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Would there be any interest in a coding challenge here?


cooper
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We tried this a while back (season 1 even?) with putting up some assignment, in the hopes people would use their code-fu to solve the problem presented to them. I was under the impression that people on this forum liked doing this sort of thing back then.

So today I ran across an article on the (dutch language) Tweakers.net site about their programming contest. Sadly, it had already ended. They put up a challenge to take a large number of words, and you would have to place those words in a grid, vertically or horizontally (irrespective of direction) not unlike when making a crossword puzzle. The goal was to place the words in the smallest grid possible, i.e. have as many letters as possible overlap.

Contestants were given a month to create their programs, which would be judged on how well they solved the problem, how fast they did it, and how neat the code was. Rather interestingly, the winner of that particular contest used Visual FoxPro. :grin:

So what I was wondering. If we were put up a coding challenge assignment here, who would be willing to have a go at it?

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We tried this a while back (season 1 even?) with putting up some assignment, in the hopes people would use their code-fu to solve the problem presented to them. I was under the impression that people on this forum liked doing this sort of thing back then.

So today I ran across an article on the (dutch language) Tweakers.net site about their programming contest. Sadly, it had already ended. They put up a challenge to take a large number of words, and you would have to place those words in a grid, vertically or horizontally (irrespective of direction) not unlike when making a crossword puzzle. The goal was to place the words in the smallest grid possible, i.e. have as many letters as possible overlap.

Contestants were given a month to create their programs, which would be judged on how well they solved the problem, how fast they did it, and how neat the code was. Rather interestingly, the winner of that particular contest used Visual FoxPro. :grin:

So what I was wondering. If we were put up a coding challenge assignment here, who would be willing to have a go at it?

If The challenge was interesting I'd try it out
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The problem is do you leave it open to any language and if so who will judge. I’m sure everyone knows C, C++, C#, Perl, Python, Ruby, Java  and a handful of other languages but what happens if someone decides to throw down some Assembly or maybe just for shits and giggles some Fortran.

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The problem is do you leave it open to any language and if so who will judge. I’m sure everyone knows C, C++, C#, Perl, Python, Ruby, Java  and a handful of other languages but what happens if someone decides to throw down some Assembly or maybe just for shits and giggles some Fortran.

Yes, the idea is to leave it open to any language out there. When people submit code, there's a chance someone doing the judging will get back to that individual to ask how the hell that code should be used/deployed, particularly when using exotic languages. I've got one or two ideas for code challenges, and so far the only interaction with the outside world is a plain text file or two.

When judging the quality of some code, I don't think not being particularly familiar with a language is that much of a hindrance. Code comments should be in english though.

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The problem is do you leave it open to any language and if so who will judge. I’m sure everyone knows C, C++, C#, Perl, Python, Ruby, Java  and a handful of other languages but what happens if someone decides to throw down some Assembly or maybe just for shits and giggles some Fortran.
I know of all of them does that count?

what would you suggestion be to start?

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The idea I have so far is that there is no ultimate solution to the problem presented. It'll be a small game where you'd have to supply the game logic. Then the submissions can play against eachother, and he program that wins against the most other programs ultimately wins. Afterwards we could have a vote on cleanest code, funkiest solution or whatever, but since that's more a personal taste kind of thing it should not be main thing to judge by.

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I'd fail miserably but id give it a try, i think it would be beneficial to those that want to learn if the winning code was commented and put up somewhere for everyone to take a look and see how it works, could possibly do this with the a few different codes to see how people approached it differently. but its worth a shot and having different categories like natural_orange suggested would be good to get everyone involved.

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Okay, I'll work on setting this up. I'll talk to Darren to see if we can tie the challenge with the Hak.5 Live episode, or if it should happen along-side it.

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I'd love to see a few more people playing Core War

Core War (or Core Wars) is a programming game in which two or more battle programs (called warriors) compete for the control of the MARS virtual computer (Memory Array Redcode Simulator). These battle programs are written in an abstract assembly language called Redcode. The object of the game is to cause all processes of the opposing program(s) to terminate, leaving your program in sole possession of the machine.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Core_War

You’re not really doing anything useful with but it’s a fun thing for programmers to compete in.

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I'd fail miserably but id give it a try, i think it would be beneficial to those that want to learn if the winning code was commented and put up somewhere for everyone to take a look and see how it works, could possibly do this with the a few different codes to see how people approached it differently. but its worth a shot and having different categories like natural_orange suggested would be good to get everyone involved.
I suggest one of the requirement or part of the grading is how well it's commented.
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I suggest one of the requirement or part of the grading is how well it's commented.

The way I see it the winner is determined based solely on how well the problem is solved (as appliccable as this may be to the posed problem).

Honorable mention will be for code quality, and whatever else catches the eye (least amount of code, shortest execution time, funky language, cheats, etc.).

Oh, and Darren's up for it aswell. I've already sent him the challenge assignment, and work is underway to get it into the Live ep on the 16th.

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