dmckee has recently started the "1P5" to improve the quality of posts, the quantity of (good!) posts, and the motivation of users on this site.

We (Stack Exchange Inc.) think that this is a really great initiative, and we want to support it by offering a reward: We'd like to give and iPad 2 to a user who goes through great lengths to make codegolf.se more awesome™.

The question that remains is: Who should get it? How do we decide who deserves this prize?

Should it go to a great puzzle? A great solution? A consistenly great puzzle maker? A consistently great solver? A combination of those?

We need your help to decide this. We really want to encourage great puzzles and awesome answers, and you, the regular users of the site, are in the best position to tell us who would deserve it.

Go ahead and offer your thoughts!

Update: We've decided that while (as everyone noticed) coming up with clear hard rules is pretty hard, by many metrics Keith Randall has done a great deal for the site, so we've picked him. Expect an email, Keith :)

And (somewhat of a second price) as a thank you to George Edison for essentially creating a plugin that caters to the specialty of this site, we'll send him on a shopping spree in the Stack Exchange swag store.

Thanks, you two, and everyone else!

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    \$\begingroup\$ Preferably, offer the choice of a non-Apple alternative for the non-Apple crowd, such as the Xoom or something equivalent. ;-) \$\endgroup\$ May 2, 2011 at 21:56

4 Answers 4


My opinion is that we should reward questions, not answers. It is much harder to come up with a good question than a good answer. And it seems to me that we don't need to encourage people to answer more questions (we have plenty of answers), we need more questions.

Here's a strawman: # of questions in <time period> with 10+ votes or 5+ answers. Discuss...

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    \$\begingroup\$ Just to note: The number of answers is not necessarily what makes a question good/great/interesting. It could also just mean that it's trivial and everyone can chime in with a one-liner that is golfed to the max on first sight. That's not to mean that questions without answers are preferred, though ;-) \$\endgroup\$
    – Joey
    May 3, 2011 at 9:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ I like this idea as well. We've a shortage of questions (when compared to answers), especially non-golf questions. If only there was some way to judge the complexity or depth of a question. For example Prisoners and Boxes took considerable more setup/prep time than, say, Happy Numbers (no offense to peter taylor, just illustrating the differences). \$\endgroup\$
    – Casey
    May 3, 2011 at 21:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Casey, why would I be offended? It's not my question. \$\endgroup\$ May 4, 2011 at 17:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oops, you have the first answer on my end. Looks like I scrolled to far. No offense to fR0DDY then. \$\endgroup\$
    – Casey
    May 4, 2011 at 17:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ Rather than stress quantity, I'd go for the best question in a given period of time. "Best" shouldn't just be the number of votes the questions gets, but should also reflect that it induced great answers. So here's my strawman: Score a question by # of votes for the question + the # votes for the top three answers. \$\endgroup\$ May 10, 2011 at 4:11

Throw it away.

I don't feel good about prizes at all. Maybe two or three persons spend much effort in their questions and answers.

Now maybe my up- or down-vote decides who gets a prize? I don't want too serious discussions why I upvoted here and not there, why I was careful on Monday, critic on Tuesday, generous on Wednesday and so on.

I thought this is a site for fun and entertainment. Expensive prizes can be a serious threat and poison the atmosphere.

I hope I'm wrong, and I appreciate the attempt to improve the site.


"... who goes through great lengths to make codegolf.se more awesome™."

I have put a lot of effort and work into making a UserScript that makes it much easier to navigate the site. The UserScript does a number of things:

  • Lists the size (in bytes) of each entry.
  • Identifies the language used for the entry.
  • In some cases, offers the option to run the code via CodePad.
  • Adds a new sorting option for entries
    • for [code-golf] questions, the option to sort by smallest entry
    • for [code-bowling] questions, the option to sort by largest entry
  • Lists the current winner at the top of the question.
  • Adds a preferences menu to the top of the page with a few options.
  • Adds syntax highlighting to all code.
  • Automatically checks for updates and notifies you when one is available.
  • Adds the option to try out a new experimental "theme" for the site using injected JS and CSS.
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    \$\begingroup\$ You speak sooth. George should get some kind of credit for this effort. \$\endgroup\$ May 13, 2011 at 0:16

I agree with Keith that questions are usually harder than answers, though we've seen some truly awesome answers (mostly on Stack Overflow so far, but I trust the CodeGolf.SE will see some in time).

I don't have a favorite candidate for the prize at this time.

I've thought of a metric that allows some weight for really good answers.

<net votes on questions> + 
<number of answers to the poster's questions over *threshold* votes> + //stolen from Keith
<votes on answers *exceeding* the votes for that question>

evaluated over some time period.

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    \$\begingroup\$ <votes on answers *exceeding* the votes for that question> might have some unintended behaviour. E.g. I have 6 votes for an answer pointing out how boring a question was. The question is at -1. Do I really deserve 7 points for that? \$\endgroup\$ May 11, 2011 at 11:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ In fact, with very few exceptions, it rewards answering bad questions and gives no reward for good answers to good questions. \$\endgroup\$ May 11, 2011 at 12:09

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