Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Sword And The Chess (Publisher) Of Death

Readers of older posts on this blog - where older means not in the last week and hence not on the front page - may have been surprised to see the message This Account Has Been Suspended in the place where they might otherwise expect to see a game to play through: for instance here, or here. Which, I confess, detracts a little from the value of the posts.

We apologise for the interruption but we cannot be sure that normal service will be resumed. The reason for the message is that the Chess Publisher site, as you can see (or not see) if you try to visit, is out of commission. It has been for a while: and though it's occasionally been on the blink before, this hiatus has been rather longer in duration than a blink. We think it may have gone, and not be coming back.

This would be a pain, not just because of all our past posts that now look like they've had a traffic warden after them - nor solely because if the site has died then it's taken a lot of game scores with it, making the job of restoring the old posts a great deal harder. It also means we can't build play-through games into blog posts again until we locate an adequate substitute. We've used Chesspublisher since we started the site: we should probably have found ourselves a backup before we needed one. Still, it's not like losing your thesis or something.

Anyway, the intention of this post was originally to say this: to say that if Chess Publisher has gone the way of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, we need to find another site to take its place and to that end, because I for one am woefully underinformed on the subject, any suggestions from our readers would be welcome.

However.... the course of locating the video clip which opens this post (chess site dies, hence chess and death, you get the joke) I found something far more interesting....

....which is this....

....which induces me to ask a far more interesting question.....

...which is does anybody have a sliver of a clue what on Earth this is all about?


David said...

Per this post you are more than welcome to use our version of the same viewer.

ejh said...

Thanks David, we may just do that.

Comment Moderator said...

Cheers David,

I was getting rather worried about our blogs lack of game replay facility.

Now comes the hard slog of updating all the old pages.


Tom Chivers said...

That video's hilarious.

Tommyg said...

You might want to check this website out for publishing games on a blog.

I use it at my blog as do a few other people and it works really well.

rgh said...

Too many Bongs between Qin and Murder perhaps?

In the film Dogma, at one point Azrael says "The pawns are approaching checkmate" which makes sense in the context of the film if not in chess terms.

David said...

Mm, ChessFlash looks very nice. The game viewer itself is, I think, at least as pretty as the LT PGN viewer that we use. If it had been around when I created the Barnet game publisher, I doubt that I'd have bothered.

However, I am a little uncomfortable with the large self-promoting banner that ChessFlash puts across the output, and also the terms of service. In particular, the bit on advertising:

"10.1 Some of the Services may be supported by advertising revenue and may display advertisements and promotions.

10.2 The manner, mode and extent of advertising by ChessFlash on the Services are subject to change without specific notice to you.

10.3 In consideration for ChessFlash granting you access to and use of the Services, you agree that ChessFlash may place such advertising on the Services."

A man's perfectly entitled to make money out of his good work, of course, and I don't for a moment suggest that this is anything other than legitimate. However, I prefer not to risk our blog being used as an advertising hoarding - certainly not when I have no control over what the adverts might be, and the revenue for displaying them goes elsewhere.

Of course you have only my word for it that I don't intend to start stuffing the Barnet publisher with adverts. I'm absolutely not going to; but I suppose I'm the only one who knows that I'm not just saying that.

David said...

On the other hand... we use Google Pages, and lots of JavaScript (the LT PGN viewer is written in JavaScript). And apparently Google Pages "will automatically be transitioned to Google Sites later this year", and Google Sites does not support JavaScript.

In short, it looks as though our viewer will break at some point "later this year".

So perhaps I can't really recommend that after all.