Recent Posts

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Competition 2021 / Re: ZCT234 - Lockdown, Worry and Fear
« Last post by Akoss Poo a.k.a. Zorromeister on January 18, 2021, 09:25:02 AM »
Sorry about the loop jump, I don't know if it was there in the original. To follow the "make a small change" tradition, I swapped the loop and the slalom tiles, thinking it would have no effect. Turns out it makes the loop-to-bridge jump a thing :o

Well, I didn't know/remember this make a small change tradition. I wondered when I saw CTG's replay and then drove the lap myself how could this loop jump happen, because it wasn't planned... but now I understand, yes, the loop and the slalom tiles were in different position. It is definitely not a 'small' change. However, it doesn't really bother me, a neat trick is available with this.
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Chat - Misc / Re: Family topic
« Last post by JTK on January 18, 2021, 09:02:04 AM »
Great to see you lurking around :)

Yes, I'm still there. Waiting for the moment... maybe I'll start racing again when I*m 64!  ;D A Stunts pipsqueak stays being a Stunts pipsqueak.  8)
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Stunts Chat / Re: Race strength estimation, revisited
« Last post by Duplode on January 17, 2021, 03:54:44 PM »
I can't help by seeing a very marked change around C75. The whole "attitude" of the curve changes from there on.... The "Paleo-ZakStunts" and the "Neo-ZakStunts"   ???

I can think of a few factors that may cause that, the main one perhaps being the large fields typical of 2002-2006 races. Position prediction errors are more likely with more pipsqueaks involved, and my alternative strategy for computing the NDCG probably exacerbates that. It might be possible to offset that to some extent by further increasing the weights given to higher positions in the NDCG.
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Stunts Related Programs / Re: StuntsLegacyEngine
« Last post by Cas on January 17, 2021, 07:56:53 AM »
Uhm!  I'm taking my first read about it!  From what I see after a very quick look, there are very good intentions here. It looks like the idea is to create a "Java done right". I am very critical of Java, so that sounds very interesting, but the thing I dislike the most about Java doesn't seem to be in the list of the things that Scala wants to change, ha, ha: the fact that Java forces you to use OOP. On the other hand, it does make several very good points. The code looks much cleaner in Scala and even though it's very OOP, I am kind of able to read it without getting lost (and it's my first look at it).

The lack of dependencies, which you mention, is surely true about Scala, because while I dislike Java, that one also depends only on a Java Virtual Machine and Scala can produce Java byte code, so it should share that property. If I have to mention one thing I do like about Java, it's precisely that and Scala has it too.

It says in the article that Scala is part-OOP/part-functional, but I don't see in the examples non-OOP code because apparently the person who wrote the article likes OOP. I'll continue to read more to have a deeper impression of it :)  Thanks!

And about the engine... I have to retake this and I'm feeling so lazy!  I've been thinking of simplifying the engine and make it load Stunts 3D shapes but make it work always on the ground, without banking (like a classic car engine). From there, I could begin working on the physics... acceleration, breaking, grip, gear torque, etc. Once I can really handle that, I can add the third dimension back again.
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Stunts Chat / Re: Race strength estimation, revisited
« Last post by Cas on January 17, 2021, 07:45:10 AM »
Oh!  Yes, I definitely see a difference now and even without the smoothing, I can see a t-based variation there!  The noise is not so wild now so most of it (or all) could be accounted for with just chance. That is, track qualities surely still have an impact, but it's not as significant as the first graphics led me to think. I can't help by seeing a very marked change around C75. The whole "attitude" of the curve changes from there on.... The "Paleo-ZakStunts" and the "Neo-ZakStunts"   ???
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Chat - Misc / Re: Windows vs others
« Last post by Cas on January 17, 2021, 07:36:31 AM »
I think I've bought software probably twice in my whole life. Once was Duke Nukem 3D Atomic Edition and the other was QuickView (a DOS image displaying program). In the DOS times, it was impossible to find original software in Argentina even if you wanted to. At the beginning I didn't even know that what I was doing was piracy  ::). By the time I switched to GNU, I got those two originals (which are for DOS actually) online, but other than that, I haven't used commercial software... Ah!  Except Minecraft, which I bought when it wasn't Microsoft's!  That's the third. So I have been using mostly free software only.

The likelihood of general system failures without a question has to do with how you use it. I don't normally try to tweak my OS. Just using GNU appears to be something super stable. I've seen many Windows machines collapse without any changes being made by the user, just the system alone changing as it automatically downloads and installs stuff without you knowing. Of course, if you are constantly making experiments in a GNU system, things may be very different, but I don't usually do that, so I don't know. I can only talk for what I've seen. On the other hand, I know many skilled people who will never let their Windows installation fail, but that's because they constantly care about it and keep it in good condition. Again, I am not such person  ;D
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Stunts Chat / Re: Race strength estimation, revisited
« Last post by Duplode on January 16, 2021, 11:51:39 PM »
When a measurement of a certain function of time f(t) against t looks this wild in a graph, my first thought is "maybe t is not my variable".

Though I haven't gotten to the qualitative part yet, your suggestion made me have a closer look at a few selected points in the graph. That ultimately led to a course correction, so thanks for getting me back on track  :) More specifically, I realised that:

  • Due to a programming mistake, my NDCG code only accounted for newbies from their second race onward, messing up the calculations for races in which there were debuts. Fixing that removed a lot of artifacts from the results (I have replaced the charts in my previous post; if you look at them now you'll see the fluctuations got noticeably tamer).
  • After the fix, doing comparative tests with varying Elo parameters has quickly shown the NDCG as specified in the paper is not as robust as we'd like it to be. The main problem is that predicting race results simply by putting ratings in order means we don't distinguish between a pipsqueak coming out ahead against a rating gap of, say, 1 point from doing the same against a 100 point gap. That being so, if ratings are close negligible fluctuations can have a disproportionate effect over the NDCG.

Those observations have rekindled my interest in using simulations to obtain the predicted results for the NDCG calculations, as a way of dealing with the robustness issue (for instance, the average positions of two pipsqueaks over a batch of simulations will be much closer if they have a 1 point gap than in the case of a 100 point gap). Here are some charts, without and with smoothing:





Quite a bit better. I don't think this alternative strategy is flawless, either (for one, it probably underrates predictions for races in which ratings are on the whole close to each other), but I'm far more confident about the results now.
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Chat - Misc / Re: Windows vs others
« Last post by Daniel3D on January 16, 2021, 11:20:21 PM »
If something fails and programs are refusing to run or there are crashes, I may be able to solve it in GNU, but certainly not in Windows. Of course, it may be that I can't even do it in GNU. In my experience, general system failure is more likely to occur in Windows, but this of course depends a lot on who manages the system.
My experience is completely opposite.

I've also never bought software (only some games) so I'm used to pirated software. And malware. I'm quite capable of identifying bad software and fixing my mistakes.
In Windows .. in Linux I pray somebody had the same problem and posted the solution.
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Stunts Related Programs / Re: StuntsLegacyEngine
« Last post by Daniel3D on January 16, 2021, 10:56:41 PM »
Cas. I had something nagging in the back of my mind about something I've seen that I thought was interesting.
Today I found out wat it was.

Maybe I interesting:
Scala programming language.

I have a book (software engineering from scratch) on it where you can build an OS.
So as far as I understand, no dependencies.
(Not sure. I'm not a programmer)
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Chat - Misc / Re: Windows vs others
« Last post by Cas on January 16, 2021, 08:08:37 PM »
Linux for hackers, this can mean many things. What I meant in general was that some distributions, if you don't know the system well enough, you will have difficulties to install it and if you install it, it'll be hard for you to get to the point when you can use it to do the things you usually do on your computer. Depending on who you are and what you do on the computer, maybe even a distro as popular as Arch can be considered "for hackers"... or maybe not. Maybe Slackware... But regardless of whether they are for hackers or not, one thing is for sure: they are not for starters :)

System management covers many areas. I'm not great in this in general, on any system, but the things I know, I can do them for sure much better in GNU/Linux than in Windows. Like, if everything is running well, both systems are easy to use for me. If something fails and programs are refusing to run or there are crashes, I may be able to solve it in GNU, but certainly not in Windows. Of course, it may be that I can't even do it in GNU. In my experience, general system failure is more likely to occur in Windows, but this of course depends a lot on who manages the system. The Windows computers I've used in the last two decades were not mine, but from work. I manage my own GNU in my computer, so that could be the reason too.

I know what you mean about Python. Yes, it's not that "Linux runs on Python", but Python is very popular in the GNU platform, so a great number of popular tools depend on it, including tools that other tools invoke or depend on. As I said, I hate dependencies and I prefer to use things that depend on as few things as possible. So Python comes installed in all distros I personally have come across with and tampering with it may affect a number of tools. I don't use Python because I'm already used to FreeBasic and C and I don't feel like I need another programming language, then I haven't had these problems, but I have seen during installation of some tools that Python comes up frequently.
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