Your observation coincide with mine. Once all bots paired with each other at least once, the ranking get the stable status. Sometimes it does not happen for a long time because of missing bots or some bots crashing with a newer version of robocode. This is why the participants list sometimes get pruned.
If the ranking is unstable for a long time, I usually look which bot is missing a pair and search for a reason in the rumble client log.
Usually, stabilization takes about a day for each new bot.
Yeah, Monk gets an incorrect url for nearly half a year, making newly updated bots missing that pairing. And in 1v1 there are more bots having problems with current settings (robocode 126.96.36.199 and Java 8).
Should we have a clean up, or create a new rumble to remove bots having compatibility problem, which only adds noice to the rumble?
I personally oscillating between "if the author does not care, why should I?" and "preserve the history". If you are in the second camp, let me remind about my FixingParticipantLinks script which relinks missing bots to strange automata archive.
What is our problem with Java 8? Do we already have bots with Java 9? Or robocode itself is not backward compatible and you see it on big enough robot pull?
My opinion is that as long as a bot works fine on current settings (robocode 188.8.131.52 and Java 8), we should "preserve the history". But once it produces random result (e.g. crashing half of the time), we should remove it (until the author should fix it).
Bots known to crash on some machines:
apc.Caan 1.0 dam.MogBot 2.9 sgp.JollyNinja 3.53
I've been away for quite some time and I'll probably come back once I graduate. I still care about my bots, though (despite Monk being buggy as hell atm). I used to make use of Drive to provide the links, but I didn't know they would break after some time. What would you guys suggest me to do? Is the solution proposed above (fix script) sufficient for now?
Well, do not trust the modern hype i.e. a cloud. But I guess you already know it.
If you cannot host your bot yourself. Put it in the cloud, usually within a day or earlier appears at [archive]. Then just update the link to point there. I think, as of now, it is the most reliable way. Many thanks to Rednaxela for this effort.