Whatever is on your mind, whether Lisp related or not.
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Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 6:10 pm
Location: Oregon


Post by Unne » Sun Jun 29, 2008 2:50 pm

I'm sure most of us agree that RubyQuiz is awesome. Rubyquiz is great because the problems are tiny enough to do in a day or so, but hard enough to make you think a bit. Importantly, the problems cover a wide range of topics: they aren't all math problems (like Project Euler, which is still fun if you like math but not fun if you don't), and they aren't all boring homework-style problems ("implement quicksort"). Many of the problems are fun and relevant and give you a little practical tool when you finish. (e.g. Quiz 68: Write a program that gives you the current temperature outside, given a mailing code or city name). Some of them are more along the lines of logic puzzles or word games.

Rubyquiz is one of the things that helped and motivated me learn Ruby, personally. It lets you see multiple people's approaches to a single problem, which is very helpful to help you learn the idioms and conventions people in the community use, and explore the nooks and crannies of the language.

These things are what the Lisp community needs, to attract new blood and to get Lispers interacting and building community and writing code. We should do a Lispquiz. It looks like there was a failed attempt at one in 2006 that never made it off the ground, and it appears it was only for Common Lisp, which in my opinion is an unnecessary limiting factor. For Lisp there's an added bonus of friendly competition if we throw this quiz open to all Lisps (not just CL). Which Lisp can give the shortest solution? Which Lisp has the best libraries and built-in support to help you solve the problem elegantly?

I've been wanting to do something like this myself for a long time but I just don't have the time to devote to it. But now that we have a nice message board here, there's a really lazy and easy way to do this that requires next to no effort by anyone.

1. Make a Lispquiz forum where only an admin or quizmaster can make new threads.
2. Make a new thread every Friday with a new quiz.
3. If anyone posts code or spoilers before a 48 hour no-spoiler deadline, beat them down, but let discussion happen before then.
4. People post their code right in the thread after 48 hours.
5. After a week, the quizmaster edits his first post (or make a new thread, or I don't know) giving a summary of the postings, commentary of one or more of the nicer or cleverer solutions, etc.

For even more added laziness, we can steal some of Rubyquiz's past problems. Its website says that borrowing the quiz ideas is fine (there's a Haskellquiz out there already). But it would also be nice to have a place for people to suggest new quizzes that show off some of Lisp's strengths.

Good idea? Bad idea? Good idea but this MB isn't the place for it?

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Re: Lispquiz?

Post by vegard » Sun Jun 29, 2008 3:18 pm

This sounds like great fun, count me in :)

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Re: Lispquiz?

Post by yena » Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:49 am

Sounds like a good idea. I will participate, time permitting.

Alex Ati
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Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:45 am

Re: Lispquiz?

Post by Alex Ati » Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:02 am

First post! Hello from Madrid, Spain.

The quiz seems a good idea. I was needing some "katas" to gain fluency in lisp. I stumbled across some problem collections, but were pretty short, like ten-liners.

Last weekend talking with a friend we had this idea about doing ten-hour projects. It would be also nice to see how long can someone get with such deadline (or something similar). I am more or less a newbie and i have sort-of created an image voting site (i have 2:40h left to finish), with hunchentoot, postmodern, a few macros, and some nice features (salted passwords, rest-like url mapping, etc). It's about 300 lisp lines, and i have felt that it is just the correct size for me. I'm not working every day but i'll post the code somewhere and i'd be pleased to have feedback about anything.

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Re: Lispquiz?

Post by findinglisp » Sat Aug 16, 2008 8:05 am

Even before you guys brought it up, I had been thinking along the same lines. Ruby Quiz was quite well done and really helped a lot of people learn Ruby. Sooo... I just posted the first Lisp Quiz:
Cheers, Dave
Slowly but surely the world is finding Lisp.

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