I have found code-golf a fascinating pastime for several weeks now.
However, I’m already losing interest because the contests allow any language, and because of that it is pretty much impossible for anything other than J or GolfScript to get anywhere close to winning. As soon as I see a less-than-100-character solution in J or GolfScript, there’s already no point even trying.
If you are tempted to downvote this post and/or post an answer saying you don’t care or don’t agree, please consider the following important point. If you did care, you’d probably have already left. The fact that you are still here, reading this, puts you in the unrepresentative sample of people who are still interested in the challenge. Try to overcome this bias for a moment and think of all the people who will have already left without telling you like I am doing now.
There are several ways that I can think of to mitigate the problem, but unfortunately both seem to be unpracticable...
For each challenge, maybe there should be a separate contest for each programming language? A C# program ideally shouldn’t have to compete against Perl, much less GolfScript. Unfortunately this would mean an explosion of threads. Using tags could mitigate this a bit, and perhaps each post could link to all other posts for the same challenge in other programming languages.
Perhaps there should simply be more upvoting, more comments, more involvement, more praise. Remember that having no activity on one’s answer feels to the poster like it’s receiving no attention and nobody is interested. Perhaps losing with a C# entry wouldn’t be quite so bad if there were at least a few upvotes and a few comments saying “well done” or something?
This is quite an old thread. I am surprised that it has received this many upvotes. Looks like my suggestion #2 appears to have been implemented, thanks!
:D Since I posted this, I think I no longer consider competing and winning to be a source of enjoyment. It’s nice to receive some upvotes and some encouraging comments, and that’s all I need. Since I posted this, I have invented Sclipting and even though it doesn’t achieve its goal (it doesn’t beat GolfScript or J, not by a long shot), I enjoy writing solutions in it. I also enjoy challenges that aren’t code-golf :)