For languages that use command-line flags to modify their behavior, these flags are generally added to the byte count. But I don't see a ruling on what to do with command-line flags in quine challenges. I.e. suppose this was a quine:
perl -ne 'quine_program'. I see a few options:
- Output the flags. They are part of the source code: their bytes are counted as such, and the program wouldn't work without them. Con: how to format them? Outputting
nquine_programwould indicate that the code was
nflag. Maybe a newline in between?
- Don't output the flags. They are not really part of the source code, as the objection to the above point shows. Con: this opens all the same loopholes that not counting flags in the byte count opens.
- Flags are banned in quine challenges. They're too much of a corner case. Do what you need to do in the code itself. Con: flags are really useful and idiomatic (maybe even necessary) for some languages.
What say ye?