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Programming IT Technology

Whither the 19th IOCCC? 124

dazedNconfuzed writes "Whatever happened to the 19th IOCCC? The opening thereof was announced over two years ago and the winners' names were posted, but the source code was never released — leaving the results of the 2006 contest unknown as we get well into 2009. Emails to just bounce. Surely the quiet absence of a high point of geekdom becomes news at some point!"
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Whither the 19th IOCCC?

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  • Re:News (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dargaud ( 518470 ) <> on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @04:34AM (#26979723) Homepage
    It's not like they plan on beating the Oscars in number of viewers when they release the source code. They can survive two hours of slashdotting without need for plenty of mirrors.
  • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:29AM (#26979931)

    I am a IOCCC winner, and I can tell you this: winning the IOCCC landed me a job.

    You know why? Because someone who can spew out a short, interesting, and obfuscated C program and still comply with the IOCCC rules, which includes cross-platform compatibility and compliance with the K&R, demonstrates 3 things:

    - He knows C very well indeed,
    - He thinks outside the box, but within established rules,
    - He's willing to work long hours just to optimize and polish a small piece of code.

    This is valid for languages other than C; there's a reason why job interviews in the field of programming often include coding something, or solving a tricky piece of code. I know for a fact that many a prospective employer treats (or at least used to treat) the IOCCC as an excellent test of C proficiency.


  • Re:they all win (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SL Baur ( 19540 ) <> on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @08:33AM (#26980637) Homepage Journal

    Just taking part is a large enough honor!

    True, true and entertaining. I took part in one of the earliest IOCCCs. None of my 3 entries won anything, but at least I have bragging rights that I tried.

    1) A program that consisted of mostly all 0/O,1/l characters that converted binary to decimal/decimal to binary depending upon what name it was invoked with.

    2) A one liner that printed "Hello World!\n" with each character generated from a subprocess based on an obfuscated state table. That was apparently more obfuscated to the Pyramid kernel than to the reviewers - I got dinged at work when I ran the program right before mailing it off and a subprocess or two got disconnected and ran overnight and my project was billed CPU time. Oops!

    3) A curses/CPP hack that used as symbol and keyword names all of the different variant Unix and Unix-wannabe flavors of the time (they're all listed in one of lwall's vintage configure scripts, though I did not use that as a reference) and floated in characters from off-screen to reveal the message "System V - from now on, consider it standard"

    My favorite winner is the one that is the source that is portable to FORTRAN, /bin/sh and C.

    I wish I still had the rejection messages. Seems like it would make a good job interview item - "Hey, I can't win an obfuscated coding contest even when I *TRY*."

  • by A Big Gnu Thrush ( 12795 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @09:04AM (#26980789)

    We need an Obfuscated Flash contest. Like a Flash game that no one can figure out how to play or a Flash ad that you can't turn off or close. Something a little more 21st Century.

  • by Binestar ( 28861 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @12:35PM (#26982943) Homepage

    The absolute best part is that the guestbook STILL WORKS.

  • Re:winning entries (Score:3, Interesting)

    by david_thornley ( 598059 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @01:31PM (#26983703)

    I used to hang out some (in meatspace) with Merlyn Leroy, who won a good number of IOCCC prizes. (Not, in fact, his real name.)

    He seemed like such a nice, quiet guy in person. If I hadn't known, I wouldn't have suspected him of having such a twisted mind.

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