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Joined: 12/14/2008

I want to ask you, everyone, what is in you opinion the greatest problem/error/nuisance in fold.it?

Is it the "a"-key in the near of "w" and "s" so that you misstype?
Is it the number of bugs?
Problems wih your Hard/Software?
The wiki?
Spam on the forum?
The lack of a manual?
Or anything else?

Say it! Describe it clear, best with a good explained why, what your biggest ARGH! is. And if you can add a possible solution, that's perfect!

(Please no discussion in this thread, I want this "database" as clear as possible for later discussions)

edit: This is in no way anything "official". This thread is also not directed to the scientists or programmers or intended to make them react in any way (but of course I would be happy to have them post their biggest problem). It is a strict community-targeted and based thread to allow an analysis of the community through the community.
*Then*, that is my hope, we will be able to see what has to be done, how and who and can go on organize it. (e.g. the en.wikipedia entry on foldit is out of date and nonexistent in de.wikipedia, for which I'm today started writing one)
In my eyes, a lot of potential is wasted through lack of communication (in a wide sense, including e.g. a manual or tutorial) and organisation. I wanted to write my impression later, but well...

phi16's picture
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Not enough feedback on screen

IMHO, there is not enough feedback on screen. If I had more information, I could make better moves. For example, it seems to me that there are several things that could help increase my score all happening at the same time, e.g. angle between neighboring segments, distance between side chains. If I could see some of the information from "NOTES", while wiggling, I would know which way to push or pull. I don't think "angles" are printed in notes but that would be helpful information.


1) Print directly next to each segment the angle to the next segment. This would allow me to see which way reduces or increases tensions, or

2) Print directly under each rubber band, it's length and strength. This would allow me to see distance to neighboring side chains.

Joined: 05/17/2008
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I know you don't want to have discussion, but there is something

There is something I must say, having the hotkeys close together makes the game more playable. That is not a problem in foldit. It do not want the developers to read this and get the wrong idea. Having hotkeys that you do not have to reach from one end of the keyboard to the other to use is great!

Joined: 11/20/2008
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Got to agree with skyleriberg there....misstyping because the hotkeys are supposedly too close together was a most unfortunate example of "things being wrong". If that's really bugging you, I advice a typing course.

Other than that, the things that "bug" me are far inferior to the things that will be on the next update, so i won't even mention them.

And even though you asked for "no discussion", this is a forum, so I'm going to ask anyway...

why do you start this thread while the developer team just started a feedback forum for everyone to post their bugs, problems and improvement suggestions?
Other than the wiki, there's nothing you can do about it anyway.
Besides, I think they're doing a pretty good job.

Joined: 12/14/2008
it's a question of the right questions

See my edit for your answers. I want foldit to be better, and I think we - meaning the people outside the lab - can improve things a lot with a little work.
But every problem solving needs the problem first. Or as Einstein said: The right question is lot harder than the result.
This is trying to get the right questions, and that aren't necessarily the ones posted in the feedback forum. I want to see if the questions I think off are the right ones - or if you have a better question. (I think the team does the same with the puzzles at the moment - trying to see if the questions they asked about human folding capabilities are right. And they also don't tell you the questions ;) Knowing the question shapes the answer.)

Back to problems please or write me an PM. But I can't say it better.

xiando's picture
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I agree with nicky on the query

The feedback tracker was started for the very purpose that you're describing here...it makes little sense to parallel that effort by attempting to generate a competitive threading here in the forum

As to your reply, you'll need to do better if you want to convince me or most others...the feedback tracker is where discussion of new features and similar topics needs to be

Joined: 05/19/2008
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If anything needs improvement...

...it is customer service. Active communication from people responsible from the project. Both the scientific part and application development. Our poor Admin is trying to deal with most of the issues, but as he stated, he's responsible for running the website only. It is not the communication tools that need improvement, but attention from people behind the operation.

If you would please take a look, 80% of the issues in the issue tracker are still open, 50 % of then are not even assigned to anyone to resolve them. The meaning of this is that however it is centralized, it is abandoned centrally.

Just one suggestion (repeated here): It would be nice if Zoran spent an hour weekly with us in the chatroom. Please let us know when to be able to put the event in our calendar. I am sure it'd mean a lot not only to me.


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I've forwarded your suggestion on to Zoran, DisposableHeart.

Anyway, just thought I'd let you know that I'm reading this thread. The thing about the feedback tracker is that the problems come in way faster than we can resolve them. Because of that, a majority of them will always be unresolved at any one point in time. Not only that, our highest priority tasks (and the most time-consuming ones) come from Zoran and have little to do with player-submitted tasks. I've been late on my assigned deadlines even without the assistance of the feedback tracker.

Joined: 05/19/2008
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I understand

Your meaning is that you and the team have not enough time and resources to deal with most of the issues brought up by the players. Sweet.....

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chat sessions

i think chat sessions with developers are a great idea. we'll set something up. Stay tuned.

Regarding the changes, we are certainly keeping track of all suggestions. as you can imagine there are many, and they're placed in the priority queue. eventually we'll get to all of them. keep in mind that we're also preparing a completely new set of design puzzles with has been our focus in the past months.

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"Your meaning is that you

"Your meaning is that you and the team have not enough time and resources to deal with most of the issues brought up by the players. Sweet....."

I should think that fairly obvious for a project of any size. The suggestions on the feedback tracker range from -- to veer off into analogies -- from "I want a pony" to "the saddle on it should be dark brown, two-thirds between caramel and mahogany but no shades of nutmeg". This is also the case for any project that you care to inspect, although you can only verify it for those with open case/feedback tracking systems.

Since suggestions will continue to come in at much the same rate, the best anyone can hope for is to do a reasonable job: keep a reasonable majority of the players reasonably happy. However, we'll also let users delve into their own niches when we let players create their own tools and macros. That should make many of you happy, as it will unleash the same resources that currently make suggestions to the problem of implementing some of those suggestions.

xiando's picture
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My guess: the fundamental lack of information

I have been reluctant to speak, as my "hackle's are raised at this stage in "the game".

however...push comes to shove at some point...

In my opinion, the fundamental problem with foldit is the lack of accurate information given by foldit's official representatives and their belief that we are incapable of establishing any personal state of being further than "overwhelmed" by presentation of information.

Admin has stated that he alone is quite capable of addressing the technical questions posed routinely in chat and elsewhere, but his quotable attitude is "why overwhelm them with the details" And, in keeping with the tradition that foldit's official staff have engendered here I would guess that this attitude is shared by the rest of the development team.

And subsequently to the informational darkness in which we must blindly stumble.

The problem is twofold.

First, it forces us to guess when guessing is unnecessary, wasting valuable time both directly for its player participants and for the folding process.

Second, it is patently arrogant and condescending and establishes a conflictual environment rather than a cooperative, educated (and educational) environment.

It would be easy enough to compile hundreds of examples to back my allegation up, simply by logging the content of the global chat for a day or so. And over the last six months? lol...your guess is as good as mine...the number seems staggering to me, and the loss of participants due to that lack of information is evidenced by the continued low participation numbers.

For a project who's claimant purpose is the investigation of intuition, the project's ignorance of the source of intuition leaves alot to be desired and it leaves me wondering whether they even comprehend the concept in the first place.

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When (if?) information is provided

It needs to be in a permanent, public location (forum, blog, FAQ) , not dispensed in chat where only a few get to see it.

That should include any how-to tidbits like hidden/undocumented functions or hot-keys.

On the other topic here, it seems like an inordinate amount of discussion and possibly resources is being put toward catering to the whims, demands or esoteric suggestions of the handful of "superstar" players.  I think the regular guy is being somewhat ignored,  and we're left to struggle with basic issues around the client, like the "R' crash, OS compatibility,  hotkeys that change, appear and disappear at some whim, and are lacking basic and intermediate guidance on how to use the more advanced tools that already exist, such as rebuild, tweak,  and some new "register shift" tool.  (I still have no idea what this is or how or when to use it.)       A simple announcement on the front page that the tool exists is not enough.   There should be a thorough instruction set on each and every tool, written by the people who developed it, not by those users who *think* they know how it works. 

How about a starter task?   If I have one sidechain in a sheet that is on what I think is the wrong side of the sheet,   how do I get that single segment to rotate so the sidechain is pointing in the desired direction?     Or for that matter,  any single segment that has a sidechain pointing in the wrong direction?    We can all waste endless hours experimenting with this stuff, but what about some clear instruction on this type of basic move?    

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guys, foldit is (as so it is

guys, foldit is (as so it is still written on the website next to the logo) beta, that is still in major development, and making us users 'betatesters', right? And there has been some major advances already. (Maybe the developers themselves have difficulties keeping up with all the changes ;).
If they would need to document and explain every bit, function, science, etc, we would still not have a rebuild, tweak or whatever tool yet.
Like for the new shift tool, they make it and I think (but that's only my opinion) that it is fired on us so that we can test it and see if it works for us or not. And yes later when most tools will be tweaked or deleted or changed and the game is more in a stable (in development) phase, then more info and documentation will have to be handed out. That would be fair enough then, but I don't feel ignored, neglected or frustrated about lack of anything now..

Joined: 06/06/2008
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In response to Brick's

In response to Brick's questions about advanced tools: We are definitely trying to make good tutorials for all the tools that have been put in the game. The intro puzzles fell behind during the summer when we introduced tweak and rebuild tools, but we're making them a big focus now and I think there's been improvement in that area. We're constantly monitoring progress on levels by players to determine where changes need to be made, and are open to feedback on them as well. We try to present the main purposes of each tool in the intro levels, but you guys (the players) usually come up with other ideas on how to use the tools to fold better, which we love to see.

Regarding the sidechain-flipping question: You can use a rebuild and use rubber bands to direct the sidechain in the opposite direction, or you could try running a tweak on just that segment (changing everything around it to loops), and rotate that way. Both will likely cause side effects on the surrounding areas, but that's just the nature of the beast that you can't flip one residue in place. Those would be the two main ideas I would try, but your fellow players may have developed more advanced or useful solutions.

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You're right.

I for one will no longer be submitting suggestions, only bugs.

And I owe you an apology for my reaction to your comments a while ago..you were right, and I was wrong. Plain and simple

Joined: 12/01/2008
Biggest Problem in FoldIt?

My biggest problem in fold.it is that there doesn't seem to be a helluva lot of positive feedback.
And a helluva lot ofwhat comes across as whinging, whining, complaining and arguing in the forum.

My solution...
Thanks muchly for making something with which many people can find hours of challenging enjoyable time whether motivated solely by getting a highscore or for the betterment of science. One can feel a real sense of achievement, especially with the All Hands Challenge.

Keep up the good work.


Joined: 11/20/2008
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I wholeheartedly agree with

I wholeheartedly agree with AudioElf!!!

Only been here since...ehm, november last year (time flies), but there have been many improvements (on a program I already enjoyed) in that short time.

I love working on these puzzles, I love about every person I meet in chat (...still thinking about what to think about aot, though, lol), and it has been a blast!

The only thing bothering me is the rather negative way people talk about the game itself, especially here in the forums. No wonder there's so little action going on in here. Not very inviting for new players either, in my opinion.

Anyway, I like it, and I'm looking forward to every new thing the developer team is going to throw our way. In the mean time it would be nice to see this forum get a bit more fun!

Joined: 08/05/2008
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Nicky, i fully sign your Post - especially the last 2 sentences. I couldn't have said it better.

axcho's picture
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Forums, fun? :o

That sounds like a great idea. I totally forgot that forums can be fun. But yeah, I like the sound of that.

Hmmm, how do we start? :)

Joined: 05/26/2008
Groups: Hold My Beer
Ponies are overrated, I want

Ponies are overrated, I want a unicorn.

The unicorn should be pure white, and without blemish. I would like the horn to be gilded, but only partially, so that as the twists descend only every other row is golden, the other half of the twist should be treated with a non-degrading opalescent layer that sparkles pretty when light reflects from it. I would like the hooves treated with the same opalescent layer.

The mane and tail should be weaved with gold colored extensions, these extensions should be made of multi-core fiber optic conductors, and the gold tint should come from a tritium based slow decaying phosphorescent source hidden well within the mane and tail, this source should be sufficiently filtered with high grade optics to produced the desired gold color.

The saddle should be made of clear acrylic internally lighted with L.E.D.'s. The L.E.D.'s should be Red, Green, and Blue, hooked up to a voltage regulation circuit and a timer chip so that the colors cycle smoothly and evenly through the color spectrum completing a full red->purple->blue->cyan->green->yellow->red transition in about 1 minute. I would like the skirt, pommel and seat of the saddle of white acrylic so that the light is only visible on the cantle of the seat and the saddle horn. I would also like the stirrups to be clear acrylic with an RF transmitter that syncs the color changing with that of the saddle. The fender and tread cover should be of white neoprene.

In addition I would like a compact misting system built into the shoes, this system should have a small water supply which is buried inside the structure of the hoof, with a gilded rim such that it appears to be a golden shoe. The misting system should emit a small burst of mist whenever the shoe strikes the ground with sufficient force so that the effect of the running unicorn is to cast small rainbows from it's feet whenever it's foot collides with the ground.

Joined: 11/20/2008
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Mr. Pletsch, I'm not sure if

Mr. Pletsch, I'm not sure if the foldit forum is the right place to share your "my little pony"-fetish.

But if you're a good boy this year, I'm sure Santa will get you one! :P

Joined: 11/20/2008
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here it is
admin's picture
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That is NOT what we wanted,

That is NOT what we wanted, can't you see it's all wrong and how dare you link to such an inferior unicorn anyway? Gosh, such incompetence and deliberate obfuscation of the One True Unicorn. ;)

By the way, thanks, I learned the word cantle, as well as secondary meanings of words like fender.


Developed by: UW Center for Game Science, UW Institute for Protein Design, Northeastern University, Vanderbilt University Meiler Lab, UC Davis
Supported by: DARPA, NSF, NIH, HHMI, Amazon, Microsoft, Adobe, Boehringer Ingelheim, RosettaCommons