I’m at ICFP right now, listening to Tim Sheard’s presentation on the ICFP 2008 Programming Contest as I write this blog entry. The information about the contest development was moderately interesting. As we knew, the server was written in ML; there were also two sample clients, one in 800 lines of ML (sharing about 500 lines of the server) and one in about 1400 lines of Haskell. Writing the clients was quite helpful to understand better the problem, and in fact they simplified the problem in several ways based on this experience.
There are some interesting language stats; it appears that Python, C++, Haskell, and Ruby are getting more popular (compared to 2003), and C, Perl and Scheme are getting less popular.
A surprising number of submissions came from IP addresses in Japan: 106, compared to 192 from the U.S. Perhaps this is just related to the popularity of NAT there, though. :-) In other statistics, particularly fun was the graph of Teams per Million of Population. New Zealand far outpaced everybody else, but Japan did come in fourth. India was, not suprisingly, rather low.
And the winners? Not us, sadly, but we knew that already.
The lightning round had 140 entries, and the regular round 336 entries.
Judges prize winner: Stephen Hicks, The Lone TeXnician. Written in TeX, it “showed resourcefulness and dedication that is worth of recognition.” Stephen Hicks is an extremely cool hacker.
Lightning Round: Alexey Shchepin, jabber.ru. Unfortunately, he couldn’t get a visa to be here. ML (in its OCaml implementation) is the programming tool of choice for rapid prototyping.
In the final round, 11, there were 14 teams left standing. (Incidently, we now know officially that the purpose of using only three out of five runs to score the the round was to allow experimentation to figure out the round’s parameters.)
The full results should be up on the contest site tomorrow morning, but the winner?
Team Smartass. Java is the programming tool of choice for discriminating hackers.