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Today we had a question that ask users to identify the language used. We've had one in the past as well. We've never discussed these kinds of questions as far as I can tell, so let me:

Do we want to allow questions? If so, what requirements should we place on these questions?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ FYI: Anime, Movies 1, Movies 2, Movies 3. I couldn't find one for SciFi, but they seem pretty happy with allowing them. Gaming 1, Gaming 2 \$\endgroup\$ – Nathan Merrill Oct 14 '18 at 2:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ Personally I don't think they really agree with the purpose of the (main) site; TNB would be the place to ask this type of question. \$\endgroup\$ – ETHproductions Oct 14 '18 at 2:58
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I don't think simple Identify this programming language! questions should be considered on topic.

Our topic is programming contests and challenges. While we decided on multiple occasions to allow certain non-challenge questions that are related to participating in competitions or even creating them, I don't think this kind of question fits in the same niche

Even if the community can figure out in which language some blurb of characters does something sensible, it will rarely help to identify a different blurb of characters. So, although these questions are related to certain kinds of challenges, they cannot teach how to participate in them.

In many aspects, these questions are similar Decrypt this ciphertext! questions that are common on crypto sites. Crypto SE decided to disallow them.

Anime, Movies 1, Movies 2, Movies 3. I couldn't find one for SciFi, but they seem pretty happy with allowing them. Gaming 1, Gaming 2

Questions asking to identify a movies, games, etc. tend to include a text description of what the OP is searching for. People who remember similar aspects of the movie/game/whatever will be able to find the question with a search engine. Trying to google esoteric source code will usually be pointless.

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    \$\begingroup\$ To add on to this: given just how many esolangs there are, and how many of them look very similar in terms of characters used, patterns, etc., unless a poster included a program and expected output, it would be impossible to determine the language in many cases. And, if the poster did include a program and expected output, there's no need for a question - a bot that ran the program on all TIO languages and reported the ones whose output matched would fare about as well as human answered. \$\endgroup\$ – Mego Oct 14 '18 at 4:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Mego that's not true: I could indicate what I think the code is supposed to do, which doesn't require an interpreter to run. \$\endgroup\$ – Nathan Merrill Oct 14 '18 at 20:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NathanMerrill Without a verifiable output, it would be impossible to determine the language with any amount of certainty in most cases. \$\endgroup\$ – Mego Oct 14 '18 at 20:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ I do think you could say something like "This is supposed do something with primes", and it could be enough information to identify. That said, this is getting into the realm of opinion, and we'd have to actually have these sorts of questions to know whether or not it was possible. \$\endgroup\$ – Nathan Merrill Oct 14 '18 at 20:40

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