was needed as a playing director). At our little club there would typically be 2-3 director calls in the entire session.

And online bridge prevents most of the common reasons for director calls.

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