In praise of OGS

I never thought I’d been so intrigued by Go, but it just so happened in the right moment and all because of OGS.

It all started with me trying to figure out a way for my 61 year old dad to play Go online, and OGS came to me as a really simple yet elegant solution. It does not need installation of any software or plugin, working perfectly in any browser, even on phone and tablet. My professional work requires daily use of many software, Microsoft the OS, Autodesk and Adobe the design suite and various other packages. Somehow it had become that every year software companies have to rush out a “new” and “upgraded” version of the same tool, but full of bugs, nuisances and bloatedness. I am struggling daily with the inefficiency caused by the latest version of the software, by the not so high standards software companies hold, in order to deal with the tasks that I can perfectly deal with using the version from 10 years ago.

But none of these annoyance happens when I tried out OGS - it’s just elegant. Yes, there are some bugs, but all related to cosmetics and can be fixed by refreshing the browser. It’s not unexpected as web coding for multiple platforms with each platform upgrading very frequently is highly challenging. My dad has 40 years of Go experience and is a really good player despite self taught. But he’s very slow regarding “new tech”. I showed him how to log in to OGS and create a new game using custom settings, and voila! he got it.

Now he’s playing on his iPhone, on his iPad, on his laptop, a lot. I know he only knows to use Chrome browser on his laptop to read some news but that’s all he needs for playing Go.

Both the playing site and forum site have impressed me by how much coding and effort was put into making the user experience better - I mean really better, not “newer” “upgraded” stuff. When I unconsciously press left key on my keyboard, the analysis play does go back. Hey! I didn’t know that worked but how intuitive it is and the shortcut should be the left key. When I copied and pasted a link to a post I wrote in the forum, it was automatically converted to a link box with thumbnail, instead of a long, messy link. That’s how things should work!

Now my dad is truly happy with this platform: as you can imagine how hard it is to find people to play with in real life and how easy it is to play online with billions of people from all over the world. And you can imagine how great the coding of the platform had to be to make a 61-year-old-definitely-not-tech-handy person to use it effortlessly.

I am writing this to say a big thank you to all the people who made this happen.

p.s. I had to go through all the functions of the site and play a few games to familiarize myself with the platform in order show my dad what buttons are doing what. In that process I became very intrigued by the game and now studying very hard to improve myself. That would not have happened if not for the convenience the site brought and everything I said above. I have learned and improved a lot but when playing handicapped game with my dad, the non-traditional, unexpected, “irrational” moves he played always gave me headache. I feel there’s so much to learn and the fundamentals would take a long time to acquire.


@anoek and @matburt are the main devs here, tagging them because everybody loves to see their hard work paying off <3


What a lovely feedback … I think I can thank you on behalf of all OGSers, staff as well as users.

Just one note: The forum uses Discourse, a 3rd party software.