The Eulora Millenium of Code Challenge

Wednesday, 13 April, Year 8 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

Motto: Because the Summer's not enough!

An idle discussioni in #euloraii turned vicious suddenly, as it now and again happens in the beloved Republic. As a direct result, we are opening this Millenium of Code Challenge.

To participate, one must be teaching a course in Computer Scienceiii in some sort of organised manneriv and in the English languagev. To participate - please join #eulora on Freenode and briefly state what you aim to do. We will need some basic information about your teaching interests, style, favoured methods and so on - links to profile pages are perfectly adequate sources.

All that's really needed is an opener, we'll go from there, and work together to tailor a program that satisfies all your needs while respecting whatever hard limits you may find yourself constrained by - all the while giving the students something worthwhile to do that they also enjoy doing, and that will put them in a position to truly participate in shaping the future of computer code.

What more could anyone want ?

  1. Reproduced below :

    mircea_popescu I have to say, from a dev perspective, I'm quite very pleased with the linguistic ambiguity in Eulora.
    diana_coman Linguisitc ambiguity?

    mircea_popescu What I mean is, if you regard playing the game as programming in a language, which is ~exactly~ what it is, then it stands to reason fun correlates with polysemy. In the trivial case, absent polysemy clearly reduces to boring.
    diana_coman Ah, yes, for sure.

    mircea_popescu I suppose old/new mining styles clearly illustrate this point.
    diana_coman And yes, new mining style is certainly more interesting and at the same time waaaay more confusing, lol.

    mircea_popescu While it's directly obvious what simple signs mean ("blueprint" - need this in your head to craft etc), it is extremely ambiguous what composite signs mean. ("high quality blueprint" = what is this for ???).
    diana_coman To be honest without my previous maps I am not entirely sure what it would look like.

    mircea_popescu Ask a noob lol.
    diana_coman They seem to either get into programming (hey, should tell tell that to Universities or something) or otherwise kind of vanish?

    mircea_popescu Yeah! DicePower, then alikim ... speaking of which hey DicePower how's the thing coming along lol. But thinking about it Eulora is quite the antigame huh. Nice.
    diana_coman Really, guess games DO get people into programming - if not the way "experts" claim (i.e. stupid reward-chart-style "motivation").

    mircea_popescu Aha. just as long as they're any good (the games ; the people).
    diana_coman As always I suppose.

    mircea_popescu But in any case that's a brilliant idea - S.MG marketing effort for Eulora should first of all be Uni outreach. We have to think on this.
    diana_coman I have been turning this around in my mind for a while, especially since there is now all this interest in GSOC and mentoring and the like.

    mircea_popescu We should talk to the Computer Science departments, and have little events or other purpose-made extensions to accommodate their semester needs.
    diana_coman I'm not yet 100% fully clear on the best way to move it. This is why I mentioned GSOC thing, it basically fits another thing, on which Borenstein is quite active i.e. using OS projects as part of a semester course and such.

    mircea_popescu It all seems very directly applicable and highly beneficial. Teacher could require the kids to get registered with deedbot as an intro task ; then give some scripting or whatever other tasks for credit. The project certainly exposes almost everything in computing, and allows a lot of flexibility really. Teacher could construct alternate paths, such as one large monolithic item ("make a text-based client for Eulora"), or a succession of connected or disjointed smaller tasks to suit the needs (Such as alikim gave himself, "reskin the client interface"), interests and learning styles of many different types of students.
    diana_coman They already do this kind of thing with open source projects (which is exactly what the Eulora client is).

    mircea_popescu Yeah.
    diana_coman The only hitch there is the fact that normally they want a mentor, and that would for Eulora, lol.

    mircea_popescu Or jurov I guess, possibly another coupla people understand enough of it to mentor, at least first line.
    diana_coman I could even drop some emails to people at unis, but I gotta have some clear idea on this first.

    mircea_popescu In fact, mentoring is not much of a problem for us because of this irc channel. Questions will get answered - and fast, as they always do - without needing the specific commitment of "mentor". Just, if nobody answered by the time you see it you can answer yourself, and that means we can guarantee same-day response 90% of the time.
    diana_coman Also true.

    mircea_popescu No mentor ever worked this well, it's bulky email and takes a week.
    diana_coman Anyway, answers same day is uncharacteristically fast for sure, from what I saw.

    mircea_popescu Yeah as far as I know.
    diana_coman Some unfortunate students caught in this kind of situation were getting one answer per week on average.

    mircea_popescu Exactly! God help you if you have three questions.
    diana_coman Yeah (I happen to know quite a bit on this as my professional interests veered this way recently for reasons we won't be getting into.)

    mircea_popescu Plus you know, much unlike the email-based mentor thing, which is very straight pipe so to speak, the irc model here is very funnel like. If you have 1`000 easily answered questions you get to ask those 1`000 and get 1`000 answers within hours. The half dozen truly complex questions you might produce are liable to take longer, but the fact that it was ok to ask the thousand really is what you wanted anyway. The rest - who knows, you end up in the FAQ, or hired!
    diana_coman I know there are also calls for mentors as such, and as I was saying , this Borenstein guy is very active so not a problem to contact; I don't know him personally though; but on the other hand I know others who can surely recommend some good students too.

    mircea_popescu Yeah, the more I think about it the more it is obvious this is the way to go.
    diana_coman What kept me a bit thinking on it rather than blurting it out earlier is that I know for a fact that Planeshift DID have an offering at one of the GSOC events - precisely on programmatic dungeon generation too. From what I could tell it did not take off at all.

    mircea_popescu In my view that project was very poorly managed.
    diana_coman Then again, who knows what they did there exactly.

    mircea_popescu So I wouldn't really regard their experience with anything as all that informative.
    diana_coman I saw only the call and that it did not do anything basically. More of casting a doubt re GSOC itself, but as I said, GSOC is just one thing and to be honest I am not that fond of Google anyway.

    mircea_popescu I don't see that something event-driven like summer of code is central anyway. Relationships with Computer Science departments in Universities are by far preferable. I'd much rather have a good teacher know that he can rely on our process, and iron it out over a decade, than get the fleeting attention of a bunch of hyper 20yos.
    diana_coman Aha.

    Or if you prefer it in its original form and context, the channel is logged. (Mind that we say things like "fuck" in channel, and also don't capitalize properly.) []

  2. Here's a brief Who's Who :

    • #eulora is the IRC channel of Eulora. It lives on Freenode, home of most FOSS development.
    • Eulora is an open source 1, linux-based 2 MMORPG with a Bitcoin-based Real Cash Economy released by Minigame.
    • Minigame, trading on MPEx as S.MG is a game publisher that famously raised a significant amount of capital to bring to market Bitcoin-related games.
    • MPEx is today, as has always been throughout its history and the history of the Bitcoin project, the nerve center of all Bitcoin business. Market-valued in excess of one billion US dollars in 2013, it went private in a recent transaction worth 499`866.44069614 BTC.
    • B,TMSR~ (aka TMSR, The Republic, La Serenissima) is a supernational organisation that claims sovereignity over all other groups, organisations or entities no matter how defined or organised. May be terrorist in nature.

    1 The client source is open, and free to modify - we actually encourage players to do just that, and there are multiple cases of players that ended up part of the dev team, owners of stock options etc on the basis of their contributions / modifications to the client code. The server code is closed source. This is necessary to maintain the fun aspect of the game in all its intricate complexities, and not likely to ever change.

    2 Windows and Mac binaries are also made available, as a corporate-sponsored community-driven effort.

  3. Whatever may be your definition of Computer Science, as long as it has something to do with somehow programming a computer - as opposed to merely thinking about it or talking about it - your definition will work for us.

    There is (as the linked conversation plainly points out) ample space for other departments (most obviously, Econ and Lit Crit, but in the future certainly Biology for instance) to participate. We are in principle open to supporting this, but because particular skills and abilities are required on the part of faculty to even understand the importance of the opportunity available, skills and abilities in general absent from such faculties, we prefer to allow these to grow on their own.

    In short - if you understand what an educational goldmine this is we will definitely support you, whatever your department ; but if you do not we're definitely not going to waste resources on "convincing" or otherwise educating you - for one thing it's really your job, and for the other thing resources are finite and we prefer to use them where they produce best results. []

  4. We're consummate meritocrats - as long as you and your students are competent, we really do not care in the slightest what bureaucrats in some office or other have to say on any topic whatsoever. []
  5. Unfortunately we lack yet the resources to support other languages. Hopefully time will remedy this matter, so check back later! []
Category: S.MG
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2 Responses

  1. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Saturday, 20 August 2016

    A fine example :

  1. [...] MPOE-PR aka hanbot retained to do marketing for S.MG ; we're working on a large scale project derived from discussion around The Eulora Millenium of Code Challenge. [...]

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