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Games, Diversions & Perl Culture by Jon Orwant

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Chapter 43. The Zeroth Annual Obfuscated Perl Contest

Felix S. Gallo

Are you renowned for your excessive, belligerent tersity? Are you a misunderstood genius who writes Perl code that looks like it’s been run through MD5? Or are you just plain evil and ornery enough to write code that’s so grotesque that others pale in fear?

At last, you have a socially acceptable creative outlet: The Zeroth Annual Obfuscated Perl Contest! You are invited to participate in a contest to determine who can write the most incomprehensible, unreadable, confusing, horrific, amusing, and interesting Perl code.

There are four categories. You can enter as many as you like, but may only submit two pieces of code per category.

The Categories

Our inaugural contest has four categories:

Best Four-Line Signature

This award is for the best piece of Perl code that fits into 4 lines of 76 characters of ASCII code (not counting end-of-line newlines).

Most Powerful

This award goes to the piece of Perl code that does the most with the least. The limit on bytecount is 1024 characters, not including whitespace.

Most Creative

This award goes to the most stunningly intriguing or ridiculously hilarious combination of obfuscation and functionality. The limit is 2048 bytes of Perl code, not including whitespace.

Best “The Perl Journal”

In the fine “Just another Perl hacker” tradition, this award is given to the best code that generates the words the perl journal. Case and context are not important. The limit is 2048 bytes of Perl code, ...

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