Developer Article Contest

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Contest Overview Developer Article Contest

Dear developers and technical writers,

The contest has now run for six months and we are taking a break. There have been fewer articles coming in and we need to think of other ways to excite interest in the contest--or at least in writing articles for developers.

We thank all those who have submitted articles. We also congratulate those who have won: their articles are making it easier for developers to work on

And we want to underscore that merely because the contest is on hold for now, our desire for good developer articles remains strong. Help your fellow being and send us articles!

Until later,

The Developer Contest Team


February 2006 : Cedric Bosdonnat - "UNO Java component creation explained"
March 2006 : CP Hennessy - "Current Implementation of the Bibliographic Component"
April 2006 : S. Sevki Dincer - "Simple Calc Add-in for OOo"
May 2006 : No Submission.
June 2006 : Kohei Yoshida - "Hacking Calc - The First Step"

Submitted Articles

Theses articles have been submitted the past months and are still in competition

Contest Rules

What are the main goals of the contest?

The goal of the contest is to generate more developer documentation, and to promote to developers at the same time.

What is the task of the contest?

Developers are asked to write articles about developer topics like porting, addon and filter development (e.g. new wizards, Calc functions, chart types, etc.), bug fixing, etc.

What can be won?

Each winner gets $750. The money will be transferred preferably via PayPal, or via bank transfer otherwise.

What criteria do articles have to meet to get accepted?

A submitted article has to have at least 1,200 words (about three pages of text) excluding embedded source code snippets and screenshots. Only articles written in English can be accepted. However, teams can submit articles together, so that one developer can create the content and someone else can translate it to English. Submissions have to be sent as attachments in the OASIS OpenDocument file format to the mailing list on or before the submission deadline date. Only content that has been created AFTER the start date of the contest can be submitted, e.g. old articles and blog entries cannot be used. Finally, developers who want to participate in the contest have to be o.k. with the licensing terms of the JCA and PDL since the article content will be published on under these terms.

What criteria will be used to choose a winner?

There will be no 100% scientific and measurable criteria. Instead, the selection committee will choose a winner based on their preferences. Nevertheless, the following criteria will influence the chances of winning:

  • relevance to developers
  • existing and urgent gaps
  • "cool stuff"
  • amount of sample code
  • comprehensibility
  • length (not too long, not too short)
  • illustrations (screenshots, diagrams)
  • enables new developers
  • etc. etc. etc.

For entering the contest it does not matter what tools (e.g. NetBeans, Eclipse, Microsoft Visual Studio, Borland Delphi, etc.) or programming languages (e.g. C++, Java, Python, Perl, etc.) are used. However, a broad availability to the technologies will increase the attractiveness of a submission article since more developers will be able to take advantage of the article content.

What will be done with the articles?

Every month a committee will pick the best article from the pool of articles. Articles which did not win initially, will stay in the pool, so that they can still win in subsequent months.

ALL submitted articles will get published no matter if they have already won or not. Once the deadline has been reached, all articles submitted in that period will get published to under the PDL and the JCA, so that developers will immediately be able to benefit from the submitted content. Nevertheless, the selection committee will make its decisions based on the original content submitted to the submission mailing list.

Authors will still be allowed to use the article content somewhere else, e.g. for a magazine, book or personal web site. If you have a publication in mind, please check with the publisher upfront whether they will still accept an already published article or not.

Who can participate?

Everybody who is not a member of the selection committee can participate in the contest. If someone wins in one period he/she has to stay out of the contest for the following three periods.

Who is running the contest? with the support of Team e.V. and extra sponsorship from Sun Microsystems are running the Developer Article Contest.

Who is in the selection committee?

The selection committee consists of at least 10 and no more than 15 people. Initially, the following people will be in the selection committee:

  • Jürgen Schmidt
  • Stephan Bergmann
  • Andreas Schlüns
  • Carsten Driesner
  • Pavel Janík
  • Kurt Cagle
  • Kay Ramme
  • Michael Meeks
  • Charles-H. Schulz
  • Stefan Taxhet
  • Erwin Tenhumberg
  • Laurent Godard

Someone who has won the contest cannot win in the contest again for the following three periods. However, the winner can, if he/she is willing to, become a member of the selection committee for three periods.

How will the winner be determined by the selection committee?

The number of votes that each selection committee member gets is one third of the total number of articles in the pool in a given month (the closest integer value). Thus, if 29 articles are in the pool, each selection committee member gets 10 votes. Each article can get only one vote per selection committee member, i.e. an article cannot receive two votes from the same committe member. At least 70% of the selection committe members must have voted. The article with the most votes wins. If two or more articles get the same number of votes, the article submitted first wins. The time and date as listed in the email archives will be used as the basis for the decision. The votes are reset to zero for each contest period.

When will the contest start?

The first round of the contest ended on February 28. The second round started on March 1, 2006 and will end on March 31, 2006.

When will the contest end?

The contest will at least run for six months. Depending on the success, it might get extended to twelve months.

How often will a winner be selected?

A winner will be selected for every month. The announcement of the winner will happen in the second half of the month for the previous month. For example, the first contest period started on February 1 and ended on February 28 (the submission deadline). The winner for February will be announced after March 15, but before April 1.

When is the deadline for every contest period?

The deadline for every contest period, i.e. every month, is the last day of the month (12am Pacific time of the first day of the following month). Thus, for the May contest period the last possible submission day is May 31, 2006.

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