I think this question needs some discussion. The close/reopen cycle and the mix of up and downvotes suggests strong opinions on both sides. Can we have them presented and discussed?


1 Answer 1


The first five close votes, resulting in a close as unclear, were cast when the title and body contradicted each other.

The next five, resulting in a second close as unclear, were probably cast in order to get more clarification on

You may not use a loop, or use a constructions that is similar to a loop. Example of loop like constructions are GOTO and recursion.

judging by the upvotes on my comment

This shouldn't have been reopened, because it still lacks clarity on what counts as "loop-like". E.g. what about folds?

The second reopen followed an edit which provided the definition

if you could add an stdout "1" to your code and you would end up with repeating that output n times, it will count as a loop

I'm not entirely sure why the question is still getting close votes, but there are at least two plausible candidate reasons.

  1. It could be that people think Optimizer's question

    (2) Is evaluating string as a code using eval/exec allowed ?

    hasn't been answered yet.

  2. It could be that people think the definition of a loop is unclear in other ways. For example, in CJam it would permit use of the f operator, which is defined as a for loop but which takes a single token as the loop body and hence wouldn't permit inserting 1p into the loop.

As for the downvotes, the history of the question certainly shows a lack of research effort and clarity. The spec still isn't very good, and (at the risk of being too provocative) I hold popcons to a higher standard than questions with better winning criteria.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Regarding reasons for downvote, I want to add that there's been multiple popular challenges of the form "do x without doing y", particularly for x="multiply" (to which squaring is similar), so I find them stale and overdone. \$\endgroup\$
    – xnor
    Commented Jan 8, 2015 at 17:43
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @xnor, to strengthen that observation, loop avoidance has also been done quite a bit before. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 8, 2015 at 17:46

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