# Let's pick an icon for codegolf.SE?

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?"

• ... and programming puzzles. – Joey Dec 5 '11 at 19:22
• "my own proposal"? – 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.

• I'm not sure this adequately addresses the "puzzle" side. :( – luser droog Dec 14 '11 at 6:34
• I like the idea, but I'm not sure it would look that well in smaller sizes. – 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?

0100111101100011
0011011011011100
1001110000110111
0110011001000011
1101011110000010
0001101000111101
1011110111111011
1101101110011011
1010001000010101
1000100001100010
0111000011001011
1001101001000111
0000110110111001
1101000100100111
1111011010100011
1110101001010000


With apologies to Gnibbler for appropriating his code.

The icon would look like this:

• this is a bit ridiculous. i love the idea :D – JoséNunoFerreira Dec 14 '11 at 12:53
• 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. – Peter Taylor Dec 14 '11 at 19:04
• 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. – Gareth Dec 14 '11 at 20:09
• The text "Programming Puzzles & Code Golf" is 31 characters long. – PhiNotPi Apr 10 '12 at 0:27
• @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. – Gareth Apr 10 '12 at 8:12
• @PhiNotPi And what's the biggest signed number you can fit into 6 bits? 31! – 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).

• 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. – Peter Taylor Dec 22 '11 at 21:58
• 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. – Joey Dec 23 '11 at 9:10
• well, there you go. It works in PietDev. Who knows which interpreter is getting it right? – Peter Taylor Dec 23 '11 at 9:36
• 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, – Joey Dec 23 '11 at 10:56

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

• Do they have to be so small? When I snagged one to modify, it was 48x48. – luser droog Dec 14 '11 at 20:50
• @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. – Peter Taylor Dec 14 '11 at 22:15
• Understood. :-| – 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.

• Yes, that seems much more workable than a flamingo. – 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.

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/114/114-h/114-h.htm#alice30

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

• What does it look like scaled to 16px x 16px? – Peter Taylor Nov 24 '11 at 14:17
• Oh, I hadn't thought of that. It just looks like some dots. :( – luser droog Nov 25 '11 at 1:04
• 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. – Peter Taylor Nov 25 '11 at 8:23
• 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". – luser droog Dec 8 '11 at 8:15
• I found this hilarious. – MrZander Jan 5 '12 at 0:16