Author Topic: Beware of erroneous challenge checkers on grandfathered challenge caches  (Read 1010 times)

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With the end of the moratorium on challenge caches introducing mandatory challenge checkers on project-gc.com, I have noticed that challenge checkers have also recently been added to countless "grandfathered" (i.e. pre-moratorium) challenge caches.

"Great" you would think, "I no longer need to check manually or use GSAK to verify my qualifications for these sometimes-complicated requirements!"
WRONG! It turns out that many of them are erroneous.

If you are a "grandfathered" challenge cache owner and/or you want to log a find on one of these challenge caches, you should be aware of these major glitches from project-gc.com which is currently advertised as the no-brainer way of verifying challenge qualifications.
It goes:
- from simple mistakes such as GC3CBEX where the geochecker is mostly OK but is missing out on nuances which results in both false positives (such as qualifying non-challenge mystery caches containing the word "challenge") and false negatives (such as missing all the Quebec "défi" caches),
- to outright completely irrelevant results such as GC3VQYM where the checker is simply checking if the Fizzy grid is completed (event though that is not even required) when the actual requirement only requires 25 D/T combinations, but more importantly all found in a single day, with the addition of further nuances in the requirements.

As a finder, you should probably verify that the "proof" provided by the challenge checker truly qualifies you for the detailed requirements described in the cache page (and if you are lucky you might actually qualify even when project-gc.com claims that you are not).
As a cache owner of a grandfathered challenge cache, you should definitely investigate whether a geochecker was added for it, and if so whether it always provides accurate results or not. If not and you can not find a way to fix or remove the incorrect checker from their website, you could possibly add a warning about the glitches on your cache description (and pay more attention to the qualification proof provided by each finder to ensure it fulfills the true requirements of the cache as opposed to the possibly incorrect output of project-gc.com), or simply choose to "live with it" which means that the requirements for your challenge are effectively changed from their original intent.

Let's just hope that these numerous glitches are not going to generate more appeals to Groundspeak, which is exactly what the geocheckers were meant to prevent in the first place. I guess it will depend in part on how carefully cache owners are paying attention to the qualifications of the finders, as well as how many of them care enough to disqualify finders that were erroneously approved by the geochecker.

This topic is NOT meant to:
- debate about erroneous challenge checkers introduced by the cache owners themselves back when project-gc.com was allowing it (I am sure that those COs are lenient with those glitches considering that they introduced them themselves)
- debate whether challenge checkers are a good idea or not (I personally think that they are a great addition to the game when they provide accurate results - a perfect example being GC2PJ48 where prior to the introduction of the checker many finders were missing the fact that all qualifying caches were supposed to be located in Ontario),
- debate how the erroneous geocheckers came to life (I am sure that the people from project-gc.com had good intentions when they added them to grandfathered challenge caches and let's hope that most of the checkers they recently introduced are accurate - though it appears that most of those I personally tried so far are actually incorrect)
- debate about any of the new post-moratorium challenge cache rules

The main goal of this topic is to warn cache owners and finders alike that you should not blindly trust the output of a geochecker, in particular for grandfathered caches which were not created with geocheckers in mind.
In this topic feel free to discuss erroneous geocheckers, i.e.:
- identify which specific ones provide incorrect results (both false positives and false negatives),
- as a cache owner share tips or experience about what you did to fix the problem on the project-gc.com website (assuming it is possible to fix or remove), whether you find it is worth giving a second look at the qualifications from finders even when their log states that the geochecker approved their qualification, would you disqualify a cacher when the geochecker says he is not qualified even if he fulfilled all that is described in the cache description, etc.
-  as a finder how you are personally handling that situation (or how you think other finders should handle the situation), i.e. do you think you should be able to log a find (with the geochecker's blessing) even if the cache description requirements are not truly fulfilled, would you like to see a warning in the description of caches with known bogus checkers, do you bother to personally verify your own qualifications even when the geochecker claims you are qualified, or do you prefer to leave that task to cache owners who care enough about accurate qualifications, would you log a cache for which you fulfill the cache description requirements but the geochecker says otherwise or do you instead go out of your way to please the geochecker as well, etc.

Cheers,

cd.cuts