Jacob Carpenter’s Weblog

April 15, 2008

Programming Challenge #1: HTML calendar

Filed under: challenge, web — Jacob @ 1:44 pm

While playing around at lunchtime today, I decided to write a quick little HTML calendar generator.

I consider C# my native programming language, and since I intended to output HTML, ASP.NET seemed a logical choice. But I was amazed at the amount of code required for such a seemingly simple task (not to mention how ugly code containing <% and %> is!).

The challenge

Using your favorite programming language / web application framework output the following html fragment:

<table class="calendar">
<tr><td class="prevMonth">30</td><td class="prevMonth">31</td><td>1</td><td>2</td><td>3</td><td>4</td><td>5</td></tr>
<tr><td>6</td><td>7</td><td class="today">8</td><td>9</td><td>10</td><td>11</td><td>12</td></tr>
<tr><td>27</td><td>28</td><td>29</td><td>30</td><td class="nextMonth">1</td><td class="nextMonth">2</td><td class="nextMonth">3</td></tr>

Whitespace is insignificant; class="today" should be applied to the current day’s cell; favor simplicity and elegance over efficiency.

Blog your solution and leave a comment; I’ll link to it from this post.

Please don’t comment suggesting I use some pre-built control. This is about the fun of writing such a thing, not about some specific calendaring need.

To avoid influencing your initial attempt, I’ll post my solution after awhile.


Will Asrari contributed a submission at http://www.willasrari.com/blog/coding-for-fun—html-calendar-challenge/000298.aspx.

I posted my solution at https://jacobcarpenter.wordpress.com/2008/04/16/pc1-a-solution/.

kick it on DotNetKicks.com



  1. Writing code for fun? People do that?

    Comment by sheen — April 8, 2008 @ 6:07 pm

  2. The ASP.NET Table control is your best friend for something like this.

    Comment by John S. — April 8, 2008 @ 6:57 pm

  3. Ah, sure; you could do an ASP.NET table-control-based solution. I just meant I wasn’t interested in someone touting the virtues of their favorite prebuilt all-in-one date-picker/calendar control.

    Comment by Jacob — April 8, 2008 @ 9:12 pm

  4. I’m in. Coding for fun is right up my alley.

    Not too long ago I found myself scratching my head when trying to determine if 2 date ranges intersected. The solution ended up being a one-liner but the road to that solution was quite interesting.

    It’s funny how easy it is to underestimate the difficulty of seemingly trivial tasks.

    Comment by Will Asrari — April 15, 2008 @ 11:19 am

  5. […] challenge, csharp, extension methods — Jacob @ 12:21 pm So, when I initially posed the programming challenge #1 I stated: … since I intended to output HTML, ASP.NET seemed a logical choice. But I was […]

    Pingback by PC#1: A solution « Jacob Carpenter’s Weblog — April 16, 2008 @ 12:21 pm

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