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progress on three items

Three items.

1. Steamhammer is coming along nicely. Today I completed and tested new infrastructure that will make it easy to solve one of Steamhammer’s biggest weaknesses, and bring other play improvements closer too. There’s not much time before the AIIDE submission deadline, but even so, expect harder fights.

2. Blog comments turn out to not be the only problem with the blog. I need to do some sysadmin stuff that I find tedious, and I don’t want to be distracted from working on Steamhammer. I’ll get around to it sometime in September for sure. Sorry. :-( I miss the good comments.

3. CoG has not posted results on its website, not even summary results. If and when they appear, I’ll do at least some of my usual analysis.

moving webhosts

Blog comments are turned off temporarily while I move to a new webhost. I originally planned it a couple years ago, but, well, here we are. With no recent posts, all the incoming comments are spam anyway.

I shall return!

returning to normal!

After more than a year of coping with unhappy realities, at times slowly and at times intensively, I’m finally returning to normal. After passing through final blasts of stress and (as it seemed to me) sky-spanning arches of paperwork, only niggling details are left. I’m gradually recovering my energy.

I have only just restored a usable development environment—not that it was hard, I am still energy-limited. Before, I was working on an ambitious update to scouting and overlord safety, which involved refactoring, and in many cases entirely rewriting, all code related to scouting, detectors, and overlord movement. I guess that I left it about 25% complete. It’s an important improvement, but also somewhat monolithic, and for now I don’t have the brain cycles to work on it. I rolled it back, I’ll return to it later.

Instead, Steamhammer 3.1 will come out soon-ish and have a small number of improvements that are easy to write and easy to test. I will fix the expansion order, for example (that will improve games on Heartbreak Ridge especially).

Today is the last day to register for the annual CoG tournament (known as CIG until last year). Steamhammer will not be participating.

hardware failure

Sorry about the long silence. I suffered a hardware failure while locked down away from home, and getting things done has been... a little... difficult. I rescued all my data, but it’s demoralizing. And I’m still in an awkward computing situation.

I have no new progress on Steamhammer. In fact, I’m thinking of rolling back the scouting work that is underway, just so I can get an update out sooner. I can merge it back in later.

hiatus starts to tail off

I have regained enough time and energy to make occasional posts. Expect a low level of activity.

I registered Steamhammer for AIIDE 2019. I rolled back the BWAPI 4.4.0 upgrade for now, but I have started to make a few other changes that I have strength for. Last year the AIIDE version of Steamhammer got a multi-page change list broken down by category; this year it will be a short list. I expect to upload versions to SSCAIT once or twice before the deadline, to try to catch any bugs I’m adding in.

Doing little may actually be good for tournament performance. Last year I added so many features that I was fixing bugs for months, and the current mostly-fixed version is performing well on BASIL. At the moment, Steamhammer is the top zerg. When it loses, the most frequent cause is a gross strategic blunder, and apparently Steamhammer’s wide choice of openings allows it to eventually learn to avoid most strategic blunders. A long tournament like AIIDE should show the same effect.

long hiatus :-(

It appears that I am the correct person to be placed in charge of unwinding a complex estate. It will eat my time. Expect an extended hiatus.

I promise that I am more unhappy about it than you are.

Update 16 July: I’m still extremely busy, shuttling between states and trying to accomplish way too much that I’m not good at. I’m able to follow the scene—a little, I have no time to watch the stream. AIIDE 2019 has opened submission; it is an open question whether I will be able to enter, even with the current live version.

third anniversary

The blog is 3 years old today: The first post marched forth on 4 March 2016. As I write, there are 766 posts (roughly 2 every 3 days) and 3401 comments (more than 4 for each post).

Onward!

no comments for the moment

The blog is under massive spam attack. I’ve temporarily turned off commenting. :-(

I’ll turn it back on as soon as possible. Spam waves usually don’t last long..

downtime

The blog had some downtime due to problems at my hosting provider. There seem to be a few lingering issues, but I think the blog itself is good now. Sorry, they are usually reliable!

popular posts seem largely random

Does this make sense to anybody? Here are the most popular posts according to my statistics, leaving aside recent posts. Why these?

LetaBot’s guest post on rushbots deserves to be popular. The others seem mostly random. Is it because some posts accidentally include keywords that Google likes, or what?

delays

Other than healthy today. I don’t have much strength for difficult tasks like standing up. I’ll get back to it when I’ve recovered.

2 years old

This blog is 2 years old today. The introductory post was on 4 March 2016. Also, this is the 500th post. I didn’t plan it, it just turned out that way! Honest!

There are slightly under 2000 comments. There is a post on more days than not, and close to 4 comments per post on average. I have exactly 1 guest post so far; the others are all by me.

Really, really still next: Adapting to maps.