Distance Learning Belarus
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Frequently Asked Questions

If you need help please contact our Support Service.

The most frequently asked questions about Distance Learning System.


Q: Why didn't my name appeared in the course's result table?
A: Possibly you have unsubscribed from the course or disabled "publish progress and scores" flag for this course (see "Active courses").

Q: Is it compulsory to close session each time?
A: It is extremely advisable.

Q: Can I work with the System "in several windows"?
A: No! We are working on it but it isn't also allowed to send several solutions simultaneously because they can " mix up with one another".

Q: How can I enroll in a team for participation in team competition?
A: There are two ways of a team registration: at the site (see link "Team Registration") or by means of our MailBot (use #RegisterTeam instruction). They you should add to the team yourself and/or other registered at Distance Learning System users.

Q: Are there any limitations on a team's size or participators' age?
A: No, if it isn't mentioned in a course description.

Q: How can I get specifications of all problems?
A: It isn't yet provided at the site, but you always can use our MailBot (#GetTaskText instruction). The requested problems' specifications will be automatically compressed into zip-archive.

Q: Why aren't there any problems visible in the course?
A: See the time of beginning of this course. Probably the course hasn't begun yet.

Q: Why can't I see the "Send" button in a problem's window.
A: It probably has one of the following reasons:
1. The course hasn't begun yet.
2. The competition consists of several tours, so it's naturally that you won't be able to send solutions of the problems of the first tour when the second one is being held.
3. There are some limitations on the number of attempts to send a problem's solution. So if you exhaust all attempts the "Send" button won't appear again.

Q: When I tried to send a solution from the site the Internet Explorer gave a message that there weren't sufficient memory. What does it mean?
A: It means that your computer hasn't sufficient virtual memory. You should free some place at the system disk (usually C:) for the swap-file.

Q: Will I obtain any certificate on completion of a course at Distance Learning?
A: No, at present. But you'll obtain knowledge!

Q: Why is it so difficult to get to your site? The traffic is horrible.
A: Our server resides in unibel-net. This is a network uniting educational establishments of Belarus so it has low both cost and quality of services. We do our best to improve the situation. But now as an alternative you are able to use our automated mail service: dl-service@gsu.unibel.by.

About sending of solutions


Q: How must the solutions be represented to be tested correctly?
A: To provide a safety for our System we accept only source texts of programs written in Borland Pascal 7.0, Borland C/C++ 3.1, QBasic or Perl. The possibility of use of other programming languages in a course is specially noticed in this course's description.

Q: How can I send a solution?
A: By means of our MailBot: #TestTask (see Help) or from the site: there is a special frame under the problem's description fromwhere you can send the solution.

Q: How are points on a solution added?
A: A problem's author composes several tests and determines a number of points added on successful completion of each test by the program being tested.
Testing is being held in such way:
1. Beforeall, we try to compile the solution (using commands "Tpc.exe SOURCE /ETARGETDIR" for Pascal or "Bcc.exe -ml -nTARGETDIR SOURCE" for C++).
2. If the compilation succeedes we run the program on the tests.
3. On beginning of each test we note the time and if the program exceeds time limit we add 0 points for the current test.
4. If the program exited correctly we check the output file.

Q: Is a solution tested on all tests of the given problem?
A: It depends on the course's type: if it's personal - yes, otherwise if it's for teams and by the rules there are only two possibilities of a solution testing (passed/not passed) then the testing finishes on the first test failed.

Q: What is the time limit for completion of a test?
A: It's mentioned in the problem's description. If it isn't then - 10 seconds.

Q: Why the "compilation error" occurs if I've compiled the solution successfully myself?
A: Possibly you try to use some unallowed units. For example, for BP 7.0 such units are Dos, Math and TurboVision libraries.

Q: What does "run-time error" in the testing protocol mean?
A: It means that on completion the program returned a non-zero exit code. I.e. a run-time error occurred or Halt command was called with a non-zero parameter.

Q: What name should I to solutions?
A: Anyone, if it isn't specially mentioned in the problem's description. You also should give to solutions of programming problems the extension corresponding to the chosen programming language.

Q: My program fail one test, but all correct! Can I get yours tests?
A: Yes, now it's available, for example, in the following courses:
"GCSW 1999-2001 - Programming Contest"
"ACM Training Course"
You can see in log a link to any failed test.

Q: What extension should have a solution's file name for a given programming language.
A: The following table gives the answer.
(Note that the most of courses allow only some subset of all currently supported languages).
Extension Language
PAS Pascal
C C
PL Perl
BAS Basic
CPP C++
EXE Executable files
DPR Delphi DPR
ASM Assembler (tasm-link)
FRE Free Pascal
DLP Delphi DLP
GNU GNU C
java Java
mvc Visual C++


Q: What compiler versions and command lines are used for compilation?
A: Here are given the most "problematic" ones.

Turbo Pascal Version 7.0
TP\Tpc.exe $SOURCE$ /E$TARGETDIR$

Perl, version 5.003_07 for Win32 Build 315 - Built 09:33:08 Dec 31 1997
Perl\bin\Perl.exe $SOURCE$

Borland C++ Version 3.1
BC\BIN\BCC -ml -n$TARGETDIR$ $SOURCE$

Borland C++ Version 5.2
bcc32.exe -4 -O2 -DDLTESTING -n%~s2 %src%

Free Pascal 2.2.0
ppc386.exe -Cr -O1 -XS -oabc -dCONTEST -FD%ppPath% -o%~n1.exe %src%

gcc version 3.4.2
"g++.exe" -x c++ -o "%target%\%~n1.exe" -O2 -L

Delphi7
dcc32.exe %1 -$R+ -E%2

Competitions


Q: Can people from other towns take part in the competitions?
A: Yes, of course, it's called _Distance Learning_ :-)

Q: I want to take part in your competition. What have I to do?
A: You need to be registered at the Distance Learning and to subscribe to the corresponding training course. Then you'll get the problems' specifications to your e-mail just before the beginning of the competition. The problems will be also accessible at our site and through the MailBot just after the competition begins.

Q: Is it allowed to take part in several competitions simultaneously?
A: Yes.

Q: A competitions beginning is assigned to 9.00. And what time system is used (GMT+X)?
A: Our local time is GMT+2 (It's mentioned at our Home page).

Q: Should I send the solutions of the first day of a competition the same day or can I do it next day?
A: Some competitions are held in 2 or more tours. Then it's allowed to send only current tour's solutions.

Q: Do you send duplicates of problems specifications if there are several participants mentioned the same e-mail?
A: No.

Q: When should I send the solutions?
A: The solutions are received during the whole life time of a competition. The number of attempts is unlimited if it isn't specially defined. But only the last one counts. It's desired if you'll send us the solution just after you consider it completed, in such case we'll test all received solutions sooner.

Q: Will there be sent any additional notifications, for example, in a week before the beginning of a competition?
A: No.

Q: I've obtained a new solution but the competition had already finished, how can I test it?
A: On completion the competitions are moved to educational courses (the course "Olympiads on Informatics" contains all the competitions which were held at Distance Learning and even more) - have pleasure! :-)

Q: When will next competition start?
A: At "Competitions" page you can find the list of all competitions (olympiads) which are being held at the current moment or will be held in the nearest future.

Solutions in Pascal


Q: Why the "compilation error" occurs if I've compiled the solution successfully myself?
A: It's need compilation keys (if you use Borland or Turbo Pascal press Ctrl-O-O)

Q: У меня программа на ваших тестах дает правильный ответ, но у вас она не проходит.
A: Возможно вы не инициализируете используемые переменные. Example:
var x :integer;
begin
...
x:=x+10; { not correct }
writeln(x);
end.

var x :integer;
begin
x:=0; { correct }
...
x:=x+10;
writeln(x);
end.

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