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IOCCC .com – Domain Name for Sale
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The IOCCC (which uses the domain name IOCCC.org) was started by Landon Curt Noll and Larry Bassel in 1984 while they were employed at National Semiconductor’s Genix porting group. They had the idea for the contest which came after they compared notes with each other about some poorly written code that needed to be fixed. It turns out this was the Bourne shell, which used macros to emulate ALGOL 68 syntax, and buggy version of finger for BSD.
The contest itself was the topic of a quiz question in the 1993 Computer Bowl. After a hiatus of five years starting in 2006, the contest returned in 2011. Compared with other programming contests, the IOCCC is described as “not all that serious”.
Each year, the rules of the contest are published on the IOCCC website. Rules vary from year to year and are posted with a set of guidelines that attempt to convey the spirit of the rules.
“Hacking the contest rules is a tradition”
The rules are often deliberately written with subtle loopholes that contestants are somewhat encouraged to find and abuse. This results in the contest being a “parody of the software development process”.
Entries that take advantage of some loophole in the rules can cause the rules for the following year’s contest to be adjusted accordingly (although often other subtle loopholes are deliberately introduced in the process).
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