ficsstat - what is this for?
When I started playing chess at fics, in 1999, I missed something like a history to see my progress. So I did write down my ratings every day and built up some graphs with gnuplot. This was ok, but time-robbing. Other players who had seen my graphs, wanted that for themselves, too.

That was the point where I've started to develop the first script (bound to xboard), which was fetching finger data when login to fics to play. That was better but inadequate, because I was not playing every day and more and more players did ask me to add them to the list.

The next step of development was to use a separate account, which log in to fics automaticly and fetch the finger data. Fetching these data was critical. I didn't want to get banned from fics, so the target was, to do it system friendly to prevent high load situations at the fics server. This meant to disable all unneeded communcations (seeks, channels, etc.) and -important- wait five seconds between every action. I didn't want to flood the server with hundreds of finger commands in a short time. I've discussed this with some fics admins in 2000.

There still was one problem, I had to add or delete users. For privacy reasons, I needed to authenticate the players, because nobody should be added by someone other. The only working authentication was a message sent from the user itself. This resulted in the idea to add a message spooler and automate the processing to add and remove players.

After years running, there was a high number of inactive players (who will probably never come back), so I've added a new rule: every user will be deleted after four years of inactivity.

This is the story, so far.