Because there has been so far no essies contest that would have been totally completed (though some may challenge this assertion), I'm going to change the rules semiradically.

These changes include, but are not limited to:

The idea here is that competition was never really a big motivation for participation in essies. What I think counted most was the possibility to publish something new, increase productivity, and have proper attention paid to, and feedback given for, the work (a task in which the judges have failed to different extents). So, I'm looking for a way of achieving these goals without there being a contest with strict rules.

So if we don't have strict rules, what do we have?

We have a deadline. The purpose of a deadline is to give some vague hint of when the contest is, and to give form for the contest. Moreover, it allows contestants to innovate freely for a period of time, unaffected by the work of others. The deadline for essie4 is from 1 Sep 2004 to 14 Sep 2004.

We have categories. These guide the work, and make it more interesting to compare the contest entries.

We have public resources. There is the mailing list,, for sending submissions. For submissions posted within the deadline range, I guarantee to publish them on the website,, where they will reside for the foreseeable future (so you can be sure your work has at least some kind of web presence). Moreover, each entry will be given a dedicated wiki page which allows for discussing the entry. These discussions will be available for the foreseeable future, and will be protected by me (with a little help from version control) against malicious editing.

We have a community, peer review, and esteem. All the entries are made immediately available to as wide a range of public as easily possible (with the techniques mentioned above). Different people are free (and encouraged) to send prizes to the authors of the entries they like. I might send some (though I won't promise anything).