In challenges on this site, particularly code-golf, answers are sometimes given that you can neither read nor test. If the answer is, for example, the shortest, should you still accept it?

As an example, consider code-golf answers written in APL. It is likely that I won't be able to read any of it and there is no free APL compiler/interpreter as far as I know so I can't test it either. Should I just believe that it does whatever the answerer says it does and award the win?


1 Answer 1


I don't think you can exclude these by default. For example, if an asker only knows C-like syntax languages, they're going to balk on many, many answers here, regardless of whether there's an interpreter "somewhere". Answerers can't read minds (well, most of them), so they won't even know up front which languages are "good". That's simply not fair.

The community in general frowns on language-specific challenges (unless there's a good reason), and I don't see how this is much different. The vast majority of answers are in languages that have an interpreter easily available (glare at Mathematica).

If you need an interpreter/compiler/environment, there's a large list of them here on meta. If there's an answer in a language you don't see on the list (APL?), consider leaving a comment asking them to add it to the list.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I believe there is no existing free compiler/interpreter for APL. This was really part of the point of my question. \$\endgroup\$
    – user9206
    Commented Sep 24, 2014 at 17:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Lembik For what OS? My first hit on Google for "APL interpreter" was GNU APL, and the second was this SO post. \$\endgroup\$
    – Geobits
    Commented Sep 24, 2014 at 17:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Interesting. I just tried gnu.org/software/apl . I compiled and installed it then ran "apl". I then tried copying and pasting the answer from codegolf.stackexchange.com/questions/37979/… but I just get "SYNTAX ERROR". Any ideas? \$\endgroup\$
    – user9206
    Commented Sep 24, 2014 at 18:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't know APL, so no. \$\endgroup\$
    – Geobits
    Commented Sep 24, 2014 at 18:01
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Lembik The solution uses {} style functions which are not supported by GNU APL. Use tryapl.org. \$\endgroup\$
    – FUZxxl
    Commented Feb 9, 2015 at 22:10

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