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9th Annual ICFP Programming Contest Gears Up

timothy posted more than 8 years ago | from the one-up-manship dept.


Tom7 writes "This year's ICFP Programming Contest is now open for early registration. This is an annual open competition in which hundreds of teams vie to complete a 3-day programming task over the internet. The organizers have promised that this year's contest will be "very different from past competitions" and will have a theme of "computational archaeolinguistics." In addition to prize money, the winner's programming language is declared the "programming language of choice for discriminating hackers;" previous winners have used Cilk, Haskell, C++ and O'Caml. How will your favorite language fare?"

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Last Man Standing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15652733)

Hello! *echo*echo*echo* Is anybody in here? *echo*echo*echo* I have some cookies. *echo*echo*echo*

Previous Contests (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15652804)

2005: []
2004: []

If you want to see how well you might be able to do in this contest, check out previous problems and how other teams solved them.

TMA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15652816)


Language of choice (3, Funny)

Dial-Up (842218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652846)

Finally, VB can get the recognition it deserves.

VB (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652873)

The tool of choice for discriminating wannabe L337 Hax0rz?

Sorry, couldn't resist. :o)

Re:VB (2, Interesting)

1iar_parad0x (676662) | more than 8 years ago | (#15655405)

If you want to write viruses and easy-to-use hacking tools -- yes. Look, Perl is the glue for *nix. However, thanks to Microsoft's object models, VB/VBA/Visual Studio Tools for Office is the probably more the Window hackers tool of choice that many would care to admit. Of course, how many respectable 'hackers' hack Windows?

Sarcasm! (1)

Umbral Blot (737704) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653654)

Ah programming contests. Rewarding hackers who can whip together a slapdash product instead of those who can make a solid, secure, maintainable design. I salute you.

Re:Sarcasm! (4, Insightful)

illuminatedwax (537131) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653695)

During the previous contest, the U of C organizers wanted to make sure that the winner used solid programming techniques than spit out a 3-day hack fest. They had contestants make a program - and then after they submitted their program, the rules changed and they had to make additions to their program. Pretty slick if you ask me.

Re:Sarcasm! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15655484)

Rewarding hackers who can whip together a slapdash product instead of those who can make a solid, secure, maintainable design.

Congratulations: you win this year's prize for First Person Not To Have A Clue What The ICFP Contest Is Like.

As the other poster has already commented, the ICFP contests are typically designed to favour solid, secure, and mainainable designs. Anyone who jumps in and starts whipping together slapdash code is doomed to fail ignobly.

Unsurprisingly, nobody has ever won using slapdash "dynamic" languages like Perl, Python, or Ruby. The languages which tend to do well are those like Haskell and OCaml, which attract smart and disciplined people, or C++, which attracts careful and methodical people. ICFP is about extreme design, not extreme programming.

Re:Sarcasm! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15657627)

IIRC C++ only won during the year when they never actually ran the submitted code, but just wanted the final results of the program. The C++ programmer who won simply ran an exhaustive search on a computer with something like 32 cores. IMO it borders on cheating, but I'll admit that the fault was that of the organizers - it shouldn't be a "who has access to most CPU time" contest, it should be a programming productivity and cleverness contest.

Usually theses contests are won by very high level modern languages like Haskell, O'Caml and the like. And for good reasons too, they really are just plain *better* for pretty much every usage case. Mainstream isn't necessarily "best", in fact it's quite often downright wrong (obvious example: PHP, less obvious example: C++).

Re:Sarcasm! (2, Informative)

try_anything (880404) | more than 8 years ago | (#15657850)

Teams using Dylan, a dynamic language based on Common Lisp, have done very well in the ICFP.

One reason that Haskell and O'Caml have done very well is they are good vehicles for research into typing, hence very popular in theoretical CS. I bet that's the primary relevance of static vs. dynamic typing. I think if the contest existed twenty years ago, there would have been far more Lisp winners than C and Pascal winners.

results (1)

treak007 (985345) | more than 8 years ago | (#15654557)

Can't wait to win, and finally end all the discussion that BASIC is the ultimate programming language *maniacial laughter. But seriously, do people actually change their choice of programming language for a project because of the title this project gives it?

Re:results (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15654860)

I don't think it changes people's language so much as demonstrates how productive small teams of smart people working with their languages of choice can be. In some cases the answer is INCREDIBLY so. Some of the end products of various teams in prior years are very impressive.
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