Team “What A Summer Party”, Round 1

I have hangovers.

Not from partying, but from lack of sleep and bad nutrition. The contest was lots of fun. Despite that the end-result for our team was rather disappointing. Below the description I wrote for our team.

The Story Of Team “What A Summer Party”

Round 1

The prospect for the ICFP contest was looking bleak. The net was down and the annual faculty summer party started an hour before the contest. Thus, Ken, Martin, and Henning went to the party and soon forgot all about the contest. The BBQ was sizzling hot and the beers were cold, life was good.

Then suddenly Carsten crashed the party and dumped a huge pile of print-outs with the frightening title “Cops & Robbers, The ICFP 2005 Programming Contest Task”. From that moment the easy life stopped. We started to gulp down huge amounts of candy, chips, and various beverages while we discussed strategies and suggestions for implementation details. Henning had tried to refuse to participate on the team, giving hollow-sounding excuses like: 3-week old baby, twins with ear infections, and exam preparation. But he was sucked in by the exciting discussion, and after a frantic programming session where he tried to hammer out a parser in zero time, his laptop lost the keys “P” and “L”. The rest of us piled useful library modules into the repository.

Saturday, none of us spend much time on the contest. Instead, we spend some quality time with the family, travelled to the other end of the country to party with old friends from high school, and attended unavoidable social obligations. Henning, against all expectations, made a surprise virtual appearance and offered an almost working parser, this gave him a seat on the team, despite that it was against his wishes.

Sunday, we realised that we didn’t have a working cop nor a working robber. We worked hard and was able to make our first submission with working (but non-moving) cop and robber. And a few hours after the submission the first working robber appeared. This robber was looting the banks like crazy (easy because the cops still didn’t move) and there was much rejoicing.

Monday, we just panicked. We managed to put all the pieces for the cop together, and made the final submission just two minutes after deadline (which according the contest mailing list should be acceptable). However, there was no end to the disappointment when we realised that the fancy cop we had assembled in the last minute still didn’t move. After half an hour we had a stupid cop who just walk from bank to bank (making illegal moves along the way, but as we have learned from the movies that is OK for a cop to do, as long as he has good intentions). This, rather dense, cop still managed to catch our super robber. As I said, there was no end to the disappointment.

It is a good thing that there is a round two in two weeks….

The Team consists of the follow persons:

  • Ken Friis Larsen (Release Manager and Storyteller)
  • Martin Elsman (Protector of Good and Right)
  • Carsten Varming (Evil Mastermind)
  • Henning Niss (Cheerleader and Parser constructor)

Thanks for a fun weekend guys.

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