Wednesday, October 3, 2007

ICFP Results

The results of the Tenth Interstellar Contest on Fuun Programming were announced this afternoon. If you've been wondering where I've been the last couple of days, I'm in Freiburg attending the ICFP Conference. Yes, we were invited after being told we had "won a prize" the week after the contest.

We came in a very close 2nd with 84.92%, beaten only by Team Smartass who took top honours yet again (they won last year) with 90.22%. Team Smartass is a team of four Googlers from the Mountain View office, with an ex-South African (Daniel Wright). And surprisingly, the only member of their team to come to the conference was him! So three of the four prize winners that are here are South African. A quote from the contest report sums it all up:

Incidentally, Africa was the continent with the highest percentage of winning teams.
Go Africa!! There was also another South African team, which I'm curious to find out who they were. There's a graph in the report showing the scores of the top six teams over the 72 hours and we were in the lead until the very last hour when Smartass made a big jump just leaping past us.

The organisers were concerned about a brute-force approcach of drawing the scene manually doing too well. Well, they were correct to be concerned as the third place team and judges prize went to Celestial Dire Badger (Jed Davis on his own) who got 75.59% using this strategy.

The top 15 scores:

Place Score Survival chance Team name
1 178246 90.22% Team Smartass
2 224623 84.92% United Coding Team
3 293898 75.59% Celestial Dire Badger
4 321617 71.52% ryba
5 358246 65.98% PurelyFunctionalInfrastructure
6 453744 51.32% jabber-ru
7 498781 44.66% Begot
8 514121 42.47% Basically Awesome
9 543163 38.45% SwtPl
10 608964 30.07% shinh
11 682894 22.07% SzM
12 819614 11.34% kuma-
13 862213 8.99% Unknown?
14 865556 8.83% voyo
15 872788 8.47% kokorush

So the judges have declared that:
Perl is a fine tool for many applications
Keep your eyes open for a post on our tools and how we morphed Endo! There is just one thing we'd like to ask all the keen Endo hackers out there that is not answered by the contest report. Anyone have a blinking clue as to what the "crucial hint to solving the contest sneakily hidden in the Major Imp stories" is?


  1. Congrats! Now, is this Freiburg, Germany or Freiburg, Switzerland. I ask, as I was actually considering going to Freiburg, Germany today ... but decided against it ...

  2. This would be the German Freiburg. We only leave on Friday so you're still welcome to drop by. :-D

  3. Well done UCT!. So did you guys perform the Springbok version of the Haka? :)

  4. What about results of lightning?

  5. Since there was no clear leader after 24 hours there was lightning division winners. There were a few teams that only got the lightness prefix that got a survival chance of 1.27% after 24 hours, but nothing better. The quickest team to get that prefix also never progressed any further.

    For those interested, here's the list of languages used in the contest:

    88 C++
    67 C
    66 Haskell
    64 Python
    52 Objective Caml
    48 Java
    35 Perl
    26 Ruby
    22 Lisp
    22 C#
    17 Scheme
    9 Unix shell (sh, bash)
    8 D
    5 PHP
    4 Erlang, Delphi
    3 ML
    2 AWK, Fuun DNA, LOLCODE, Lua, Octave, Prolog, Refal, Scala
    1 2D, Basic, Blub, Brainfuck, CWEB, Cobol, Dylan, Emacs Lisp, Excel, FP, F#, Grep, Hub, MUMPS, Nemerle, PL/I, Pascal, R, Sed, Silcc, Smalltalk, Unlambda

  6. Damn ... if only I knew. You see wed was a public holiday, and so I had motivation. Tomorrow is unfortunately a working day.

  7. Oh yes, that public holiday on which the city was deserted. Europeans take public holidays very differently to us.

    I never even realised there was a Swiss Freiburg so didn't think of mentioning Germany. Next time...although my next few trips lined up are to North America. :)

  8. "Carl, Alex, Harry and I worked on the DNA converter while Bruce and James did the RNA->Image converter, both in C++"

    There is nothing about Perl ...

  9. If you read my latest post you will see the following:

    "The DNA->RNA and RNA->image converters were written in C++. All the tools mentioned above were written mostly in Perl with a little Python as well. Since the tools written in Perl were the most fundamental in our success, that was the language we chose to nominate."

    The C++ code never got us 2nd place, but rather it was the Perl code.

  10. Good job.

    FYI, I was part of the other South African team you were wondering about. I can't exactly recall what happened that year, only that we lost motivation quite early on, and didn't finish.

  11. I think the clue was the part about putting a cup in the rain to fill it up.