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Old 07-20-2019, 05:08 PM   #1
Ted Craven
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Current and Future State of RDSS

Here's a quick update on where we stand with RDSS 2.1.

I had hoped for an update to the current version (V2.1.049.11) before the Saratoga meeting but alas that won't happen

Along with repairing some recent problems reported in that version (see the RDSS2.1 Bugs List for the gory details), for the past 4 months I have been working on migrating the whole RDSS software to the latest/greatest version of my programming tools (PowerBuilder 2019) - not a trivial project, but long overdue and offering MANY solutions for long-standing issues.

Also working on a quicker update on an older computer in my older development environment. Alas, earlier this week that old computer and thus my older programming tool version - crashed, I presume permanently. That interferes with my schedule to offer a quick update to the current software (plus, I had long scheduled a week+ away - i.e. now - the 2nd half of July).

So - a more inclusive and more stable update to RDSS 2.1 will likely come in September as best I can estimate it. I wish it were otherwise. I wish many things were otherwise ...

The vexing part of whatever problems exist with the current version (V2.1.049.11) - is that they are not uniform for every user! Some people have a perpetual 'not responding' message, some people experience other random sluggish behaviour or more frequent crashes than before. Per discussion in the Bugs List, many of these problem are solved for those who experience them by disabling the Tote System (see this post: http://www.paceandcap.com/forums/sho...&postcount=251). This is because RDSS sometimes stalls while trying to get tote and scratch data from TwinSpires, and shutting of the RDSS Tote System prevents this. Also, TwinSpires itself is not infrequently slow and inaccessible, or a RDSS user may have a slow or intermittent internet connection. All these things can cause RDSS to in turn become sluggish, even crash sometimes.

Sometimes, the above solution is caused by Windows 10 SmartScreen security settings preventing access to either TwinSpires site, or by RDSS software. Disabling SmartScreen (google how) has solved these problems for some users, some of the time (though alas not for all ).

However, numerous other users report NO PROBLEMS at all using the SAME VERSION of RDSS, whether in Windows 10 or in several earlier Windows versions including Windows XP!)

Hence the 'vexing' part for me the programmer. I am VERY confident I can deal with many of the above and other more long-standing issues by porting the RDSS software to an updated programming environment (64 bit, multi-tasking, better memory management, better internet access tools and more - see the following post). For better or for worse, the decision I made (after some consultation) was to not pour more effort into the older version and instead work as fast as possible on a newer version with newer programming tools, hoping the above advice to workaround existing problems would serve most users for now.

In the next post, FWIW, I will outline my plans over the next year or so for RDSS.

As a reminder, I am on a holiday until the end of July right now, so m responses to technical and customer support issues will be much more intermittent for the next week or so.

Thank you all for your understanding of and patience with the recent RDSS stability problems, though I completely appreciate any impatience any of you do feel!

Some folks have told me they think I am no longer committed to evolving (or even repairing) RDSS. This is absolutely not true! I AM committed to working on RDSS for at least several more years yet! I still have big plans for it, and use parts of it myself for handicapping and betting almost every day.

Ted
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Last edited by Ted Craven; 07-20-2019 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 07-20-2019, 05:14 PM   #2
Ted Craven
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Future Plans for RDSS

1. I have been integrating tote and other live data access from AmWager for the past year. AmWager is VERY stable, fast, and has a very friendly back-end API (programming interface to their server) which I am formally licensed to use and for which excellent technical support is provided by the head of IT (Jason Martin).

I have made arrangements with them so that EVERY RDSS user can set up an account with them for live data both within RDSS and in a browser. If you don't live in a 'legal' wagering jurisdiction (e.g. California, Texas, New Jersey, Canada, etc, etc) you just can't fund that account or make wagers, but you CAN use it (and RDSS can too) to get all the tote, scratch and result data needed (except for Churchill Downs tracks, so we still need TwinSpires for that and for the ProfitLine and Prime Power ratings).

On the other hand, TwinSpires is just a headache to deal with - period and I will never get ANY support for using their back-end API programming interface. The sooner I minimize our use of TS data, the better. That alone solves MOST of the recent problems.

2. 64 bit version. Will be better at memory usage and stability.

3. Multi-tasking. Like Windows itself, and many modern programs, running multiple tasks at the same time within RDSS will lead to more efficient processing but more importantly, will make RDSS more stable by far. We can currently run a single race (including tote access) without any problems, but RDSS reliably crashes after several races in a row. We will migrate to running EVERY single race in a separate 'thread' or piece of memory, then release that memory when the race is over. This should result in multiple simultaneous stable races all with (presumably) rock solid stability.

Further (very important) this addition will let us assemble ANY NUMBER of races in the My Races module (e.g. hundreds, and overnight, compared to about 12-15 races now before the software crashes due to memory problems), Or, do things like partially assemble all races (e.g. during he Convert process) to find the mix of Running Styles and resulting Pace Pressure, Morning Line Odds ranges and other race info which must first be assembled to get (but can now only be done in small batches). This will help enormously in deciding WHICH races to work, and which ones offer apparently best handicapping and betting opportunities.

3. Finally integrate full Equibase Result Charts within about 30 minutes of race Official.

4. Finally integrate Model keeping (both Brohamer/factor models based on chosen past pacelines, and Track Profiles based on Result Charts). All models queriable, filterable and sortable like the filter/sort system in MyRaces. And exportable to better Excel templates (and CSV files).

5. More streamlined and painless software update process. RDSS will just periodically offer a message to update, which if you let it, it will then do by itself.

6. More tutorial videos (YouTube) and updated documentation.

7. Several interesting new factors on the Rx+ screen, some involving tote analysis or various user-developed contender identification and filtering processes.

8. With an updated ADW connection, first to Amwager, then TwinSpires and XpressBet, RDSS can create and submit complex wagers directly to the ADW as late as you want to wait. Dutching/hedging, complex vertical wagers, etc.

There is more, but these are the MAJOR strokes I wan to work on over the next year, beginning with the top items first, related to stability and usability.

I do welcome any comments and discussion (this thread is fine) on MAJOR features of RDSS which people would find desirable. If they are just minor ideas or tweaks, please use the Suggestions Box Thread (http://www.paceandcap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10576)

Ted
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Last edited by Ted Craven; 07-21-2019 at 12:18 AM.
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Old 07-20-2019, 05:16 PM   #3
Ted Craven
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Vacation Schedule

Again just so folks know, I am away until the end of the month (one of my favourite retreats near the Appalachian Trail in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia ). I likely won't respond to posts in THIS thread until I return, but I will try to render any critical customer or technical support by email, only on a rather intermittent basis for the next week or so.

Looking forward to seeing everyone coming to Saratoga in August!

Ted
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Old 07-20-2019, 06:34 PM   #4
Bill V.
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Hi Ted

Ted I really appreciate your hard work and toils, All with the goal to make RDSS the complete program that Doc would have been very proud of.

Have a great vacation, It will be so nice to catch up with my friend at
our tenth-anniversary gathering
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Old 07-20-2019, 06:51 PM   #5
JimG
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Sounds good Ted. Blue Ridge Mtn's are beautiful. Have a great vacation!

Jim
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Old 07-28-2019, 09:38 AM   #6
mick
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Ted, thank you for the many hours of work that you devote to RDSS and to the Pace and Cap community. I think migrating to PowerBuilder 2019 is an excellent idea. Having done some programming myself, I can begin to appreciate what a monumental task it is though.

I look forward to our time together at Saratoga.
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