Our benevolent mod Martin recently sandboxed a challenge for golfing "Hello, World!", as we do not yet have such a challenge on this site. It seems that Martin intends for it to be more of a catalog of the shortest possible "Hello, World!" programs in many languages rather than a contest to see who can create the shortest submission in any language. This brings up an interesting point: Should challenges which are primarily intended to be catalogs rather than contests be on topic here?
Since we're talking about my sandbox post here, let me make the case for yes, this should be on topic!
- It's not actually different from a code golf challenge, except I won't accept an answer, and it encourages answers in many different languages (using words, but nothing else). In fact, as Doorknob mentioned in his answer, this is actually part of our mission as described in the help centre. All I did was call it by name.
- We already have questions like this. E.g. I consider our basic quine challenge, Golf you a quine for great good!, such a catalogue. Whenever I discover a new quine in an esolang, I go to that challenge and add it there.
- Whenever someone complains that Pyth, CJam and friends suck all the enjoyment out of golfing, we always say "you have to treat this as a competition within your language not between languages". It would be weird to outlaw challenges which emphasise that aspect specifically.
- Stack Exchange is still about building great content. We're a Stack Exchange site about code golf (amongst other things, but mainly code golf). Since (as far as I'm aware) no other reputable site collects "The shortest way to do X in any language" (emphasis on "shortest"), I think this is a great opportunity for us to build good content for code golfers and esolang enthusiasts.
- Many (even common) esolangs haven't been thoroughly explored yet when it comes to golfing, and having these catalogue-like questions provides an additional incentive to study golfing techniques in these languages in depth.
I'd actually be up for creating a tag for these, I don't think we should create a separate tag for these because I'm not entirely sure what differentiates them from a normal challenge other than a) it's a very common task, b) there won't be an accepted answer, c) the OP explicitly asks for the shortest solution per language, but those are just words, right?
PS: Because this has come up twice now, I'm strictly against making these categorically Community Wikis. Most answers will be the work of single users who deserve the rep for it. If many users contribute to a single answer, that one answer can still be made CW if the original author doesn't feel like he deserves all the rep any more. I think we've got enough sportsmanship around here for that to work out.
(I'm speaking as a regular user here, not as a moderator.)
I think that this is definitely a plausible idea (perhaps a new-genre?) if
The question is made Community Wiki (and hence all the answers).
There can only be one answer per language.
- Editing an answer to improve / golf someone else's code is okay.
No answer is accepted.
(Optional) Answers should contain as much (necessary) explanation of golfing tricks / techniques used as possible.
All of our current challenges are essentially (incomplete) "catalogs" of solutions in different languages anyway. We even have this in our Tour:
With your help, we're working together to build a library of programming puzzles and their solutions.
@MartinBüttner explains why such questions would be beneficial in his sandbox post, and with the criteria that I propose, I can't see how this could be problematic at all.