BBO Helper revision history
Version 1.4.4 (Upcoming)
- Romanian translation (Mulțumiri, Mircea Giurgeu)
Real Name improvements.
- Added another 2,400 players to the player database. This is only a 4½% increase; however many are strong players who play frequently, so the impact is disproportionate. Includes just over 200 additional BBO stars (some previously in the player database but not flagged as stars).
- The player database now tracks BBO Royal Awards, i.e. the J,Q, K, and A letter badges with 43, 24, and 9 players recorded for the J, Q, and K royal awards respectively (30% of the 250 total Royal Awards). Tournament results will show the Royal Award next to the player’s name, for example, “Jim JohnsenJ (CA).”
- Mapped more players in the database to ACBL numbers, reducing the number of unmapped US, Canada, and Mexican players to under 300. The field strength for most ACBL events should now be based on over 80% of the field.
- The Real Name (Alt+N) display for the standalone BBO Handviewer now shows visual indicators for BBO My Hands, ACBL Live (for tournaments), and ACBL Live for Clubs. The first indicator is always present, the latter two only apply to ACBL players. Click on the respective indicator to see the player's history (opens in a new tab). Note: ACBL Live for Clubs can be slow to load, an ACBL issue.
- In the BBO application, Alt+M displays each player’s masterpoint total or “No ACBL #” if the player database does not have an ACBL number for the player, as well as visual indicators for BBO My Hands and ACBL Live (for tournaments), and ACBL Live for Clubs for ACBL players. For example the keyboard sequence Alt+N, Alt+M, Alt+M will show the player names, then their masterpoints, and finally close the display.
- Field strength estimation is now based on the March 2023 ACBL masterpoint database.
- Cleanup: If the user's locale is Romanian or if BBO is explicitly launched in Romanian, i.e. as https://www.bridgebase.com/v3/?lang=ro, ca, Ca, da, Da, sa, and Sa will not be translated to the respective ace in the Chat Window because these are common words in Romanian. If the ace is desired, explicitly include the ! or type cA, dA, or Sa. Closes a request by Mircea Giurgeu.
- Cleanup: For Auto Alerts a new “Other” option is added to the pulldown menus for “1NT response to 1♥/1♠” and “2NT response to a Weak Two Opener” and the “Unspecified” option is changed to “Other” for “Direct Cue Bid” and “Jump to 2NT” pulldowns. When “Other” is selected BBO Helper will not auto alert. (Requested by several users.)
- Cleanup: Auto Alert window title is now localized.
Version 1.4.3 (2023-02-25)
- Chinese (Simplified) translation, i.e. zh-CN language code (Henry Hu via Ping Hu)
- Added a frequency table of raw scores (e.g. +420) and their matchpoint or IMP score to the traveller display. This makes it easy to tell at a glance the difference between making an overtrick and not, or making vs. going down in a contract, particularly at matchpoints.
- Cleanup: Announce need to close and reopen (or refresh) BBO application tab when BBO Helper is installed or automatically updated in order for BBO Helper to function properly. Addresses issue where user thinks BBO Helper is not working after installation or has stopped working after an automatic update.
- Cleanup: Localize some phrases that were not initially localized, particularly for Auto Alerts. Allow application and name and description to be localized which is beneficial for the Chrome store. For example, BBO Helper is now named BBO Hjælper in Danish. Localize long description in the Chrome store for Danish and Italian.
- Auto alert for Jacoby and Texas transfers change from announcing “transfer” to stating the suit shown by the transfer bid in accordance with 2022 ACBL alert and announcements changes, e.g. 2♥ in response to 1NT is now alerted as “Spades (transfer)”.
- If Jacoby Transfers is selected, the Auto Alerts feature will now alert 3♦ and 3♥ in response to 2NT. Similarly if Texas Transfers is selected, 4♦ and 4♥ will be auto alerted in response to 2NT.
- Field strength estimation is now based on the February 2023 ACBL masterpoint database.
The Real Names functionality is augmented by over 4,100 BBO handles that were not previously mapped to names using automated procedures. This includes 1,130 (probably most) BBO stars (★ badge), many regular high rankers in ACBL events, and many players with a lot of BBO points (typically 7 or higher badge). About 1,800 of the players are from outside the ACBL, notably Great Britain / England, Israel, Turkey, Poland, Italy, Norway and India. This closes a request by Adam Wildavsky to have his handle and several other players added, but goes significantly beyond the original request.
Because most of the added players are strong players, the field strength for ACBL events will usually be higher than before.
- Tournament results now show the player’s country, if known, for non-ACBL players and display a ★ badge next to BBO stars.
- Bug Fix: Fixed issue that prevented board copy-and-paste aid (Alt+H) from working for Pass Out hands in the BBO application.
- Bug Fix: Chat window will no longer perform suit substitutions on URL like strings which BBO automatically turns into hyperlinks, i.e. those containing http://, https://, or www. For example, www.foo.dk (dk is the top level domain for Denmark) will be left unchanged instead of being converted to www.foo.♦K
Version 1.4.2 (2022-10-15)
- Spanish translation (Gracias, Hanoi Rondón)
- Cleanup: Close buttons no longer have a shaded edge. They're now just an image, not an image inside an HTML button element.
- Bug Fix: Attempt to fix sporadic failure of Close button for the Real Names (Alt+N) display. Seemed to happen during the bidding on Chrome, but not on Firefox, or at least not very often.
- Bug Fix: When the standalone BBO Handviewer was invoked with a LIN string containing a capitalized vulnerability designation, e.g. |sv|B| instead of |sv|b|, the vulnerability was not parsed correctly and thus defaulted to NV/NV which sometimes led to an incorrect par score and/or incorrect par contracts in the double dummy display.
- Bug Fix: Following the elimination of the polyfill in version 1.4, Chromium browsers were not identified as such for insecure (HTTP) pages served by BBO. In particular this led to the disappearance of the PBN Download and HTML buttons from boards generated by BBO My Hands on Oct 12, 2022 when BBO briefly mistakenly generated insecure results from a secure (HTTPS) query form. This exposed a shortcoming in BBO Helper’s identification of Chromium browsers which is now fixed.
Version 1.4.1 (2022-09-21)
- Danish translation (Tak, Thorvald Aagaard)
- Localize double dummy tab and par contract, a missing bit from the 1.4 release.
- New alert dialog substitution: pen → Penalty
- Use four colors for the suits in the traveller display option is now enabled by default because it makes it easier to distinguish between the club and spade symbols. (Only applies to new installations.)
- Bug Fix: Address CORS issue when obtaining a player’s full name from their Vugraph name.
Version 1.4 (2022-09-07)
- Conversion to Manifest V3 which was necessary to continue supporting BBO Helper on Chrome.
- Field strength estimation is now based on the August 2022 ACBL masterpoint database.
The board copy-and-paste aid (Alt+H) now uses language specific honor cards letters (e.g. E, K, D, and B for the ace, king, queen, and jack in Danish), compass directions, notrump designation (e.g. UT in Danish, SA in French and Italian), and for pass, double, and redouble (if not using the P, X, XX short calls) when invoked from within the BBO application. This does not apply to standalone handviewer because BBO itself does not support localization in the handviewer.
If you want to use the English designations instead of your language, perhaps to reach a wider audience, you may uncheck the new user preference Use local language for board display rather than English in the BBO application options section of the full settings.
- Bug Fix: Invoking Bridge Solver Online (BSOL) from with the BBO application (Alt+D) will work properly if your language does not use A, K, Q, and J to designate the honors.
- Bug Fix: Suit symbol substitution is now Unicode aware such that it will no longer convert text like Øst (Danish for “East”) to Ø♠T. Note: suit symbol substitution is not yet localized, i.e. it still assumes AKQJ for the suit honors.
- Bug Fix: Session HTML will now obey the user preference for “BBO Handle” / “Name (if known) or BBO” / “Compass Direction” under the Full Board Copy display section of the full settings. Previously it always used the BBO handle.
Cleanup: code improvements and simplifications
- The technique used to inject code in the context of the BBO application for Manifest V3 compliance is cleaner and simpler.
- The polyfill used to emulate some functionality in Chrome that is provided by Firefox has been removed because Chromium browser APIs support promise-based APIs under Manifest V3. (Firefox did the “right thing” years ago and Chromium has finally caught up.)
- User preference changes propagate in a simpler and more efficient manner.
Version 1.3.1 (2022-05-10)
- Bug Fix: The copy-and-paste aid for the standalone BBO Handviewer incorrectly showed Redouble (XX) as X♣.
- Bug Fix: Improperly encoded suit symbols in LIN strings are now corrected for the copy-and-paste aid in the standalone BBO Handviewer and for the generation of Session HTML and PBN files from BBO My Hands. This is a workaround for a BBO bug. For example, see this board where the alert for the Double looks like “4â™ , 4+â™¦”. The cut-and-paste aid will now properly display it as the intended “4♠, 4+♦”.
- Bug Fix: The raw scores (e.g. +620) were reversed in the PBN output if the player was seated EW and the BBO handle used to search BBO My Hands search did not exactly match the case of the user’s BBO handle. This led to an invalid PBN files. Note: prior to the 1.3 release the PBN files did not contain the raw scores.
Version 1.3 (2022-05-09)
Added ability to download an HTML file containing all boards from the session using the new HTML button next to the existing Download PBN button in BBO My Hands.
The initial output HTML conforms to user preferences for copying boards as HTML, for example those under the Full Board Copy display section of the full settings, but many options may be adjusted via a set of checkboxes on the generated HTML without the need to regenerate the page.
Individual boards copied as HTML have always inlined the CSS styling to maximize the preservation of the formatting when pasted into a target document. By contrast the boards in the Session HTML are largely formatted by CSS classes, enabling the aforesaid checkbox functionality and allowing easy style changes to the output by those familiar with CSS.
Session HTML boards include the raw score (e.g. +1430), the score (MP percentage or IMPS), and a link to the traveller.
The new preference Always include double dummy table in session HTML determines whether the double dummy table is included in the session HTML only when the double dummy result is cached (fastest download) or always included. If you played or observed a board, the double dummy result will be cached. If you are pulling someone else’s boards, the double dummy query will require about one second per board.
- Added the new option Enable Alert Substitutions under the BBO application options section of the full settings. Unchecking this option will disable the phrase and bare suit symbol substitution documented under Alert dialog substitutions.
John Goacher’s Bridge Solver Online (BSOL) is now invoked using the lin URL parameter. This means that the player names, auction, contract, and card play are now passed to BSOL allowing you to replay the hand as it was actually played, similar but faster than replaying the hand in the BBO History window. However, unlike the BBO double dummy review, you are not locked into this line of play and may also choose a different contract played by a different seat.
- The “Bridge Solver” hyperlink in the board copy HTML also uses the lin parameter with the same benefits.
- The board copy HTML card play table now shows the number of tricks claimed. Single hand PBN files now include [Result] PBN tag if the hand is claimed (full session PBN download always included the [Result] tag).
- The board copy HTML now displays the contract and the double dummy table suits match the fourth color symbol user preference. Previously this setting only applied to the hands, auction, and card play table.
- PBN files created by the Download PBN button in BBO My Hands now include the [Score] tag (raw score, e.g. 1430) and either the [ScorePercentage] tag (for matchpoints) or the [ScoreIMP] tag (for teams).
Reworked logic for saving timing information and displaying the double dummy table.
- Timing is now saved for boards that are not completed or not fully observed; for example when a tournament round ends before a board is completed or when leaving a table before kibitzing to the end of the hand. In the latter case, timing will not be shown for unobserved actions.
- Auction timing is now saved at Bidding tables. It will appear in the HTML copy-and-paste aid (Alt+H) and single PBN file downloads (Alt+P).
- Double dummy table is now shown at Bidding and Teaching tables.
- Timing is properly saved for Robot Race and also events formats such as Human Declares, Robot Duplicate, and Robot Rebate 55% where the player is reseated to declare when the robot partner would normally be declarer. Robot events are probably more robustly handled overall but not every scenario has been tested.
- Double dummy calculation is launched immediately when all hands are known, for example when hand is dealt at a Bidding or Teaching table, so that result is cached for immediate use when auction or play is completed.
- Field strength estimation is now based on the April 2022 ACBL masterpoint database.
- When there are multiple par contracts that apply to the same seat(s), they will be grouped for compactness. For example, the previously formatted EW 2♠, EW 2♥ is now displayed as EW 2♠, 2♥. But EW 2♠, E 2♥ will be displayed to make it clear that while 2♠ is the par contract from either side, 2♥ only makes when declared by East.
- Cleanup: Changed default auto-alert for 1♦ from “4+ cd unless 4=4=3=2” to “4+ diamonds unless 4=4=3=2” because original wording confused some opponents.
Cleanup: Auction clock display is now turned off after the auction is completed at a Bidding table. Previously it remained on screen, seemingly misaligned in the lower right corner, because BBO resizes the auction box at the end of the auction at a Bidding table.
- Cleanup: Field Strength display was not lined up correctly when BBO placed a logo at the top of the tournament results.
- New alert dialog substitution: p/c → Pass or correct
- Bug Fix: HTML board copy-and-paste aid was not working at Teaching Tables.
- Bug Fix: In BBO My Hands, a Download PBN button (and the new HTML button) are added to the top of a group of social bridge boards (pink highlight) when not played at the start of the day, but rather say after playing a set of tournament hands first. Previously such boards could not be downloaded.
- Bug Fix: On rare occasions the card play timing information did not appear in the correct location of the board currently in play. This was due to an incorrect determination of declarer; for example in this silly auction: 1♦ 1♥ 2♣ P; 2♥ All Pass, which came up in a social game during testing.
- Bug Fix: Fixed issue with undefined values that could appear in a traveller when the traveller includes results entered by VuGraph operator(s). BBO does not normalize VuGraph entered calls to the standard case (uppercase for bids, lowercase for pass, double, and redouble) that it otherwise uses consistently.
- Bug Fix: Sometimes the double dummy information did not appear for the first board of the session. This was particularly annoying because the work around of clicking on another board and then clicking on the problematic board noted in the Known Issues could not be performed until the second board was completed.
- Bug Fix: Properly handle <sc_undo> messages with count="0" and position="*" attributes (I hope). Although these have an undo count of zero, they seem to require rolling back one action (call or card play). The * for position may indicate that the next seat has not acted yet. These undos are common in Vugraph presentations, probably quick correction of data entry mistakes, but can happen in other contexts.
- Bug Fix: Unicode characters in explanations are now properly displayed in HTML copy-and-paste aid. For example, the Danish word for Relay now properly displays as Relæ instead of RelÃ¦ This problem is due to a character encoding issue that BBO itself gets wrong as you can see if you click on the 2♦ bid in the BBO Handviewer movie for this board.
- Bug Fix: Straight quotes in explanations of auction calls are converted to apostrophes to comply with the PBN specification which uses straight quotes to delimit tag names and tag values. For example, the explanation "Bal"-ish will appear in the PBN output as 'Bal'-ish.
Version 1.2 (2022-02-15)
- Travellers may now be displayed using four color suit symbols via new preference Use four color for the suits in the traveller display in the full settings (Edit All Settings menu item). This can make it easier to distinguish spades from clubs. Also traveller suit symbols are now displayed at 110% of surrounding font size for better readability.
- In the Principal Auction Variants table of a traveller, calls that have been explained by any player(s) are flagged with a green triangle in the lower right corner of the call. Click on the call to see the explanations provided. Hints are appended in some cases, e.g. the term “Michaels” will add a link to a web page that explains the Michaels cue bid.
- Field strength estimation is now based on the Feb 2022 ACBL masterpoint database. 1,400 players added to database.
- Alert dialog substitutions and bare suit symbol substitutions now also apply to explanations added to a previous call as well as updates to the original explanation, typically at the request of opponents. This modifies <cs_bid_explanation> BBO messages rather than the <cs_make_bid> messages.
- New alert dialog substitutions: nat → Natural, to (or t/o) → Takeout, un → Undiscussed
- Bug Fix: PBN download of team tournament boards failed. Previously social team boards or matchpoint tournament hands could be downloaded but team tournament boards failed, giving the appearance of hanging at the “Fetching LIN records for each board” message.
- Bug Fix: On displays with a small pixel height, the top of the Auto Alert definition panel could end up off screen, leaving the user no obvious way to close it (Ctrl+W still worked). Now the panel occupies the available screen space, i.e. from top of the screen to the top of the taskbar.
- Bug Fix: The brief announcement of an outgoing auto-alert did not properly translate !h to ♥.
- Bug Fix: Auto alert code flipped the vulnerability when only one side was vulnerable leading to incorrect auto alerts for vulnerability dependent situations, e.g. when a two suited overcall can be 5-4 NV but is 5-5 or better vulnerable.
- Bug Fix: 2NT openers in fourth seat were improperly grouped with 2♦, 2♥, and 2♠ for the auto alerts which led to default auto alert of “Full opener with 6+ cards” when 2NT was opened in fourth seat.
- Bug Fix: Redoubled contracts were not tallied correctly for the contract frequencies table of a traveller display. The XX tally would not appear and the overtrick / undertrick bin(s) containing the redoubled contract(s) would show their tally as undefined.
Cleanup: Improve auto-alert default descriptions to make some meanings clearer in keeping with the principle that the name of a convention is not an explanation. Specific changes:
“Jacoby 2NT” → “4+ card supp, GF, no shortness (Jacoby)“
“Splinter” → “0 or 1 !c with 4+ card supp (splinter)” (4♣ case)
Version 1.1 (2021-12-15)
- Support for Chromium based browsers, including Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Brave
- Support for multiple languages (internationalization)
Contact me if you would like to provide a translation for a language.
- Italian translation (Grazie, Pierluigi Sessolo)
- Field strength estimation is now based on Dec 2021 ACBL masterpoint database.
- Bug Fix: Menu items did not work if user clicked on the Alt+ section of a menu item. A <span> tag used to float the Alt+ text to the right was swallowing up a click intended for the parent <div> menu item. Confirmed issue for macOS (may have been limited to macOS).
- Bug Fix: PBN export failed in standalone BBO Handviewer if URL contained myhand URL parameter.
- Bug Fix: Declarer could be assigned incorrectly in PBN export for a board if opposing side bid final denomination before declaring side (example: P P 1♣ 1♦; 1♠ 3♣ P P; P).
- Bug Fix: Alt+R hot key (Refresh) added to standalone BBO Handviewer. Previously, it only worked in the BBO application.
- Bug Fix: “Copy board as HTML” menu item may not have worked in some cases.
- Bug Fix: Double dummy table sometimes appeared in standalone Handviewer when it was turned off in the user settings due to a race condition.
- Bug Fix: “Include date and time of event (if available)” setting (only available in the full settings) had no effect on the board copy-and-paste output.
- Bug Fix: “Use short calls (P, X, XX) instead of Pass, Dbl, and Rdbl” in the full settings only applied when webpage was open. Now opening (Alt+H) or refreshing (Alt+R) the board copy-and-paste aid will use the current setting.
- Bug Fix: Address certain issues involving auto alerting for Michaels and Unusual Notrump.
- Bug Fix: In the Auto Alert definitions, the “2D/2H/2S in fourth seat” definition was not being saved correctly.
- Bug Fix: Board copy-and-paste aid did not correctly pull notrump bids and contracts out of BBO application history window if NT appeared as SA ("Sans Atout") when user’s language was set to French or Italian.
- Cleanup: If the Show time required to play each card in trick option is disabled, times are hidden when next card is played rather than remaining around until the end of the hand.
- Cleanup: If the auction clock is turned off, the clock will disappear at next call instead of lingering until the end of the auction.
- Cleanup: Migrate from XMLHttpRequest() to modern fetch() in some places.
Version 1.0 (2021-11-25)