Rails Hackfest 2007...What's going on?

Written by on Jan 22 2007

Some of you might know that there is a contest going right now for free admission and hotel at this years RailsConf. The Contest is sponsored by CD Baby as is stated what seems to be the official rules. (Screen capture bellow taken at 4:00 PM EST on 1/22/07.) If you look at the page you will see very clearly that it says "RailsConf is opening registration soon after January 22 – that’s why we have to make the Jan 22 cutoff date." And indeed it looked that way. Every morning the http://www.workingwithrails.com/contests/hackfest2007 site was updated to reflect the previous days contributions. But not this morning: this morning there was no listing, just a note saying that the contest is now closed and the winners would be announced soon. Around midday this changed back to display the current standings with a note at the top that says: "22nd Jan Update: Registration is still to be announced so the contest will continue to run until then." (Screen capture bellow.) First the rules say that RailsConf registration will be open after 1/22, so the contest ends on 1/22. And then the rules seem change to say that the contest will run until RailsConf registration opens.

What's going on? I tried to call Derek Sivers, founder and president of CD Baby, at the phone number listed, but I was told he was not in today, and to call back tomorrow, early. As you can see from the screen capture, as of today (and yesterday) I am number seven on the list, so I have a great interest in the outcome.

There are other problems: Today Rich Collins (currently in 20th place) posted this to the rails core email list. Which seems to imply that the points are not being calculated correctly. Jamie Quint (currently in 10th palce) posted this question to the core list yesterday. What is really interesting is the response by "Koz", Michael Koziarski, "nzkoz", one of the rails core members:

With the current score-keeping taking place, I'd err on the side of patches which are too large, lest one be accused of artificially driving up one's score. Are some scores to be changed because there content is not good enough? Or some people accused of cheating?

Are scores being calculated correctly? Does it matter if the scoring is wrong so long as it is the same scoring for all? Are some scores going to be changed without notice? Will CD Baby be buying more than twenty tickets to RailsConf? These are some of the questions I will be asking Derek Sivers tomorrow morning, early.

Screen captures: Working with rails 1/22/07 Offical rules of the contest


Hi I'm Steven,

I wrote the article you're reading... I lead the developers, write music, used to race motorcycles, and help clients find the right features to build on their product.

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