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PS: Honestly I just proposed my first challenge on PPCG hours ago, so feel free to criticize me.

I just had my very first challenge published here and I ran into a problem that some answers are based on a slightly changed description of the challenge.

Two examples: 1, (in MMA post) The challenge says 0 for in and 1 for out; The first version of 30-byte long code changed it into -1 for in and 1 for out.

2, (in Octave post) The challenge requires input to be an array of triples (though it is the answerer's freedom to choose two of them, leading to different algorithm, and the freedom is discussed in the last part). The code left out one column, and made the input an array of double, or two arrays.

Should I remove restrictions and focus on core algorithms here? The removal will not break codes submitted and gives future code more freedom. If it is OK, to what extent am I able to change the description for I am really interested in golfing code. I may learn for the next challenge.

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    \$\begingroup\$ "slightly changed' -- was that a previous version of the challenge? And the mathematica answer appears to function, regardless of what algorithm they use. In general, it doesn't matter how the answers solve it as long as they work. \$\endgroup\$ – Rɪᴋᴇʀ Jan 8 '17 at 1:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's sort of similar to the challenge uses 0 for false and 1 for true but the code use -1 for false and 1 for true. The code needs to modify how constants are defined in the input to work. \$\endgroup\$ – Keyu Gan Jan 8 '17 at 3:47
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Choosing to answer a different question to the one that's asked because it's easier falls foul of this standard loophole. You don't have to change your question to suit the answers. If you see an answer which doesn't actually meet the spec you should (within the limits of what your rep permits you to do) comment on it, edit the question to include test cases which cover the relevant deviation, downvote the answer, and if the answerer chooses not to fix the answer then flag it as low quality.

I note that no-one seems to have mentioned the Sandbox to you. That's a good way to get people challenging your input format before anyone starts writing answers; 20 edits to a question in the sandbox have a lot less negative impact than 20 edits to a question on the main site.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks. In fact, I've been using Sandbox since I joined PPCG. In this case, I believe I could have put the challenge in SB for a bit longer for more advice. Sorry for not being thoughtful. \$\endgroup\$ – Keyu Gan Jan 9 '17 at 17:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, I hadn't seen that it was sandboxed - I was catching up with the rest of meta first. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Jan 9 '17 at 17:36

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