It's been a long time since the submissions for this were due (nearly two months, I'm embarrassed to admit), but at last I found time and motivation in my schedule to finish grading the Contest #6 entries. We received eight entries covering a variety of types and programming styles, some exemplary, some needing significant polishing. In the end, we found two clear winners, one each for the Pure BASIC and Hybrid BASIC/ASM categories.

Congratulations to Jake Roussel and Nathaniel Verhaaren, the programmers of Toolkit v2.1, Contest 6's winners for the BASIC category. They put together an impressive entry that was functional, useful, and well-coded. An Honorable Mention goes to Matt Pierce for Index83, a small and efficient reference to the TI-83 family's functions. Honorary userbars for the winners are below, and the winners will be notified of prizes shortly.




Congratulations to Brandon Wilson, unsurprisingly the winner of the Hybrid BASIC/ASM category with Hookman. The fulfillment of several years of false starts by various members of the community, Hookman at last provides an application to manage hooks installed by different applications, seamlessly handle chaining to avoid conflicts, and even patches the OS to keep things running smoothly. Although it's not 100% complete (although by the time I finished grading the contest, it might be), even in the form I tested it was very handy. An Honorable Mention is due to ZagorNBK for XDCS, an impressive xLib clone of the Doors CS 6 GUI system. Honorary userbars are below, and Brandon will shortly be notified about prizes.




Thank you once more to all the participants, winners and not; almost all of you submitted excellent programs, and I look forward to seeing you in future contests that will hopefully be graded a bit more promptly.

Natural Polynomial by Kevin Horowitz
Category: Pure BASIC
Size: 7/10 [3.16KB]
Speed: 8/10
Unique-Useful Score: 7/10
Features: 7/10

Comments:
---------
This program was well-made, seemed mathematically sound, and functioned under most of the test cases given to it. A few limitations were encountered, including an inability to divide polynomials in which the denominator had a higher degree than the numerator (lack of partial fraction implementation) and a lack of even partial support for negative powers. That said, the implementation was admirable, particularly the advertised ability to input natural polynomials (ie, 3X^2 + 2X + 1 instead of sequential prompting for coefficients). This program would certainly be useful for Algebra 1/2 students, some Calculus students (although admittedly the calculus it performs is relatively trivial), and as a general reference tool for math, science, and engineering students.

OVERALL: 29/40 + 2 bonus for excellent documentation = 31/40

Divisor by Anders Tiberg
Category: Pure BASIC
Size: 9/10 [0.23KB]
Speed: 3/10
Unique-Useful Score: 1/10
Features: 3/10

Comments:
---------
The author seemed to be using some fairly sophisticated coding tricks with litss to parallelize the search for factors, but it did not seem to be accurate: it claimed the divisors of 100 are {100,9}; of 10, {10,4}. The inaccurate results and its apparent ability only to derive one (usually wrong) factor of the number plus the number itself brought this programs score way down. This, and the fact that the concept is fairly unoriginal, is unfortunate since the coding style of the program appeared to be quite good.

OVERALL: 16/40 + 1 bonus for a readme = 17/40

XDCS by ZagorNBK
Category: Hybrid BASIC
Size: 7/10 [1.55KB]
Speed: 5/10
Unique-Useful Score: 8/10
Features: 8/10

Comments:
---------
This was a quite impressive remake of the Doors CS GUI system in hybrid BASIC using xLib. At first I was unable to get the demo program (another 0.8KB) to function properly, but then I read the readme more carefully and saw I was omitting something important, which impressed me that the documentation was well-written. The graphics and functionality are flawless; the only drawback is that the speed of the mouse movement was quite low. Overall an excellent concept and execution.

OVERALL: 28/40 + 2 bonus for a excellent readme = 30/40

Index83 by Matt Pierce
Category: Pure BASIC
Size: 8/10 [3.96KB]
Speed: 8/10
Unique-Useful Score: 7/10
Features: 6/10

Comments:
---------
The only reason the Unique-Useful score for this program is 7 instead of 9 is that there is already an application that duplicates this program's functionality, logically called CatalogHelp, but this program is much smaller and very useful, so I felt its usefulness made up for its slight lack of uniqueness. The program was fast, had brief but sufficiently-detailed entries on each command, and gracefully handled strings and commands not in its database. The size of the program itself is tiny; the majority of the 4KB it uses is from its command database. A well-written and composed entry.

OVERALL: 29/40 + 1 bonus for a good readme = 30/40

Finder by Jonah Scheinerman
Category: Hybrid BASIC
Size: 5/10 [5.15KB]
Speed: 6/10
Unique-Useful Score: 5/10
Features: 9/10

Comments:
---------
A very interesting concept, a non-VAT filesystem for the calc with folders, cut/copy/paste, program execution and importing, etc. My only qualm is that I think in the long run people would be more likely to use a shell like Ion, MirageOS, or Doors CS instead, even if their filesystems are simply VAT hacks.

OVERALL: 25/40 + 2 bonus for excellent readme = 27/40

Hookman by Brandon Wilson
Category: ASM
Size: 8/10 [16KB]
Speed: 7/10
Unique-Useful Score: 8/10
Features: 7/10

Comments:
---------
This program is certainly very ambitious, which is which it earned such high scores despite being a bit less immediately-applicable than some of the competition. This program manages chained hooks, and is the culmination of several advertised, failed, and otherwise incomplete attempts by various authors in the past. Almost everything was implemented, though not tested, and this will certainly end up being extremely useful for users once it is complete.

OVERALL: 30/40 + 1 for good readme = 31/40

Toolkit v2.1 by Jake Roussel and Nathaniel Verhaaren
Category: Pure BASIC
Size: 6/10 [17.61KB]
Speed: 8/10
Unique-Useful Score: 7/10
Features: 9/10

Comments:
---------
Although a huge program compared to the majority of the other entries, this was not unreasonably large given its extensive feature set. This program contains similar features to many general math toolkits before it, but is an excellent example of the genre; it lost points on "Unique", but made them up in "Useful". I was particularly impressed by the built-in descriptions of the functions of each of its subprograms, making it easy for another programmer to add functions to this toolkit within their existing framework. The graphical menu is easy to navigate, and my sole complaint is some missing on-calc documentation and reasonableness checking for input numbers.

OVERALL: 30/40 + 2 for excellent readme = 32/40

Linear Multiplication by Isaac Nygaard
Category: Pure BASIC
Size: 6/10 [3.9KB]
Speed: 8/10
Unique-Useful Score: 7/10
Features: 6/10

Comments:
---------
This is a fairly well-written program to perform polynomial math including adding, subtracting, and multiplying polynomials. With the included zero solver, all the rational zeroes of any given polynomial can be found as well. The program ran well and fast, although a quick perusal of the code revealed some slightly suboptimal coding; this was one of two entries that I had to open and save in SourceCoder to get it to load on a calcuculator without failing.

OVERALL: 27/40 + 1 bonus point for good readme = 28/40
Congratulations on all fronts, and I hope to see some of these programs in the archive queue soon!
Way to take two months. A retarded monkey could have graded faster than you fools.
allynfolksjr wrote:
Way to take two months. A retarded monkey could have graded faster than you fools.
Just the one fool, actually; Tari never got around to helping.
KermMartian wrote:
allynfolksjr wrote:
Way to take two months. A retarded monkey could have graded faster than you fools.
Just the one fool, actually; Tari never got around to helping.

Well, Tari is a huge loser then.
Cool! I almost gave up hope that his would ever end. When do we get to see the programs?

How did the judging work though? Did it come down to your personal preferences if not the overall score?
quigibo wrote:
Cool! I almost gave up hope that his would ever end. When do we get to see the programs?

How did the judging work though? Did it come down to your personal preferences if not the overall score?
The winners were selected based on overall score, as were the honorable mentions for the most part, although those were more personal preference (especially my personal bias for things DCS-related Smile ).
KermMartian wrote:
the only drawback is that the speed of the mouse movement was quite low

That is because I chose that speed for the demo program. Users that want a quicker but less precise mouse can easily do that with the options available.
ZagorNBK wrote:
KermMartian wrote:
the only drawback is that the speed of the mouse movement was quite low

That is because I chose that speed for the demo program. Users that want a quicker but less precise mouse can easily do that with the options available.
No, I was aware, I looked through the code to see how it was working. I meant the arbitrary ratio of speed to precision for any given values was not as good as I would have liked (eg, I would have preferred more precise movement for the same speed, or faster movement for the same precision), but I understand you were limited by xLib's speed.
Now don't get me wrong, I am not trying to get my score changed, but I really don't understand how XDCS got a higher unique-usefulness score than finder. Yes, perhaps file systems have been implemented before, but XDCS is a clone of an already existing program. Sorry to bash your program ZagorNBK, but it seems to me that this is an example of judging bias rather than real uniqueness/usefulness. Perhaps I am wrong. If so, please enlighten me.
I hear your concerns, Zaphod, and I understand your thoughts on bias., so let me explain where I got that from. In formulating the Unique-Useful scores, I tried to pretend that I was a normal user, and think of what they would find most useful. First I looked at XDCS, and I thought about how it might be used to build menus or interfaces for games and such, versus the extra size (not to mention xLib) that it requires. Then I thought about yours, and while I'd agree it's more technically impressive (no offense to Zagor), I couldn't imagine users manually adding their programs to Finder rather than just spending the extra time (in the long run) searching through the PRGM list, no offense to you. You got the higher Features score in my attempt to show that I was impressed by the coding and technical skill that you showed, but in examining daily usefulness for the average, somewhat lazy user, I feel XDCS won out. Hopefully this makes sense to you?
Yes, thank you, I understand now.
KermMartian wrote:
quigibo wrote:
Cool! I almost gave up hope that his would ever end. When do we get to see the programs?

How did the judging work though? Did it come down to your personal preferences if not the overall score?
The winners were selected based on overall score, as were the honorable mentions for the most part, although those were more personal preference (especially my personal bias for things DCS-related Smile ).

Oh okay. So I guess that was why Index83 was the honourable mention even though mine had the higher score?
quigibo wrote:
KermMartian wrote:
quigibo wrote:
Cool! I almost gave up hope that his would ever end. When do we get to see the programs?

How did the judging work though? Did it come down to your personal preferences if not the overall score?
The winners were selected based on overall score, as were the honorable mentions for the most part, although those were more personal preference (especially my personal bias for things DCS-related Smile ).

Oh okay. So I guess that was why Index83 was the honourable mention even though mine had the higher score?
Indeedy-o. Another part of that was I believe my grading got harsher as I went along, which unfairly favored the first few programs I graded.
KermMartian wrote:
ZagorNBK wrote:
KermMartian wrote:
the only drawback is that the speed of the mouse movement was quite low

That is because I chose that speed for the demo program. Users that want a quicker but less precise mouse can easily do that with the options available.
No, I was aware, I looked through the code to see how it was working. I meant the arbitrary ratio of speed to precision for any given values was not as good as I would have liked (eg, I would have preferred more precise movement for the same speed, or faster movement for the same precision), but I understand you were limited by xLib's speed.

Well, I could've made it faster by deleting some of the optional routines, but then the mouse would be transparent and would be able to go out of the screen.
Oh and also, talking about prizes, what about those due for the #5 Contest?
ZagorNBK wrote:
Oh and also, talking about prizes, what about those due for the #5 Contest?
Ugh, I know, I know.

Oh, btw, I rejected your entry from the archives because you had it in the /83plus/ folder instead of /83plus/basic/shells or wherever you feel it should be. Smile
KermMartian wrote:

Oh, btw, I rejected your entry from the archives because you had it in the /83plus/ folder instead of /83plus/basic/shells or wherever you feel it should be. Smile

I replied to the rejection message before reading this...
Well, as you had no category for Hybrid programs, I thought that putting it into 83+ root folder was a good idea. But if you consider it to be BASIC, then I think that the Graphics section is more appropriate...
ZagorNBK wrote:
KermMartian wrote:

Oh, btw, I rejected your entry from the archives because you had it in the /83plus/ folder instead of /83plus/basic/shells or wherever you feel it should be. Smile

I replied to the rejection message before reading this...
Well, as you had no category for Hybrid programs, I thought that putting it into 83+ root folder was a good idea. But if you consider it to be BASIC, then I think that the Graphics section is more appropriate...
Fair enough, go for it. Yes, Hybrid (as per ticalc.org's example) gets grouped under BASIC, while ASM is for pure ASM.
KermMartian wrote:
ZagorNBK wrote:
Oh and also, talking about prizes, what about those due for the #5 Contest?
Ugh, I know, I know.


You mean to tell me that people from the previous contest should've gotten prizes and they've still seen nothing? Now that's just crazy...you don't start another contest until the previous one is resolved.
  
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