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ANN: Open Source (Python) Design Competition

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Greg Wilson

Jan 15, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/15/00
[Note: Python's own Guido van Rossum will be one of the judges,
and all implementations are to be written in (or at least scripted
with) Python! The project coordinator, Greg Wilson, will be at
IPC8 in Washington with more news...]

Los Alamos National Laboratory CodeSourcery, LLC

Software Carpentry

Open Source Design Competition

$100,000 in Prizes!


The Software Carpentry project is pleased to announce its first Open
Source design competition, with prizes totaling $100,000. Students
and professionals from any country, working individually or in teams,
are invited to submit design outlines for:

* a platform inspection tool to replace autoconf;

* a dependency management tool to replace make;

* an issue tracking system to replace gnats and Bugzilla; and

* a unit and regression testing harness with the functionality of
XUnit, Expect, and DejaGnu.

The best four entries in each category will be awarded $2500, and
invited to submit full designs by June 1, 2000. The best design in
each category will then receive an additional $7500, while runners-up
will each receive $2500. Once winning designs have been announced,
$200,000 will be available through open bidding for implementation,
testing, and documentation.

Participants may submit separate entries in one or more categories by
March 31, 2000. Entries must be in English, and no more than 5000
words long. For more information, see the Software Carpentry web site
at All of the project's work will
be Open Source; all tools will be written in, or scriptable with,
Python, and will be required to run on both Linux and Microsoft
Windows NT.

The competition will be judged by a panel that includes the following
noted software developers, authors, and computational scientists:

Stephen Adler (Brookhaven National Laboratory)
Frank Alexander (Los Alamos National Laboratory)
Donnie Barnes (Red Hat)
Chris DiBona (VA Linux)
Paul Dubois (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)
Andrew Hunt (Pragmatic Programmers, LLC)
Stephen R. Lee (Los Alamos National Laboratory)
Josh MacDonald (University of California, Berkeley)
Brian Marick (Reliable Software Technologies)
Doug Mewhort (Queen's University)
Bruce Perens (co-founder of the Open Source Initiative)
Dave Thomas (Pragmatic Programmers, LLC)
Jon Udell (author of Practical Internet Groupware)
Guido van Rossum (inventor of Python)
Tom Van Vleck (TransIlluminant)
Phil Wadler (Bell Labs)
Scot Wingo (AuctionRover)


The Software Carpentry project is sponsored by the Advanced Computing
Laboratory at the U.S. Department of Energy's Los Alamos National
Laboratory (, and administered by
CodeSourcery, LLC ( The project's aim is
to encourage adoption of better software development practices by
making software tools easier to use, and by documenting design,
testing, and related activities. For more information on the project,
or to let us know that you intend to submit a proposal, see, or mail

John W. Stevens

Jan 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM1/21/00
Greg Wilson wrote:
> * a unit and regression testing harness with the functionality of
> XUnit, Expect, and DejaGnu.

For anybody who is interested in this:

I have a Python C extension that does "Expect" like stuff based on pcre
that was developed for the purpose of replacing DejaGnu.

Email if you want it, or want to team up on this kind of project. . .


If I spoke for HP --- there probably wouldn't BE an HP!

John Stevens

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