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MIX Judging

I was recently honored to be asked to be a judge for the MIX 10k Smart Coding Challenge, running in conjunction with Microsoft’s MIX conference.  The idea is to create a really great web application that totals no more than 10KB in its unzipped state.

Why did I agree to participate?  As much as I’d like to say “fat sacks of cash“, that wasn’t it at all.  (Mostly due to the distinct lack of cash, sacked or otherwise.  Sad face.)  The contest’s entry requirements actually say it for me.  In excerpted form:

  • The entry MUST use one or more of the following technologies: Silverlight, Gestalt or HTML5…
  • The entry MUST function in 3 or more of the following browsers: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera, or Chrome…
  • The entry MAY use any of the following additional technology components…
    • CSS
    • JavaScript
    • XAML/XML
    • Ruby
    • Python
    • Text, Zip and Image files (e.g. png, jpg or gif)

Dig that:  not only is the contest open to HTML 5 submissions, but it has to be cross-browser compatible.  Okay, technically it only has to be three-out-of-five compatible, but still, that’s a great contest requirement.  Also note that while IE is one of the five, it is not a required one of the five.

I imagine there will be a fair number of Silverlight and Gestalt entries, and I might look at them, but I’m really there—was really asked—because of the HTML 5 entries.  By which I mean the open web entries, since any HTML 5 entry is also going to use CSS, JavaScript, and so on.

The downside here is that the contest ends in just one week, at 3pm U.S. Pacific time on 29 January.  I know that time is tight, but if you’ve got a cool HTML 5-based application running around in your head, this just might be the time to let it out.

Five Responses»

    • #1
    • Comment
    • Fri 22 Jan 2010
    • 1552
    Beth wrote in to say...

    Very susprised and happy to see they didn’t limit eligibility to MS proprietary technologies!

    • #2
    • Comment
    • Fri 22 Jan 2010
    • 2147
    Scott Reynen wrote in to say...

    It’s not clear to me from reading the rules, are AJAX calls allowed?

    • #3
    • Comment
    • Fri 22 Jan 2010
    • 2324
    Nate Bundy wrote in to say...

    You know, maybe it’s just the cynic in me and I’m being stupid, but somehow I think Microsoft is going to try and turn this into a “look how much better Silverlight apps are than everything else for less size” kind of deal.

    Think of the amount of CSS and images needed to make a nice web interface. Yes, some very clever design and you can get a very nice looking interface with next to no images, but Silverlight has a bunch of extra interface stuff included in their package that won’t count toward the 10K.

    Hopefully I’m wrong, and I suppose there is enough CSS3 in 3 out of the 5 browsers that perhaps it would be easier to pull some things off than I think.

    • #4
    • Comment
    • Sat 23 Jan 2010
    • 1035
    Eric Meyer wrote in to say...

    Beth: same here, which is why I agreed to be a judge.

    Scott: I don’t know myself, but I think the answer is yes.

    Nate: it’s possible that you’re right. On the other hand, if they take that tack, lots of people will point out what you’re saying about the interface stuff in the package and so on. Very likely I’d be among them. There could even be a counter-contest: what can you build with standards that’s smaller than the Silverlight package? That might be a lot of fun, actually…

    • #5
    • Comment
    • Sat 23 Jan 2010
    • 2012
    Molly wrote in to say...

    Microsoft is showing a lot of interest regarding HTML5. I’ll be doing a full-day workshop at MIX and clearly Eric’s involvement in this is positive – to be honest, quite a few standards evangelists have been involved with MIX over the years. The conference really does try to “mix it up” as the name implies.

    What’s more, there are several very strong open standards-oriented people at Microsoft. I know we all remain frustrated with IE6, but at least the company is keeping more open than a few of its “competitors.”

    In re: AJAX – specifically if you’re using XMLHttpRequest, you might recall that this was introduced by Microsoft in Internet Explorer 4.0 and made freely available for the W3C to spec out.

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