Why not online-offline indicator also on overview page?

Why don’t we show the online-offline indicator, which is available in the friends list, on the overview page (own games in progress)?
It would be nice to know which opponents are currently online.


One immediate hassle would be the confusion with whether the light is saying they are online in general (like the PM indicator) or actually present at that game (like the presence indicator on the game page


One would have to clarify this with a suitable column heading.

Or choose three symbols or symbol states:
for generally online, online in the game and offline
(with an explanatory legend)

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I only learned about this difference recently, after hundreds of games, and the “actually present” version makes no sense to me, especially for correspondence. If they are active on the site, they are likely to respond to a move within a few minutes.

So I started checking groups of my opponents to see if they are around.

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Samesies. Tbh I don’t think we’d lose much by making the green dot consistent with the other green dots. That information will still be in the “who’s here?” panel

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I just realized that the indicator is especially pointless for live games since it is usually covered by the disconnect timer when it is gray.


I’ve seen games where the indicator is grey the entire time. One obvious (?) straightforward instance is for bot accounts. The other I believe could be to do with using an app for the site instead of a browser. (I feel like I read it but can’t find it again on the forums)

That could be true more often than not, but sometimes I just don’t want to respond right away to an opponents move, or don’t have time to think about and make all 4 (eg say) correspondence moves I have to make, so come back later.

Now scale that up to people who have 100s or a thousand simultaneous correspondence games, and it’s probably unlikely they’ll answer your move even if they are online.

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That’s all true. — But is there any reason that really stands against it? :wink:

It’s true that they might not want to move right now even if online, but that also applies to correspondence players who happen to keep a tab open to the game. Maybe some of them keep 100 tabs open. The sitewide indicator seems more relevant.

The “it” in this question is referring to which proposal? I think there are two:

  1. adding a dot to the ongoing game list on the homepage
  2. changing the meaning of the dot on the player cards in a game to match the meaning of the dot on the rest of the site
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No. 1

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In that case, my opinion is that we should set a very high bar for putting things on the home page because it is already packed with information. (I know for some people it is not, but if we are to start adding things, other features like “Play” controls would also be good). I don’t see much wrong with adding the dot (and accompanying column) in your proposal, but I think you should make a case for why it is important information. Personally, I don’t need this information because:

a) A lot of the opponents I care about are in my friends list
b) It is pretty apparent once I play my move whether my opponent is online

Well, the main reason would be my curiosity about which players are online at which times of the day.
I could then go online more often at the appropriate times and thus speed up the progress of correspondence games a bit.


I think there’s certain things, we normal users, just don’t need the ability to be able to do, such as keep bulk tabs on everyone who is online and at what time.
(although I’m sure big tech giants like Apple, Google etc already ‘know’ this stuff…)

I also wonder, what’s the point in accepting friend requests, if every person you have a correspondence game with, will know when you’re online.

One other method to speed up correspondence is to make faster settings :stuck_out_tongue: There’s absolute time settings or there’s a fast correspondence group Play Go at online-go.com! | OGS

I don’t want to stand in the way of progress for new and interesting features for the site, I’d just like to point out some potential considerations/concerns.


Admittedly, these considerations have their justification.

I hadn’t thought about the tablular version. I was picturing the minigoban layout. This may explain some weird cross-conversation that follows, I dunno.


DGS has a little house icon next to the player name in the games list on the home screen for opponents who have accessed the site within the last 10 minutes. I find this useful as I can prioritize playing a move in those games as I am more likely (NB: not guaranteed) to get a quick reply than in other games. I have often thought that a similar feature on OGS would be useful as this information is not available unless the opponent is in your friends list but I prefer to limit my friends list to people I know in real life and maybe a select few regular online opponents.

FWIW, DGS has much more information on the games list on the home page than OGS (tournament game or not, private game notes, your color, ruleset, handicap, komi, rated / unrated, online indicator, time of last move, custom priority level, etc). These columns can be added / removed as you wish, e.g. I have removed the SGF download link column as I never use it. I find that having lots of columns like this is actually more useful than the fewer columns of OGS and if columns can be added / removed then users can revert to the current minimal level of information if they wish.

I agree with @stephan_羅_德_帆 - there is, IMO, no reason not to other than the time and effort required to implement the feature, which seems fairly small so I vote that it should be done!


All I’m saying is that there is value in simplicity. I don’t want to knock DGS since it has its own strengths, but I think very little effort has gone into the graphical design of the site.

So anyway, I’m not against the online-indicator, I just think the question we should be asking is “Is there any reason that really stands for it?” If we set the bar low, then the table can quickly grow until it runs off the page.

Haha, you can say that again! DGS design is very budget, LOL. So much nicer to look at OGS.

The ultimate reason for an online indicator for each game on your home page is this. Imagine you have, say, 10 correspondence games ongoing. If you only have a couple of minutes to be online, then probably just play a move in the game(s) with the shortest time left on the clock. But if you have a little longer to be online, then it would be nice to play a move in a game and get a reply while you are still online, then you reply to that, etc. so you can play a handful of moves at live pace while you’re online. Obviously, if an opponent is online at the same time as you, then there is a much greater chance of that happening than if they’re not online. Therefore, an online indicator would identify games that have a greater probability of receiving a quick reply than games where the opponent is not online. This is of course subject to the usual caveats of online does not necessarily mean actively online so how do you define online (hence my reference to DGS using did something on the site in the last 10 mins) and some offline opponents respond quickly to email notifications, etc.

Plus, as the OP points out, there may be other use cases such as adjusting your own schedule to be online when you’re opponents are online so as to play more moves at a live pace, etc.

And I think the point about “there’s no reason not to” is a valid one, but it might more convincing said like this: Given the benefits identified above and the facts that it should be a relatively easy feature to implement and a small online indicator would not take up much space on the home page, the cost-benefit ratio of this idea is favourable.


For sure I dig it and I think you make a good case for the indicator.

I guess when I hear the “no reason not to” argument it sounds like there is no cost. I just wanted to make sure we’re acknowledging the cost (small increase in complexity), so that we can make the cost-benefit assessment accordingly.

So I appreciate you fleshing out the “benefit” aspect of the feature :slight_smile: