Malkovich notes visible to opponents?

I could at least 2 in favour of keeping Malkovich, with some others arguably on the fence (or at least not convinced by “spectator chat”)

If a change was absolutely insisted on but a majority, I would be more inclined to go with “kibitz chat” than “spectator chat”.

It’s Malkovich not Malkovitch. There is no tradition of that name in Eastern go cultures, it was coined on the now defunct forum and continued on its successor (which are English language with mostly American and European members though there are some Asians who speak English).

I am in favour of entirely deleting the feature and replacing it with private board notes.

That’s despite me having played and observed Malkovich games on I don’t think I’ve ever done so on OGS. The format works better when the player can post diagrams and engage in conversation with the kibitzers, which you can on a forum but not OGS.


Private notes (not visible by anyone but me)

Overiding options

  • can be seen by everyone after the game finished.
  • can be seen by spectators during the game

That’s all necessary and should cover Malakotruc.

Important to underline, interactivity is limited by the usual format and rules applying to the game chat. Now OGS has the demo/review tool which could be enhanced to satisfy this special kind of game.

That seems a bit drastic do you not think? “I don’t use it therefore it should be deleted and replaced.”

I’ve used it in the past, know others that have recommended and used it and found it quite helpful to be able to share thoughts, and yes variations since OGS also has that feature, from during the game in order to see how the player and the opponent differ in opinions and perspective during the game.

I haven’t done it much recently, mainly playing ladder correspondence games and I don’t necessarily just want to log my own thoughts on the games.

What about engaging in a conversation on a forum ON OGS? Or Ogs combined with something like discord etc. I don’t think the malkovich logs are solely for the use of strong players engaging in kibitz with spectators.

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I am aware of numerous support requests of people not understanding it or assuming/wishing it was private board notes. To avoid feature bloat and make a user interface more usuable you sometimes need to bravely delete rarely used features, particularly ones which are not intuitive and commonly mistaken for something else. But maybe I am unaware of numerous people happily using it as intended. Hence my creation of this poll POLL: Has anyone ever used the Malkovich log for its intended purpose?, though being on this forum there is likely a selection bias to the more experienced and knowledgeable users.


That makes sense to me, and I also agree that in theory there could be some selection bias with some forum users, although I do imagine there’s still quite a number of forum users which don’t know many things due to

or just due to How intuitive is OGS for new users?. I feel like I keep coming across things I didn’t know, although they tend to get more and more niche as time goes on.

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I think its one of the most influential movies of 1999… In same basket with Matrix, Fight Club, Star Wars I, and the Blair Witch Project… >_____>


I mean maybe but:
Star wars 1b
Matrix 466m
Blair witch 248m
Fight club 101m
Malkovich 32m

It doesn’t seem quite in the same league in those terms…


This is something I have desired to see implemented since I first began playing Go. I know how frustrating it can be at times. Unfortunately, it isn’t big on anyone’s feature list that volunteers programming time here on OGS. Not yet :crossed_fingers:. Up to this point the following method is the best approach I have found to being able to study privately in any match. I had planned to write up a proper guide with pictures, but I am in a rush, so this will have to suffice for now :sweat_smile:

This approach isn’t ideal, because you cannot store study notes directly within an active game itself. However, it is a little work around that grants you the capacity to study privately with full OGS functionality.

  1. Download the SGF for the match you wish to study.
  2. In the Hamburger menu in the top left corner of the OGS website, click on SGF Library.
  3. Place a check in the box entitled Private collection. Then type a name in the text box directly above the text Private collection. When you are done click the button to the right of the text box that says Create collection. This will create a special folder that is private. Any SGF’s loaded within this folder will be hidden from everyone on the website but you.
  4. At the top of your SGF Library will be a new link for private folder you just created. Click on that link to enter your new private collection folder.
  5. Once inside the private area, click on the Upload button and select the SGF you wish to study.
  6. Once the upload finishes, you can click on the link for the SGF that appears. It will load up and you can treat it like a normal match, sharing variations in chat, and writing down any notes you desire.

It is a bit of a hassle having to leave a match to study a private version of any game. When I use this method I have two tabs open at the same time side-by-side, allowing me to study my private SGF and the active game itself.

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As usual in the Forums, a whole bunch of different issues are tangled together.

Name: I don’t understand what the objection is to “Spectator Notes.” It clearly describes the purpose of the function, which “Malkovich” does not. “Malkovich” was a specialized allusion to begin with and becomes more obscure to the public at large with each passing year.

Purpose and Value: Malk provides great entertainment value and educational insight to kibitzers of higher-end, casual games. There used to be a lot of these on OGS, and they were great fun to watch, but they seem to have largely disappeared (I am not speaking of the many championship games that still exist). Malk is also fun for the players after the game because they can see what the opponent was thinking at different points. I value this highly, and I think others do as well. If a player is a cheat who turns himself into a spectator, that is a separate issue (see below).

Misunderstanding of Purpose or Function: This is separate from the purpose and the value and does not invalidate either. This is a problem of publicity and education, which are too obvious and tedious for me to bother discussing further.

Mobile Bug: If the Malk is not hidden from the opponent during the game, that sounds like a bug, as it contradicts the function for players not using mobile. It also sounds like something that could be fixed.

Private Notes: This seems like it would be a worthy addition that fulfills a need that Malk was never intended to satisfy. However, that does not usurp the purpose or value of Malk.

One or the Other: Why not both? Malk already exists and serves a unique purpose. Why get rid of it? Private Notes seems like a worthy addition for those who want it.

Cheats: Humans have a tremendous capacity for perverse ingenuity. Deal with it; please don’t deflect by attacking side issues. The only way to deal with cheats (from the player’s perspective) is not to play with them. Of course, you get burned once, then you stop. I once lost $10 on a poker hand (about $50 in today’s inflated money) to a player who was dealing seconds (as I belatedly realized). I left the game, and never played in another game that included him. It was a very educational experience. Of course, one can also use discernment to avoid most, if not all, cheats. People rarely, if ever, use Malk in live, non-exhibition games, so the possibility that the opponent will cheat by spectating is really an issue of correspondence play, where you can, if you want, try to pick honest opponents. If they prove unworthy, then mutter a curse to yourself and move on.


Thats gross profit, right? Sure those other movies made a lot of money, but if we compare the awards those movies did won then the ranking is bit different ^^

The Matrix - won 4 oscars (42 wins and 51 nominations for other film awards)
Being John Malkovich - 3 oscar nominations (48 wins / 79 nominations)
Star Wars I - 3 oscar nominations (29 wins / 69 nominations)
Fight Club - 1 oscar nomination (11 wins / 38 nominations)
The Blair Witch Project - no oscar awards or nominations, 19 wins and 26 nominations for other awards…

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I had to say it, one of your best answers.


While I agree with the rest of your post, I want the term Malkovich Log to stay. I have been using it as intended for a long time without any idea it was a movie reference. But it doesn’t matter that Malkovich Log came from a movie, any more than it matters that “commute” as in “commute to work” came from “commutation ticket”. No idea what that is? No problem; it doesn’t impact the usefulness of the term “commute”. I want to keep it as Malkovich Log because it’s a useful term to describe a unique combination of note visibilities (to all post-game, to all but opponent('s account) in-game). Spectator Notes sounds like something for spectators to use, anyway.

Also, I’d love a private notes feature as well; I’d use both that and Malko.

EDIT: also, it being an injoke is icing on the cake. I don’t get the joke having not seen the movie, but I love it when injokes and obscure references are worked into all sorts of places one wouldn’t expect, and I recognize them. It doesn’t hurt anybody to not get the reference: they likely won’t even realize they missed a reference; but I would never want to deprive the people who do get the reference of that opportunity


I note the mistakes of spelling and the shortened version used in some answers in this topic (even in the title!).

Can we just simplify it to malko ?

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This is the best argument for keeping the name. And one that I find convincing. Especially as having been thinking about alternative names I was coming back here to say that it’s actually quite difficult to express this fairly unique thing in a single word or simple phrase. I can see that this established term is maybe best after all.

I do think too that if “private note” or whatever were also implemented that that would also have the effect of making the term Malkovich clearer since it would be obvious that it’s not a private note.

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Yes, valid points, I think. I don’t feel strongly about that issue, so I am not seriously bothered by keeping the term. Some people consider in-jokes to be unwelcoming to newcomers, but that doesn’t bother me at all. Every community has special lingo that one needs to learn—it’s just a rite of passage from newcomer to insider.

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I would be fine with this; I mostly call it Malko anyway.

I agree. I think Malk has it’s use. I wouldn’t want to see it removed. An additional “Private Notes” feature would be great and add much needed functionality to the site.


Why? If the problems caused by its existence are greater than the benefits it provides. Given the numerous support requests and people misunderstanding its function I thought that might be the case. Given my poll I now think that’s less likely. It’s also about avoiding feature bloat. If you give everyone what they want you can end up with a harder to use system with too many options, not to mention the increased complexity and cost to implement it technically and not introduce bugs with other changes.

To give an exaggerated example. Let’s say next to the resign button there’s a seppuku button which resigns and deletes your OGS account in shame of your humiliating defeat. This is explained in the documentation which few read. People sometimes click it out of curiosity or because seppuku sounds cool and kinda like resign. They then complain in the forum their account was deleted. This is an example of a feature that is better to not exist and saying its just an option you could choose not to use leads to bad user experience. It will cause more problems than it solves, and telling people after they complained its their own dumb fault for not reading the documentation is not a good response. It’s a principle of human computer interaction and UX design that functionality should be serve a useful purpose and be intuitive, predictable and discoverable.

I’m not saying Malkovich is this far down the spectrum, but it is a spectrum and saying yes to every feature request without removing redundant or similar ones can degrade the overall user experience. I say this coming from a day job working on a commercial software product with an even greater cockpit of configuration than OGS, and satisfying customer demands for new features whilst managing the increased complexity in both code and configuration is one of the key challenges we face.

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I think the issue is that that main problem “caused by it’s existence” is actually that there is not a private note function. I.e. the problem is not the existence of Malkovich but the lack of private notes.
If there were the thee options of chat/Malkovich/private then it would be perfectly clear that Malkovich is not private.

(Although not that I’ve written that I wonder if “private” should be “personal” as private might imply not public, as in chat shared with opponent only like a private game… Terminology is difficult!)