Contests@JavaOne: a first look
By jag on May 02, 2007
The the slot car track was so popular last year that we've brought it back. This year the rules are different: it's a rally rather than a race. There are waypoints along the track and you have to reach each one "on time". You lose points for being early or late. The rules and code are on the site. The top three contestants get SunSpots and assorted other goodies (but you have to be at my keynote on Friday to collect!).
The Greenfoot folks are running a game-writing contest at MyGame.java.sun.com. Greenfoot is a specialized IDE for teaching kids to program that uses game-writing as a motivation. It's pretty cool. If you're not interested in entering, you should check out the site anyway because it contains lots of simple applet games. Right now, it's mostly games used to test the framework, many are broken - but that'll change quickly. Like the slot car contest, the top three contestants get SunSpots and assorted other goodies (and you also have to be at my keynote on Friday to collect!). We won't be running the contest finals during my keynote: there's not enough time do do that and show off all the cool toys...
Then there's the RoboSapiens contest. It turns out that the larger models of these popular toys have ARM9s in them, for which there exists a JavaVM. The ones you can buy in the street are sealed programmatically, but the WoWee folks will have a couple of hundred for sale at the show that are programmable. There will also be a pile in a hands-on lab for folks to play with and use for writing contest code. The supply they're bringing for sale is small and will go fast. There were a pile of logistical problems in getting more to the show, but they say that they will be making them available for sale (probably online) sometime after JavaOne.
I don't know why this is happening, but this year's JavaOne is setting a new high for craziness. So frigging much stuff going on. Piles of folks killing themselves to put demos together. Too much fun. I'll need to sleep for a month.