Could you please reopen Tweetable Mathematical Art ? It is such a source of inspiration, of course it will never end and never have a final answer, but that is how art is supposed to be, right?


2 Answers 2


Firstly, welcome to the site! We're glad you're enjoying the posts here, and we encourage you to participate yourself!

However, Tweetable Mathematical Art is not going to be reopened. As impressive, and as fun, of a challenge as it was, the task itself was incredibly vague, to the point where former moderator, Alex A closed it as "Needs more focus".

I'll also point out the second notice on the question, under the close notice, that reads:

Locked. This question and its answers are locked because the question is off-topic but has historical significance. It is not currently accepting new answers or interactions.

This is because, despite the problems in the challenge, it is an impressive collection of answers and art, and we do want to preserve it. Unfortunately, it doesn't belong on the site anymore, and so, to balance our want to keep it with the rules against it, us moderators can lock posts to mark them as historically significant, but no longer accepted on the site.

In short, the task in the challenge can be summed up as "Create a piece of art. Most creative wins". Granted, there are some constraints, which make the challenge much more fun, but this kind of challenge doesn't belong on our site in its current era, where we require much stricter and more objective rules.

In long, Tweetable Mathematical Art also fell victim of our popularity contest problem, which we've struggled with as a site for years now. I won't go into it fully here, but you can read more by looking at posts in the tag, and this post. But, popularity contests have conflicted with our universal requirement for a challenge to have an objective winning criteria since their creation, and so we've debated keeping them, removing them, locking them, or something in between during that time.

However, you are still welcome to give the challenge a try, and, within reason, share your efforts in The Nineteenth Byte, our more informal chat room. It does require 20 reputation to interact in, but that is only 2 upvotes, or 10 edits, so shouldn't be a massive hurdle.


The lock in place is still correct

Tweetable mathematical art is a fun question with some great answers, but it's the only the best example of a category of questions that are bad for our site.

There are plenty of other questions of the type "do something creative in this many bytes", and they are usually just not that much fun for us. We as a community have come to the conclusion that this broad type of challenge is not what this site is about, it's about constrained goal oriented programming rather than open-ended art. That's not to say open-ended challenges are bad, they just what we have decided the site is about.

As such we closed (or have tried to close) all questions like that. The good ones get a lock like Tweetable Mathematical Art. This helps communicate our site culture better, since if we left a challenge open but didn't allow new challenges of that type it would be confusing.

And there's still plenty of room for creativity here! I'm sure if you enjoyed that question you can find some great open challenges here.

And lastly if you want to share your own submission to Tweetable Mathematical Art, you can always show it in chat, I'm sure people would be happy to see that sort of thing.


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