This 'beta' icon for codegolf.SE is pretty lame.

So, in order to create a framework for my own proposal (I dare you to do better!), I ask "What's a good icon for Programming Puzzles and Code-Golf?"

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    \$\begingroup\$ ... and programming puzzles. \$\endgroup\$ – Joey Dec 5 '11 at 19:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ "my own proposal"? \$\endgroup\$ – TheDoctor Apr 29 '14 at 21:37

Stealing Keith's idea, here's a "code-grinder" constructed by reversing the Meta-Stack Overflow icon, adding some space for a "grinding chamber", an output chute, and some smaller things coming out.

Code Grinder Icon

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure this adequately addresses the "puzzle" side. :( \$\endgroup\$ – luser droog Dec 14 '11 at 6:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ I like the idea, but I'm not sure it would look that well in smaller sizes. \$\endgroup\$ – J B Dec 16 '11 at 13:28

Instead of an icon which represents puzzles, why not an icon which is a puzzle? Maybe something encoded in the 256 possible pixels of the 16x16 icon?

EDIT: Thinking about it further, 256 bits could hold 32 ASCII characters, which might be enough to hold a J or Golfscript program...

EDIT2: :-) The ridiculousness continues...

Maybe convert the following to an icon?


With apologies to Gnibbler for appropriating his code.

The icon would look like this:


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    \$\begingroup\$ this is a bit ridiculous. i love the idea :D \$\endgroup\$ – JoséNunoFerreira Dec 14 '11 at 12:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ My apologies. All the letters are present. NB it might be slightly more elegant to make the four spare pixels be the four corners and mark them as a 50-50 shade or as grey. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Dec 14 '11 at 19:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ No problem. I thought about putting the 4 spares in the corners, but wasn't sure how they'd be identifiable as non-encoded. Your different colour idea's a good one. \$\endgroup\$ – Gareth Dec 14 '11 at 20:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ The text "Programming Puzzles & Code Golf" is 31 characters long. \$\endgroup\$ – PhiNotPi Apr 10 '12 at 0:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PhiNotPi I figured it would be more in keeping with the purpose of the site to encode the name in a Golfscript program than to encode it directly. \$\endgroup\$ – Gareth Apr 10 '12 at 8:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PhiNotPi And what's the biggest signed number you can fit into 6 bits? 31! \$\endgroup\$ – Cole Johnson May 9 '14 at 16:39

Picking up Gareth's suggestion, why not make the icon a tiny bit of Piet code? Codel size could be 2 to be a bit easier to distinguish from noise, albeit with the problem that less code can be written.

But I think esoteric programming languages exemplify the recreational part of what we're doing here quite well, regardless of whether they are good for golfing or solving puzzles (Piet is definitely under-represented here).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Having taken you up on the challenge, I think I know why Piet is under-represented. It's immensely irritating to write, and the only interpreter which I was able to get working at all seems to be buggy. If you can get an interpreter working, let me know whether cheddarmonk.org/codegolf.gif works for you. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Dec 22 '11 at 21:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ npiet says codegolf.stackexcha and then goes into an infinite loop apparently. Casey created a Piet IDE and debugger (PietCreator) which from what I saw so far is much better than the other existing options. \$\endgroup\$ – Joey Dec 23 '11 at 9:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ well, there you go. It works in PietDev. Who knows which interpreter is getting it right? \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Dec 23 '11 at 9:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ From past experience I'd say PietDev is wrong; when I still drew Piet programs with it it had the habit of assuming wrong colors in some places (or colors that are long gone at a particular codel). The infinite loop appears to happen between the c and the g, \$\endgroup\$ – Joey Dec 23 '11 at 10:56

Puzzle piece containing part of >!

"Puzzle" is a lot easier to convey in a small icon while still having space for some code than "golf".

  • \$\begingroup\$ Do they have to be so small? When I snagged one to modify, it was 48x48. \$\endgroup\$ – luser droog Dec 14 '11 at 20:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @luserdroog, they can be larger, but in all the contexts I've ever seen them they're displayed at 16x16, so I would rather give a mockup at that size. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Dec 14 '11 at 22:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Understood. :-| \$\endgroup\$ – luser droog Dec 14 '11 at 22:44

I'm probably awful designer, but I decided to try using U+26F3 as an icon.

In 16x16, it looks way nicer.


I was thinking of some sort of code grinder. I'm not sure you could make it very small and still be legible, though.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, that seems much more workable than a flamingo. \$\endgroup\$ – luser droog Dec 14 '11 at 5:23

John Tenniel's Illustration for Alice in Wonderland portraying Alice attempting to play Croquet with a flamingo and two hedgehogs.


Alice trying to play Croquet with a flamingo and two hedgehogs

Perhaps with "x=x+1" on the hedgehog running away and "++x" on the one underfoot.

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    \$\begingroup\$ What does it look like scaled to 16px x 16px? \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Nov 24 '11 at 14:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh, I hadn't thought of that. It just looks like some dots. :( \$\endgroup\$ – luser droog Nov 25 '11 at 1:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yep, that's the really hard part of icon / logo design. You might be able to do something recognisable if you colour it, but given that there isn't really anywhere to see a "full-size" icon it has to make sense from just the 16x16. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Nov 25 '11 at 8:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ There is a slightly larger set of icons displayed on the stackexchange profile page, under the accounts tab. But it's still nowhere near large enough to accomodate Alice. Maybe a Disney cell would be more "iconic". \$\endgroup\$ – luser droog Dec 8 '11 at 8:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ I found this hilarious. \$\endgroup\$ – MrZander Jan 5 '12 at 0:16

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