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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [Acro] Re: Contest Scoring Program

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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [Acro] Re: Contest Scoring Program


Thread: [Acro] Re: Contest Scoring Program

Message: [Acro] Re: Contest Scoring Program

Follow-Up To: ACRO Email list (for List Members only)

From: Steve Pennypacker <spenny at>

Date: Thu, 23 May 2002 15:25:18 UTC


  Thanks, Dick.

I guess I'll chime in now.

I've been in software all my life, and have also run a few contests.  So in 
some sense, I think I understand the intellectual property concerns, and 
certainly the lack of recognition for large volunteer efforts.  Those are 
very real.  I, for one, do appreciate the huge time investments that have 
been made in the current software.  Thank you to all who have been 
involved.  Though we did find a major bug in it a few years back, overall 
the software has been quite stable and does what it's intended to do.

The other side of the argument is that it's a bit limited.  The user 
interface sorely needs to be brought up to date.  I understand Rudy is 
nearing completion on that now, so it should soon no longer be the burning 
issue it has been.

But the bigger issue, to me, is not score calculation.  It's that running a 
contest involves an enormous amount of repetitive, mechanical paperwork 
that could/should be automated.  The burning need is now for one end to end 
system that automates and integrates all of the administrative stuff.

1- Faster paperwork processing at a contest results in more flying and less 
2- Lower workload for the registrar means it's easier to find registrars 
and scorers.
3- Automation means fewer human errors.  Again more flying time, and also 
happier people.

The nice thing is that it can all be done without any changes to the 
current scoring system, because most or all of the data files are currently 
stored in text format so are easy to understand and hook into.  I suspect 
that if his ownership rights weren't being threatened, Rudy might even help 
out with the interfaces to the current program.

How many contests out there have trouble finding and retaining good 
registrars and scorers?  How many have had the flying interrupted, for even 
a few minutes, because the paperwork wasn't ready?  Close to 100% I bet.

A preregistration system like Guenther's (  
re_reg_contest.html) should feed pilot information directly into the 
scoring program.  That can then develop and print out a randomized (fair) 
Order of Flight for each category.  Could also effectively and quickly 
space multiple pilots flying the same airplane and preventing people from 
flying first/last if they're a key volunteer in the previous/next category 
to fly.

The scores in Form A (the judge's score sheet) could be a scannable form 
like a standardized test.  Faster and more accurate than the current 

All that stuff is now done manually and is time consuming and error prone.

Hangar signups, judges certification forms, grass roots, achievement 
awards, boundary judge forms, parts of the registrar's checklist, and 
probably all of the other myriad of forms can all be automated.  It can 
help the volunteer coordinator more quickly & easily figure out how to 
assign volunteers, and fill out the volunteer logs for him/her.

I challenge someone to come up with a system that can really make a 
difference, rather than reinventing a complex wheel.


On Thursday, May 23, 2002 8:53 AM, RIHNAIRCO at 
[SMTP:RIHNAIRCO at] wrote:
> Perhaps some history would leaven this conversation.
> This program (TBLP) has been created and modified over the years at 
> no cost to IAC.  Very early on we attempted to hire someone to program 
> software to accomplish our goals.  That didn't work.  Our then President, 
> Mike Heuer spent countless hours attempting to do the same thing to 
assist in
> making the costs within reach.  The recently deceased Sheldon Klotz also
> spent many hours creating a program for IAC, again at no cost to IAC.
> Dr. Tarasof,  a Russian aeronautical engineer, produced the first of the
> number crunching systems at no cost to IAC.  Can you imagine the guts it 
> for a russian space scientest to create a program that would thwart the
> flagrant juding bias rampant in the USSR at world contests?  Remember the 
> cold war?
> Dr. Bauer, a German mathematician, then improved the program, at no cost 
> IAC.
> Dr. Long, a US mathmetician, then added another round of modifications, 
at no
> cost to IAC.
> Rudy Penteado, a Brazilian computer programmer and aerobatic competitor, 
> made the current version.  He has spent many long sessions improving the
> program.  He does not receive payment for his efforts from IAC.  However, 
> product does have value as intellectual property.  He therefore retains 
> value by offering the program to some countrys for modest cost and to IAC 
> no cost.
> If someone were to reinvent the wheel by developing  something better AND 
> give it to IAC I can imagine that it would be received and used. 
 However, I
> don't expect a long line of volunteers to scramble for that opportunity
> considering the magnitude of the task and the lack of appreciation for 
> efforts of those who have given so generously of their time and talents.
> The forgoing is a summary of my recollections.  There may be errors in 
> minor details.  Mike Heuer is probably the only person that has the 
> story.  In summary, IAC is a group of volunteers who provide saleable 
> to IAC at no charge.  However, they reserve the right to sell such 
> items to others at market price.
> Dick Rihn, Past Pres. IAC
>  << File: ATT00006.html >> 


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