Put nationality flags against player names?

Hiya All,
Not sure if this has been raised before, but I think it would be a good idea to automatically generate nationality flags against lists of player names for each of the modules (under ‘Players’). This would certainly help to quickly identify players who may be in the same/similar time zone for organising potential matches.

Happy gaming…!
Breaker (Australia)

Thus spake “Breaker”:

If we were to do this automatically, do you have a proposal for doing
it reliably? E.g., you can look up IP addresses in WHOIS to determine
the country of the entity to which they’re registered, which may have
no relation to the country where the IP address is being used.

Here’s an example: The country of the IP address of website for Ramstein
Air Force Base, a USAF base in Germany, is listed as the US, while it
looks like the server itself is hosted in The Netherlands. If someone
were connected to the VASSAL server from that IP address, what flag
would you give them?


J.


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I wouldn’t do it automatically. Have users select it as a global preference.

B.


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Thus spake “Brent Easton”:

It should be possible to read time zone information from the user’s
system, though that also won’t tell you what time zone the user is
really in.


J.


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Or just use the country in the Locale set on their PC. That would be the best guess, but you will never get it right everytime automatically.


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Thus spake “Brent Easton”:

Locale only has a country in the sense that you can have a country-
specific language variant. I’m in GMT+1, but I’m using the en_US locale on
my computer. There are seven (eight, depending on how you count the fact
that Arizona doesn’t observe daylight savings time) time zones in which
there are US States, and if you throw in Guam, American Samoa, Midway,
Wake, and a few more islands I can’t recall at the moment, then you get
US territory in every time zone across the Pacific as well. (I think the
grand total is something like 11 time zones.) You get a similar story for
the en_GB and fr_FR locales if you take overseas territories into account.
(I think that with Britain, Pitcairn, and Diego Garcia, it is still the
case that the sun never sets on the British Empire.) Kaliningrad is in
GMT+2, while Vladivostok is in GMT+10, yet in both places the inhabitants
would likely be using the ru_RU locale.

That is: Locale can be a rather poor proxy for predicting what time zone
a users is in.

Is there something wrong with logging on to the server during the time
you want to play to see who else is there? (I’m not trying to be combative
here, but I’m now not seeing the benefit of the suggested improvement.)
I suspect that presence on the server during a particular time is a pretty
good indicator of ability and desire to play during that time. How would
knowing where or in what time zone someone is help you beyond what you
find out just from seeing that they’re present at the same time you are?


J.


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Thanks for the posts gentlemen.
It seems to me that rather than any automatic process that reads an IP number, etc, there should be an automatic facility by which a flag is allocated against a player’s name once they manually identify their location in their profile. Perhaps it would be better to be a GMT + or - instead of a flag, acknowledging that some players may identify themselves as being a certain nationality, but are resident in another part of the world.

Why would this be useful? Well, if I want to quickly identify potential opponents who are likely to be in a similar time zone to me, the flags or GMT indicators will tell me (for example) who else is in Australia. I can then send these players a message to find out if they’re interested in making a date/time for a game. At the moment, all I see against a module for ‘players’ is a list of names. I have no idea where they are from. It’s not practical for me to tee up a game with someone in NYC for instance…their day is my night and vice versa.

There you go…
Breaker