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Lster
March 21st, 2008, 01:34 PM
Index Of Programming Challenges

What Are These Challenges?
For fun and learning, we hold a programming challenge every week. These challenges are open to anyone, using any language, and are designed to be challenging enough for veteran coders, but easy enough for beginner programmers to attempt.

The person who sets the challenge picks a winner after a week based on many aspects of the solution, and it is the winner's job to create the next challenge (and then pick the next winner). The following list is every programming challenge, so far, compiled and outlined for others to review and attempt themselves. They are kept in chronological order - the latest puzzle is at the end of this post.

Programming Challenge 1: Stacks
By Wybiral On The 20th February 2008

The challenge was to create a stack data type with various functions and abilities. Lster (me!) was the winner of this challenge.

Programming Challenge 2: Fractions
By Lster On The 27th February 2008

The challenge was to create a fraction library with cancelling and manipulation functions. aks44 was the winner of this challenge!

Programming Challenge 3: BigNums
By aks44 On The 5th March 2008

The challenge was to make a solution for integer overflows featuring common numeric operations. Siph0n was declared the winner of this challenge!

Programming Challenge 4: Cheque Writing
By Siph0n On The 12th March 2008

The challenge was to print (in some way) a worded representation of a numeric value (i.e.: 12.34 would become something like "twelve dollars and thirty four cents"). The winner was Lux Perpetua!

Programming Challenge 5: Sierpinski's Triangle
By Lux Perpetua On 21st March 2008

The challenge was to create an approximation of Sierpinski's Triangle. Wybiral won this challenge with his 3D take on it!

Programming Challenge 6: Path Finding
By Wybiral On 29th March 2008

The challenge was to create use an efficient algorithm to find the shortest path throughout a map. smartbei won the challenge!

Programming Challenge 7: Displaying Trees
By smartbei On 6th April 2008

This challenge involved parsing and displaying trees in as "nice" a way as possible. heikaman was declared the winner!

Programming Challenge 8: Maze Generation
By heikaman On 19th April 2008

The challenge involved maze generation and solving. bobdob20 won this challenge.

Programming Challenge 9: Vigenère Ciphers
By bobdob20 On 28th April 2008

The challenge was to encode and decode a Vigenère cipher. mssever was declared winner of this challenge.

Programming Challenge 10: Accurate Floats
By mssever On 6th May 2008

This challenged involved removing floating point errors. Verminox won this challenge.

Programming Challenge 11: Serialization
By Verminox On 12th May 2008

This challenge is active!

WW
March 21st, 2008, 02:49 PM
For historical interest, there is another list of older Weekly Programming Challenges (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=383837).

nanotube
April 8th, 2008, 05:57 AM
so.. the programming challenges are nifty and fun, but they get me thinking...

there are a bunch of people here who are pretty good coders and who obviously have some spare time on their hands. why not start a real, useful FOSS project to use up that time, instead?

that way we all get a chance to have fun at coding something, but at the same time we are actually creating something useful to the world, rather than these one-off academic exercises (as fun as they may be).

thoughts? :)

note: i thought this would be a good place to post this, this being the list of challenges, but if you mods feel like it needs its own thread so as not to pollute the sticky, please feel free to move...

Lster
April 8th, 2008, 09:57 PM
nanotube, I think many who participate do have other projects. The programming challenges are there, as said, for fun and learning; a project's goals are not necessarily these. However, I'm sure many might disagree - they can very easily start their own projects...

I have been thinking about getting more involved in some, myself. I just haven't got much free time what with A-levels, my own projects, real life etc... When I do have free time, the programming challenges are usually short enough for me to manage in that space.

Wybiral
April 8th, 2008, 10:24 PM
...

That requires much more organizing and planning... Not to mention a good idea. I do actively help out in a number of open source projects around the net, and if you present a project that I think is useful and that I can help with, I will probably pitch in. The challenges are just a fun way to exercise your skills (and hopefully encourage people to research certain areas that might inspire them to help with an OSS project).

nanotube
April 9th, 2008, 11:13 PM
i don't doubt that many of us here do work on various OSS projects. i was just thinking that we do have a loosely organized group of coders here, and if we had a project to work on, we could produce something nice. :)

planning and organizing can be fairly easily taken care of by using these forums, the infrastructure can be provided by sourceforge... indeed, the key thing to start with is to have a good and inspiring idea that people can be excited about. i don't think i have one off the bat, but if you think it's worth a try, why don't we have an idea discussion? or maybe pull something cool off http://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/ ? maybe something that can be done with python, since it seems most people here like python :).

heikaman
April 10th, 2008, 10:27 AM
i don't doubt that many of us here do work on various OSS projects. i was just thinking that we do have a loosely organized group of coders here, and if we had a project to work on, we could produce something nice. :)
I'm in :guitar:

Wybiral
April 10th, 2008, 04:10 PM
Well, the thing is... Something that I'm interested in, may not be interesting to others. And something that Lster or you are interested in, may not be all that interesting to me. It works best when we all just pick a project that we enjoy and pitch in (which is what a lot of us do).

dchurch24
April 10th, 2008, 04:12 PM
Me too.

heikaman
April 10th, 2008, 04:22 PM
Well, the thing is... Something that I'm interested in, may not be interesting to others. And something that Lster or you are interested in, may not be all that interesting to me. It works best when we all just pick a project that we enjoy and pitch in (which is what a lot of us do).

maybe we can vote :mrgreen: ?

Wybiral
April 10th, 2008, 04:31 PM
maybe we can vote :mrgreen: ?

Yeah, but there are thousands of good OSS projects out there to choose from. I'm going to pick the ones that I'm the most interested in, not some arbitrary project on the forum that was voted for (unless it was a really good idea, something that I want to work on).

nanotube
April 10th, 2008, 09:13 PM
wybiral, you make a good point, and of course there's no guarantee that we can find something that /everyone/ will be down with.

i'm suggesting that we have a discussion with a bunch of possible ideas thrown around, and if we find something we can all [or almost all] rally behind, that's cool, and we'll get it on as a group. if not, well, such is life, and we can all keep contributing to our favorite various projects as we do now :).

doesn't hurt to try, i think?

Wybiral
April 10th, 2008, 10:18 PM
Well it sounds like you're the right person to start that thread :) Go for it. If it's something that sounds interesting to me that I have time to help with I will, but there are so many good projects out there that already have a foundation and just need developers... Why not help one of those?

BackwardsDown
April 11th, 2008, 12:06 PM
I'm still searching for a project:) *hint*

I don't think I am very good yet with programming. I have written some simple applications in the past, like tetris and a program that sorts my music. Those were both written in C++ but I am now learning python becouse it is so much faster (in coding the app ofcourse :) ).
I'm looking for a simple python project. Preferably one that just started, becouse I have never worked coding with other people and reading and understanding code of gigantic programs seems very hard to begin with.
A few days ago google appengine (http://code.google.com/appengine/) came out, I'm fiddling with that at the moment.

Maybe we can do something with that on the forum?

nanotube
April 11th, 2008, 08:15 PM
Well it sounds like you're the right person to start that thread :) Go for it. If it's something that sounds interesting to me that I have time to help with I will, but there are so many good projects out there that already have a foundation and just need developers... Why not help one of those?

I never said it has to be a new project :)
Anyway, as per your suggestion, I started an idea generation thread for this:

Any and all suggestions welcome. Let's get this rolling. :)

revenant138
April 15th, 2008, 02:33 PM
Are there going to be no more challenges then? :( I was hoping to do them as exercises when I had the time.

dperfors
April 15th, 2008, 02:55 PM
nobody said, there will be no more challanges, just start reading at the first page...

WW
July 31st, 2008, 09:18 PM
Lster, looks like the original post needs an update:

Programming Challenge 12 : Computational Geometry (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=803474)
Programming Challenge 13: Langton's Ant (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=812784)
Programming Challenge 15: connect four (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=839680)

LaRoza
July 31st, 2008, 09:20 PM
LaRoza, looks like the original post needs an update:

Programming Challenge 12 : Computational Geometry (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=803474)
Programming Challenge 13: Langton's Ant (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=812784)