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Standard notation for plays
Posted By: Tom Keith
Date: Friday, 23 May 2014, at 1:36 p.m.
In Response To: Standard notation for plays (Taper_Mike)
That experience has led me to have a strong preference for the sort of systematic/"correct" notation that Stick advocates.
I agree. For bots especially (because it is easy for them), but also for humans, it is helpful if everyone writes plays the same way.
What follows is a description of a standard notation. I thought I'd write it down so I can point bot developers here if they would like a standard to follow.

Follow these steps in order.
 Start with the collection of moves making up the play, each move corresponding to a particular number to be played. For each move, write the from point, a slash, and then the to point. (Everyone is familiar with this.)
 Place an asterisk after any move that hits.
a/b → a/b*
 Look for sequences of moves where one move begins on the same point that another move ends. Combine such sequences into a single move.
a/b, b/c → a/c
If the combined move hits an opposing blot on the way, keep the intermediate point number and show the move like this:
a/b*, b/c → a/b*/c
There is no limit to the number of moves that can be combined in this way:
a/b, b/c, c/d, d/e → a/e
 Look for parallel moves, two or more moves that begin and end on the same point. Replace parallel moves with a single move and add a number in parentheses to indicate the number of checkers that move together.
a/b, a/b → a/b(2)
a/b, a/b, a/b → a/b(3)
a/b*, a/b* → a/b*(2)
 Sort the moves, first in decending order by the from points, then in ascending order by the to points. For example,
6/5, 8/5 → 8/5, 6/5 [Decending order by the from points.] 24/22, 24/20 → 24/20, 24/22 [Ascending order by the to points.]
If there is tie, put the multipart move first.
13/7, 13/10*/7 → 13/10*/7, 13/7
 Replace all 25's with the word "bar." Replace all 0's with the word "off."
25/24*, 25/23 → bar/24*, bar/23
6/0, 4/0 → 6/off, 4/off

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