If you've visited the contest list recently, you've probably noticed the big blue Virtual join buttons. However, when clicking them, you'll have realized that they do nothing!
Today, we are very happy to announce the completion of a virtual contest system in DMOJ — the buttons work! We hope you'll find virtual contests a useful addition.
What are virtual contests?
If you couldn't meet the deadline for participating in a contest, or would like the experience of writing a contest that ran a long time ago, virtual contests can help.
Put simply, they allow you to write a contest under the same conditions you would have, had you written it normally. You are given the same amount of time as regular contestants were, and may solve the same problems — naturally, this works best if you've not yet seen the problems. A minor note is that if the contest used pretests, you will receive full feedback instead.
Each contest tracks your previous participations, and these rankings are public for all users. For example, take Alice's participation in the open DMPG '16 Gold Division.
With the 2016 contest season fast approaching, we hope you'll find virtual contests a good aid in practicing in the event that you cannot attend a live contest.
Join us on Slack (or IRC)!
On a marginally related note, we operate both a channel and #dmoj on esper.net — click on either to join.
We would love to hear your feedback, and they're a great place to meet and talk with other members of the community. In the very likely case that you run into an issue with virtual contests, please let us know in one of our channels.