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Games, Diversions & Perl Culture by Jon Orwant

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Chapter 44. The First Obfuscated Perl Contest

Felix S. Gallo

Summer is in the air, and young hackers’ thoughts turn to writing gloriously awful code. And yes, despite our editors’ protestations, despite the restraining order, despite even explicit medical advice from our therapists, we’re once again proud to bring you the infamous, world-renounced Obfuscated Perl Contest.

The objective: To determine who can write the most devious, inhuman, disgusting, amusing, amazing, and bizarre Perl code.

The prizes: A lovingly manufactured trophy made of high durability space age materials, suitable for brazen display or shameful and secretive night burial. Also ord ‘d’ dollars.

But wait! Before you rush to your keyboard to craft your outrè œuvre, here are the categories in which you may enter:

Most Powerful

This award is granted to the code that does the most with the least. The limit on bytecount is 512 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 1024 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 text The Perl Journal. Case and context are unimportant. The limit is 1024 bytes of Perl code, not including whitespace.

Best Year 2000 Error

(From the February 3, 1997 Information Week, via EDUPAGE)

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