Obfuscated code

Tuesday 13 August 2002This is almost 21 years old. Be careful.

The annual 5K Contest has announced its winners. The contest calls for web content totalling less than 5120 bytes, but still does something compelling. The tagline of the contest is “An award for excellence in web design and production”, and I suppose it is that, but by imposing strict size constraints (as a way of challenging the entrant) it has also morphed into that time-honored coder’s tradition: the obfuscated code contest.

The original (or at least longest-running) obfuscated code contest is the International Obfuscated C Code Contest. It started because of the reputation C had for being unreadable in the first place, and because of the fun of trying to make it even more unreadable.

In 1993, in the same ironic spirit, one Obfuscated PostScript contest was held. I was lucky enough to win a second prize with my square-dance entry, an example of a parquet deformation (an Escher-like geometric construct, popularized by Douglas Hofstadter in his book Metamagical Themas):

output of square-dance.ps

Because the Obfuscated PostScript results don’t have a nice home like the C contest, I’ve made them available here in one zip file.


Thanks, I enjoy any and all metamorphesis.
I wrote this, I like specially the fact that is 136 bytes.

/j 4 selectfont 0 0 99999{2 copy moveto(*)show rand 7 mod 0 eq{[-.2 .2 .2 .2 9 9]}{[.9 -.2 .2 .9 99 199]}ifelse transform}repeat

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