The 1999 ICFP Programming Contest

Norman Ramsey and Kevin Scott

The International Conference on Functional Programming (ICFP) sponsors an annual programming contest. We ran the contest held from September 2 to September 5, 1999. The contest is primarily for fun, but it also serves two serious purposes: to show how functional languages can help people solve hard problems quickly, and to provide a ``reality check'' by comparing programs written in functional languages to programs written using the more popular imperative and object-oriented paradigms. The contest is open to all, and entrants may use any programming language---the only limitation is that entries must work on a Pentium running Linux.

This 11-page paper describes the contest problem, the contestants, and four prize-winning solutions. It is available as US Letter PostScript (206K), US Letter TeX DVI (69K),