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I got this answer on a question I posted. The poster of the answer is trying to skirt their way around the rule that says, "You cannot use strings or char arrays." As this became an argument between the poster and me, we could not solicit the opinion of a third person on the issue.

How should I go about resolving such disputes without creating a long comment trail?

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    \$\begingroup\$ In my interpretation an object that has string-specific methods, is a string. For example, AFAIK only string objects have charAt() method. '2014'.charAt, String(2014).charAt, (new String(2014)).charAt, (2014+'').charAt, 2014..toString().charAt are all pointing to the same method, so in my point of view all of them are string processing. \$\endgroup\$ – manatwork Mar 7 '14 at 10:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ The customer (asker) is always right, I believe. Also, I don't think you should be too afraid of long comment trails (chat is always preferable, but it requires having at least 20 rep on both side) \$\endgroup\$ – John Dvorak Mar 7 '14 at 11:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for your inputs. I'd be more rigorous in enforcing my rules from now on. \$\endgroup\$ – duci9y Mar 7 '14 at 11:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @manatwork What about the many functional languages where internally everything is a string until explicitly (and often lazily) evaluated as another type? \$\endgroup\$ – Jonathan Van Matre Mar 7 '14 at 12:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ You could also try to avoid such issues by asking better questions. If a question needs restrictions to prevent you doing it the obvious way, ditch it and look for something more interesting. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Mar 7 '14 at 12:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JonathanVanMatre, that is why I preferred to approach the problem by defining “string processing”. For example even if the CodeGolf answer would not use ` explicitly, I think substring search would be still string processing and would say the answer is incorrect. (Sorry, I know no functional language, so no idea how their typing systems work.) \$\endgroup\$ – manatwork Mar 7 '14 at 13:02
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I don't see why there is a problem for two reasons

  1. The users will vote their understanding, and so far they seem to believe that the answer is not consistent with the rules

  2. I am firmly of the opinion that if you set up silly rules you are going to get silly answers.1


1 With few exceptions, I don't like most "solve this problem without this tool" type challenges: I find them to be lazy. The exceptions generally go to some deep magic at the core of computer science.

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