Well, having participated in the 2013 contest (B4llBasher), but having moved on to other things for a while, I was seriously disappointed to see that Java4k wasn't running this year. I was actually looking forward to it since about July and was deliberately not visiting JGO as I felt seeing all the WIP threads come December would have been a real treat to look forward to.
What a shock to finally visit the Java 4K site and see it cancelled!
If you guys do decide to run this year, count me in. I'm also really excited about the 8k and 16k possibilities. It's small enough to have to work hard, yet large enough to have that work really pay off in a finished product. My only fear is there wouldn't be enough participation to spread over 4, 8 and 16k categories.
Wouldn't it be possible to have it so that the source is submitted but the whole thing is limited by the size of the .class file. That way you get to keep the file size limit roughly similar, and everyone gets to see the source. I mean another idea maybe would be to have the source submittable as a ZIP file so that you still keep some compression in there and when it's submitted at the end, the website could automatically run a zip on the submitted class file and sort everything out so that everyone is working to the same compression too.
This approach gets my vote. I found the compression part of the contest the least interesting, as it was more about predicting/knowing what would compress well,rather than writing ingeniously efficient/tiny code.