As it stands, Operations on lists is in a bit of a weird place. It could be considered a multi-part challenge with minimal interaction between the subchallenges, which aren't allowed, but is pointed to as a (potential or actual) dupe target for the tasks it requires.

Would it be better to break up this challenge into its constituent parts and post each as a separate challenge?

  • \$\begingroup\$ This is actually a case of a valid multi-part challenge since code reuse between the individual parts is possible (answers are a single program/function which returns all of the values). I'm not saying it's a great question, but it's not off-topic by the consensus you linked. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 13, 2017 at 15:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MartinEnder I consider allowing code reuse to be a "small interaction", to use the terms of the referenced meta policy. However, I'll modify my wording to be more neutral. \$\endgroup\$
    – user45941
    Feb 13, 2017 at 15:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Whether that's a small interaction or not depends highly on how much code reuse is actually possible (which isn't a terrible amount in this case, admittedly). \$\endgroup\$ Feb 13, 2017 at 15:11

1 Answer 1


Yes, we should break it up

It's a multi-part challenge, which aren't allowed (the only interaction between the subchallenges is the restriction to a single language and the ability to reuse code, which is my eyes is a "small interaction", to use the terminology of the meta policy), and allowing it to remain open makes it a broken window.

I propose the following steps to rectify the situation:

  1. Close the challenge as off-topic, citing our policy on multi-part challenges.
  2. Post each of the statistics in the challenge as their own challenge (excepting those that already exist, like median):
    • Sum
    • Product
    • Arithmetic mean
    • Median
    • Adjacent differences (a.k.a. first-order discrete differences)
    • Sorting ascending
    • Minimum
    • Maximum
    • Standard deviation
  3. Optionally move duplicate challenges' targets to the appropriate subchallenge. This isn't terribly important, but it would be nice to have the dupe targets correct.
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Regardless of whether the challenge itself is off-topic or not, I agree that these tasks would be better served with separate well-written challenges for each of them that can act as dupe targets and repositories of solutions to standard problems. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 13, 2017 at 15:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are there any subtasks which don't already exist as standalones and are interesting enough to be worth posting? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 13, 2017 at 16:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PeterTaylor Whether or not the challenges would be interesting isn't quite the point - we need definitive versions of those challenges for dupe targets. Right now, having them all lumped together in one challenge makes it less clear whether or not a challenge is a duplicate or not. \$\endgroup\$
    – user45941
    Feb 14, 2017 at 23:33

You must log in to answer this question.