Recently, I had people go crazy with escape codes on one of my ASCII art challenges.
- This x86 machine code answer was able to save some bytes by throwing a few colour codes at the console. At some point along the way the OP even had a version which left the output blinking.
- Both the above, as well as at least two other answers made use of escape codes to move the cursor vertically across the console, which greatly simplified the indentation logic.
- A similar situation (which didn't happen on this answer) is people using things like carriage return (0x0D) or backspace (0x08) to overwrite output in some challenges.
Of course, all of this relies on a certain console environment which interprets these control characters and escape codes the right way.
- Should such solutions be allowed in general, i.e. are we only concerned with the rendered output?
- Or should the output be the exact byte stream specified in the challenge?
- What if the escape codes only work as intended in very specific environments?
- Is arbitrary colouring of the output allowed? (Provided fore- and background have different colours.)