Recently there was a challenge and the OP immediately posted a community wiki answer which would serve the purpose of combining trivial answers. Citing the answer:

This community answer is for collecting answers in languages with built-in do most of the works, according to this proposal.

However, it was not well received, and here are some possible causes:

  • It had no code in the first place.

  • It might have forced some users to submit their answers there, given that a Mathematica answer (you can only see it if you have the required privilege) was downvoted immediately and thus deleted by its poster, and this might make the poster think their work is not rewarded.


  • The answer in question and the challenge were downvoted.

  • A huge comment clutter was generated because of some degree of opinion.

How should we handle such situations? Should someone that already has one/more trivial answer(s) put xnor's proposal in practice instead of the OP, or we shouldn't do such things at all? Is this valid by our standards, given that it doesn't provide any solution to the challenge (at the moment of writing)?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I vote for not doing these things at all. Next time I see a question with a community wiki answer, I'll be sure to skip it. Lesson learned. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 14, 2017 at 16:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KellyLowder What if we vote to add community answer to every challenges...? \$\endgroup\$
    Commented Dec 14, 2017 at 16:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user202729 I don't think that's a good idea, given that before any answers have been posted, you don't really know if, and to what extent there will be vastly similar answers in a multitude of languages. You usually only see these in challenges where it is trivial in a bunch of languages. I think the obligation to put your answer under a community wiki just because it uses a built in will discourage answers (as we have already seen expressed from Kelly). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 14, 2017 at 16:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you're using a powerful high level language like Mathematica, almost all answers could be construed as trivial after-the-fact, no matter how clever. I kinda like the idea of getting points and rep for my contribution. Now if the answer is literally a one function built-in, sure I'm OK with a wiki for that I guess. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 14, 2017 at 16:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KellyLowder Note that community wiki answers aren't just for such submissions. They are also used for collaborative answers and other such stuff, and they can often be helpful. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mr. Xcoder
    Commented Dec 14, 2017 at 16:50

1 Answer 1


Posting a community-wiki for the purpose of collecting trivial answers together is perfectly fine, but it was wrong in this case. For it to work,

  • It needs to only contain truly trivial answers. For example, if the challenge was to get the deltas of an array, lots and lots of golfing languages can do this in a single byte. If you could write the answer without knowing the language, that's trivial. In this hypothetical example, pretty much anyone, whether they understand jelly or not, could post a

    #Jelly, 1 byte:

    answer. That's what makes this trivial, and worth combining in a CW.

  • The first revision of the CW should have at least one submission in it, but preferably more. We should never post an empty CW for the purpose of hoping it fills with trivial answers.

  • It should never be mandatory to post in the CW. Whether that means actually mandatory, posting it anywhere other than the CW is against the rules, or if it's practically mandatory, you will be heavily downvoted if you post it outside of the CW. Neither of these are OK.

In this case, the answer in question failed on all three points.

  • The challenge was certainly not trivial. I don't know every golfing language out there, but I can pretty much guarantee that there will be no 0-byte answers to that challenge.

    Even the Mathematica answer was most definitely NOT trivial. Can you tell me what {{0,0}}~Join~#]&/@#]& does? Cause I have no clue. I certainly could not have written it. This clearly is not just a case of copying-pasting a couple builtin functions together.

  • The first revision of the CW had no submissions whatsoever.

  • The Mathematica answer was heavily downvoted for being posted as it's own answer, with the OP asking the author to move it. This is not OK.

This was a wrong move on the OP's part. But now that the CW is deleted, and the Mathematica answer reposted, there's nothing left to fix.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Side note: This wouldn't be as much of an issue if challenge authors avoid trivial challenges. Not that this particular challenge was trivial, just in general in the future. \$\endgroup\$
    – DJMcMayhem
    Commented Dec 14, 2017 at 18:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you could write the answer without knowing the language I'm afraid that this is highly subjective... It depends on the languages itself. Who knows...? / It's BruceForte that asked it, not me. \$\endgroup\$
    Commented Dec 15, 2017 at 6:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ 1. Is this question trivial? No, as evidenced by the Haskell answer. 2. Are the 6 other answers (at the time of posting this comment) trivial? Yes. 3. Can I write those answers now? No. Pretty sure that I need to learn 3~4 hours to know what those languages have... \$\endgroup\$
    Commented Dec 15, 2017 at 7:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, "you will be heavily downvoted if you post it outside of the CW" - that's something we can determine on meta. \$\endgroup\$
    Commented Dec 15, 2017 at 7:23

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