September 12th 2005
As I announced a few days ago, the SorceForge web hosting service changed its policy about CGI scripts. In practice the server side scripts can't write any more on the web space because it is mounted as read-only. The suggested solution is to use the MySQL support to make sensitive data persistent, but (as usual) I have no time and enough experience on the topic to heavy modify the current structure of the JROBOTS perl scripts.
The solution I had in mind was to move the scripts to PhoHosting (the very first JROBOTS host), but as already happened when the first crisis hit JROBOTS in the past (the CFXweb server crash) it seems that ProHosting is not a good choice. The first time the problem was caused by automatic banners that interfered with data downloaded by the applets, while now the owners of sites hosted for free can't CHMOD the uploaded file. Unfortunately the data files are not stored with writing priviledges by default, so they are readable but are useless for JROBOTS purposes. Such a limitation is removed if one pays for the web space, but of course I prefer to use free resources to run a free game like JROBOTS.
This is the actual situation and after five consecutive years the 61st JROBOTS challenge can't start tomorrow as scheduled.
I think there are some active players that want to upload their new jrobots to challenge the aged veterans. To avoid the frustration of a long wait, players can send an email (email@example.com) with their jrobot attached and, for the first time in the JROBOTS history after the early tournaments of 1999, I'll run an offline challenge. The jrobots must be emailed before September 25th. I'll run at least 1000 matches per category and the usual rules apply.
I know that this solution is not satisfactory for a JROBOTS player, but in the meantime I'll search for a good free hosting service that supports CGI scripts. I've got a long list of providers (I accept suggestions about good hosting services, if you know any), but I have to test their service before announcing again the restart of the usual challenges. However I hope that October could see the rebirth of on-line JROBOST tournaments.
My apologizes to all the players!
September 5th 2005
A few days ago I announced that another crisis hit JROBOTS. It's now clear that the web space provided by SourceForge was recently mounted as read-only and CGIs can't write data files any more. The SourceForge staff suggests to use MySQL databases to make the storage of data persistent.
JROBOTS makes a heavy use of CGIs during the development of challenges and absolutely needs to write data on the server (too long for me a conversion compatible with MySQL because of lack of experience).
To solve the problem I'm moving the applets and the CGIs on a ProHosting server (the one that years ago hosted the first JROBOTS tournaments - I hope they still works as they did in the past). This operation will take a while because I'm short of time. I hope to complete the move this weekend, so the September challenge (presumably from September 12th to 24th) will be a test challenge to see if the new setup is correct.
I'm sorry for the active players. Thank you for your patience!