I don't like golf languages, and I vote on solutions using them only if the solution has some extraordinary feature (like abusing a bug in the interpreter).

How can I encourage people to vote this way in challenges I post? When tagging "code-golf", which I do pretty much 100% of the time, I discourage that — "winning criterion" is supposed to be a measure of the "quality" of the solution, which overlaps with voting.

Just writing "I want you to vote in this particular way" looks rude. What else can I do?


1 Answer 1


Use a specific scoring rule

One could use a code-challenge scoring rule, that combines some measure of the inherent golfiness of the language with the code length on this specific challenge.

For instance, one might say that the inherent golfiness of a language is the (geometric) mean length of the shortest answers to each of a selected group of popular challenges.

Then, the score of a submission could be the ratio of the length of that submission to the inherent golfiness of the language used.

For instance, if the inherent golfiness of Pyth was 10 bytes, while the inherent golfiness of Python was 100 bytes, then a 50 byte solution in Python to your challenge would beat a 6 byte solution in Pyth.

Scored submissions would only be scored this way in languages where enough solutions had been submitted to the selected group of popular challenges before the new challenge was posted to establish an inherent golfiness for the language. Submissions in other languages would be allowed, but would be treated as having inherent golfiness 1 byte, and so would almost certainly not win.

This would be a better way to compare golfs across languages than the current method.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ I like the idea, but measuring golfiness of a language from the lengths in a selected group of challenges may not be precise. How would that group be selected? On the other hand, measuring by the mean (or median) length across all answers would be biased: in a golf language, an answer that would be long is likely to not be posted, whereas that is less the case in a standard language. Still, I think we could try and see how it goes. The measure can be refined with subsequent challenges \$\endgroup\$
    – Luis Mendo
    Commented Nov 19, 2019 at 22:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ I also like the idea, but I think we need support from the site itself (or possibly userscripts) to calculate the "score with handicap". And then expect that the score would affect voting. This is a more fundamental change than what I assumed was possible when asking my question. \$\endgroup\$
    – anatolyg
    Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 10:05
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @LuisMendo I was thinking of choosing the top 100 challenges in terms of number of answers. As long as the questioner chooses them in a straightforward way, and there's enough challenges such that many languages have sots of answers, it should work. \$\endgroup\$
    – isaacg
    Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 20:30
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @anatolyg I think it should be relatively straightforward to write such a program to calculate golfiness. We don't need the inherent golfiness metric to update with the challenges, so it doesn't need to be a userscript, just an offline scraping program. I could write one, if you're interested. I don't think we need support from the site. \$\endgroup\$
    – isaacg
    Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 20:33

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