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Browser extension - random orientations


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2017-07-11 14:11
lightvector Just sharing a browser extension that I wrote and that I've been pretty happy with so far in my own usage.

I noticed that nearly all of the whole board problems on the side don't randomize their orientation, including many problems that are really about just one corner or side but give the whole board as context. At some point, I actually discovered that I had learned some of the shapes only in one corner orientation, because they never came up any other ways in the problems! So I wrote a browser extension that always randomizes the orientation. You can download it below.

IMPORTANT:
The extension wires into the site's javascript in a way that's unavoidably fragile. It will likely break if the site updates its javascript code, so if you suddenly encounter problems a month later, **please disable the extension** first and see if that helps before you start reporting bugs to Darrell or the other people who maintain the site.

Other notes:
- The extension does NOT alter the problem text, so when the text refers to the "lower left" or "top" or whatever, you will have to find the right place on the board yourself! I find this isn't actually so bad, for most problems it makes it a bit more like a real game where you need to look at the whole board to find the right move.

- All problems are randomized, including whole-board "remember this pro game" or similar problems, since the extension has no way of knowing what kind of problem it is. Personally, I'm finding it's also interesting and useful to see these in every orientation too.

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Chrome: http://icosahedral.net/downloads/InternetGoSchoolRandomOrientations.zip

Chrome won't normally let you install things not from Google's store. So this is distributed as an unpacked extension. After you unzip it, in chrome://extensions you need to enable developer mode and then load the directory from unzipping this as an unpacked extension. Chrome will also warn you every time you open the browser that having extensions like this is not "safe", you can ignore that. If you're paranoid about safety feel free to inspect the source code as it's all right there.

The mobile version of Chrome also does not support this sort of extension at all, so this can't be used on mobile.

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Firefox: http://icosahedral.net/downloads/internet_go_school_random_orientations-1.0-an+fx.xpi

Install it the normal way you install a packed "xpi" extension on Firefox. On Android, Firefox DOES support extensions, so this works on mobile, or at least on Android.

2017-07-11 14:16
Darrell Malick Impressive!

Just so you know, problems that aren't randomizing have had the randomization explicitly suppressed. If you see a problem that you would prefer DID randomize, leave a note in the discussion area and I'll at least consider switching it for you.

2017-07-12 23:47
Dyonn I like it! Some of my problems just got harder...

2017-07-13 00:17
xcombelle @Darell, I would like to have the whole series of Gu Li opening randomized, as too much of games that I played my opponent changed the orientation of the opening and that I have hard time to adapt to the new orientation. Up to this point I succeed more or less but with a lot of pain.

Moreover, I followed a mooc named learn to learn and one of the lesson I received their is that it is a good thing to study things in different context for better learning, so enable random orientation would make a lot of sense in my opinion, for better learning.

2017-07-13 12:37
Darrell Malick Hi Xavier,

Well that's 121 problems you just asked me to edit. On that scale, you're questioning the very reason behind our decision to disable swaps on some problems. In particular, opening problems tend to get this suppressed so that (1) black moves first and (2) the orientations are somewhat "standard" to the convention of White plays top left corner first. This has been a rather highly debated policy within our development group. I can see both sides of the story, but I'm reluctant to make a unilateral decision on this. Perhaps David's extension is the best solution for now. I'll add an wish list item so that users can choose to *always* randomize if they wish.

2017-07-15 07:47
xcombelle Thanks for the anser, I understand perfectly that edit so much problems is not feasible. the alternatives you propose (the browser extension and the wishlist are perfect answers)

2017-07-15 12:40
Darrell Malick Claude and I are discussing possible options regarding the board randomizations.

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