Over the past three months, we've been conducting the "My Favorite Function" contest. Ze'ev Ionis was the first winner with his VBScript function named WriteIt (http://www.windowsitpro.com/Windows/Article/ArticleID/48371/48371.html). You can use this function to write to a file whatever text you send it. Jim Turner was the second winner. He created the LeapYear function, which you can use within a script or HTML Application (HTA) to determine whether a given year is a leap year (http://www.windowsitpro.com/Windows/Article/ArticleID/48649/48649.html). The third and final winner is Bill Stewart. As you'll read in this issue's "Scripter's Toolkit" section, the ScriptPath function lets a script determine, on the fly, the path to a specified file.

Ze'ev, Jim, and Bill each received $100 for their winning functions. In addition, these three winners were put into a drawing for another $100. Jim was the lucky winner of that drawing.

The "My Favorite Function" contest not only provided some useful functions but also brought to light an important reason for holding such contests: the sharing of ideas. After reading about Jim's LeapYear function, Bo Eschricht sent me an email about a possible way to improve that function. (You can read that letter in the "Scripting Scuttlebutt" section.) Scripting is more of an art than a science because there are many ways to script a task. Through forums such as contests and letters, people can share information and possibly get ideas on how they might begin to tackle scripting a complex task or hone a script they've already written.

Because contests facilitate the sharing of ideas (and because they're just plain fun), we'll be starting a new contest soon. Look for details in the February 3 issue of Scripting Central.