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I viewed the contest as an algorithmic challenge, not a language challenge. If it were a language challenge, yes, adaptation is crucial -- but, at least to me, Computer Science is about algorithms, not languages. It's important to know your memcpy() and your pointers, but that isn't what computer science is about, per se. Folks are supposed to be able to learn and use any language, and to use them well.

I think you're right about Pascal though. It was Pascal, not Fortran. I had learned Pascal as my first non-BASIC language, though there is no real point of using a language that dogmatic without any decent library functions! Today remember "use crt;" and that's about all the Pascal I know at this point.

The terminal access aspect really stunk. The way our teams were parititioned, I ended up drawing on the whiteboards more than anything, but we suffered at the terminal because other folks could not translate my ideas into code well. So, yes, there was a huge social/time-management aspect to it as well. It's hard working with people that don't work well with you ... a good life lesson, I suppose, if you are into that. (I'm not!)

I kind of liked the impartial rejection messages though. "WRONG!" was all you ever got back from the judges ...

While I agree "using tools that solved the problems already is kind of pointless", I don't see anythign wrong with attacking algorithmic problems with say, just the standard Perl installation (no CPAN).

Though I wasn't ever involved, I particularly liked the race car problem at the ICFP: here. ... language essentially doesn't matter in the contest, thought does.

In reply to Re: Re: Competition fuels obsession over Perl by flyingmoose
in thread Competition fuels obsession over Perl by snowsmann

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