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First Competition

Posted by Psion [send private reply] at August 10, 2001, 11:01:20 AM

I think the best way to go about deciding how competitions should be run would be to start out by trying to have one. Any suggestions for the topic? I would presume that there would be some type of program that contestants would write, and at the end everyone could vote on his favorites. I think this is mostly a "for fun" thing, so some usual contest things done to circumvent cheating wouldn't be necessary.

Posted by Cobbs [send private reply] at August 10, 2001, 05:37:34 PM

and you can't vote if you write one, or can't vote for yourself maybe?

Posted by RedX [send private reply] at August 10, 2001, 05:59:07 PM

Or you could vote for someone else.


Posted by Cobbs [send private reply] at August 10, 2001, 07:11:10 PM

thanks for pointing that out....

Posted by gian [send private reply] at August 10, 2001, 07:48:52 PM

Sounds good Psion... I might come up with some problems... or are we not doing that, and doing it like a coding demo?

Posted by Psion [send private reply] at August 10, 2001, 08:16:24 PM

I'm not sure what you mean by "a coding demo," but I am definitely not thinking of the short, exactly specified problems used in most coding competitions.

Posted by buzgub [send private reply] at August 10, 2001, 09:08:37 PM

Most useful irc bot for TPU'ers???

Posted by taubz [send private reply] at August 11, 2001, 12:58:44 PM

I think this time around it should be just an open topic. Anything can be submitted (with source), and we rate submissions based on how cool it is, programming style & techniques used, things like that. We should also have a junior division and a guru division if any of the TPU old timers get involved - but both judged on the same criteria.

- taubz

Posted by RedX [send private reply] at August 11, 2001, 02:52:55 PM

That would be a challenge for the jury too. Different programs have different ways of being good. I think you could only judge on coding style, which again gives experienced programmers the advantage. I personaly think judging a project on originality leaves the chance of winning equal for everybody.


Posted by Psion [send private reply] at August 11, 2001, 05:21:38 PM

Why does judging and ranking have to matter so much?

Posted by taubz [send private reply] at August 11, 2001, 06:27:09 PM

I guess it doesn't. But, if we say we are going to judge/vote based on creativity, style, and technique, then it gives the programmer sort of an idea what to do or what to aim for. IMO, if we include style, it encourages participants to program *well* (with comments, etc), and not just program successfully.

- taubz

Posted by damert [send private reply] at August 11, 2001, 07:31:41 PM


Suppose you hold this contest, and one can do whatever sort of program he wants, and there's no focus on judging and ranking. What else is there? You've got people writing programs for no clear-cut reason, and then they send them to TPU--why? So as not to be judged or ranked, of course!

It would make sense, either A) to have a certain required type of program; or B) to have specific criteria upon which the program is to be judged. Otherwise, no one has any reason to want to make a program for the contest, and even less reason to make that program one's entry.

m i k e

Posted by have_dinner [send private reply] at August 12, 2001, 05:02:35 AM

I am not sure if you guys are aware of the nature of this competition and what it involves.
Let me re-explain this.
The main aim of this competition is for new programmers to be able to develop skills by attempting set tasks that the competition requires.
It is also to look at other programmers code and compare this to their own.
This competition is not a matter of who wins or who's code is the best presented etc.
It is entirely to enhance the abilities and capabilities of the programmer.
If we give set tasks out for someone to program to, then we will be getting varied code which is doing the same thing, which we can then compare, and then develope our skills as to how we are to create a better, more efficient program.

Please, if you give new programmers like myself an open competition, there is no motivation, sure an advanced programmer can think of soemthing, but a beginner will be wondering, **oh my god, what do i do, i know it's gonna be crap :( argh, i think i'll just skip this** , and then if it is like this, there was no point in holding the competition in the first place.

In conclusion, this contest is to make a better programmer out of all of us.
That is all.


NB: I am feeling better now

Posted by RedX [send private reply] at August 12, 2001, 06:31:37 AM

I think we should add a way of commenting to a submited program. Pointing out what it's good and bad points are and giving better alternatives and such.
That would create a valuable resource to learn from.

For example: the source code would be the first message with every line numbered (makes it easier to reference to the code without needing to retype a whole section everytime), follwed by the comments of others (Thus a standard thread with the source code as first message.)


Posted by have_dinner [send private reply] at August 12, 2001, 06:50:46 AM

maybe a link to the source code... as to stop the huge thread... but yes... RedX does understand what i mean.
And yes, we comment on each others' code.
We are teaching ourselves without knowing it almost.

Posted by damert [send private reply] at August 12, 2001, 10:15:19 AM

I apologize for not understanding. The term "competition" is quite misleading--it means one thing in the dictionary and an entirely different thing here.
But I was wondering how this you thought this "competition" would appeal to the newbie. The advanced programmer can do as well or better than the newbie in all respects, concerning programming. What incentive is there for the newbie to even enter, or even try to write the program, if someone else will doubtlessly be doing better coding than him?

On the other hand, there is the suggestion that the program be commented on by others. What, then, is the purpose of the competition? Isn't the community here open enough that you could ask another member to comment on your code, and wouldn't that help more, because you'd be doing something you wanted to, rather than entering into the competition?

(still not understanding this)
m i k e

Posted by Psion [send private reply] at August 12, 2001, 10:18:07 AM

If you take a look at the way I have the functionality implemented now, people upload archive files containing whatever goes with their submissions, and anyone can download them once an admin declares the contest over.

Posted by taubz [send private reply] at August 12, 2001, 10:40:04 AM

So, have_dinner, come up with a list of set tasks. If you're going that route, I'd suggest having a choice of a few different tasks...

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