[Pdx-pm] ICFP Contest this weekend

John Melesky list at phaedrusdeinus.org
Wed Jun 24 10:55:58 PDT 2009

The ICFP programming contest[1] is this weekend (starting Friday,  
about 11am our time).

For those who aren't aware, the ICFP contest has been going on for  
over ten years. It's a general programming contest (read: use whatever  
language you want, functional or otherwise), intended for teams, and  
it lasts 3 days. Winners get bragging rights, and "prize money to help  
defray the costs of travel to the conference for the winners as well  
as small cash prizes" (the conference itself[2] is in Edinburgh, UK,  
in late August/early September).

Past contests have involved building virtual machines (e.g., in 2006  
to run a VM image that you then had to hack, in 2007 to do image  
processing on alien "dna"), writing simple AIs for small agents (e.g.,  
last year involved a Mars rover avoiding aliens and rocks, 2005  
involved robots robbing banks and cop robots stopping them), thinking  
about datatypes (e.g. in 2007, lots of string processing was  
necessary, but the default string types for most languages weren't  
suited to the tasks), and generally a lot of fun, geeky humor.

I encourage anyone who likes programming enough to be on this list to  
at least check it out, and, ideally, to participate. Form a team with  
your friends or coworkers. It tends to be lots of fun, especially if  
it's not the sort of programming task you normally work on.


[1] http://www.icfpcontest.org/
[2] http://www.icfpconference.org/
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