60
\$\begingroup\$

Last year we voted for the best posts of 2015 and rewarded them with bounties and challenges. I think it's a great way to reward and draw attention to some of the best content the community has created throughout the year, so let's do that again. (And hopefully, this year, we'll be able to sort everything out before half a year has passed.)

First off, we'll need categories again, which you can nominate here. Each answer should contain a category for a challenge or answer to be rewarded. The top-voted categories will then receive separate nomination posts to find the actual winners. Like last year, I'm not going to state a fixed number of categories that will make it, but it's probably going to be between 5 and 10 again (last year, we went with 7 categories).

Feel free to resubmit proposals from last year regardless of whether they were among the final 7 or not.

Voting will last for two weeks, so that we can start nominating posts in the top categories right when the new year starts.


As a further note, we'll need reputation rewards again, so if you're willing to spend some of your reputation on a bounty for one of the winners, please leave a comment on this question, stating how much rep you'd be willing to spend.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I'll be happy to spend 500 rep point on a bounty for this --- or a smaller amount if that's more suitable; I guess all prizes should be equal? \$\endgroup\$ – Luis Mendo Dec 18 '16 at 17:17
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @LuisMendo If possible, we'll try to make it 500 rep each, I think. (That's what we did last year, although two of the challenge prizes were actually given out in the form of challenges written by Zgarb and CH "about" the rewarded authors.) \$\endgroup\$ – Martin Ender Dec 18 '16 at 17:28
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I'll gladly toss in two or three 500-point bounties. \$\endgroup\$ – AdmBorkBork Dec 19 '16 at 13:38
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I'd be willing to create a challenge in honor of a challenge award winner again. What would you call that, a challenge award challenge prize? A challenge award reward challenge? Whatever. \$\endgroup\$ – Zgarb Dec 19 '16 at 14:17
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ It would be good, where possible, for answers to include a data.stackexchange.com query which lists candidates, and where not to say how many candidates there are, or if even that isn't possible then to at least give an estimate. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Dec 20 '16 at 9:42
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Spending a 500 rep bounty? I'm in! \$\endgroup\$ – nimi Dec 20 '16 at 17:35
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I'll offer one 500 point bounty. \$\endgroup\$ – DJMcMayhem Dec 24 '16 at 21:04
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I'll do a 500-rep bounty also. \$\endgroup\$ – Mego Dec 30 '16 at 1:38
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I don't got so much rep, but I'll donate 500 :) \$\endgroup\$ – Nathan Merrill Jan 2 '17 at 16:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'd love to write a "Challenge award reward challenge" or whatever we decide calling it. I can't guarantee it'll be "Calvin-quality", but I think I could make a decent challenge. \$\endgroup\$ – DJMcMayhem Jan 6 '17 at 19:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would be willing to donate two 500-rep bounties \$\endgroup\$ – Kritixi Lithos Jan 10 '17 at 12:13

23 Answers 23

53
\$\begingroup\$

Best Explanation

This category is for the answer with the best explanation accompanying it. Ideally, the winner will be an answer with a very detailed explanation that is accessible to anyone, regardless of the amount of relevant knowledge already possessed.

\$\endgroup\$
38
\$\begingroup\$

Rookie of the year (answer)

Originally posted in Best of PPCG 2015 by Martin Ender.

Awarded for the best answer by a user who had not posted an answer before 2016. Note that the user may have posted challenges before 2016.

\$\endgroup\$
37
\$\begingroup\$

Best mathematical insight (answer)

On this site we often see answers in languages specifically designed for short code, or designed to be fast. Sometimes, a nice golfing trick or speed-up technique surprises us with its ingenuity, beyond the standard use of that language.

And occasionally an answer shows up that uses an unexpected approach to greatly simplify the problem, and makes us wonder how the author could ever think of that. This usually involves some far-from-obvious mathematical equivalence, or a particularly simple approach to the problem that was not evident at all (once revealed, other answers often follow the same approach).

This category is for the answer with the best mathematical insight or unexpected approach that led to greatly simplifying the problem, in any challenge type (code golf, fastest code, or others). The insight should have led to a significant improvement according to the challenge's metric (code length, run time, or whatever applicable).

\$\endgroup\$
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Perhaps this could be merged with Kansas City shuffle (by deleting this post and concentrating votes there). What do you think? \$\endgroup\$ – Luis Mendo Dec 18 '16 at 18:05
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ I think that Kansas City Shuffle should be deleted in favour of this one. The wording of this one is much better ("far-from-obvious" and "not evident" may be subjective, but "nobody else spotted" just means that the question got 10 answers before anyone bothered to think about it rather than FGITWing it). \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Dec 19 '16 at 9:55
35
\$\begingroup\$

Pro tip

Best answer to any general question. That is, candidates should be drawn from "Tips for golfing in X" questions (as opposed to specific "how do I shorten this piece of code" questions).

Some of the most useful content that we generate for other golfers is in our tips questions, so it would be nice to reward an exceptional golfing trick this way.

Candidates should be tips which show deep insight into the language, yet are applicable in wide range of situations. The exact amounts of bytes saved by the tip is not relevant.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not a huge fan of this category because it's impossible for me to judge how useful a tip is in languages I know nothing about, making it harder tell which tips are truly exceptional. \$\endgroup\$ – DJMcMayhem Dec 18 '16 at 20:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DJMcMayhem The same applies to golfed answers in languages you don't know: how can you tell that the golfing trick employed there really is as clever as it seems? \$\endgroup\$ – Martin Ender Dec 18 '16 at 20:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ There are some ways. For example, byte count compared to other answers in the same language, votes and comments (to some degree), and explanations. \$\endgroup\$ – DJMcMayhem Dec 18 '16 at 20:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DJMcMayhem I expect a good tip to be explained just as thoroughly, and nominations could point towards answers where that tip was used to great effect. \$\endgroup\$ – Martin Ender Dec 18 '16 at 20:35
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ I think this would be better with more guidance on what to look for in a winning tip. I'd be disappointed if a well-known, beginner-level tip in some language won just because it's easy to use and understand even if you don't golf in the language. Conversely, I wouldn't know what to say to a tip that suggests a very clever trick that is basically never used. \$\endgroup\$ – xnor Dec 20 '16 at 2:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @xnor Suggestions? "Candidates should be tips which show deep insight into the language, yet are applicable in wide range of situations." maybe? I wouldn't want to make a statement about how many bytes the tip saves. I think a tip that is very versatile and can save a byte in one out of four golfed programs is more interesting and valuable than a tip that can very occasionally save 10. \$\endgroup\$ – Martin Ender Dec 20 '16 at 9:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ There are on the order of 300 candidates (338 answers in tips, the vast majority of which are eligible). \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Dec 20 '16 at 14:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MartinEnder I like the sentence you're suggesting. I agree that counting bytes saved by the tip is a bad idea. \$\endgroup\$ – xnor Dec 21 '16 at 0:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @xnor added, thanks. \$\endgroup\$ – Martin Ender Dec 21 '16 at 8:07
34
\$\begingroup\$

Rookie of the year (challenge)

Originally posted in Best of PPCG 2015 by Fatalize.

Awarded for the best challenge by a user who had not posted a challenge before 2016. Note that the user may have posted answers before 2016.

\$\endgroup\$
29
\$\begingroup\$

Not as simple as it looks

This award goes to a high quality challenge (not necessarily ) that is easy to understand and looks simple at first glance, but where the best solutions are actually quite difficult to find.

  • The difficulty should be intrinsic to the problem, and not come from messy edge cases or strict formatting rules.
  • The challenge should be fun to solve, and not impossibly hard. Unanswered challenges may not be good candidates.
  • The challenge may allow for simple solutions, but a competitive solution should be very intricate and/or not obvious at all.
\$\endgroup\$
28
\$\begingroup\$

Best Above-and-Beyond Answer

This was originally featured in Best of 2015 by PhiNotPi.

Every once and a while, an answer takes the challenge to the extreme. This prize will be awarded to an answer which went far beyond the expectations of the challenge. This could include

  • a code golf answer that brute-forced/proved the shortest program in some language
  • a graphical-output popcon answer of extreme size and quality
  • a KOTH answer of high complexity which absolutely dominated the competition
\$\endgroup\$
26
\$\begingroup\$

Kansas City Shuffle

Sometimes everyone answers a code-golf question using similar logic (although different languages of course) then one person finds a completely different way of solving it.

This category will be awarded to an answer which best catches the question author (and others) off guard by finding a unique method of solving a problem that nobody else spotted

\$\endgroup\$
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ It currently looks like this is going to be among the top categories. However, there seems to be a very strong overlap with this category and there's at least some support for merging the categories, as the other one seems to be a more precisely specified version of this. Would you mind merging them (e.g. by using the other description with your brilliant title), in favour of having a more diverse set of categories in the end? Otherwise, could you clarify what distinguishes your category from the other one? \$\endgroup\$ – Martin Ender Dec 21 '16 at 8:53
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @MartinEnder I like the wording of the one you linked and I'm more than happy for it to take precedence over this \$\endgroup\$ – Darren H Dec 21 '16 at 16:41
26
\$\begingroup\$

Best Showcase of a New Language

This is for new languages (golfing or otherwise) created in or after December 2015 (meaning, the first commit on GitHub or the like was from that date). The category is designed to highlight the answer that best shows the tricks, features, and benefits of using this new language. The author of the answer does not necessarily need to have been the author of the language.

Answers from the "Showcase your language" or challenges are ineligible.

Languages eligible (at least, those that I'm aware):

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've submitted a few answers in 7 recently; that should probably count too. \$\endgroup\$ – user62131 Dec 24 '16 at 4:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ does my Turtlèd count? \$\endgroup\$ – Destructible Lemon Dec 31 '16 at 3:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ais523 Thanks - added. \$\endgroup\$ – AdmBorkBork Jan 3 '17 at 15:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DestructibleWatermelon Thanks - added. \$\endgroup\$ – AdmBorkBork Jan 3 '17 at 15:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Does Jelly count? It was nominated last year \$\endgroup\$ – DJMcMayhem Jan 4 '17 at 20:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Considering how well MATL has been doing... My guess is that it will win. \$\endgroup\$ – mbomb007 Jan 6 '17 at 21:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mbomb007 Possibly. This category isn't intended to award the "Best New Language" but rather the best answer that shows off the new language. A really super-duper awesome answer that just showcases everything that is pixie dust and unicorns and rainbows about Stack Cats could be a very strong contender, even if Stack Cats is of limited general usage. \$\endgroup\$ – AdmBorkBork Jan 6 '17 at 21:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TimmyD Ah. Yeah, you're right. \$\endgroup\$ – mbomb007 Jan 6 '17 at 21:54
18
\$\begingroup\$

SGITW

For the best 2016 answer in a challenge which received no answers within 48 hours of posting. The challenge itself does not need to be from 2016 and the nominated answer doesn't need to be the first answer to the challenge, but the first answer to the challenge does need to be from 2016. Tips questions are not counted for this category.

It's very easy to get drawn to the fast-rising HNQ-hitting questions with a plethora of answers, so I thought this would be a good way to bring attention to answers that really needed to earn their love.

SEDE query: https://data.stackexchange.com/codegolf/query/605878/48-hour-gap

\$\endgroup\$
18
\$\begingroup\$

It's not a Bug, It's a Feature

Originally posted in Best of 2015 PPCG by quintopia

Answer with the most clever use of a bug, error, or undocumented behavior.

\$\endgroup\$
15
\$\begingroup\$

Against the Odds

Best answer in a non-golfing language that is similarly short as golfing-language answers.

Should be awarded to an answer that is short due to cleverness, rather than because the language happened to have an obvious built-in that solves the challenge.

(Based on the 2015 proposed category of the same name.)

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ What qualifies as a golfing language, and what doesn't? \$\endgroup\$ – flawr Dec 21 '16 at 23:10
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ @flawr: I think it's clear in most cases (e.g. Pyth is a golfing language, but Python isn't). As a rule of thumb, if a language was designed with golfing in mind or is used more for golfing than for other purposes, it's probably a golfing language... :) I don't think a strict definition is necessary though. The nominees and winners will be selected by humans, not by a computer algorithm, and they can make a judgement call whether they think any particular example satisfies the spirit of this category. \$\endgroup\$ – smls Dec 22 '16 at 16:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ I guess now I disagree with this. As @Martin Ender said, what about APL? or J? Or Retina? \$\endgroup\$ – Buffer Over Read Dec 26 '16 at 1:02
13
\$\begingroup\$

Every byte counts

This is for an answer that is painstakingly optimized. The writer really had to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty to squeeze out every single byte. The answer is short (relatively speaking) not because of a nice trick, but because the writer put a lot of work into tightening it.

(Title suggestions welcome.)

\$\endgroup\$
13
\$\begingroup\$

King of the King of the Hills

This category is for the best challenge in terms of detail where a lot of effort was put into creating it and it has yielded in an amazing challenge with many possibilities.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mbomb007 Thanks for the suggestion! \$\endgroup\$ – Kritixi Lithos Dec 19 '16 at 14:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ There are currently 11 candidates. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Dec 20 '16 at 14:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ only 11? How sad :/ \$\endgroup\$ – Nathan Merrill Dec 22 '16 at 15:45
  • 8
    \$\begingroup\$ How is this not called King of the King of the Hills? You're slipping :P \$\endgroup\$ – Geobits Dec 29 '16 at 21:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Geobits Nice suggestion :) \$\endgroup\$ – Kritixi Lithos Dec 30 '16 at 6:07
10
\$\begingroup\$

Best Necromancer

This is the best answer (written in 2016) written at least a year after the previous answer.

Cannot be on a tips question.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I like this idea but I wonder whether it should exclude challenges that get answers all the time, like HW or cat. \$\endgroup\$ – Martin Ender Dec 29 '16 at 15:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ I added an answer limit to the question. Does 10 seem good? \$\endgroup\$ – Nathan Merrill Dec 29 '16 at 16:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NathanMerrill, I suggest increasing it to 40/50. I think the challenges Martin refers to are the ones with >100 answers. 10 isn't that much... \$\endgroup\$ – Stewie Griffin Dec 29 '16 at 16:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ 40 seems a bit high: 30 maybe? \$\endgroup\$ – Nathan Merrill Dec 29 '16 at 16:52
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @NathanMerrill how about the answer has to be the first one in 2016 on that challenge? \$\endgroup\$ – Martin Ender Dec 29 '16 at 17:20
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Oh, maybe if it's been a year since the last answer \$\endgroup\$ – Nathan Merrill Dec 29 '16 at 17:22
7
\$\begingroup\$

Most fitting language

Inspired by a bounty on meta.

This will be awarded to the user with the most entertaining, may it be coincidental or not, analogy in lanuage and question. For example, answer the question Me want Honeycomb with the Hexagony language.

\$\endgroup\$
7
\$\begingroup\$

Best Co-op Answer

This is awarded to the answer (at least 2 people have to be involved in it) with the best cooperation, not necessarily the best answer that was cooperated on.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I think you should emphasize that we are looking for the best cooperation, not necessarily the best answer that was cooperated on. \$\endgroup\$ – Nathan Merrill Dec 29 '16 at 15:20
6
\$\begingroup\$

Greatest beat the creator instance

This award would go to an answer that meets the following requirements:

  1. The answer is written in language X;
  2. The author of language X has answered the same challenge;
  3. The answer is shortest answer in language X—that is, this answer has a shorter byte count than all other answers in language X; or it was the first of a few answers in language X that otherwise meet this criterion;
  4. And the answer is not written by the author mentioned in 2.
\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I would call this something like "Becoming the master" or "Catching the fly" or "Beat the Creator". \$\endgroup\$ – Mike Bufardeci Dec 19 '16 at 16:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think this might want to specifically state that the answer must be shorter than any existing answers. (Of course, if that is what's desired, but it sounds like it is.) There are multiple instances in Jelly and others where there are multiple shortest solutions. \$\endgroup\$ – PurkkaKoodari Dec 21 '16 at 22:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Pietu1998 I don't care if it beats other languages. I specified that it must be the shortest in its language as per #3. \$\endgroup\$ – Conor O'Brien Dec 21 '16 at 22:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ No, I mean that if the language author posts X, 5 bytes: abcde and another person posts X, 5 bytes: 12345, should the latter be eligible? I've seen cases like this. \$\endgroup\$ – PurkkaKoodari Dec 22 '16 at 0:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Pietu1998 Then it wouldn't be the shortest. \$\endgroup\$ – Conor O'Brien Dec 22 '16 at 0:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's tied for shortest, but still the shortest in the sense that there are no shorter solutions. Maybe not grammatically perfect, but definitely misinterpretable. \$\endgroup\$ – PurkkaKoodari Dec 22 '16 at 0:38
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ You should also add 4. The Answer is not written by the author. The title makes it clear, but the requirements leave that loophole open \$\endgroup\$ – Nathan Merrill Dec 22 '16 at 15:45
4
\$\begingroup\$

Most Definitive Answer

Sometimes, a hard question has an answer that's so perfect that it's not worth competing with it. This category is for the best answer (submitted in 2016) among answers which were the only (valid, which can probably be defined as "non-deleted") answer to the corresponding question at the end of 2016.

\$\endgroup\$
3
\$\begingroup\$

It's Alive

Best answer in a difficult to program in language, such as Malbolge, Hexagony, or Fission.

Exactly copied from last year, though I'm marginally worried about the objectivity of this category.

\$\endgroup\$
-5
\$\begingroup\$

Most Humorous

This answer had you cracking as you were reading through it.

\$\endgroup\$
-8
\$\begingroup\$

Best or challenge

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Care to add a little explanation..? \$\endgroup\$ – devRicher Dec 20 '16 at 13:08
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I think this could be better formulated as "Best challenge that involves restricting or manipulating source code, e.g. quine, polyglot, source-layout..." \$\endgroup\$ – Zgarb Dec 20 '16 at 14:42
-9
\$\begingroup\$

Best non-pure non- challenge

In terms of creativity, difficulty, and the ingenuity of answers.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ What is a "non-pure codegolf" challenge? \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Dec 18 '16 at 20:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Perhaps you mean any challenge that's not a pure golf or KOTH? \$\endgroup\$ – Zgarb Dec 20 '16 at 7:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Zgarb Yes, that's what I mean. \$\endgroup\$ – noɥʇʎԀʎzɐɹƆ Dec 20 '16 at 13:07

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .