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The challenge (The other day) I met a bear is a kolmogorov complexity question about the text of a song. As can be seen by looking at its edit history, it has been closed three times as a duplicate of We're no strangers to code golf, you know the rules, and so do I . It's been reopened three times. It's on its way to being closed a fourth time.

In a case like this, where there are many people being thinking it should be open, and many thinking it should be closed, voting it back and forth in the review queues is not a good solution. We should discuss things on meta, come to a consensus, and stick with it.

Is this challenge a duplicate?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Just putting the review stats for the question here, because not everyone has enough rep to see them: the question's had two failed and one aborted reopen reviews, and two failed and one successful close reviews. \$\endgroup\$ – user62131 May 19 '17 at 2:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related, especially this answer. \$\endgroup\$ – user62131 May 19 '17 at 6:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's closed now, but only of Work it harder, make it better. It should be closed as a dupe of both. \$\endgroup\$ – programmer5000 May 19 '17 at 17:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ Related \$\endgroup\$ – Rɪᴋᴇʀ May 19 '17 at 17:24
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No, it's not a duplicate.

In my opinion, we should think of duplicates as challenges which are sufficiently similar to past challenges that very little or nothing is added to the site by having the challenge, and something is lost, because the repetitious challenges crowd out innovative challenges.

I do not think this challenge has that problem. This is a kolmogorov complexity challenge about a song, so it has that much in common with the original Rick Astley question. However, it's not that similar either - the structure of the song is very different, and has a lot of opportunity for cleverness specific to this challenge, as can be seen in the current shortest answer: https://codegolf.stackexchange.com/a/119940/20080

Moreover, I think that we are very, very far away from having a problem where we have too many questions about the kolmogorov complexity of songs. We've had roughly one in five years, that we haven't marked as a duplicate. I think it's fine to have questions with some overlap in general, but it's especially fine to have questions with some overlap that are well separated in time, to avoid the crowding-out problem I mentioned earlier.

The challenge is beneficial to the site, and should stay open, in my opinion.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @PeterTaylor I'm sorry, that wasn't very clear. I meant we've had one that wasn't marked as a duplicate, e.g. that was accepted by the site. \$\endgroup\$ – isaacg May 19 '17 at 8:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's not the only one that's currently open, even though the others should be closed as duplicates. Just look at the other one which was proposed as a dupe target for the bear question. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor May 19 '17 at 8:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PeterTaylor I'm not sure which one(s) you're refering to - could you post a link? \$\endgroup\$ – isaacg May 19 '17 at 8:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ codegolf.stackexchange.com/q/57549/194 (which is also an example of what I mentioned here about posting protest answers). \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor May 19 '17 at 8:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ The problem I have with song challenges is that they require very little effort to write, just a copy and paste job: codegolf.meta.stackexchange.com/a/6960/30525. Are those the type of questions that we want on PPCG, cluttering the HNQ? \$\endgroup\$ – Beta Decay May 19 '17 at 9:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ A big difference between this challenge and We're no strangers to code golf is that one allows built-in compression and the other doesn't. If it does end up being close voted, it should be by some other challenge. I would say that a challenge of each group (allows/prohibits compression, contains unicode) could, every now and then, stay up to allow new languages to participate in a challenge. \$\endgroup\$ – dzaima May 19 '17 at 13:42
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It's definitely a duplicate, but maybe not of the rickroll question. (IMO, it's partially a dupe of both.)

Let's look at the first couple paragraphs of the lyrics:

The other day,
The other day,
I met a bear,
I met a bear,
A great big bear,
A great big bear,
Oh way out there.
Oh way out there.

The other day,
I met a bear,
A great big bear,
Oh way out there.

This is pretty much "take 4 lines and repeat them with in AABBCCDDABCD pattern". It stays like this through the whole song.

There are really 2 practical ways to compress this: have a list of all distinct lines and output them in the above format, or using a builtin compression algorithm. IMHO, it's very likely to end up with the last format being shorter. That's why I voted to close as a dupe of the rickroll challenge the first time.

(And no, I don't consider the rickroll question's "include the compression algo in your code" stipulation to change this)

So yeah, it's partially a duplicate of that. However, there's another question that fits a bit better: Work it harder, make it better

The first half of the song is:

Work It
Make It
Do It
Makes Us
Harder
Better
Faster
Stronger
More Than
Hour
Our
Never
Ever
After
Work Is
Over
(2x)

Work It Harder Make It Better
Do It Faster, Makes Us Stronger
More Than Ever Hour After
Our Work Is Never Overx
(7x)

The rest of the song isn't really important, it's just further variations of the paragraphs from the beginning. The important part: yes, this song can be done with a compression algorithm, but it's also easier to be done with a preset format. (i.e. save each of the blocks of text and print them out x times)

I still personally think it's a dupe of the rickroll song, but that's obviously not shared by everybody. However, if it's not a dupe of that, then it's definitely a dupe of the daft punk song.

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Dupe of both

I am the original author and I think it should be closed as a dup of both. Currently it is just a dupe of Work it harder, make it better, but this question really has alot in common with both. I regret making that question now. It should be closed as both (but not deleted, people spent time golfing answers on it, but I didn't spend time writing it.)

Song lyric golfs can be boring, as answers can be copied over with small modifications from one to the other, and end up in the HNQ, which is one of our site's best places to show what we do.

Beta Decay said:

The problem I have with song challenges is that they require very little effort to write, just a copy and paste job: codegolf.meta.stackexchange.com/a/6960/30525. Are those the type of questions that we want on PPCG, cluttering the HNQ?

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