Friday, September 26, 2014

Update from Advisory Board Meeting

In case you haven't seen the emails or NASPA Facebook page, I thought I'd summarize the salient items from the NASPA Advisory Board conference call earlier this week:

1) John Chew and Chris Cree (NASPA co-presidents) acknowledge that there are numerous errors in the current TWL2014 word list.  John Chew is working with the rest of the Dictionary Committee to to identify and correct the errors. They agree that this must be done before an electronic version of the list can be made available for tournament players.  A printed errata list will be made available at some point (within a week or two was Chew's hope).

2) There was a lot of discussion on the time frame of when the new list will take effect.  The main thing this depends on is the development of the Zyzzyva update.  The code base needs to be updated before the integration work with the new word list can begin.  NASPA is still sizing up the scope and schedule for this work.  All they can say right now is that the list will NOT be in effect on the original target date of Dec. 1.  It will be at least 2 months after the electronic list is available, which, again, is a moving target at the moment.  Personally, I'd be surprised if it goes into effect before February, but we'll see.

3) In compliance with their license with Hasbro and Merriam-Webster (the copyright owners of the new wordlist), NASPA is working on a reasonably secure version of the new list in Zyzzyva.  NASPA members would log in to the new app with their UserID and password to access the list.  As for other study apps, like Quackle, Elise, Aerolith, etc., the expectation is that an API will be available for those developers to access the Zyzzyva database with their programs (I personally think this is critical to acceptance of the TWL update by many higher-level competitive players).

There were other issues discussed, but the dictionary update was by far the main topic.  If anyone would like, I can share/discuss the other items, or the dictionary stuff in more detail.  Just email me at or pull me aside next time I'm at club.

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