Obfuscated Perl Contest

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The Obfuscated Perl Contest was a competition for programmers of Perl which was held annually between 1996 and 2000. Entrants to the competition aim to write "devious, inhuman, disgusting, amusing, amazing, and bizarre Perl code" [1]. It was run by The Perl Journal and took its name from The International Obfuscated C Code Contest.[2]



The entries are judged on aesthetics, output and incomprehensibility. One entrant per year will gain the Best of Show award. Entrants are advised to try and demonstrate a range of Perl knowledge, whilst being humorous, surprising and deceitful. Code which purposefully crashes the judges' machines is not recommended.

The competition is typically divided into four categories, which, in the most recent contest, included:

  • Create a diversion (limit of 2048 bytes if using Perl/Tk, 512 bytes otherwise)
  • World Wide Wasteland (limit of 512 bytes)
  • Inner Beauty (limit of 512 bytes)
  • Best The Perl Journal (code which generates the words The Perl Journal, limit of 256 bytes)

See also


  1. Perl Journal link You may need to subscribe to the Perl Journal to be able to view this link, which is the source of the quote given.[dead link]
  2. Simon Cozens (2005). Advanced Perl Programming. O'Reilly. pp. 256. ISBN 0596004567. 

Further reading

  • Jon Orwant (2003). "Obfuscated Perl". Games, Diversions, and Perl Culture. O'Reilly. pp. 487–521. ISBN 0596003129.  — reprints of the announcements, made in The Perl Journal by Felix S. Gallo, of the Zeroth, First, Third, Fourth, and Fifth contests

External links

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