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Use of Javascript to automate TGs

Bug reports, general help, ideas for improvements, and questions about how things are meant to work.

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Glen-Rhodes
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Postby Glen-Rhodes » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:27 pm

Kalibarr wrote:I for one don't have the time to learn.

Is it safe to assume you don't have the time to analyze region recruitment success rates or delegate votes and approval patterns, either? If so, under this type of thinking, shouldn't those things be banned, as well?

Kalibarr wrote:Basically your saying you should be able to because your somehow smarter than the rest of us.

Well, yeah. Not that I'm smarter -- if you have any dedicated at all, you can learn simple JavaScript. But, I don't buy the whole 'making everybody equal' thing. If somebody does something to put them ahead of the curve, it's wrong to beat them back to where everybody else is. Innovation shouldn't be prevented.

Kalibarr wrote:I don't want people who didn't have to do any work to have an unfair advantage over someone who spent hours recruiting or lobbying delegates.

Why is everybody just assuming that web automation doesn't take any work? You have to make the script yourself. To do that, you have to learn how to make the script. Then, you have to gather a list of nations. You have to properly format that list into a readable array. It certainly does take time and it certainly is tedious work.

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Naivetry
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Postby Naivetry » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:30 pm

Glen-Rhodes wrote:Where's the advantage? The spam timer pretty much equalizes everybody. It still takes me the same 10 minutes to send telegrams to everybody in my region. The only advantage is that I'm able to to do other things, like work on my homework or clean my kitchen, while the telegrams are sending.

THAT is where the advantage is. YOU get to have a life and play the game. The rest of us have to choose. And I'm afraid sometimes we have to choose to do things like homework, which means we can't do the things you do in the game.

It's one thing if you make that kind of technology available to everyone as a tool. It's another if you keep it to yourself and use it to minimize the personal effort you expend on the game. Say each of us has an hour of telegramming and two hours of post-writing that we'd like to get finished today. You start up your telegram script and go browse the forum in the meantime, getting the chance to respond to people's posts, to put time into drafting or working on other NS projects. I have to go spend an hour manually sending TGs, and then have to try to catch up with your two hours of forum output. The only way I could keep up with you would be to think, work, and write twice as fast as you did. Not going to happen.

It takes about 10 minutes to get through all of my region manually. I just used the JavaScript program that automates that process. It took the same amount of time.

Are you just sitting there and watching it? No? Then it may take the same amount of time, but it's not taking you the same amount of time.

Here's my rule of thumb - if it's not something you'd be happy to share with everyone who asked you for it, it's giving you an advantage, whether you want to admit it or not.

Are you planning to share this?

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Kalibarr
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Postby Kalibarr » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:32 pm

Glen-Rhodes wrote:
Kalibarr wrote:I for one don't have the time to learn.

Is it safe to assume you don't have the time to analyze region recruitment success rates or delegate votes and approval patterns, either? If so, under this type of thinking, shouldn't those things be banned, as well?

Kalibarr wrote:Basically your saying you should be able to because your somehow smarter than the rest of us.

Well, yeah. Not that I'm smarter -- if you have any dedicated at all, you can learn simple JavaScript. But, I don't buy the whole 'making everybody equal' thing. If somebody does something to put them ahead of the curve, it's wrong to beat them back to where everybody else is. Innovation shouldn't be prevented.

Kalibarr wrote:I don't want people who didn't have to do any work to have an unfair advantage over someone who spent hours recruiting or lobbying delegates.

Why is everybody just assuming that web automation doesn't take any work? You have to make the script yourself. To do that, you have to learn how to make the script. Then, you have to gather a list of nations. You have to properly format that list into a readable array. It certainly does take time and it certainly is tedious work.


I'm willing to bet you'd only have to make it from scratch once(assuming you can't just find one on the web already) and replace the text you want sent out each time.

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Pythagosaurus
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Postby Pythagosaurus » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:34 pm

Linux and the X wrote:
Kandarin wrote:We all have limited amounts of time to spend on this game, and allowing people to just press a button and get that over with would free up huge amounts of time and give those elite few a huge advantage over the rest of us.

"Elite few"? We're not talking about nuclear science here. It's script programming. This does not take long to learn (hell, I learned enough PHP to make a functioning website in about two hours!).

You are seriously deluded about the technical competence of the average human.

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Zwangzug
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Postby Zwangzug » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:36 pm

Kandarin wrote:...the game would swiftly become a game of who can write the best scripts, which would pretty much be game over for the 99% of players who don't have those skills.
Well...no. Whatever decision is made is going to have no direct impact on most of us (an indirect impact, possibly, if there are more telegrams flying around in the end). But a lot of users aren't going to be affected one way or another. I don't know enough about the mechanics to weigh in beyond this, but the scale of the conversation is a bit overdramatic at times from the forum-goers/issue-answerers/etc. end.
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Glen-Rhodes
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Postby Glen-Rhodes » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:36 pm

Naivetry wrote:You start up your telegram script and go browse the forum in the meantime, getting the chance to respond to people's posts, to put time into drafting or working on other NS projects.

Hm. I'm not sure if you can leave the page. I've never tried. I'd try right now, but I don't want to spam my regionmates with testing telegrams.

Naivetry wrote:Are you planning to share this?

If this type of thing is even allowed, I wouldn't be against sharing it. I'm not trying to get ahead of everybody; I just don't have time nowadays to spend 2.5 hours sending telegrams to people.

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Walabamba
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Postby Walabamba » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:43 pm

Pythagosaurus wrote:
Linux and the X wrote:
Kandarin wrote:We all have limited amounts of time to spend on this game, and allowing people to just press a button and get that over with would free up huge amounts of time and give those elite few a huge advantage over the rest of us.

"Elite few"? We're not talking about nuclear science here. It's script programming. This does not take long to learn (hell, I learned enough PHP to make a functioning website in about two hours!).

You are seriously deluded about the technical competence of the average human.


I know I couldn't program a script, I have a hard enough time turning on my computer :p
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Naivetry
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Postby Naivetry » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:59 pm

Glen-Rhodes wrote:
Naivetry wrote:You start up your telegram script and go browse the forum in the meantime, getting the chance to respond to people's posts, to put time into drafting or working on other NS projects.

Hm. I'm not sure if you can leave the page. I've never tried. I'd try right now, but I don't want to spam my regionmates with testing telegrams.

I would assume it'd work in separate browser windows. Either way, the amount of time you would personally save is the same - you could get an hour of homework done while it was running, and then spend the hour you would've spent on homework doing NS stuff instead.

Naivetry wrote:Are you planning to share this?

If this type of thing is even allowed, I wouldn't be against sharing it. I'm not trying to get ahead of everybody; I just don't have time nowadays to spend 2.5 hours sending telegrams to people.

Ah; in that case, I'd only be worried about the amount of spam that could result.

I think all of us have been assuming, based on the way people use recruitment and endorsement scripts already, that you'd be keeping it to yourself.

And that would be like saying that only people who can use Photoshop should be allowed to have custom flags.
Last edited by Naivetry on Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Glen-Rhodes
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Postby Glen-Rhodes » Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:06 pm

Naivetry wrote:Ah; in that case, I'd only be worried about the amount of spam that could result.

In my opinion, spam will always be a problem, no matter how hard or easy it is. Even without a JavaScript program, people will spam.

Naivetry wrote:I think all of us have been assuming, based on the way people use recruitment and endorsement scripts already, that you'd be keeping it to yourself.

The way I see it, it's not the telegram that makes recruiting/lobbying/etc. successful. It's what the telegram points to.

Naivetry wrote:And that would be like saying that only people who can use Photoshop should be allowed to have custom flags.

What? You don't think they should? :ugeek: /sarcasm

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Linux and the X
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Postby Linux and the X » Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:29 pm

Walabamba wrote:I know I couldn't program a script, I have a hard enough time turning on my computer :p

But you also, I would guess, couldn't perform the same analysis as Unibot has. Should that be banned as well because you can't do it? Why should your inability to do something prevent me from doing it?

Ah; in that case, I'd only be worried about the amount of spam that could result.

Spammers probably use scripts anyway; it's not as though they care about the rules.

Pythagosaurus wrote:
Linux and the X wrote:
Kandarin wrote:We all have limited amounts of time to spend on this game, and allowing people to just press a button and get that over with would free up huge amounts of time and give those elite few a huge advantage over the rest of us.

"Elite few"? We're not talking about nuclear science here. It's script programming. This does not take long to learn (hell, I learned enough PHP to make a functioning website in about two hours!).

You are seriously deluded about the technical competence of the average human.

Hrmph. Should we really pander to the least common denominator?
If you see I've made a mistake in my wording or a factual detail, telegram me and I'll fix it. I'll even give you credit for pointing it out, if you'd like.
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[violet]: Maybe we could power our new search engine from the sexual tension between you two.
Me, responding to a request to vote for a liberation: But... but that would blemish my near-perfect history of spitefully voting against anything the SC does!
Farnhamia: That is not to be taken as license to start calling people "buttmunch."

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Naivetry
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Postby Naivetry » Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:43 pm

Glen-Rhodes wrote:
Naivetry wrote:Ah; in that case, I'd only be worried about the amount of spam that could result.

In my opinion, spam will always be a problem, no matter how hard or easy it is. Even without a JavaScript program, people will spam.

It's a quantity thing. At least it takes effort to spam now, which means that the people who are too lazy to bother get weeded out.

Glen-Rhodes wrote:
Naivetry wrote:I think all of us have been assuming, based on the way people use recruitment and endorsement scripts already, that you'd be keeping it to yourself.

The way I see it, it's not the telegram that makes recruiting/lobbying/etc. successful. It's what the telegram points to.

As someone who spends a great deal of time plotting and worrying about this... the telegram matters, what the telegram points to matters, the description of the nation sending the telegram matters... but more importantly for the big picture, the sheer quantity of telegrams sent matters, too. It's really just a sophisticated gamble. The more tickets you've placed bets on, the more likely you are to hit a winner. You can hedge your bets or make informed choices about what's most likely to pay off, but in the end if you don't send enough telegrams, it won't matter how well you've thought out your message or how hard you've worked on making your region welcoming, etc... Conversely, the more TGs you send, the greater margin of safety you'll have.

Linux and the X wrote:
Walabamba wrote:I know I couldn't program a script, I have a hard enough time turning on my computer :p

But you also, I would guess, couldn't perform the same analysis as Unibot has. Should that be banned as well because you can't do it? Why should your inability to do something prevent me from doing it?

Because the ability to engage in political analysis is an essential, integral part of playing the political game. It is not a shortcut to in-game goals; it is what makes you a good politician. Writing scripts has nothing to do with your political ability. It has to do with your ability to employ a skill-set that is only coincidentally applicable to the political goals it is being made to serve.

Ah; in that case, I'd only be worried about the amount of spam that could result.

Spammers probably use scripts anyway; it's not as though they care about the rules.

I don't mean spam as in links to nonsense material unrelated to NS. I mean spam as in, "For the love of Admin, why are there 18 telegrams about "Repeal 'Condemn Nazi Europe" in my inbox since I checked half an hour ago?"

Hrmph. Should we really pander to the least common denominator?

Do we want the game to have broad appeal or be utterly manipulated by code geeks?

This is a political game. It's not supposed to be about whether or how well you can write scripts. It's supposed to be about things that actually have to do with politics and player interaction.
Last edited by Naivetry on Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Glen-Rhodes
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Founded: Jun 25, 2008
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Glen-Rhodes » Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:04 pm

Naivetry wrote:Do we want the game to have broad appeal or be utterly manipulated by code geeks?

I don't think NationStates has 'broad appeal' as it is, with how difficult it is to do anything outside of sitting in a feeder and answering issues.

Naivetry wrote:This is a political game. It's not supposed to be about whether or how well you can write scripts. It's supposed to be about things that actually have to do with politics and player interaction.

People used to manually call voters to try and convince them to vote for a certain candidate. Through innovation, robotic calls came into existence, making the process cheaper and easier. That's practically the same thing. It's all about making the process easier, especially for newer/smaller regions that aren't at the forefront of NS activities.

People will always break rules. Multiple people will send you telegrams about the same thing, with or without web automation addons. Simply do what you usually do: report them, block them, etc.
Last edited by Glen-Rhodes on Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Linux and the X
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Postby Linux and the X » Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:59 pm

Naivetry wrote:At least it takes effort to spam now, which means that the people who are too lazy to bother get weeded out.

Naivetry wrote:Do we want the game to have broad appeal or be utterly manipulated by code geeks?

Which is it? Do scripts make it easy to "spam", or does it require the skills of "code geeks"?
If you see I've made a mistake in my wording or a factual detail, telegram me and I'll fix it. I'll even give you credit for pointing it out, if you'd like.
BLUE LIVES MURDER

[violet]: Maybe we could power our new search engine from the sexual tension between you two.
Me, responding to a request to vote for a liberation: But... but that would blemish my near-perfect history of spitefully voting against anything the SC does!
Farnhamia: That is not to be taken as license to start calling people "buttmunch."

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Topid
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Postby Topid » Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:37 pm

Linux and the X wrote:
Naivetry wrote:At least it takes effort to spam now, which means that the people who are too lazy to bother get weeded out.

Naivetry wrote:Do we want the game to have broad appeal or be utterly manipulated by code geeks?

Which is it? Do scripts make it easy to "spam", or does it require the skills of "code geeks"?

He's saying it would be easy for the code geeks to spam... So both.
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Topid
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Postby Topid » Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:42 pm


I've been using these off and on since yesterday and still don't have a grasp on the subject. (I can't figure out how to enter() something with line-breaks in chickenfoot.

I really don't understand how you grasped this in 5 minutes. It's hard! But, it is fun. :)
Last edited by Topid on Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Linux and the X
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Postby Linux and the X » Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:56 pm

Naivetry wrote:Because the ability to engage in political analysis is an essential, integral part of playing the political game. It is not a shortcut to in-game goals; it is what makes you a good politician. Writing scripts has nothing to do with your political ability. It has to do with your ability to employ a skill-set that is only coincidentally applicable to the political goals it is being made to serve.

Okay, let's go to a more technical skill. Using the forums isn't just a shortcut, it's flat-out required for certain political tasks. Yet it's a technical skill. Politics requires eloquence, yes, but not many of the skills required to navigate an internet forum. But this is only a simulation, I hear you say, we can't actually go around flying to meet each other! Yes. We also can't afford to have secretaries send mass telegrams for us, so we use scripts.
If you see I've made a mistake in my wording or a factual detail, telegram me and I'll fix it. I'll even give you credit for pointing it out, if you'd like.
BLUE LIVES MURDER

[violet]: Maybe we could power our new search engine from the sexual tension between you two.
Me, responding to a request to vote for a liberation: But... but that would blemish my near-perfect history of spitefully voting against anything the SC does!
Farnhamia: That is not to be taken as license to start calling people "buttmunch."

GPG key ID: A8960638 fingerprint: 2239 2687 0B50 2CEC 28F7 D950 CCD0 26FC A896 0638

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Glen-Rhodes
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Founded: Jun 25, 2008
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Glen-Rhodes » Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:01 pm

Topid wrote:I've been using these off and on since yesterday and still don't have a grasp on the subject. (I can't figure out how to enter() something with line-breaks in chickenfoot.

Topid wrote:I really don't understand how you grasped this in 5 minutes. It's hard! But, it is fun. :)

I scripted the Chickenfoot file in five minutes. I had to learn some basic JavaScript in order to do that.

Anyways, I just store the telegram in a file on my C-drive and then use some file IO to store the file content into a variable. That way, I can just put the variable into enter().

Code: Select all
include("fileio.js")
var telegramContent = read("C:\\telegram.txt");
enter(telegramContent);

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