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Code Wars coming to the University of Colorado


Update 5: We will have (Iron)Python! So you can write your entry in Python. Also, we will be there at 9:00am to help anyone who shows up early and needs help getting their system configured.

Update 4: There will be a professor team - The C.S. "Dream Team" will be Sriram, Evan, & Nikolaus.

Update 3: We have added support for additional languages. You will be able to write your entry in C#, Basic, C++, or Java. And 95% likely we will also support Python. Specifics below where I have updated this in the main part.

Update 2: Please pre-install Visual Studio 2010 Professional & ReSharper regardless of language. These both allow a 1 month trial so you can install them now and they'll be good on the day of the contest. (ReSharper is not required but it makes coding in Visual Studio a lot more productive and pleasant.)

Update 1: The code problem will be posted here when the competition starts. So if you are a student at another school and would like to try - you can download the code at the same time. I will put up a way to email me your solution and will run all emailed in ones against the top C.U. entries and post the results. Students only!

Friends & Family

  1. I will be tweeting it at DavidAtWindward
  2. I will be live blogging it at Windward Wrocks.
  3. The start will be webcast from 9:00am - 11:00am can be watched & heard here.
  4. The run-off will be webcast from 5:30pm - 6:30pm can be watched & heard here.

Original post:


Windward is going to sponsor a code war at the C.U. Computer Science department this August 27. That's the first Saturday after school starts which should work well as most students will have little to no homework. I hope most of the incoming freshmen participate as it's a great way for them to meet other students (I remember how alone I felt when I first started at C.U.). It's also a really fun way to start off the school year.

If you're new to C.U. and don't know anyone - email Ken Anderson and he'll get you on a team (or they may create some teams composed of all new people).

For those wonder what a Code War is, read up on the recent code war we had at Windward – Prepare to fire a Broadside Mateys. If you've never done this before - it's a total kick in the ass (ie lots of fun). Don't miss it!

This post will be updated with additional details as we work them out so for C.S. students at C.U., please come back.

  1. August 27 – 10:00am to 6:00pm. At 6:00 we will run the submitted programs to determine the winner. (The 10:00am start time was set because we figure that's the earliest a college student can wake up on a Saturday morning.)
  2. We will be there at 9:00am and will help people configure their systems from 9:00 - 9:50. At 9:50 we will provide pre-game info and suggestions.
  3. We'll present the problem at 10:00 am in CSEL. You are then welcome to work anywhere and you probably want to find a quiet place for your team.
  4. There will be free donuts for breakfast and pizza for lunch (and soda pop for both). In other words, standard food in the software start-up world.
  5. The programming environment will be identical to our Broadside code war, but we will support more languages (see below). So for preparation get Visual Studio installed and make sure you can build and run broadside. This war will work the same way where you provide a DLL that we run against the other entries.
  6. The problem will probably be a game A.I. program. We are leaning toward this because it is fun, because most students don't have experience on this (making it a level playing field), and because the key to success is coming up with a good approach, more than the actual code.
  7. Get a 32x32 bitmap as the avatar for your team. If you don't provide one, we'll put up a care bear as your avatar :)
  8. There will be trophies for the members of the winning team.
  9. Teams must be 2 – 5 students.
  10. It is open to all full-time C.U. computer science majors. To sign up please email Ken Anderson and Lesley McDowell. (Windward does not handle sign-up because of privacy requirements.)

Supported languages you can write your entry in. For all languages pre-install Visual Studio 2010 - it is needed for all languages. Recomend you install IronPython to avoid one step in configuring the program. We will provide a sample project with a very simplistic solution to the programming problem in each language.

If you have any questions for us, please post as a comment and we'll be happy to answer them.

ps - If you would like a good laugh (totally unrelated to this), take a look at Cubicle Wars.

Tags Start & End

Tags Can Start & End Anywhere

Appendix B

.NET code for multi-page image output

Appendix A

Java code for multi-page image output

Data Bin Search

The Data Bin can now be searched to find a table, column, node or other piece of data without scrolling through it all.

Shrink to Fit

This will shrink the contents of a cell until it fits the defined cell size.

Time Zone Conversion

A new Windward macro has been added to help with converting dates and times from UTC time to the local time zone.

Image Output Format

New image output formats added.

PostScript Output Format

PostScript, commonly used with printers and printing companies, has been added as an additional output format.

New and Improved Datasets (Designer, Java Engine, .NET Engine)

Datasets have been re-written from scratch to be more powerful and easier to use.

Stored Procedure Wizard (Designer)

This works for all tag types that are connected to a SQL-based data source (Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, or DB2).

Boolean Conditional Wizard (Designer)

Before, conditional statements could only be written manually. Now they can also be built using our intuitive Wizard interface.

Reorganized Ribbon

The ribbon menus have been re-organized and consolidated to improve the report design workflow.

XPath 2.0 as Data Source

Adds various capabilities such as inequalities,descending sort, joins, and other functions.

SQL Select Debugger

SQL Select  Debugger

  • The look and feel was improved
  • Stored Procedure Wizard
  • Improved Exceptions pane

Tag Editor/Tag Selector

Added a Query tab as a field for typing or pasting in a select statement

  • Color Coding of Keywords
  • TypeAhead
  • Evaluate is now "Preview"

Rename a Datasource

All tags using that Data source will be automatically updated with that name.

Connecting to a Data Source

New single interface to replace 2 separate dialog boxes

Tag Tree

Provides a display of all the tags in the template, structures as they are placed in the template. Provides an easy way to see the structure, go to any tag, and see the properties of a tag.

Added Javelin into the RESTful Engine

Support for Google Application Engine Integration

The ability to integrate the Windward Engine into Google’s cloud computing platform for developing and hosting web applications dubbed Google Applications Engine (GAE).

Additional Refinement for HTML Output

  • Improved indentation for ordered and unordered lists
  • Better handling of template header and footer images
  • Better handling for background images and colors

Redesigned PDF Output Support

This new  integration will allow for processing of complex scripts and bi-directional  text such as Arabic.  Your PDF output  will be much tighter and more closely match your template, and we’ll be able  to respond rapidly to PDF requests and fixes.

PowerPoint Support

Includes support for new ForEach and slide break handling, table header row repeat across slide breaks, and native Microsoft support for charts and images.

Tags are Color Coded

Tags are color coded in the template by type, making it easy to visually identify them.

Increased Performance

Version 13’s core code has been reworked and optimized to offer a reduced memory footprint, faster PDF generation and full documentation of supported features and limitations in the specifications for DOCX, XLSX and PPTX.

Advanced Image Properties

Documents can include advanced Word image properties such as shadows, borders, and styles.

Improved HTML Output

Windward has updated HTML output to reflect changing HTML standards.

Version 13 New Data Sources

Windward now works with a slew of new datasources: MongoDB, JSON, Cassandra, OData, Salesforce.com

Generate Code

Designer (fka AutoTag) Generate Code tool allows you to open an existing template and, with a click of a button, automatically create a window with the code needed to run your current template with all data sources and variables in your .NET or Java project. The process is quick, shortens delivery time and helps alleviate any bumps in the road.

Pivot Tables Adjusted in Output

Any pivot tables in the template are carried over to XLSX output. The ranges in the pivot ranges are adjusted to match the generated output. So your final XLSX will be pivot tables set as expected in the generated file.

Imported Template Can be Set to Match the Parent Styles

In an imported sub-template, if its properties for a style (ex. Normal) differ from the parent template's properties for the style, the use in the sub-template can be set to either use the properties in the sub-template, ot the properties in the parent.

Tags can be Placed in Text Boxes

Tags can be placed in text boxes. Including linked text boxes. This gives you the ability to set the text in a textbox from your data.

Tags can be Placed in Shapes & Smart Art

Tags can be placed in shapes & smart art. This gives you the ability to set the text in a shape from your data.

HTML Output Supports Embedded Images

When generating HTML output, the engine can either write bitmaps as distinct files the generate HTML references, or it can embed the images in the HTML providing a single file for the output.

Footnotes & Endnotes can Have Tags

You can place tags in pretty much any part of a template, including in footnotes & endnotes.

Document Locking Supported in DOCX & XLSX

Any parts of a DOCX or XLSX (PowerPoint does not support this) file that are locked in the template, will be locked the same in the output.

Specify Font Substitution

If a font used in the template does not exist on the server generating a report, the font to substitute can be specified.
In addition, if a glyph to be rendered does not exist in the font specified, you can specify the replacement font. This can be set distinctly for European, Bi-Directional, and Far East fonts.

Process Multiple Datasources Simultaneously

When Windward is merging the data into a template, it process the template handling each tag in order, and the tags can pull from different datasources. This allows the select in a tag to use data from other datasources in the select.

David Thielen

President/CEO at Windward Studios

From his early years as a Senior Developer at Microsoft, to legendary designer of the popular Enemy Nations strategy game, to reporting and document generation guru, Dave has never lost his passion for building superb software and teams.


For over 10 years, Windward has lead the industry with our world-class document generation platform that creates visually stunning, data-powered documents designed exactly the way users want and are created in a fraction of the time and cost compared to existing solutions. Proudly located in Boulder, Colorado, Windward Studios is the premier solution for developers and business users adding reporting and document generation capabilities to their applications in over 70 countries around the world.

© 2019 Windward Studios Inc.


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