Back to index
Last updated: 21 February 2021 (complete changelog since 26 July 2020)

On 26 July 2020 it came to my attention that two of my 2020 IOCCC entries have won! I'm very very happy and incredibly proud. This brings my total to three now. The following tweets by the judges are of significance:

Also the who won page on the official IOCCC website.

I am very very happy and very very proud and that's an understatement! I find it fitting that the 'Most enigmatic' one would be given that award because I suspected that if I won that one then it would be given that award exactly. The other one I didn't expect the award title and it made me think of another entry - but after thinking a bit more it occurred to me exactly which one it is; I'm happy it's that one as I had A LOT of fun writing it (first one I worked on - last year) and the feature set is incredible and overall it's a lot of fun.

Below I have general thoughts and comments about my entries and the 27th IOCCC and I'll eventually have comments on the other winning entries. Meanwhile the following pages have information on the respective entry. I don't have much information for now as I have other worries on my mind but I will eventually include all the extra material (I hope!).

Additional dedication

Due to some unfortunate circumstances surrounding the new method of publication of the winning entries for the time being one person was left out of the dedication; I have fixed this in the hint.text files but last I checked the index.html files did not have it added. Thus I wanted to include the dedication here which is the same in both entries:

I also want to dedicate this to Vicky Wilmore who has given me a lot of love the past few years and who was there for me in some very dark times. Thank you Vicky sweetheart from the bottom of my heart and soul xxx

You mean the world to me Vicky and I cannot thank you enough for all the love and kindness and compassion since I met you in early 2017. Bless you sweetie <3

General thoughts (New: 09 Jan 2021)

Whereas my two winning entries have their own subdirectory here I have general comments about my entries (including some comments from other winners) and I will have my thoughts on the winning entries eventually.

I first want to thank the other winners for their wonderful comments. Although one of the below is primarily about the Enigma entry it's also a general thing about the IOCCC so I have it here. I will have other comments about entries in particular at the respective page. After these thanks in time I will have my comments on the entries that won beside mine.

Yusuke Endoh's comments on my Enigma simulator (New: 09 Jan 2021)

Yusuke Endoh - who's won more entries in the entire contest than anyone else - made me feel even better about my Enigma simulator; he took my happiness and pride to another level and in ways that he could not possibly have known when doing so. I want to share it here because it really is something I am incredibly happy and proud about, and I want to extend my appreciation and thanks here too (even though he probably will never see it!). Too many years in my life would I hide in the shadows and not accept my abilities etc. and in recent years that's changed and so basically I'm sharing because I'm proud. Here's what he had to say with the comments I said in reply to that original email.

The context is that he asked the judges and me (since I mentioned the entry he inquired about in my remarks) about the 1992 Nathan entry that isn't the correct version due to a US government encryption restriction (see the entry in question for more details at 1992/nathan.hint (source file) (both open in a new tab/window). Anyway it has to do with encryption where he wrote that he thought it uses an Enigma style encryption (I clarified that the Enigma system is more complicated) and is a hello world program. To that this is what Yusuke said with my replies in between his:

To say I'm proud is a huge understatement, really, and the same can be said for the happiness he added to my then current pride and happiness, about the entry.

Dave Burton's comments on my double-win

Dave Burton also made me very happy and proud. He's won a number of times and here too there's some background context. In 2018 I said it was an honour to win beside the veterans. He included me in that and I then clarified. Now this year for my Snake entry in particular I had made an alternate version that allows for customising another colour (in the published version it was the walls, the snake head and body). Since the judges allow for us to move the prog.c to prog.orig.c if we wish to make any changes I just did that for the customising the bug colour. But this went over the iocccsize limit (rule 2b). Dave pointed that some might call foul over this; I had actually thought of this so I decided to make use of the Makefile alternate target: prog.orig.c returned to be prog.c and the prog.c (the updated version) became prog.alt.c. Then Dave sent this to me:

That is obviously very special to me too! Other winners said some wonderful things and one in particular had a lot to say on my Snake entry but that will have to come another day.

The judges comments on some of the entries

Of course the judges also have comments about some of the entries and I happen to be mentioned in one of my entries directly and both indirectly both of which bring my pride up further though in one of them it's also a warning for the future (and it was done me indeed yet also happy about it). For the comments on some of the entries they wrote this:

Remarks on some of the winners

This year’s Best of Show (carlini) is such a novel way of obfuscation that it would be worth of a special mention in the (future) Best of IOCCC list!

For some reason, this year’s set of winners contains three nostalgic games, Asteroids (tsoj), Minesweeper (endoh1), and Snake (ferguson1).

An entry (kurdyukov1) pays homage to a previous winner (2015/hou).

...We’ll stop spouting spoilers now. Have fun exploring all the entries!

On my behalf - and the other winners too - I totally agree with the judges on the Best of Show deserving a special mention in the future Best of IOCCC list! It's brilliant! But of course it's nice to get a special mention for one of my entries too.

The other one that's something of a warning to future entries has to do with digraphs:

Final Comments

One more thing that feels dated is digraphs and trigraphs.

Both of my entries used digraphs heavily and no other entry used them. This was in part to balance the formatting but it cannot be denied it can really mess up some beautifiers. However they have spoken and if I use them again it will be very sparingly and cautiously. Still it's an honour in a way to be the cause for this message from the judges - much like them removing a question about a huge number in their guidelines, in 2019, after my 2018 winning entry answered it and one of its Easter eggs happened to use it.

Double-layered Chocolate Fudge Cake Recipe (New: 09 Jan 2021)

What's this about? Well it's quite simple: because the judges love chocolate I included a recipe for a delicious double-layered chocolate fudge cake that is a speciality of my mum's in my entries. As the judges said most of us could use such cake and so they linked to the file of the recipe. Now there are two versions though. What about the versions?

For the Enigma entry I thought it should be scrambled with the entry itself; giving a set of keys I thought it could be a fun way to explore the entry itself and in so doing unlock a wonderful recipe. However since the other entry won too I might as well link to the first version here. Please pay special attention to all the notes. They're very important.

Should you want to explore the Enigma entry see the recode.html and index.html at the winning entry link here.