Here is a checkbox I made in wireworld, for the "Create a checkbox!" question.
The problem is, we don't have a way to score answers like these.
Do we score these by pixels, like piet did, or in other ways?
People have pointed out that cellular automata are diverse. Some have only two states and square cells. Others have differently shaped cells with different rules and many possible states. This diversity means that we should not have one rule for all of them. Instead we should look at each one individually and decide how to score it.
I know that golly allows you to copy and paste text into it, with spaces as empty cells, non-space as filled cells, and newline as ... newline. After pressing cmd/ctrl v, you click once, and the pattern is placed. Perhaps this could be used for the scoring system?
There is a Cellular automata emulator, which is widely used, called MCell.
This can emulate Cellular automata and create code for each, with the
Maybe we might be able to use this.
If the program fits in a 16 by 16 rectangle of cells, then its score is 256 cells.
Worrying about how many bytes it'd take to store in a file isn't really a relevant plan unless there's a built-in way to convert a state into a file. If there is a built-in way to do that, then use the file size. As long as there's not, then the bounding rectangle should be used, because it represents the smallest grid that the base program could fit on, with the part outside the boundary all being the same infinite pattern, such as all live, or all dead.
This only works for gol variants on an infinite, square, grid. It takes no entropy to store an empty infinite grid. This is a fairly roundabout scoring system, so please feel free to downvote or critique.
Note that if the size is greater than a 256 by 256 box add 2 for each byte needed as representation of the size of one dimension.
Essentially we could easily create a file format where you take start with one byte detailing the number of bytes in which the dimensions are stored. Thus, each side can be up to 2^(2^128) squares long. Later two bytes (one for each side). Then convert the map to a binary integer (1=filled, 0 = empty) (and pad with 0's to make a multiple of 8 bits) to store in the rest of the file.