-5
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Edit: This is not the same as Language Handicap. Language Handicap advocated for a fixed number of characters to be subtracted, which really only applies to a subset of languages, such as C++. I am advocating for an arbitrary function, such as a ratio or possibly a linear combination. These are not at all the same.

Clearly, some languages are better for golfing in than others. A solution to a problem in golfscript, J or APL will almost always be shorter than one in Python, C or Java. Therefore, I propose we create a conversion function between scores in different languages, so that people with knowledge of different languages can compete against each other on an even footing.

Requirements:

  • The conversion system should be based on results of popular code-golf questions.
  • The system should be easy to understand and apply.
  • The system should be to maintain, if new languages become popular.

I'd like to know what people think about two things:

  1. Is a conversion function like this a good idea? Will it be a net positive to the community?
  2. If so, what are good ways of determining this conversion function?
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  • \$\begingroup\$ No, I think there is an important difference. Language Handicap advocated for a fixed number of characters to be subtracted, which really only applies to a subset of languages, such as C++. I am advocating for an arbitrary function, such as a ratio or possibly a linear combination. These are not at all the same. \$\endgroup\$ – isaacg Apr 23 '14 at 11:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ You may be advocating a slightly different function, but that doesn't mean that the arguments for and against are any different. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Apr 23 '14 at 11:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Should I change the question from "for vs. against?" to "what function should people who want to use a function use?" \$\endgroup\$ – isaacg Apr 23 '14 at 11:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ It's still the same argument, and generally the answer is "no," so asking what "function" people want would probably give you the answer "no function at all." \$\endgroup\$ – Doorknob Apr 23 '14 at 12:21
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A simple idea:

  • Take the 20 code-golf tagged questions with the most votes, find the best results in a variety of languages.
  • Establish a reference language to be one of the languages with an answer submitted to each question, find each other language's score as a ratio to that score, and take the median ratio.
  • Throw out any languages that are submitted as answers to less than half of the questions to avoid skewing the results.
  • To convert between two languages, divide language A's score by ratio A, then multiply by ratio B. Compare this to the score in language B.
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