Raging code announcement and report

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Raging Code; The Battle of Barcelona

Ge "ChucK" Wang vs Nick "nil" Collins

live coding bout

13 rounds of hard typing action till Code Out

For the disputed World Programming Federation Fingerweight Belt

(Turingsberry rules apply)

off-ICMC 2005

Weds 7th September, 23:15-23:45, Metrònom Foundation, Barcelona

http://www.icmc2005.org/off/eng/index.php

Supported by TOPLAP, www.toplap.org, 'big up arrow the live code massive'


Report:

(original script by Nick, some adapted improvisation by Gregory Taylor, our kind referee, and some real improvisation once we fought)

scene: a sweaty and humid gallery in downtown Barcelona, 7th Sept 2005.

Ref: Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm Max MSP.

Welcome to the 2005 Live Coding Championship Final for the disputed World Programming Federation Fingerweight Belt (hosted under the kind auspices of off-ICMC and Metronom).

Plato vs Aristotle, Mozart vs Clementi, Kasparov vs Deep Blue, Cause vs Effect...all of these are nothing compared to what you will witness tonight.

Pure. raw, unadulterated algorithm!

Two laptops, two screens, a fierce rivalry of programming communities...

They said we fixed fights, they said we are often silent for a long time before we make any noise, they said all this and more, but I'm here to tell you: it doesn't get any more algorithmic than this.

(rabble rouse etc, are you ready to rumble...)

In the ChucK corner, the ceaseless programmer, the man who doesn't sleep, the prince of Princeton, the Chef, We Gang!

(Ge enters stage right, towel around neck, chef's hat, ChucK partisans cheer)

In the SuperCollider corner, a controversial dualist from the previous WPFFB fight, he floats like a butterfly, stings like a b..b..cut... all the way from glorious Sweden, I give you...Click Nilson!

(Nick enters stage left wearing boxing gloves, SuperCollider partisans cheer)

Ge and Nick lock heads, separated by Greg, growl at each other.

Go to laptops.

Contest starts...


Some feedback from the bout (additional comments welcomed from those who were there, especially Ge- sorry if any of this sounds one sided):

David Wessel accurately observed that there was a lot of extra musical content, and was skeptical (like many of us) about the depth of programming possible under those pesky realtime constraints.

Ge had had 2 hours sleep in the previous 48 so wasn't at peak form, but still attempted to recompile ChucK during the concert, and led at the beginning via presets.

Nick was quiet at the beginning for about 7 minutes while he coded from scratch based on the Babylonian square root algorithm. Later on he used more preset material when Ge became quiet.

Inevitably there was much we could have done but forgot to because of the stresses of the audience. Personally I regret not doing a code out ending via infinite spawn loop or similar.

It was interesting that the audience actually expected a true alternation of gestures at the beginning. We could perhaps work more on this, with one coding while another plays. This would probably be v.difficult to do well without resorting to presets and some slight adaptation of those to circumstances.

We need to keep practising and force ourselves to get used to audience scrutiny. I'd practised every day for the week leading up but still performed somewhat worse than I'd hoped on the night. And it might be worth formalising some bout rules... for the moment, the bouts remain draws...