Announcing the Winners of the 2014 One-Liner Competition
November 10, 2014 — Christopher Carlson, Senior User Interface Developer, User Interfaces
This year’s Wolfram Technology Conference once again included the One-Liner Competition, an opportunity for some of the world’s most talented Wolfram Language developers to show us the amazing things you can do with tiny pieces of Wolfram Language code.
In previous years, One-Liner submissions were allowed 140 characters and 2D typesetting constructs. This year, in the spirit of Tweet-a-Program, we limited entries to 128-character, tweetable Wolfram Language programs. That’s right: we challenged them to write a useful or entertaining program that fits in a single tweet.
And the participants rose to the occasion. Entries were blind-judged by a panel of Wolfram Research developers, who awarded two honorable mentions and first, second, and third prizes.
One honorable mention went to Michael Sollami for his “Mariner Valley Flyby,” which takes you on a flight through the terrain of the Mariner Valley on Mars. The judges were greatly impressed by the idea and the effect. Unfortunately, a small glitch in the program is visible at the start of the output, due to an error in the code. Since Michael’s submission is right up against the 128-character limit, it would have taken some clever tweaking to fix it.
An honorable mention also went to Filip Novotný for a program that rolls a “marble” in the direction that you tilt your laptop. Yeah, yeah, we’ve all seen that before; every laptop has an accelerometer these days. But… Filip’s code doesn’t use the accelerometer. Instead, it tracks the view seen by the laptop camera and infers from it the laptop’s tilt. All in 128 characters.
Filip’s entry was also awarded a dishonorable mention for the impressively dense syntax form a@@@b@c@d@e~f~g@h, which kept his entry under the 128-character limit, and kept the judges busy trying to decipher it.
Second place went to Jesse Friedman for his “Spoonerism Generator.” Each time you evaluate his code, you get a different wacky rendering of Poe’s poem The Raven, where the first letters of words that begin with consonants are scrambled.
Incredibly, Jesse claimed one of the few 6-letter Internationalized Resource Identifiers in existence just for the competition, by finding an unusual character (Ｒ) that had not yet been snapped up. At 13 years old, Jesse is the youngest prize winner by far in the One-Liner Competition.
First place went to Alex Hirsbrunner for his “Boeing 767 Flight Range,” a One-Liner entry that actually does something useful. His code makes a world map showing how far a Boeing 767 can fly from the conference location. The judges were impressed by his combined use of SemanticInterpretation, to get at obscure information (the range of the aircraft), and GeoGraphics, to make a nice presentation of it. He even had enough characters to spare to include a title in the graphic, so the whole thing is self-explanatory.
Thanks to all participants for entertaining us with their abundant creativity. If you have thoughts of attending the Wolfram Technology Conference in 2015, get started now honing your Wolfram Language skills for next year’s One-Liner Competition.
You can see all of this year’s One-Liner entries by downloading this notebook.