Sometimes, I surprise even myself.

First, do no harm.

Worse Than Failure (formerly The Daily WTF) is having a programming contest, with either a MacBook Pro or Sony VAIO laptop as first prize.

For those not familiar with the site, their theme is Curious Perversions in Information Technology. People submit particularly awful pieces of code, or database schemas, or business practices, and the readers of the site make various insightful, witty, outraged, or just plain misguided, comments on them.

The contest: Implement a four-function calculator program (for Windows, or UNIX/GTK). Your program must pass the specified test cases, have a GUI driveable using a mouse, and should cause people who read the code to shake their heads sadly in disgust.

There’s much more detail on the contest website, but I thought the idea of the contest was interesting enough to mention. The contest discussion forum is hilarious, as well. Check out this comment:

Mine’s too slow right now. It’s taking about 45 minutes to add 9876 and 1234, when I was hoping for about three seconds. I knew it was O(n^2), but I was expecting the constant to be a bit smaller. I may need to replace the Mersenne twister with a faster random-number generator.

I have what I think is a pretty good set of ideas for a submission, I’m just not sure that I’ll be able to finish in the time remaining (12 days left). I’ll probably submit whatever I have by then, even though I almost certainly won’t win. I’m looking forward to seeing the other entries, though.

One response to “They’re running a contest over at Worse Than Failure”

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