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Re: (OT) Google programming contest

by Masem (Monsignor)
on Feb 07, 2002 at 14:32 UTC ( #143881=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to (OT) Google programming contest

I looked at those rules yesterday, and unfortunately, I think it does restrict solutions to either be C++ or Java. I quote from the rules:
Your submission must include a Makefile and README, and must compile on Linux 2.2 or 2.4 using g++ (for C++ code) or standard Sun tools (for Java code).
While it does go on to say that the code cannot rely on anything else that isn't open source or GPL'd, I believe they want only compiled programs and not interpreted ones.

However, that's my reading; there may be more clarifications.

Dr. Michael K. Neylon - || "You've left the lens cap of your mind on again, Pinky" - The Brain
"I can see my house from here!"
It's not what you know, but knowing how to find it if you don't know that's important

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Re: Re: (OT) Google programming contest
by merlyn (Sage) on Feb 07, 2002 at 16:55 UTC
    I read it as permitting Perl. You have to link to their C++ code (easy enough with Perl) and provide the download and install instructions for any third-party open source tools (Perl!).

    -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker

Re: Re: (OT) Google programming contest
by chaoticset (Chaplain) on Feb 07, 2002 at 15:52 UTC
    Here's the bad news.

    As pudge said on use.perl;, "Wow. That's retarded."

    You are what you think.

      It's sad, but I don't think the decision is retarded. I am sure Google staff use Perl day in, day out, and the decision to not include it was probably bitterly fought.

      Now consider a section from the Google page in question, and I quote:

      Your mission is to write a program (most likely by adding code to the ripper) that does something interesting with the data, in such a way that it would scale to a web-sized collection of documents

      As much as it would be fun to hack something up with Perl to munge a 57Mb sample set, I personally wouldn't want to have to wait for the run results on a web-sized collection. If 16 000 pages results in 57Mb, then Google's current collection of 2 073 000 000 pages would mean a 7 380 000Mb data set, that's 7 terabytes! That's several orders of magnitude for you to shoot yourself in the foot with if you miss a whisker of performance.

      At this end of the spectrum, you have to pay careful attention to details, and I think Perl would just generate too much overhead to scale up.

      But then again, wouldn't Java? If you're not careful you could drown in an ocean of objects, madly being garbage collected. Think what that would do to your performance. (I recall an article (/.? K5?) that discussed the use of lisp in planning air trips on the Sabre system (or analog). They have to pay careful attention in how they code in order to not produce garbage -- too bad I can't find the link).

      It's clear that Perl would have allowed some really nifty prototypes coded with a minimum of fuss, that the Google crew could have picked up and run with, recasting them in C++, if that is indeed the whole point of the contest. And that is what sucks.

      Hey, I'm sure Python and Ruby could too.

      But instead they chose Java. In that case one can only conclude that they forgot Public Enemy's number one rule, "Don't believe the hype."

      g r i n d e r
      print@_{sort keys %_},$/if%_=split//,'= & *a?b:e\f/h^h!j+n,o@o;r$s-t%t#u';

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