Q: Why can't I participate if I'm under 18?
A: Because no good deed goes unpunished. It's too much of a litigation risk when dealing with minors, European Privacy and upset American parents because Johnny Can't Code.
Q: What if my mom says I can?
Q: I'm going to turn 18 after the signup starts, can I still participate?
A: You can participate as long as you're 18 when development begins, on June 24th.
Q: Do I have to be a student?
A: No, anyone can join.
Q: Can I use language X?
A: If it is Common Lisp, Clojure, ClojureScript, Scheme, Racket or any recognized dialect, then yes. If it smells like a LISP and contains the word 'lisp' or 'scheme' then yes. Maybe Prolog and Logo, but ask before coding.
Q: Does my submission need to be from the Ideas page?
A: No. Those are just helpful suggestions to get your cogs spinning. As a matter of fact, we should probably judge extra points for things NOT on the list. Surprise us, we dare you.
Q: What if I don't know how to program in Lisp?
A: It's not as much a problem as you'd think it is, learning to program in lisp is very easy, even little kids do it.
Q: Help, I don't know how to start!
Q: I have technical or domain-specifc questions about my project
A: Join our Google Groups mailing list and ask questions. We have a cadre of language and domain experts at your disposal to answer questions and help you get started or possibly out of a rut. They won't do the work for you, they're there strictly to help.
Q: Can I team up with my friends?
Q: Can others help me out?
A: There is a fine line between legitimate help and cheating. This is a contest where you are competing against your peers, we're trusting you to be honest and do the majority of work yourself. Besides, the Real World is full of Machiavellian opportunities, support the meritocracy and reap rewards.
Q: What good is your stupid Certificate of Awesome?
A: The ladies and gentlemen who award the certificates are jaded, world-weary and battle-hardened veterans. They've been there and done that a dozen times before you were born, using tools that would be akin to building a spaceship out of sticks. The certificate they award represents a milestone in your life: you've proven to them that you're responsible enough to completely deliver a project that somebody somewhere finds useful, which makes you 1000% more employable. Welcome to the streets of New York kid, it's not easy thing to achieve by any means.
Q: Can I have a virtual-server/database/whatever to get started on my project?
A: We have them laying around like candy, petition with a good reason and you may receive.
Q: What if my entry depends on hardware?
A: The judges have access to commonly accessible electronics like thumbdrives, RasbperryPis and small networks. Anything else, especially home-made items, and it's your responsibility to send one to NYC for the judges to review.
Q: Can I have more than one entry?
A: Yes, now you get to weigh quality vs quantity in your competitive strategy.
Q: My coding submission is an API, library, framework or something that has no executable or doesn't "do" anything. How will it be judged?
A: Include copious examples and a test suite that fully exercises your code, good advice for any submission.
Q: My submission will work only on a non-traditional operating system, network or environment. How will it be judged?
A: That's not recommended, it would be nice if more than 10 other people on the planet can use your software. However if it is interesting and you ask first, then for OSes other than Linux, OSX and Windows, networks other than TCP/IP and anything requiring more than two computers: create a Virtual Box virtual machine. Upload instructions will follow.
Q: Can I make significant contributions to a currently existing project?
A: Yes, as long as you do the majority of work yourself AND we can easily figure out what you did during the competition period. Do not intertwine old and new code, make it something you can easily name (such as a feature), fork it in Github, be explicit and forthright about it.
Q: I have a toy prototype, can I flesh it out into a real program or do I need to start from scratch?
A: As long as you we can easily figure out what you did over the summer. See the previous answer.
A: Yes, as long as the majority of work is in Lisp.
A: As long as the majority of your work is in Lisp. The good news is that you can get a functional Lisp interpreter with only 7 primitives, leaving the remainder to be written in your target Lisp dialect.
Q: Can I write a Lisp compiler or interpreter in Haskell/Erlang/Ocaml/Clean/ML?
A: You may write a Lisp compiler or interpreter in another functional language. At least try to ensure that part of your compiler is in written in your Lisp dialect in question, it's best to check with us anyway just to be sure.
Q: Do I have to live in America to win?
A: No, this is a planet-wide competition. However, since we're based in America we can't include US embargoed countries and a few more. See Official Rules, ELIGIBILITY.
Q: Why can't citizens of Cuba, Iran, Myanmar (Burma), North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Brazil, Quebec, and Saudi Arabia participate?
A: Lisp In Summer Projects is similar to Google's Code-In, which is where the requirement originated. Lisp In Summer Projects does not have access to Google's cadre of lawyers and cannot invite legal risk to ourselves, our associates or our sponsors. However, we are investigating the restrictions and will be removing some of them for the 2014 competition, contact us if you would like to help.
Q: Why do you hate Brazilians?
A: We love Brazilians, but Lisp in Summer Projects cannot be promoted in Brazil because of the prize money. Even "cultural contests" require special authorization from the government, see "art. 15, do Decreto de nº 70.951/72, com redação do Decreto de nº 538/92".
Q: How are you able to operate in Italy with the bill on prizes, games and independent contests?
A: Lisp in Summer Projects is artistic, scientific, promoting commercial and industrial success. This excludes us from DPR 26/10/2001 n. 430 by Article 6. Our deepest thanks to the FSF-Europe, Carlo Piana and Emmanuele Somma.
Q: I am Brazilian or Québécoise or Saudi Arabian and living outside of Brazil, Quebec or Saudi Arabia, can I still compete?
A: Yes you can compete, but we cannot send prizes to Brazil, Quebec or Saudi Arabia.
Q: I am a non-native residing in Brazil, Quebec or Saudi Arabia, can I compete?
A: No, we cannot send prizes to Brazil, Quebec or Saudi Arabia.