David E. Smith on 4 Jan 2002 20:02:05 -0000

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spoon-discuss: Re: Proposal: Justice Never Sleeps

On Fri, 4 Jan 2002, Donald Whytock wrote:

> Well...Joel says nomic.net is a Linux system.  How about a cron job
> that runs at 00:00 UTC and updates a text file, which the B Nomic
> homepage then includes?  Of course, the cron job would have to check,
> perhaps, another text file that shows whether the Clock is on or off,
> and what nday and wday it is...

That's almost TOO easy. :-)

Seriously. There's no challenge in that.

Part of why I volunteered for the admin job is the chance to put together
a neat nifty new Web system that's not too much like anything I've done
before (see .signature for what I have done before). I'm a geek, I admit
it, I don't have a problem with it.

Should it become an issue, I can just adjust DEADDAYS in my nweek-handling
functions, like thus:

(out-of-context snippage)

define("DEADDAYS", 0);
define("ONEDAY", 86400);
define("GAMESTART", 1007510400 + STOPTIME);

(end snippage)

As long as nobody "fixes" the "loophole" in the Clock rules that allow
time to seem to be stopped but not really to be stopped, there's no

Loophole Example: suppose that at 00:00:01 on a given day, the Clock is
turned off.  At 23:59:59, the Clock is turned back on, left on for two
seconds, and then turned back off. Thus, the clock will advance a day, but
for all practical purposes nothing could actually be done. (Getting
something to hit nomic.net's mail system so that it's timestamed in that
two-second window is, effectively, impossible unless you're inclined to
spam the darn thing, and I certainly don't recommend/endorse/encourage
that action.)

If someone chooses to "fix" that, then I have to take into account Clock
stoppages of less than a day, and that crontab-based system breaks. (So
does my brain, but that's another story.)

Disclaimer: I don't actually want anyone to fix that. It will make my life
much less pleasant and may force me to exercise the administrative veto.

Aside: Anyone that wants some easy points should propose a modification to
rule 32. As it now stands, I can veto anything and cause players to lose
points and Charm arbitrarily, despite the will of the people. My veto
shouldn't be a reason to penalize players who have good and popular ideas
that just happen to be technically infeasible (which is basically the only
thing I intend to use the veto for). The hard part will be getting the
wording sufficiently clear, which is why I'm not even trying. ;)

I also noticed that, if you treat the Clock as zero-based, then the fact
that we're in nweek 3 actually makes sense. (This came up a few days back
on the discuss list, actually.) Regardless of what the Clock displays, for
the time being I'm going to continue using "nweek=4" for adding stuff to
the database. And probably will continue to do so, but the internal
representations of these things shouldn't be too much of a bother. (The
only visible effect of this that I can think of just now is that, if you
need to look up historical proposals or rules, you'll have to adjust the
nweek by 1 when searching. Shouldn't be too much of a problem...)


---- David E. Smith, POB 515045, St. Louis MO 63151
http://www.technopagan.org/    http://metadave.net/
http://www.bureau42.com/       http://whatIsay.com/

"Use anger to throw them into disarray." -- Sun Tzu