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Programming Challenges for Mac Developers 47

Carlos Camacho writes "iDevGames, a Macintosh Game Developer's Site has started issuing small programming challenges to Mac developers. The first challenge just wrapped up and the result is two nifty apps. The source code for both apps, and all apps entered into the programming challenges, will be released as open source. The next challenge has added an extra day, so developers have 72 hours. The focus is on creating an application to demonstrate 'A* pathfinding.'"
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Programming Challenges for Mac Developers

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Is 48-hours too short? Would 72 hours be better? Or is 48-hours about right? Please vote. If you don't mind, I would like to announce the next challenge. (At some point, I will take everyone's suggestions for other Challenges.)

    OK, here is the challenge:
    * You may use ObjectiveC, C, C++, or Java only
    * Create an application to demonstrate how A* Pathfinding works.
    * You don't need to use fancy sprites. Simple circles, or stick figures is of course fine.
    * Your world can be 2D, 2.5D, or 3D.

    Outside of the
    • by mrgeometry (689087) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @09:24PM (#8448002)
      Perhaps they are hoping to get a variety of examples so newbies can see more than one implementation? Also, perhaps they want to give their readers something "fun" to do... I can see how some people would enjoy having a little mini-challenge every now and then, and they will enter the contest; and other people are too busy or would rather spend their free time in other ways, and so they won't enter the contest... And that's fine.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Kinda sounds like they are wanting to get other people to do their work.

      That's rather like calling Slashdot lazy for trying to get their readers to write news articles for them. It completely misses the point of the site.

      iDG is a community of Mac game developers. Some of them are hobbyists. Some of them are professionals. The developers there encourage each other, help each other out, compete against each other on small challenges like this one, or larger ones like the uDevGame contest which attract

  • Here's the skinny (Score:2, Informative)

    by ABaumann (748617)
    First Contest: Develop a Cocoa program that will calculate the distance between two spots on the globe. (given latitude and longitude. ) There were only two submissions. Second Contest: Develop a graphical representation of the A* algorithm using Java, C, or Objective-C. (This one will be 72 hours.) No prizes, only bragging rights... for a site that noone even goes to. Yipee! Have fun.
  • Meh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Daleks (226923) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @09:27PM (#8448028)
    People need to think about their headlines before they submit them. I thought this was about the difficulties Mac programmers face in today's world.
  • bleh?! (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by Linwood (652814) *
    I'll tell ya the hardships of mac programming, as a newbie (myself) trying to figure out that you have to hold ctrl or shift or cmd and drag a line from one MDI window to another on your acctual forms to make it 'connect' .. thats hard.. I've been reading this damn Cocoa book for a month and i still have no idea how anyone would ever learn to do anything 'radical' or new without explicit instructions of the odd interface of Xcode and its buddy Interface builder. but i'm just a newb so i'm prolly riding on -
    • Re:bleh?! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Entropy2016 (751922) <entropy2016@yahoo . c om> on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @10:57PM (#8448630)
      Just in case you didn't already know, the general consensus is that Aaron Hillegass's "Cocoa Programming for Mac OSX" is the best Cocoa book out there.

      Just as important as the the Cocoa book, is bookmarking the Apple Developer Documentation in Safari

      file:///Developer/Documentation/Cocoa/Reference/ Ap plicationKit/ObjC_classic/index.html#//apple_ref/d oc/uid/20001093

      file:///Developer/Documentation/Cocoa/Reference/ Fo undation/ObjC_classic/index.html#//apple_ref/doc/u id/20001091

      I wasted money on a couple other books before I found that one.
      If you're still having trouble learning, just ask someone for the source code to a finished app that isn't too big and study it. (If you're really desperate, I've got some code you can study).
      - - - - -
      Caffeine is not a substitute for sleep
      • Re:bleh?! (Score:5, Informative)

        by YouHaveSnail (202852) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @12:13AM (#8449135)
        Another good thing to do is to get your hands on a Cocoa class browser. Here's one: br owser/

        Seems like a pretty obvious concept, so I'd be surprised if there aren't others. In any case, it can be handy.
        • Re:bleh?! (Score:3, Informative)

          by transient (232842)
          There's a class browser built-in to Xcode. Select "Show Class Browser" from the Project menu, or press cmd-shift-c.
          • Cocoa browser is more nicerer, as it shows the documentation, not just the header, and is hyperlinked.

            Of course the real hidden XCode easter egg is to switch on the ultra-fast compiler by holding down the command key and typing "quicker".
      • Re:bleh?! (Score:2, Informative)

        the general consensus is that Aaron Hillegass's "Cocoa Programming for Mac OSX" is the best Cocoa book out there.

        That's probably right, but once you've finished it and digested it, so to speak, which probably won't take more than a couple of weeks, the next must-have is Anguish, Buck, and Yacktman: Cocoa Programming. Very in-depth reference guide with some excellent explanations of why Cocoa features work the way they do. Hillegass and Cheeseman are always saying "just do it this way, trust me," which i

  • Safari (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nacturation (646836) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (noitarutcan)> on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @10:21PM (#8448393) Journal
    Too bad their site doesn't display the body text in Safari. If they're a Mac site, they just *might* want to fix that one.
    • Re:Safari (Score:3, Interesting)

      by orn (34773)
      Too bad their site doesn't display the body text in Safari. If they're a Mac site, they just *might* want to fix that one.

      Maybe that will be their third programming challenge. :)

      This is a great idea. Contests to build up the amount of open source out there are cool. What's needed is a general purpose ladder and scoring system so you can actually rank coders. Very cool. :) Well, geeky, anyway.

    • Re:Safari (Score:3, Informative)

      by Have Blue (616)
      I don't know what crack-ass Safari you're running, but it works fine on both my Macs.
      • Hm... must be something funny with my machine then. Doesn't work on any browser on my system. Works great on Windows though. :)
      • I would like a copy of crack-ass Safari for archival purposes. Does anyone have a link for download?
  • by dagar17 (579917) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @10:59PM (#8448646) Homepage
    prefixing every software package name with an i
  • by Yarn (75) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @06:21AM (#8450524) Homepage
    Get working on porting to Aqua! The current ETA is 2005

    It'd save me *so* much time having to run around ensuring people don't have illegal copies of MS Office on their macs.

    At least with my PC users:
    a) The interface isn't glaringly different
    b) They can't just copy the MS office folder between machines.
  • by logicat2001 (706979) * on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @01:56PM (#8454264)

    Aaron Hillegass's most excellent Cocoa introduction Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X []

    When you're done with that one, skip on over and check out my defacto Cocoa bible, Cocoa Programming []. Just a fantastic book, application design reference and compilation of knowlege from many years of working with these frameworks.

    O'Reilly's Cocoa in a Nutshell [], the API listing you've been yearning for.

    Always remember to include Apple's own Cocoa developer pages. []

  • Cool, I'll have to submit my old college AI homework. Hope it still compiles.
  • pardon my ignorance.
  • by AvantLegion (595806) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @03:45PM (#8492443) Journal
    ME: I'm behind on my CompSci homework
    FRIEND: Behind on your homework? Brilliant!
    ME: No, not brilliant. Hey, I've got an idea.
    FRIEND: Brilliant!! ME: Hear the idea first! OK, so I've got an assignment due on A* pathfinding. Sooo, I'm gonna hold a programming competition and have everyone submit A* pathfinding programs to ME!
    FRIEND: Get unsuspecting programmers to write your homework for you?? .............. BRILLIANT!!

"When the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to treat everything as if it were a nail." -- Abraham Maslow