Obfuscated C Winners Announced – iProgrammer

Obfuscated C Winners Announced
Written by Kay Ewbank   

The winners of the 27th International Obfuscated C Code Contest have been announced, and the source code for the winning entries is available to view and try.

The IOCCC is a C programming competition with a difference – the aim is to write a program that hides what it does so a casual ‘reader’ of the code wouldn’t guess what effect the code would have. This means you can write code that is as horrific as you like and still expect to win.

The competition asks you: 

  • To write the most Obscure/Obfuscated C program within the rules.
  • To show the importance of programming style, in an ironic way.
  • To stress C compilers with unusual code.
  • To illustrate some of the subtleties of the C language.
  • To provide a safe forum for poor C code. 🙂 

Winning entries are awarded a ‘category’, and these are amusing in their own right. Alongside things you might expect such as best one-liner and best utility, there are categories for most explosive code, most misleading indentation, and most head-turning. The ‘Don’t tread on me award’  was awarded to the snake game entry, while an enigma machine simulator won ‘Most enigmatic’. Other categories that made us laugh include least detailed and best abuse of CPP.

The 2020 contest was the 27th edition of IOCCC and the judges say that 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. Three of the other winners have written entries based on nostalgic games: Asteroids, Minesweeper, and Snake.

This is a competition like no other. Entries are anonymous, and no details are given of how many people entered. Competitors are encouraged to look for and make use of loopholes in the rules, and the whole thing feels like it’s for programmers and run by programmers rather than being worthy or having an aim of making lots of money from prizes. The entries are well worth checking out. If you are interested in joining in the 2021 contest watch http://www.ioccc.org/

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