In submissions, people often like to show how they golfed their program down, striking out the previous byte counts and leaving the current one unformatted. I've seen this done two ways.

The more popular one:

C, 78 75 60 54 48 bytes

The less popular one:

C, 48 54 60 75 78 bytes

I think the first one makes more sense, because you're writing the byte count next to the word "bytes". Is there a standard? Which should we use?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Use the first if you like that better. It doesn't really matter unless the question requires answers be in a particular format. Though maybe remove some numbers if there are more than 6 or so since it can look cluttered. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 19, 2017 at 3:32
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @HelkaHomba Cluttered or impressive... :D \$\endgroup\$
    – MD XF
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 3:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Can our current leaderboard script "see" strikethrough? If not, that would be a reason to use the first pattern. \$\endgroup\$
    – user62131
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 6:02
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It's been said before, PPCG has a load of (possibly too many) implicit rules, and I don't think we should be nitpicking over trivial things like this \$\endgroup\$
    – Beta Decay
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 23:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ais523 codegolf.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/8428/… \$\endgroup\$
    – MD XF
    Commented May 22, 2017 at 20:06

1 Answer 1


It doesn't matter

I don't think we need a standard for this type of thing. Here are the reasons why in a convenient list format:

  • No one is going to enforce it. I don't foresee anyone actually going out of their way to enforce any ruling on a regular basis. And there isn't much point in having rules that are not enforced.

  • Someone will disagree. No matter how mundane or arbitrary a choice is it will always make someone upset. Evidently some people are formatting their answers in both formats, there are people that like it both ways.

  • We would have to go back and change all the old answers. The main problem with this is that it takes effort to do, and no one wants to put in all the effort if its a formatting thing. This particular change is not very easy to search for because both forms are very similar. If there are a lot that need to be changed we don't want to flood the front page with tons of edits.

  • People will forget about the standard anyway. Not everyone will see this post, and the people that will are liable to forget. Any standard we make will be forgotten relatively quickly making any effort we put into standardizing pretty worthless.We are all just dust in the wind anyway.

  • The first option is already overwhelmingly popular. I've been here for almost a year and I cannot recall anyone using the second method. We seem to be already pretty standardized. New users will likely mimic what the already see and I can only see it becoming more homogenized as time goes on.

  • There is no real benefit to having a standard. Both formats suggested are perfectly readable, so there is no reason to prescribe a particular one other than for the sake of standardization.

All in all it seems like a lot of effort for next to no actual pay off. I don't think it is necessary to decide on an official formatting.


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