The users who voted to close this question Fastest algorithm to output array containing all integers in range excluding duplicate digits have left no clarification as to what is not clear to them at the question.

Kindly explain why it is not impossible to read the minds of users who voted to close a question citing "unclear what you're asking" where those users who have voted to close the question citing "unclear what you're asking" have made absolutely no attempt to clarify what is not clear to them at the question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Please formulate this in the style of a question rather than an angry rant. \$\endgroup\$
    – Pavel
    Nov 8, 2018 at 16:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Unclear means unclear. Your problem statement - your challenge description and how the test cases work are unclear to me. What else could unclear mean? \$\endgroup\$
    – Quintec
    Nov 8, 2018 at 16:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Quintec Your comment demonstrates why asked this question. If an individual asserts that a question is unclear it is incumbent upon them to indicate precisely what is unclear to them in a clear manner, else the vote to close is unclear. You edited the question though did not suggest to adjust what was unclear to you when doing so. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 9, 2018 at 14:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @guest271314 The whole problem statement is unclear. I cannot adjust it since I have no idea what it is supposed to mean. \$\endgroup\$
    – Quintec
    Nov 9, 2018 at 15:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Quintec "I have no idea what it is supposed to mean" Given that at least three users have answered the question have you considered the possibility that the issue is your own lack of comprehension of the question and not the question itself? That is, instead of voting to close the question due to your own current inability to understand the question, one option is to simply move on to reading a different question? Or, do you firmly believe that you are capable of comprehending any and all questions; and further, if you are not able to comprehend a question the question should be closed? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 9, 2018 at 15:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ @guest271314 This conversation is over if all you wish to do is rant and insult my intelligence. (And yes, if 5 people with over 1k rep cannot understand the question, it is a good sign that it is unclear.) \$\endgroup\$
    – Quintec
    Nov 9, 2018 at 15:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Quintec There has been no insult or rant at all. The previous comment is an observation. "And yes, if 5 people with over 1k rep cannot understand the question, it is a good sign that it is unclear.)" Perhaps, as to those users, only. What do you say as to the users who have comprehended and answered the question? Are you open to clarifying each part of the question, or are you fixed at "I have no idea what it is supposed to mean"? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 9, 2018 at 15:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Quintec Updated the question. Does the edit clarify the requirement? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 9, 2018 at 16:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Quintec There are more than one question at this site which this users does not currently comprehend or understand. That is not an insult to ones own intelligence, that is simply a fact. What this user would do is ask the OP to clarify what do not comprehend or understand, instead of voting to close the question to preclude other users from answering the question which they could very well understand at first read. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 9, 2018 at 16:11

1 Answer 1


It is unclear

I wasn't one of the voters, but given the current question state I would also vote to close as unclear.

I've read the challenge description several times and I still don't know what it's asking for. Part of that is the challenge description, which consists only of the first paragraph, is all one run-on sentence. Breaking that out into bullet points could help, or restructuring it to be more than one sentence.

Secondly, I don't think that "Do not use standard library functions for permutations or combinatorics." is a good fit for the challenge. Depending upon the language, there is a lot of grey area where arguing semantics can come into play. This is a non-observable requirement, and is one of the things to avoid when writing good challenges.

Finally, I'm not convinced that the boundaries of the challenge (up to 123456789, if I'm understanding correctly) will provide a challenging enough scenario to allow for . I believe that submissions will likely run into ceilings surrounding startup/shutdown code variations rather than providing enough variations in timing of the actual algorithm. This will either make the challenge less language-agnostic, or will cause submissions to be all within margin of error.

  • \$\begingroup\$ 1) Input is a positive integer in the range 12 through 123456789, inclusive of either of those integers. 2) The purpose of not using standard library functions for permutations is to fully gather the algorithm, with the ability to port the algorithm to a different language, without simply referring to the documentation of a library function. 3) The boundaries of the challenge are input 123456789 -> 9! -> 1*2*3*4*5*6*7*8*9 -> output 362880 array elements up to 987654321 meeting conditions. Does this comment clarify what you found to be not clear at the question? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 9, 2018 at 14:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ @guest271314 Don't clarify here to me in a comment, edit your post with the clarifications. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 9, 2018 at 15:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Updated the original question. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 9, 2018 at 16:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @guest271314 I like that format better, but I'm still not quite clear on what to output. I can guess from the test cases, but test cases themselves don't make for a good description of the challenge. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 9, 2018 at 16:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ The output is an array having length equal to the factorial of input. Given input 123 -> factorial of input is 1*2*3=6 -> for each of the six array elements output the input integer and the five remaining integers of the array in lexicographic order -> [123,132,213,231,312,321]. Notice that the last element is always the input integer in reverse order. Trying to avoid confusion omitted own algorithm from question and deleted answer that posted which uses only the number 9 to derive all elements of resulting array (am composing that question for mathmatics or mathoverflow se). \$\endgroup\$ Nov 9, 2018 at 17:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is the expected output clear to you now? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 9, 2018 at 17:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ @guest271314 I've taken your wording here, tweaked it a little bit, and edited it into the challenge, then cast a reopen vote. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 9, 2018 at 17:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ FWIW mathoverflow.net/q/314955/131181 \$\endgroup\$ Nov 9, 2018 at 19:46

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