I have noticed a user making questionable answers. Here are some examples:

In all cases, he is purporting to use a tool called ngn/k - this raises a couple of concerns:

  1. as his name is ngn, he wrote the tool

  2. both the page he links to and his similar github page host no software, only a readme: https://gitlab.com/n9n/k and https://github.com/ngn/k

to me this is not acceptable - if someone is posting and getting upvotes on answers, they should be using a publicly available tool, and ideally an open source one.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It is publicly available - the full binary is on TryItOnline \$\endgroup\$ – ASCII-only Jul 5 '18 at 3:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Here is the link, it's also in the readme you linked. \$\endgroup\$ – Ad Hoc Garf Hunter Jul 5 '18 at 3:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ It appears not to be open source for the time being, but that doesn't mean ngn would be unwilling to open-source it \$\endgroup\$ – ASCII-only Jul 5 '18 at 3:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ From previous commits of the readme: I don't make the source code and the binary publicly available at this time. \$\endgroup\$ – Jo King Jul 5 '18 at 3:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ The binary can be taken from TIO though (link to part of binary), so you can download and run it to verify the solutions. ngn/k is an implementation of k though, so you can also switch to oK, which has near identical behavior \$\endgroup\$ – ASCII-only Jul 5 '18 at 3:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ASCII-only I wouldnt call reverse engineering TIO "downloading" \$\endgroup\$ – Steven Penny Jul 5 '18 at 3:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also: Avoid asking more than 1 question in 1 question. You're asking (1) is it ok to use a language you write yourself (2) proprietary languages. \$\endgroup\$ – user202729 Jul 5 '18 at 3:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ So "completely unavailable" and "unavailable without paying" are slightly different... \$\endgroup\$ – user202729 Jul 5 '18 at 4:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @StevenPenny sure. but it does mean that the binary is publicly available \$\endgroup\$ – ASCII-only Jul 5 '18 at 8:33

ngn/k is publicly available: https://tio.run/#k-ngn. You can use it to verify ngn/k answers or – if you know the K language – write your own answers.

There are many programming languages that exist only as an online interpreter. As long as this implementation is not a blackbox (server-side interpreter that doesn't expose the binary) and remains available, this is not an issue.

As long as you can reliably verify solutions, that's enough for PPCG. What you can or cannot do with these languages outside PPCG is not our concern.

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