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FD File Format About the innerds of FD files (xxx.bss)

#1 User is offline   Left2Right 

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Posted 2010-October-30, 11:26

For the most daring and picky disclosers, it is possible to edit an FD file (xxx.bss) in any text editor.

ALERT! *Always* make a backup copy of your most current valid bss file *before* making the slightest change. Reason: FD yields only one vanilla error message no matter what mistake you make or however many, and won't indicate which record(s) it croaked on.

In subsequent posts, I will be documenting the file format of the FD (.bss) file. In other words, which positions mean what and the valid codes for each. (So far as I have discovered them.)

Cheers.

-- Charles A. Lee

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#2 User is offline   Left2Right 

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Posted 2010-October-30, 13:38

FD File Format: position 1 (bidding records only)

For bid sequence records, the first position indicates the seat position. Use the codes below to devise pop-ups that apply only in certain seat positions. If you use a code not listed here, you get an error opening the file.

Example:

001C=NNNNNNN33813+ | 3+!C | Usually open 1!C with 3-3 in minors; 1!D with 4-4 except 1444

In the sample record above, position 1 containing a zero means that it matters not which seat you are in when you (or partner) is the first at the table to make a non-pass. If you say 1 "1C", this is the alert record that will cause the pop up.

Pos. 1 Codes
0: any seat
1: 1st seat only
2: 2nd seat only
3: 3rd seat only
4: 4th seat only
5: seats 1 and 2
6: seats 3 and 4
*: an asterisk in this position refers to an auction opened by your opponents.
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#3 User is offline   Left2Right 

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Posted 2010-October-30, 14:33

FD File Format: position 2 (bidding records only)

For bid sequence records, the second position indicates the vulnerability that must exist for the alert to pop up. If you use a code not listed here, you get an error opening the file.

Example:

462S=NYYYYYY06813+ 4th seat vul full opener of two !s

The sample record above applies to a 4th seat opening of 2 only (a 4 in pos 1); and even then will pop up only when we are vul regardless of whether or not they are vul (the 6 in position 2).

Position 2 Codes
0: vulnerability doesn't matter
1: only when none are vul
2: only when we are vul and they are not
3: only when they are vul and we are not
4: only when both are vul
5: we are non-vul, they don't matter
6: we are vul, they don't matter
7: they are non-vul, our vul doesn't matter
8: they are vul, our vul doesn't matter
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#4 User is offline   Left2Right 

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Posted 2010-October-30, 15:27

FD File Format: position 3+ "The Bid Sequence" (bidding records only)

This code sequence must end with the bid on which the alert is intended to pop up and must be preceded by all of the bids in the sequence that lead up to it. And yes, the opponents' place-holder passes must be included. Indicate the end of the sequence with an equal sign.

Example:

001CP1D=NNNNNNN5486+ $ 4+!D May have a 4 card major
001CP1DP1N=NNNNNNN2MIN (12-14) No 4 card major

The first record causes a pop-up reading "May have a 4 card major" when the responder bids one diamond in the sequence 1, pass, 1.

The second record causes a pop-up reading "No 4 card major" when the opener rebids one notrump in the sequence, 1, pass, 1, pass, 1NT.

Note that the second record does not piggyback on the first. Each is its own complete sequence. So yes, a long set of variable choices that start off the same can lead to a large block of similar looking records such as this.

001NDR=NNNNNNN8+ HCP / Usually balanced / Penalty oriented
001ND2C=YNNNNNND08STAYMAN / 8+ / Asks for 4+ card major /
001ND2CP2D=YNNNNNNE28No 4+ card major / Any strength
001ND2CP2DP2H=NNNNNNN4558-9 / 5!H / 4!S / Invites game in 3NT or 4!H / Non-forcing
001ND2CP2DP2S=NNNNNNN4558-9 / 5!S / 4!H / Invites game in 3NT or 4!S / Non-forcing
001ND2CP2DP2N=NNNNNNN48-9 / Invites 3NT / Non-forcing

The codes in this field are as follows
P     pass
D     double
R     redouble
1C    one club
1D    one diamond
1H    one heart
1S    one spade
1N    one notrump (not "NT" !)
2C    two clubs
...etc
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#5 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2010-November-01, 02:05

You should also mention that there is a maximum file size for sharing with partner/opps even though you can always see the entire file. I cannot remember how big the size is (somewhere around 2 Mb perhaps?) but it was small enough that I hit it with almost no competitive bidding entered when I first FDed my relay system. Since competitive bidding is significantly larger than constructive it is impossible to have a full Full Disclosure file for normal play if you play a system with highly packed bids. Note that there is no error message when you reach this limit - you will receive the message that your CC was shared as usual but noone else will see the alerts.
(-: Zel :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
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#6 User is offline   Left2Right 

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Posted 2010-November-07, 05:09

FD File Format: Field 4: "The YYNN Sequence" (bidding records only)

I call this Field 4 rather than position 4 because the field that precedes it (The Bid Sequence) varies in size.

Rules.

The YYNN construct must always be coded just after the Bid Sequence.
It must be exactly 7 letters, each of which must be either a Y or an N.

Y is an on switch, N is an off switch.

Position and meaning. (for 2 thru 7, think of a Yes or No answer.)

1: N for natural bid. Y for artificial bid
2: Is a final contract in possible? (by convention)
3: Is a final contract in possible?
4: Is a final contract in possible?
5: Is a final contract in possible?
6: Is a final contract in NT possible?
7: Is the bid defense oriented (a penalty double, for example)

Think of 7 this way: a bid such as a preemptive weak 3 opening is the antithesis of wanting to defend, thus an N in position 7 is appropriate. However, a forcing bid in response to partner’s ordinary 1 of a suit opener does not preclude becoming a defender later, thus a Y in 7.
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#7 User is offline   Left2Right 

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Posted 2010-November-07, 05:36

FD File Format: Field 5: "Force Strength" (bidding records only)

This one position code induces FD to display a particular word near the upper left of the alert box in the BBO executable and displays as the first word of the text of an alert in the web version. This field follows Field 4 (The YYNN sequence) and will be interpreted as shown below. Entering any code other than the ones shown below yields “error opening the file.”

Code: meaning
1:    Signoff
2:    non-forcing
3:    Constructive
4:    Invitational 
5:    Forcing
6:    Forcing To Game
7:    Slam Try
8:    Control Bid
9:    preemptive
A:    Transfer
B:    Puppet
C:    Relay
D:    Asking Bid
E:    Asking Bid Response
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#8 User is offline   Left2Right 

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Posted 2010-November-07, 06:29

FD File Format: Field 6: "Suit Length" (bidding records only)

This two-position field is present for suit bids only, not for NT bids.
When present, both positions must be numbers, otherwise you get “error opening the file.”

Think of this field as “x to y” where x is the shortest suit the bid can indicate and y is the longest.

An “8” in the y position causes FD to display a plus sign rather than a number. So no, you are not allowed to promise an 11-card suit. :)

Examples.

Code Yields
---------------
45     4 – 5
48     4+
37     3 – 7

To build its display, FD uses this field plus the suit portion of the actual bid field to form the alert of suit length promised. For example, in the following record, the “55” following the NN4 causes FD to display “5-5H” meaning that the bid promises a five card heart suit exactly (not more, not fewer).
If you change the “55” to “58” it would display as “5+” meaning “five or more” hearts.

001NP2CP2DP2H=NNNNNNN4557-9 / 5!H / 4!S / Invites game in 3NT or 4!H

IMPORTANT: One of the easiest error inducing mistakes to make is to copy a NT bid record and make a suit bid out of it. Reason. There is no “length” in a NT bid record, so the commentary field that follows it is moved one field to the left when the suit length field is omitted. Since the commentary field can be anything, it can become junk code when you change a NT bid to a suit bid a forget to add the suit length field back in.
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#9 User is offline   pooltuna 

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Posted 2010-November-07, 10:38

Great job! This will certainly be more user friendly than the existing CC editor!
"Tell me of your home world, Usul"
the Freman, Chani from the move "Dune"

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#10 User is offline   Left2Right 

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Posted 2010-November-07, 13:38

FD File Format: Field 6: "Free Text" (bidding records only)

The remainder of a bidding record can contain most any text one wishes to use. Nevertheless, there are some rules, cautions and guidelines.

  • To display a suit symbol, key an exclamation point followed by the letter s h d or c.
    6+!d yields 6+
    To display an exclamation point, key two of them.
    Example:
    001HP2CP2SP3DP4CP4DP5H=YYNNNNYE08 Should be no such call!!

  • Be as clear and revealing as needed, but use text sparingly. Reason: in the Web version of BBO, the entire alert text appears in the auction block, anchored to the alerted bid, overlaying everything. This can block out some of the other bids until the next call is made.

  • Avoid duplication (Bridge players know that’s not good).

    Example:
    001D=NNNNNNN34813+ / 4+!D / Usually open 1!D with 4-4 in minors except 1444

    The clarification that starts with “Usually” is not available via the automated fields.
    But the “/ 4+!D” comment duplicates FD’s automatic display of that same info generated via the Suit Length field (positions 14 and 15 in this record).

  • I didn’t bother to find the absolute maximum size allowed for a bidding record. Reason: After trying a record with 300 characters, I decided that the capacity is way more than enough to reasonably explain just about anything your opponents would need to know or care about.

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#11 User is offline   mgoetze 

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Posted 2010-November-08, 12:21

View PostLeft2Right, on 2010-November-07, 05:09, said:

7: Is the bid defense oriented (a penalty double, for example)

Think of 7 this way: a bid such as a preemptive weak 3 opening is the antithesis of wanting to defend, thus an N in position 7 is appropriate. However, a forcing bid in response to partner’s ordinary 1 of a suit opener does not preclude becoming a defender later, thus a Y in 7.


Sorry but you've got this totally wrong. The question is whether "defend undoubled" is a possible outcome, i.e. whether you are setting up a forcing pass. If you open a weak hand at the 3-level you are definitely willing to let your opponents play an undoubled contract.
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#12 User is offline   Left2Right 

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Posted 2010-November-09, 03:57

FD File Format: Defensive Carding Record

This record, near the end of the file, stores your defensive lead and signal choices.

Rather than list all of the positions and their possible values, let’s boil it down to a few rules.

  • The first character is a percent sign (%); it identifies this record type.
  • The next 58 positions are letters of the alphabet that represent ordinal answers to the 58 questions the FD editor quizzes you about on your leads and signals, such as: Qxx which of those do you lead? If you check the third character, the FD editor circles the third character and stashes a “C” in that position of the Defensive Carding Record. Although for some positions, A means uncircled and B means first card circled.
  • Positions 60 and onward are free text that will appear in the “Defensive Carding Summary” box. Use this box to alert the opposition to agreements not revealed by the individual card choices, such as “We use Lavinthal and Reverse Smith Echo.” A pair a backslashes will cause a line break.
  • If you stick more than one DC record in the file, the last one wins, the others are ignored and you won’t get an error opening the file.
  • Except for position 1 (the record identifier), you won’t get “error opening the file” when you use a value that is inappropriate for the position. You just get a blank or other invalid display.
  • In the free text, if you fail to use spaces in between words, you get no line wrap and FD treats the whole thing as single word that vanishes off the right side of the screen after about the first 55 characters.

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#13 User is offline   rhelle 

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Posted 2011-March-21, 07:57

This is really excellent. Thanks!
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#14 User is offline   Staxxx 

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Posted 2021-August-06, 21:42

View PostLeft2Right, on 2010-October-30, 11:26, said:

For the most daring and picky disclosers, it is possible to edit an FD file (xxx.bss) in any text editor.

ALERT! *Always* make a backup copy of your most current valid bss file *before* making the slightest change. Reason: FD yields only one vanilla error message no matter what mistake you make or however many, and won't indicate which record(s) it croaked on.

In subsequent posts, I will be documenting the file format of the FD (.bss) file. In other words, which positions mean what and the valid codes for each. (So far as I have discovered them.)

Cheers.

-- Charles A. Lee



Hello Charles
Could you please tell me how to adapt one of your scripts so it will deal (N or S) only slam hands for practice.
Warm regards
Serge
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#15 User is online   paulg 

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Posted 2021-August-07, 01:16

View PostStaxxx, on 2021-August-06, 21:42, said:

Hello Charles
Could you please tell me how to adapt one of your scripts so it will deal (N or S) only slam hands for practice.
Warm regards
Serge

Try looking at https://thebeercard....am-bidding.html

In general, it is better to start a new topic rather than comment on a very thread as more people will see it.
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I don't work for BBO and any advice is based on my BBO experience over the decades
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