In Fortran 77 (and probably older ones), you require six spaces before each line. This makes it incredibly difficult to golf, so should we count those spaces in the byte/character count?

Fortran punch card

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Use Fortran 90+ :P \$\endgroup\$ Nov 9, 2014 at 10:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related \$\endgroup\$ Nov 9, 2014 at 14:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Java is also at a ridiculous disadvantage, but plenty of answers here. I think they really just compete against the other Java answers or you know - just have fun. \$\endgroup\$
    – gnibbler
    Nov 9, 2014 at 22:36

1 Answer 1


Yes, count them

Every language has its pros and cons, but that doesn't mean that every language should get special treatment. If the person posing a question wants to set up a complicated handicap system then that's their decision, but the default assumption should be that a program's score is the size that a tool such as wc would report for the source file, with appropriate adjustments for special flags.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .