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April 91 - MADA Software Awards

MADA Software Awards

Arvid Jedlicka

An expert might create, on a rainy Saturday, what would take the rest of us a week to produce. How do you prevail upon the expert to create and share that small, elegant, solution?

The MADA Software Awards are a big part of the answer to this question. Each issue of FrameWorks will contain an Awards topic. The topic will be vague enough to allow diversity in solutions, yet explicit enough get a general focus on the subject. Individuals may then submit code relating to the topic. A panel of experts will evaluate the entries, choose a Best Submission, possibly an Honorable Mention, and award prizes to each submission selected to be published on an Awards Disk.


The Best Submission award is a check for $1000, plus a free five-day registration to the next MADA conference. Honorable Mention will receive an award of $200. All other submissions selected to be published on the Awards Disk will receive an Awards Disk fee of $100. The results will be published in FrameWorks and MADA press releases, and announced at the Annual MADA Conference.

Wanted: Creative Solutions

The description of each Awards topic, and the criteria for evaluating it, will be foggy. It would be easy to give a very specific topic, a list of requirements that must be met, and a definitive set of criteria for judging. But in that case, most of the entries would meet the objectives, and the net gain would be small.

We're not looking for entries that meet predefined objectives; instead, we want that exquisite little solution that was not obvious, the nugget of knowledge that others overlooked, or a class that was developed because there were no constraints.

software award guidelines

When will it start?

A new topic will be announced with each issue of FrameWorks, along with the results from previous topics.

Topic specification

The topic will be specified in very general terms. This will allow the greatest latitude in creativity, yet give the entries a common theme.


For each topic, awards of Best Submission and Honorable Mention may be presented, depending on the number and quality of the entries. The Best Submission award consists of $1000, registration to the next MADA Annual Conference, and a plaque to be presented at the conference's Annual MADA Banquet. The contributor's entry is placed on the Awards Disk.

Honorable Mention awards may also be presented, depending on the number and quality of the entries. Contributors winning Honorable Mention receive $200, and their entries are placed on the Awards Disk.

Any other submission selected to be published on the Awards Disk will receive an Awards Disk fee of $100. An entry cannot receive multiple awards. Multiple entries in a topic by a single person will be processed as one entry.

Who may participate?

Best Submission awards are open to all MADA members, excluding the MADA Board of Directors, the MADA Software Awards Evaluation Panel for that topic, and the MADA Software Awards Coordinator. There are no restrictions for Honorable Mention awards or for other submissions that receive an Awards Disk fee, so that any member or non-member may submit an entry with the intent of having it placed on an Awards Disk.

The evaluation panel

The evaluation panel will consist of three to five MADA members selected by the coordinator. Criteria for panel selection include, but are not limited to: expertise in the topic area; expertise in object-oriented analysis, design, and programming; a willingness to participate. If you would like to be involved in the evaluation process, please contact the coordinator.

The evaluation

Each submission will be reviewed by each member of the evaluation panel. Criteria for review include, but are not limited to: general usefulness; innovation; quality of implementation. The evaluation panel will then select entries to receive Best Submission and Honorable Mention awards. The coordinator will not participate in the review process other than to facilitate communications among the panel members.

Release forms and copyrights

A signed release form must be returned to MADA or the coordinator before the submission of an entry will be considered complete. To paraphrase the release form: "Contributor retains copyright to all submitted material, but grants MADA the right and license to publish all or any part of the material in any manner MADA deems appropriate for the benefit of the Association and its members."

A release form can be found on AppleLink (Developer Support: Developer Talk: Macintosh Devel-opment Tools Discussions: MacApp Discussions: MADA), America Online (Departments: Computing & Software: Developers: Developer Associations: MADA: Announcements) or by contacting MADA or the coordinator.

When to submit entries

When a topic is announced, a submission closing date will be specified. The open period between announcement and closing may vary, but will normally be about 11 weeks. Completed entries must be received by the coordinator no later than midnight of the closing date to receive consideration for Best Submission or Honorable Mention awards.

Notification of winners

All contributors will be notified of the evaluations panel's decision within 2 weeks of the closing date. Arbitration The decisions of the evaluation panel are final. Comments relating to any aspect of the awards process should be directed to the coordinator. Issues unsatisfactorily resolved by the coordinator will be presented to the MADA Board for final adjudication.

The April '91 Topic

The first piece of software presented in a MADA publication was by Carl Nelson-the March 1987 issue of the MADA Newsletter (volume 1, issue 2 ) contained the UAsync Unit. It therefore seems appropriate that the first MADA Software Awards topic be communications.

It is important to remember that the topic is very broad. Carl's "submission" dealt with the serial port. Your entry could be an abstract class to wrap around the communications toolbox; it could be AppleTalk related; it could allow an object to be transmitted from one machine to another; it could be… If you can comfortably use the word communications in the description of your work, submit it.

When and where to submit

Closing Date: Midnight, June 30, 1991. Entries can be sent to any of the following addresses:
  • AppleLink*: MADA.LIB
  • American Online*: MADALIB
  • Compuserve*: 76174,2277
  • Delphi*: ASJ
  • Mail, UPS, Federal Express:
    Arvid Jedlicka
    The Thought Shop
    16879 Lime Road South West
    Prior Lake, MN 55372-2321

*Release forms require a handwritten signature. Contributors using electronic means must mail the release form to the address above, or FAX it to (206) 259-2154. n


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