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From "Andrew Stevens" <>
Subject Re: [GT2006] Already 50 attendees.. Early bird ends tomorrow!
Date Mon, 11 Sep 2006 17:47:10 GMT
>From: Sylvain Wallez <>
>Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2006 17:01:42 +0200
>I promise a beer to whom can guess the "smart" algorithm behind head
>colors on the "conference chairs picture" that gave me green hairs [1] ;-)
>People that wrote or saw the code are not elegible for the beer!
>Sylvain Wallez -

Well, my first guess (without looking at the picture) would have been to XOR 
the ascii values of the letters in each person's name, and use the resulting 
value as a lookup into a table of web-safe colours.  But having seen the 
picture I doubt that's the case as it'd give much more variation.

So my next guess, given it makes a point of stating how many countries the 
attendees cover, was that the colour depended on the country corresponding 
to the domain in the email address they registered with.  However, I think I 
count 9 or 10 distinct colours and it only says 8 countries.  I suppose it 
could still be down to the top-level domain, though I'd have thought the split would be enough in that case to not have such a large 
proportion of one colour.

Along the same lines, perhaps it's determined by the language used to go 
through the paypal pages when registering?

Or, thinking a bit more technically rather than socially, perhaps it's 
determined by searching the mailing list archives and/or CVS logs to see how 
many posts/commits the person has made over the last year, and the more 
active they were the stronger the colour?

Or maybe it's determined by the number of pages returned by a google search 
of the person's name plus "cocoon", as an estimation of their 
popularity/activity within the community?

It could be done randomly, though, just to give us something to wonder about 
- 80% get the default colour, the remaining 20% get the next colour from 
some other list.

But probably it's none of these, though at least now you've got a few more 
ideas for next year's picture ;-)

The more important question, however, is why didn't Matthias want to sit 
next to Judith?  What did she do to offend him?


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