Icfp Programming Contest


Each year, the InternationalConferenceOnFunctionalProgramming sponsors a 3-day programming contest (also with a special 24 hour lightning-speed category). The problems are usually interesting and challenging (see below). The contest is open to anyone who wants to attempt it, and doesn't specify the use of any particular programming language or family of programming languages.

The contest is related to the International Conference on FunctionalProgramming, but is in no way restricted to FunctionalProgrammingLanguages. It looks as if historically most entries are not written in functional languages.

In addition to various functional programming languages, the machine comes pre-installed with support for C/C++ (gcc), Smalltalk (SqueakSmalltalk), Java, Ruby, and many more. (Recent contests have only required submission of a dataset, which you generate on your own equipment by any means available.)

The notable prizes are the "unlimited bragging rights": Preparation of the task has become (or always was) a great technical ordeal for the host. Preparations for the 2007 contest began in 2005, and there were full trial runs of the contest two months before the real thing.


Planned contest
Maybe you'd like to look into the Judge's Prize winners. Judge's Prize is described as "to be awarded, not on the basis of the competition, but solely at the whim and discretion of the judges. Novel algorithms, interesting languages, beautiful code, arresting user interfaces, use of parallelism -- these things may well count for something in the judges' eyes."

Some heroes (sung and unsung) in the computing world have won the Judge's Prize. For example, the first Judge's Prize winners includes KenIverson, the TuringAward laureate, and the Erlang team from 2001's ICFP contest included JoeArmstrong, the main designer of ErlangLanguage, and so forth. You can even read some of their code. Enlightening.

See also: ExampleSizeIssues, ArgumentByLabToy

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