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VSarkiss (704)

VSarkiss
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I haven't really taken the time to set this up, but you can look at my home node [perlmonks.org] on Perl Monks.

Journal of VSarkiss (704)

Monday January 27, 2003
10:44 AM

Programming for Fun?

[ #10214 ]

One of the main attractions of coding in Perl for me, as well as others I know, is the fun factor. A lot of us write programs for fun and profit (although not necessarily at the same time ;-). But there seems to be a real dearth of resources on the web (or elsewhere) talking about programming in a recreational sense. Googling for "computer", "recreation", "fun", and similar terms brings up sites about writing games and such, not about programming as a game.

For those of you who may remember, I'm thinking of something along the lines of Martin Gardner's old "Mathematical Games" columns in Scientific American. Sometimes they were puzzles, but many times he wrote about interesting mathematical topics. In my own case, that's where I first learned about things like Diophantine equations, four-dimensional geometry, knot theory, and symbolic logic. He had a great way of explaining complicated subjects without dumbing them down.

I'd like to see someone do something similar for programming. Topics might include, say, functional programming, a survey of OO from Smalltalk to Perl, and occasionally, goofy stuff like self-reproducing programs (quines), Perl golf, and obfuscation. But I can't find anything like that. If you know of something along those lines, could you reply here? Otherwise I may have to start writing something myself. ;-)

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  • MJD has been running a pair of mailing-list based items, the quiz-of-the-week and the expert-quiz-of-the-week, that fit somewhat into what you are asking for.

    The two quizzes are interesting of themselves, the ensuing discussions often discover many corners and edge cases in problems that were apparently round at first glance, and finlly, MJD provides a summary that usually provides a few more insights and resolves most of the loose ends. The weekly schedule has the quizzes posted on Wednesday, discussion

  • There is also the Fun with Perl [perl.org] mailing list, which contains exactly what you're wishing for. Lots of fun little problems, although it has gotten a little too much obfuscation recently...