[updated 23/09/11] New XCore competition - have your say!

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phalt
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[updated 23/09/11] New XCore competition - have your say!

Postby phalt » Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:54 am

The XMOS web team have noticed a decline in Pass the Parcel activity over the past few months, so much so on some days only 1 or 2 passes are made!

For example: the Monday Madness parcel is 17 passes away from being won and has only climbed 4 passes in the past month.

Considering over 512 passes are now needed for some parcels to be won, we have decided that something has to be done to save it from becoming a stale, useless prize as the number of passes will only ever get bigger and bigger.

Therefore we'd like to hear your ideas about new competitions you'd like to see on XCore and also what prizes you'd like to win!

We're opening the board to any suggestion you have as you'll be the one with a chance of winning stuff!

Do you want to keep the Pass the Parcel, reset the count, or have you got a better idea?

UPDATE - 23/09/2011

I'm writing down a list of things that I'll present at our next web team meeting as ideas and suggestions from the community. So far I have:
  • Software and hardware separate competitions
  • Dev kits as prizes for software
  • Alternative prizes or an amount, such as $100 of xmos kit for winners of more advanced competitions
  • Better rewards for github and tutorials wiki contribution
  • Smaller, more frequent prizes such as xmos swag
  • Different level competitions so everyone can enter
  • Previous winner picks new competition to add some variety
Anything else you'd like me to add?
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phalt
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Postby phalt » Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:02 pm

I'd personally like to see a "solve the problem" style competition where people can submit solutions on XMOS hardware or XC to solve puzzles each week / month.
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Folknology
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Postby Folknology » Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:15 pm

Yeah I think prizes for XS1 based opensource software and/or hardware would be a good idea. Kind of combining POTM and parcels. As for setting constraints or guides that may be helpful or maybe not, often constraints are good as long as they don't strangle creativity. They also need to be either practical or entertaining/educational. I also would not constrain it to say XC either, C/C++ and ASM should also be equal candidates or even mixtures therein.

* I also think its important to allow software and not just hardware as it makes it easier for folks to get involved that don't yet have hardware by using the simulator for example.


regards
Al
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Interactive_Matter
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Postby Interactive_Matter » Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:31 pm

Yes,

again I am completely with folknology.

I think you need prices to draw newbies to the platform.

But to really bring the community forward we need rewards for open source components and projects. So why not give away dev kits for Projects of the Month which fulfill certain requirements (project is open source, software and hardware availlable). Or for great software components which are on github.

I think dev kits as prices is a good principle. For smaller rewards I would also take XMOS schwag to show my XMOS-love ;)
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Bianco
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Postby Bianco » Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:40 pm

Interactive_Matter wrote:Yes,

again I am completely with folknology.

I think you need prices to draw newbies to the platform.

But to really bring the community forward we need rewards for open source components and projects. So why not give away dev kits for Projects of the Month which fulfill certain requirements (project is open source, software and hardware availlable). Or for great software components which are on github.

I think dev kits as prices is a good principle. For smaller rewards I would also take XMOS schwag to show my XMOS-love ;)
Project of the month is already rewarded with a dev kit
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Folknology
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Postby Folknology » Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:07 pm

I think Xmos dev kits are good prizes for some challenges (especially for newbies who don't yet own hardware), they are less attractive however for more established participants. In this case the reward would need to be tailored for participants that likely already own Xmos hardware. It would also depend on what the purpose of the 'parcel' is, if it is to get xmos hardware into newbie hands then tailoring it around dev kits makes sense. If however its about solving perhaps more complex software/hardware XS1 issues like creating a bit banged medium speed usb library then a more substantial prize would be in order. In fact Microchip are currently offering cash prizes for open source USB and TCP/IP libraries and this may be the way that Xmos needs to go, it really depends on the real purpose of these competitions.

regards
Al
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Interactive_Matter
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Postby Interactive_Matter » Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:09 pm

Bianco wrote: Project of the month is already rewarded with a dev kit

I should RTFM, sorry ;)
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Bianco
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Postby Bianco » Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:16 pm

Folknology wrote:I think Xmos dev kits are good prizes for some challenges (especially for newbies who don't yet own hardware), they are less attractive however for more established participants. In this case the reward would need to be tailored for participants that likely already own Xmos hardware. It would also depend on what the purpose of the 'parcel' is, if it is to get xmos hardware into newbie hands then tailoring it around dev kits makes sense. If however its about solving perhaps more complex software/hardware XS1 issues like creating a bit banged medium speed usb library then a more substantial prize would be in order. In fact Microchip are currently offering cash prizes for open source USB and TCP/IP libraries and this may be the way that Xmos needs to go, it really depends on the real purpose of these competitions.

regards
Al
Well to be honest i think that the price ($1000) that microchip gives for a fully ported, tested and semi-documented TCP/IP stack is a totally joke!
They are just looking for cheap labour and a PR stunt. They have a lot to gain with it and yet they don't put a few employees on it.
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Bianco
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Postby Bianco » Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:46 pm

phalt wrote:The XMOS web team have noticed a decline in Pass the Parcel activity over the past few months, so much so on some days only 1 or 2 passes are made!

For example: the Monday Madness parcel is 17 passes away from being won and has only climbed 4 passes in the past month.

Considering over 512 passes are now needed for some parcels to be won, we have decided that something has to be done to save it from becoming a stale, useless prize as the number of passes will only ever get bigger and bigger.

Therefore we'd like to hear your ideas about new competitions you'd like to see on XCore and also what prizes you'd like to win!

We're opening the board to any suggestion you have as you'll be the one with a chance of winning stuff!

Do you want to keep the Pass the Parcel, reset the count, or have you got a better idea?
From my understanding each time someone wins, the number of passes for the next winner is increased (doubled or ^2 or so). This of course can't hold. What if we stop with increasing the number of passes and put it to a number where on average there will be a winner in 2-4 weeks.
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phalt
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Postby phalt » Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:50 pm

I also think its important to allow software and not just hardware as it makes it easier for folks to get involved that don't yet have hardware by using the simulator for example.
I've wanted to focus on some software-based competition for this exact reason: it'll encourage new people to join because they don't need to buy any kits to enter.
But to really bring the community forward we need rewards for open source components and projects. So why not give away dev kits for Projects of the Month which fulfill certain requirements (project is open source, software and hardware availlable). Or for great software components which are on github.
We've already launched the Open Source Contributor award for stuff like this but I agree that we could do more to help encourage it.
For smaller rewards I would also take XMOS schwag to show my XMOS-love
Oh we've got plenty of swag which we could start throwing in for smaller prizes.
In fact Microchip are currently offering cash prizes for open source USB and TCP/IP libraries and this may be the way that Xmos needs to go, it really depends on the real purpose of these competitions.
Cash prizes are not something we've considered, but you make a good case for it. I'll definitely bring it forward.

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