I've often seen some questions tagged graphical-output and kolmogorov-complexity that have some answer being image files, and they are often disagreements in the comments.
Swiss flag (PNG)
Swiss flag (GIF)
Carpet an airport
RGB colour grid
Here's what comment section looks like (taken from the first example
Swiss flag (PNG)):
This question is not realy about SVG; while they are some disagreements, it seems like it's more accepted than bitmap files. This is probably due to the fact that it isn't binary, but XML, which is closer to code than a binary bitmap image is. So you can talk about it but this is not the main focus of the question.
I gathered the arguments for and against it from the comments and some of my research:
|kolmogorov-complexity's description mentions a complex string, which shortest representation might be to print it literally. If a literal string is considered the "worst case solution" to a string based code-golf, a literal image file could be considered a "worst case solution" to an image based code-golf. - Sunday, in
||PNG isn't a programming language, this isn't "drawing" anything, it's just the pre-drawn output file handed out on a platter. That makes a profoundly un-interesting submission. - Caleb, in
|Answering in non-programming languages is allowed on Do submissions have to be answered with a programming language?||It could be compared to a compiled code (binary executable) which users seems to agree on the fact that they shouldn't be valid answers|
|It's kind of interesting that a generic commonly used image format like PNG can come close in size to the solutions using code tailor-made to this particular image - Anonymous, in
||This could give an unfair advantage, especially on pictures with a small colo(u)r palette. While I haven't seen any submission that wins, most of them are pretty close to first place|
///which almost always just output the program's contents untouched, and then they'd be allowed. So banning them would seem very inconsistent (as well as, IMO, stupid) \$\endgroup\$