Quizmaster Retiring: Revenge of the Sith


#1

Sorry for the dorky subject line…

A bit over a year ago, mid-November of 2007, James G. announced he
was retiring as the Ruby Q. master. He had run the quiz for nearly
three years, a wonderful achievement enjoyed by many Rubyists here.

Almost a year ago, mid-February of 2008, I began an attempt to follow
in his footsteps. Sad to say, though, I only lasted about 10 months.
As of now, I need to retire from running the Ruby Q…

When I started, I had made some changes in my personal life (incl.
quitting my job) that allowed me the time to write up quizzes and
summaries every week. However, nearly a year later, my personal
circumstances have changed again, and I will be unable to dedicate the
time necessary to run further Ruby Q.zes. Some of this has already
manifested by way of skipped weeks and late quizzes/submissions.

Hopefully, I’ve done reasonably well following James’ incredible
effort. I also hope that, perhaps, there will be another quizmaster to
take up from where I left off. I certainly hope so; I may not be able
to run the quiz any longer, but I’d still love to participate in some
of the lighter quizzes to follow.

Apologies to everyone that I must step down, but also many thanks to
everyone for participating and making RQ2 very enjoyable.

– Matthew M.

P.S. For those who would consider taking the reigns, I can provide the
Ruby scripts (cgi, not Rails) used to run the current site at
<http://splatbang.com/rubyquiz/

. As for hosting, I am open to several possibilities.


#2

On Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 08:37:31AM +0900, Matthew M. wrote:

Sorry for the dorky subject line…

A bit over a year ago, mid-November of 2007, James G. announced he was
retiring as the Ruby Q. master. He had run the quiz for nearly three
years, a wonderful achievement enjoyed by many Rubyists here.

Almost a year ago, mid-February of 2008, I began an attempt to follow in
his footsteps. Sad to say, though, I only lasted about 10 months. As of
now, I need to retire from running the Ruby Q…

I wish I had time to take over, but I want to say that I appreciate your
effort! I hope someone will pick this up because I like reading the
Ruby Q.!


#3

On Jan 14, 2009, at 5:37 PM, Matthew M. wrote:

Hopefully, I’ve done reasonably well following James’ incredible
effort.

I think you did a great job. I know how hard it is! Thanks for the
great sacrifices.

James Edward G. II


#4

On Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 12:37 AM, Matthew M. removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

Almost a year ago, mid-February of 2008, I began an attempt to follow in his
footsteps. Sad to say, though, I only lasted about 10 months. As of now, I
need to retire from running the Ruby Q…

Hi Matthew,

Thanks for running the quiz, you did a great job !!
I’ve always enjoyed the quiz even though most of the time I didn’t
have enough time to work on a solution (two little kids take too much
of my free time). When I did have the time I enjoyed it a lot. I hope
somebody will take over so we can give continuity to this great asset
of the Ruby community. Unfortunately I don’t have the time or
knoweldge to run this kind of thing…

So again thanks for running the quiz.

Jesus.


#5

How about a ‘quiz’ group with a group leader rather than a single
quizmaster. Suppose there are n people in the group. Each person
then is responsible for at least a quiz every n weeks (if you want to
continue weekly). The group leader maintains any pool of additional
quizzes that come in for lean weeks where a quiz might be missing, and
determines which quiz from the group gets shoved out each week… or
even go to monthly quizzes?

Seems a more sustainable/scalable approach.

Ron.


#6

On Jan 15, 2009, at 4:49 AM, Ron F. wrote:

How about a ‘quiz’ group with a group leader rather than a single
quizmaster. Suppose there are n people in the group. Each person
then is responsible for at least a quiz every n weeks (if you want
to continue weekly). The group leader maintains any pool of
additional quizzes that come in for lean weeks where a quiz might be
missing, and determines which quiz from the group gets shoved out
each week… or even go to monthly quizzes?

Seems a more sustainable/scalable approach.

My personal experience with groups on the Internet is that they
generally don’t work for a situation such as this. It takes a certain
amount of hard work and dedication to keep things going; the usual
result is one or two people doing most of the work anyway, but also
spending time badgering or attempting to motivate the others with
little success. It is often difficult enough to find one dedicated
person… but finding a group of them?

That said, I am certainly not against a group of people contributing
to Ruby Q., but really… as I will not be running it anymore, that
would be left to the quizmaster (i.e. “group leader”) who follows me.
If he can find a group of N people who each regularly contribute a
quiz every N-th week, more power to him and them. But you still need
someone – a group leader, as you say – to manage the whole.

Likewise, it may be an easier task to do quizzes only monthly, or
every other week. I certainly have skipped weeks when I was behind
schedule or overburdened. Again, that’s a detail that my successor(s)
can set either as the rule or the exception.


#7

On Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 5:49 AM, Ron F. removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

Ron.

Almost a year ago, mid-February of 2008, I began an attempt to follow in
Hopefully, I’ve done reasonably well following James’ incredible effort.

NSCL
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1321

Although I am just a Ruby Apprentice, I like the idea of a “quiz group”. I
can also give it a try if no volunteer is found, to run the weekly quiz.
As
long as I am not expected to solve the quiz myself (remember, I am a
light
weight Ruby learner) I would be happy to feel the vacuum until someone
more
experience takes it over.
Regards,


#8

On Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 9:47 AM, Ruby S.
removed_email_address@domain.invalidwrote:

quizzes?

A bit over a year ago, mid-November of 2007, James G. announced he was
circumstances have changed again, and I will be unable to dedicate the
everyone for participating and making RQ2 very enjoyable.

weight Ruby learner) I would be happy to feel the vacuum until someone more
experience takes it over.
Regards,

Ruby S.

I also think that more people would get involve if the quiz is given
once
and no more than twice/month.


#9

I haven’t done Ruby Q. in a while, but when I did, a big draw for me
was making it an important part of my week. If you made it once or twice
a month, all that would accomplish is that no-one would form a “Ruby
Quiz habit” as I did.


From: Ruby S. removed_email_address@domain.invalid
To: ruby-talk ML removed_email_address@domain.invalid
Sent: Thursday, January 15, 2009 8:48:43 AM
Subject: Re: Quizmaster Retiring: Revenge of the Sith

On Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 9:47 AM, Ruby S.
removed_email_address@domain.invalidwrote:

quizzes?

A bit over a year ago, mid-November of 2007, James G. announced he was
 circumstances have changed again, and I will be unable to dedicate the
 everyone for participating and making RQ2 very enjoyable.

weight Ruby learner) I would be happy to feel the vacuum until someone more
experience takes it over.
Regards,

Ruby S.

I also think that more people would get involve if the quiz is given
once
and no more than twice/month.


#10

Likewise, it may be an easier task to do quizzes only monthly, or
every other week.

I personally think a group of quiz masters would necessarily result in
a greater variation of “quizzes” which would probably make more people
interested in solving the quiz. IMHO a weekly quiz would be better
suited to maintain a general interest. This would probably be easier
to achieve for a group (2+) of quiz masters. You’re right though that
such a group would still need somebody who carries the one ring to
bind then all. :slight_smile:

Many thanks for your time and effort you put into the ruby quiz. I
always found it quite interesting to follow the discussion & read the
summary.


#11

Ok of all the people who are commenting i am perhaps the least
qualified coz i never solved one on my own, but i think this is the
best time to tell people what has been on my mind for a very long
time. But first let me make it clear that i am in no state right now
to take voluteering for what i am suggesting.

I do not know the particular history & culture of quizzes (i say
quizzes because i know about python and perl quiz) but i find it very
common that most of them are like for the stack of people just above
the intermediate level(correct me if its wrong). Nobody seems to be
bothered about those learners just who have just understood the
syntax, conventions and philosophy of ruby. While the quizzes are
great they are of little value for such people (who actually are the
most in need). I always maintained that the best way to learn the
solution is to actually solve the problem. Now i propose that apart
from the regular quiz section we have, we also start a beginner quiz.
You know like quizzes intended for people who are just learning tho
ropes.

I know many of you think that it would be unlikely (specially now that
we lack a proper quiz master altogether) to have something like this.
But think about all those beginners who are left gasping for breath
when they read the first quiz.


#12

On Jan 15, 2009, at 10:31 AM, rick_2047 wrote:

You know like quizzes intended for people who are just learning tho
ropes.

Perl’s Quiz of the Week (which I modeled Ruby Q. off of) had two
quizzes each week for a while. One was a beginner quiz and the other
was an expert.

My approach for the quiz was just to try to have quizzes that ranged
the gamut. We were probably more top heavy than I intended, but we
definitely had a few beginner problems. I’ve used those same problems
in teaching beginners anyway.

What I think would have helped is a way for people to rate quiz
difficulty. As it stands now, you pretty much need to comb the sight
and look for the quizzes with a lot of solutions. Those are generally
the easy problems. But that process is less than ideal.

James Edward G. II


#13

Thank you to both James and Matthew for doing the Quiz.

I think I can count the number of quizzes I solved on one hand, but
they were some of the most fun I’ve had programming.

-Michael


#14

On Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 5:07 AM, Matthew M. removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

Sorry for the dorky subject line…

A bit over a year ago, mid-November of 2007, James G. announced he was
retiring as the Ruby Q. master. He had run the quiz for nearly three
years, a wonderful achievement enjoyed by many Rubyists here.

Almost a year ago, mid-February of 2008, I began an attempt to follow in his
footsteps. Sad to say, though, I only lasted about 10 months. As of now, I
need to retire from running the Ruby Q…

Thanks for a great job :slight_smile:

martin


#15

I’ve actually done little Ruby outside of simple text-parsing scripts,
Project Euler, and Ruby Q. (I wrote 300-line data mining program for a
charity and a not-quite-finished Lisp interpreter for fun), but I
nevertheless consider myself a proficient Rubyist thanks to Ruby Q.
alone. I started by trying a couple of the older quizzes, then later saw
that the then-current quiz, #118, was easily within my reach, and then
continued from there, and found my skills quickly rising over the next
dozen. I really like the Ruby Q. format for learning programming –
they make it easy to learn a wide variety of skills. If I were working
on my own, I’d probably develop a comfort zone in a single area, and
rarely venture out of it; RubyQuiz brings diverse areas to me. Even if
you’re motivated to try to tackle a new area and you still can’t solve
it, the summaries do a great job of bringing expert-level code down to
beginner level.

Probably the most important part is the comparison; it motivates me to
read other people’s solutions and contrast them with mine, which was
great for introducing me to a variety of libraries and styles.

In summary, the solution for beginners isn’t for Ruby Q. to come down
to you. Ruby Q. already provides what’s needed for you to rise up to
Ruby Q.'s level.


From: rick_2047 removed_email_address@domain.invalid
To: ruby-talk ML removed_email_address@domain.invalid
Sent: Thursday, January 15, 2009 10:31:51 AM
Subject: Re: Quizmaster Retiring: Revenge of the Sith

Ok of all the people who are commenting i am perhaps the least
qualified coz i never solved one on my own, but i think this is the
best time to tell people what has been on my mind for a very long
time. But first let me make it clear that i am in no state right now
to take voluteering for what i am suggesting.

I do not know the particular history & culture of quizzes (i say
quizzes because i know about python and perl quiz) but i find it very
common that most of them are like for the stack of people just above
the intermediate level(correct me if its wrong). Nobody seems to be
bothered about those learners just who have just understood the
syntax, conventions and philosophy of ruby. While the quizzes are
great they are of little value for such people (who actually are the
most in need). I always maintained that the best way to learn the
solution is to actually solve the problem. Now i propose that apart
from the regular quiz section we have, we also start a beginner quiz.
You know like quizzes intended for people who are just learning tho
ropes.

I know many of you think that it would be unlikely (specially now that
we lack a proper quiz master altogether) to have something like this.
But think about all those beginners who are left gasping for breath
when they read the first quiz.


#16

update:
Sorry folks it’s 3am and I should probably go to bed…
What about relaunching one or two of the old Ruby Q.zes that might
have considerable different solutions in Ruby1.9. That might fill the
gap for one or two weeks.

James, Matthew would that be fine with you? Any ideas, maybe Ara’s
metakoans, they were just crying for block parameters in blocks IIRC.

Good night for now.
R.


#17

Sorry Matthew if I let some of our private discussions out here but I
believe it is the best for the group :).
Anyway
You did a tremendous job. (And who could argue with James on this
matter anyway!)

But it is interesting to note that we had quite some discussions and I
really did favor the group approach. However your determination and
the slow progress of the group approach made it clear to the others
that it would be you, and it was really just fine like that.

That said I really would like the group approach to happen. In the
meantime I might come up with one or two quiz ideas I was brooding
about, maybe not for tomorrow but who knows.

The first resumes would be temprorarily on my blog before we can come
up with something more suitable.
Maybe we could simply start a Rubyforge project RubyQuiz3, “Standing
at the shoulders of Giants” :)))

Tom do you read us here? (or whoever is responsible )
All opinions welcome of course.

Cheers
Robert


#18

On Fri, Jan 16, 2009 at 7:27 AM, Robert D. removed_email_address@domain.invalid
wrote:

update:
Sorry folks it’s 3am and I should probably go to bed…
What about relaunching one or two of the old Ruby Q.zes that might
have considerable different solutions in Ruby1.9. That might fill the
gap for one or two weeks.

James, Matthew would that be fine with you? Any ideas, maybe Ara’s
metakoans, they were just crying for block parameters in blocks IIRC.

I don’t have the time to actually run a quiz, but if someone wants
quiz problems I can happily supply them.

martin


#19

On Fri, Jan 16, 2009 at 5:33 AM, Martin DeMello
removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

I don’t have the time to actually run a quiz, but if someone wants
quiz problems I can happily supply them.

And I would happily receive them :slight_smile:
Cheers
R.


#20

On Jan 15, 2009, at 7:57 PM, Robert D. wrote:

James, Matthew would that be fine with you?

Use away. I support any idea that keeps the Ruby Q. alive. :slight_smile:

James Edward G. II