SPUG: Perl Banned -- Too Good!

Tim Maher/CONSULTIX tim at consultix-inc.com
Wed Jan 19 21:59:21 CST 2000

An old article from www.perl.org, recently recycled on the perl-trainers at pm.org
mailing list - Enjoy!  


                           Perl "Too Good"

This is a true story. Names have not been changed.

UCLA's Computer Science Undergraduate Association regularly hosts its
programming competition.  Contestants are given six complex problems and
have three hours to write programs to solve as many of the problems as
possible. In 1997, the rules stated that any programming language could
be used so long as you solved the problem, so then-undergraduate Keith
Chiem entered and used Perl.

Keith did not merely win, he conquered. He solved five of the six problems
in the three hours allotted.  The second-place two-person team solved
only three problems. They, needless to say, were not using Perl.

But if you're a UCLA undergraduate contemplating entering the contest
and using Perl, don't bother. After Keith's conquest, Perl was banned
from the contest.

You've got to admire a language that is banned because it makes problems
too easy to solve.

These days, Keith is reportedly a sysadmin at Yahoo! Inc., and is
wondering what to do with the copy of Visual C++ that was his prize.

Peter Scott
Pacific Systems Design Technologies

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