My quine in Pxem was criticised as not being a quine, as they output their filenames, not the content of those files. A Pxem program is represented as a pair of a filename and content of file.

So far I have submitted three versions of quines; one requires content of file to be empty; the other two do not. Are these valid quines per our site rules?

Should I consider resubmitting as distinct notation such as esolang-box who represents a Pxem program as a string?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think my solution would be to invent a language "Pxem2", which is basically Pxem but where the program until the first null byte is interpreted as the file name, so that you don't have any of these issues \$\endgroup\$
    – pxeger
    Jun 2, 2021 at 8:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @pxeger Then it's enough in esolang-box; it uses first LF instead of null as a separator. \$\endgroup\$
    – user100411
    Jun 2, 2021 at 8:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ I've edited your question a bit to format it more as a "question" rather that a list of bullet points. Additionally, I've modified your links to link to the answer itself, along with the comments discussing it \$\endgroup\$ Jun 7, 2021 at 22:24

1 Answer 1


Quines are defined as

A quine is a computer program which takes no input and produces a copy of its own source code as its only output.

Emphasis mine. Source. Also cited in the original question

Despite Pxem's unusual execution manner, filenames are not source code. Therefore, a valid submission to the quine challenge should be a program which accepts no input, and outputs the exact code in the file, regardless of the filename. Anything else is not a valid quine.


Also, in many languages, an empty file is also a quine: that isn't considered a legit quine either.

Meaning that at least one of your submissions is invalid.

If there is an interpreter, such as esolang-box where you can submit it as a single file which outputs its source code, this is valid per our rules that a language is defined by its implementation. esolang-box says:


The first line is the file name of the pxem code.

The rest is the content of the pxem code.

So, while being slightly "edge-case"-y, if a program like

this text


this text

when run on esolang-box, I'd consider this to be an acceptable quine.


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