The Eleventh ICFP Programming Contest

Organized by:
Portland State University
University of Chicago
Tim Sheard John Reppy
Tim Chevalier Lars Bergstrom
Chuan-kai LinMike Rainey
Garrett MorrisAdam Shaw
Emerson Murphy-HillVirgil Gheorghiu

Andy Gill (University of Kansas)

What is this contest?

The ICFP programming contest is a an annual programming contest associated with the International Conference on Functional Programming.

Dates and task announcement

The contest ran Friday, July 11, 2008 — Monday, July 14, 2008.

We posted the contest task at 12:00 Noon (PDT) on July 11. Submissions closed at 12:00 Noon (PDT) on July 14. Note all times are local times for the west coast of North America (Pacific Daylight Savings time, which is UTC−7). Entrants from other localities should adjust to their own times.


We received 140 lightning round submissions and 336 regular round submissions.

The results are available! We announced the final results, including the names of the winning teams, at ICFP 2008 in Victoria, BC (September 22–24).

We have posted our slides from the announcement of winners at ICFP 2008. You can view them in the following ways:

We may (or may not) publish statistics about team size, programming languages used, and geographical distributions of teams at an earlier date; keep watching this web page.


We set up a wiki page for teams to post links to their solutions. A number of teams have added links to their solutions already. If you participated in the contest. feel free to add your own link there if you like.


If you participated in the contest, we want your feedback.

Contest task

The task description (PDF version) is still available. We have also made sample servers available for download.

The above links go to the authoritative version of the task description, but here is a mirror version in case things go awry.

Contest rules

The rules are available for reference.


The LiveCD image that may be helpful for contestants (but is not necessary) is now available.

Program submission

You can submit your program at the submission page. Details on how to package your submission are in the task description. The contest is over.


We attempted to maintain communication with entrants during the contest. We supplied several communication channels, each with a distinct purpose.

Frequently asked questions list

We compiled a frequently asked question list that we updated continually during the contest.

Issue tracker

We set up an automated issue tracker, which you can still browse to see what questions were asked during the contest. In addition, if you still have questions for the organizers at this point, you may submit them to the tracker (but please read the FAQ first.)

The issue tracker is viewable by anybody, so don't ask a question there if you don't want the whole World Wide Web to see it (for example, if it gives away details of your team's solution.)

Contest email address

For questions you would prefer to ask privately, email Please try to reserve this for questions that really must be private. It is easiest for us when questions are recorded in the issue tracker.

Contest mailing list

We provided a contest mailing list for discussion among contestants. The mailing list archives will remain available.

IRC channel

We set up an IRC channel: #icfp-contest on The channel was staffed during the contest, and is still open for discussion among contestants.

RSS feeds

We set up an RSS feed for the contest home page,for easy tracking of changes.

There was an RSS feed for the contest mailing list as well, for those who preferred not to be subscribed to a mailing list.

Previous contests

The ICFP Programming Contest has been running since 1998. Here are the previous contest sites: