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Contest start! (22 Jul 2006 at 08:38)
The ICFP contest is starting at noon (EDT) today! We've worked really hard on this, especially some long hours over the last week to wrap things up, but I think it's going to go great. If you like to program, please try it out!

Four of us are going to be staffing "command HQ" continuously in pairs for the next 72 hours. I'm hopeful that it will actually be a relaxed and fun time! And after that, glorious sleep...

(oops, never actually posted that yesterday...)

Update! The contest has been running for almost 20 hours, and teams have made a lot of progress. A lot of people are stuck on the very first part, but many have solved it, and there have hardly been any problems on the later parts at all. Very interesting and exciting to watch teams solve problems from a judge's perspective.
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jcreed (ahost.einetwork.net) – 07.22.06 11:31:14
I'm quite impressed at how well everybody's doing! I guess antomata is a pretty tough one.
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Cortney (pool-70-20-116-225.pitt.east.verizon.net) – 07.22.06 11:51:34
I agree with jcreed - it's remarkable how well everyone has done (the top few teams, especially).
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Tom (pool-70-20-104-237.pitt.east.verizon.net) – 07.23.06 10:52:09
It turned out that due to a bug almost all the ant problems allowed you to solve them trivially by placing an ant outside the "pattern" region. Now that it's fixed it seems to be one of the harder (or at least less popular) ones...
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mike (h-72-244-65-105.phlapafg.dynamic.covad.net) – 07.23.06 17:54:24
There are some interesting team names in there. Such as: "Pretend Robot Pants" and probably a bunch of inside computer science jokes that i don't get.
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mike (robot.me.cmu.edu) – 07.24.06 12:37:39
Who won?
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nothings (adsl-70-231-162-4.dsl.snfc21.sbcglobal.net) – 07.24.06 13:38:36
Ok, I'm going to have to disconcur: this contest was the lamest contest ever to spectate, since I had no idea what the "actual" task was (I'm only finding out now, reading participant's after-the-fact explanations). Maybe all you CMUers had an inside line or something.

Seems like it must have been fairly entertaining, but I'm not really clear why this contest needed to get turned into an MIT Mystery Hunt event.
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Tom 7 (h-72-244-65-105.phlapafg.dynamic.covad.net) – 07.24.06 14:11:25
Ow, nothings...
Maybe you should try it out?
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mjn (pool-71-104-99-116.lsanca.dsl-w.verizon.net) – 07.24.06 17:42:37
Hey, thanks for the contest; it was a lot of fun. Unfortunately I didn't really have a lot of time to spare this weekend, so I didn't get very far (just 240 points), but what I saw was pretty cool. (Maybe I'll try and finish my Adventure solver this week--I gave up at 2:00 AM last night when I started falling asleep...)

Were you guys deliberately giving functional languages a hard time by having a VM?
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Tom 7 (h-72-244-65-105.phlapafg.dynamic.covad.net) – 07.25.06 12:20:52
Thanks!

Adventure is worth playing to the end, in my opinion.

As for trying to give functional languages a hard time: not really. There's not really anything about compiled functional languages that necessarily makes them slow for this task. Our SML implementation is only about 18% slower than my C version. I do hope that the compilers will be improved to make this kind of code more efficient to write, though..!
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Janto (ten-cache1-vif-3.tenet.saix.net) – 07.25.06 14:29:07
Thank you for the enormous amount of effort that must have gone into the contest! We enjoyed everything about it...except of course for the little sleep :)
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nothings (adsl-70-231-162-4.dsl.snfc21.sbcglobal.net) – 07.25.06 15:33:04
Tom: I've done the ICFP twice before, actually, and I've sworn never to work on it again until I finish my own programming language. (Which will probably be never, sadly.)
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Tom 7 (h-72-244-65-105.phlapafg.dynamic.covad.net) – 07.25.06 16:22:25
I mean try this one... then you might understand why we did it the way we did.
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Nels (c-24-131-70-223.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 07.30.06 19:59:35
Tom et al,
I think it's pretty amazing the amount of time and energy (and creativity) you guys have put into this contest. At the UOregon Summer School on Concurrency in PL, lots of PL peeps were very excited about the contest. Now, upon reading the details, I've gotten pretty excited about the whole thing after the fact. Perhaps completing some of these tasks could turn me into the uber SML fiend I someday long to be?
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Tom 7 (c-71-235-60-138.hsd1.ct.comcast.net) – 07.30.06 20:10:13
Yeah, I think it'd be a great way to practice a new language, and SML is a great choice to practice. ;)
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