I have been doing the contest ( http://www.codechef.com/BTCD2013/ ) and
I am disappointed to say that I have never seen a poorer contest in the history of my programming contests experience.
Having said that, I would now list the reasons for such thoughts on my part.
Organizing a 10 days long contest and deciding ranks on the basis of penalty is completely illogical. Codechef long challenge has a partial points problems which decides the rankings, not the penalty. Long contests concept is itself to let the people take time and move towards the solutions slowly. Rankings on the basis of penalty in a long contest is illogicality at it’s worst.
This point will talk about constraints in some problems. Most of the problems had weak test cases. Constraints weren’t exploited at all. Some problems had stated the constraints completely off track. This is just against the spirit of competitive programming contests: procedural justice. I would not like to state here the problems name here.
The problems weren’t also of the required difficulty. One doesn’t simply have such easier problems for a 10 day long contest. If these guys were trying to emulate Codechef Long, they have completely lost the plot here. If such is not the case, they should have a look at the format of the Codechef Long Challenge.
Here are some suggestions from my side to the organisers:
If you are going for the 10 days contest, try having a partial points problem that will decide the rankings. If you people don’t have the required skills for writing such problems, try having a 3hrs/5hrs/24hrs contest.
Trying having some difficult problems, so that everyone’s tastes are satisfied.
Always exploit the constraints to the worst. Specify the constraints correctly. Try to find the wrong and inefficient solutions and check if your test cases can catch those wrong programs or not.
If you people don’t have the required skill for the above mentioned points, try hiring a problem setter and tester for the whole event. There are many enthusiasts who could do it.
I always expected something better than this from IIT GUWAHATI computer science department. This has been a complete betrayal and disappointment to all the participants.
Anyways, expecting a better organisation and better contest next year.
Any views and suggestions are welcome.
EDIT: Also the problems have been copied from internet. And the input files are also generated badly (not according to given format.)