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==The Validator==
 
==The Validator==
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The validator is available from the user's profile (under 'Edit Novel Info').  Whereas previously the file had to be uploaded as a .txt file (which often caused issues with users who did not save in this format and were not aware of how to convert it), the current validator allows a simple copy and paste into a text box.  The entire process is done by computers, so the words are never seen by human eyes and are deleted off the site once counted. The validator cannot handle exceptionally large volumes of text and tends to time out around 120,000 words; those with word counts above that mark must submit only a portion and then correct their wordcount manually.  Users are encouraged to check the validator regularly to avoid surprises as some programs (such as a known glitch in Open Office involving smart (curly) quotes) produce higher wordcounts than the validator due to bugs or different algorithms. On the other hand, the Validator can also show higher word counts than some programs, such as Microsoft Word, due to bugs or different algorithms. Whether the Validator adds, subtracts, or maintains the word count of one's word processor is decided instantly at the beginning of the month when the user opens their program of choice for the month for the first time of the month.
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The validator is available under My NaNoWriMo - Edit Novel Info. during all of november , under My NaNoWriMo - Word Count Validator from nov. 25-30 (new feature in NaNo 2012), and also under the Blue Tent of Whoa during the last few days of camp sessions.  Whereas previously the file had to be uploaded as a .txt file (which often caused issues with users who did not save in this format and were not aware of how to convert it), the current validator allows a simple copy and paste into a text box.  The entire process is done by computers, so the words are never seen by human eyes and are deleted off the site once counted. However, some users are suspicious and believe that it is probable for the validator to fail to delete a novel at times (even after determining its word count), therefore allowing the staff to enter the validator's database and read everything a participant submitted to the validator. While there are no documented occurrences of such an event, there is always a minority who either believe such an occurrence has already happened or that it will happen in the near future. To avoid a decrease in win rates due to such suspicions, OLL Staff allow participants to scramble their novels (save a new copy of the novel, and then change every letter and number in the new copy to 'a') before submission if they so desire.
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The validator cannot handle exceptionally large volumes of text and tends to time out around 120,000 words; those with word counts above that mark must submit only a portion and then correct their wordcount manually.  Users are encouraged to check the validator regularly to avoid surprises as some programs (such as a known glitch in Open Office involving smart (curly) quotes) produce higher wordcounts than the validator due to bugs or different algorithms. On the other hand, the Validator can also show higher word counts than some programs, such as Microsoft Word, due to bugs or different algorithms. Whether the Validator adds, subtracts, or maintains the word count of one's word processor is decided instantly at the beginning of the month when the user opens their program of choice for the month for the first time of the month.
    
Although it is unknown exactly what algorithm the validator uses, it is believed to function by counting the number of blank areas between words or other non-space characters, similar to the 'wordcount' (wc) function of Unix.  Because the validator is completely iliterate, it cannot recognize anything but spaces, so the phrase "Well...no" will be counted as one word, whereas "Well - no" will be three.  It also does not distinguish characters used to place a break between scenes - the characters "***" will be read as one word, whereas "* * * * * * * *" will be read as eight. Some Wrimos use this as a form of [[padding]].  
 
Although it is unknown exactly what algorithm the validator uses, it is believed to function by counting the number of blank areas between words or other non-space characters, similar to the 'wordcount' (wc) function of Unix.  Because the validator is completely iliterate, it cannot recognize anything but spaces, so the phrase "Well...no" will be counted as one word, whereas "Well - no" will be three.  It also does not distinguish characters used to place a break between scenes - the characters "***" will be read as one word, whereas "* * * * * * * *" will be read as eight. Some Wrimos use this as a form of [[padding]].  
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