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Well, I love code golfing, and this site is a really good idea.

But I was wondering if there's some reward or motivation for posting results ? If there are none (apart from the randomness of someone voting for you because it thinks your solution is cool), what is the motivation for posters (ok, fame, glory, ... maybe I'm too greedy)

I'm asking it because I've seen on some questions that there are very few votes on the results. And sometimes, there are votes on first answers, and none on better answers (with less strokes on the same langage) which have been posted 2 or 3 days later.

Did I miss something ? Maybe there should be an implicit deadline on contests, and a rule stating that the players should vote for best answers when the deadline has been reached.

What do you think ? (and sorry for my poor english)

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But I was wondering if there's some reward or motivation for posting results?

I would analyse the motivation for posting thusly:

  • The really fun part is doing the golfing, but once you've done that there's little reason not to post unless you're way behind everyone else.
  • The scoring allows you to try to beat the others. There's a Kantian aspect here too: if no-one posted, you'd never know how good your solution was.

I'm asking it because I've seen on some questions that there are very few votes on the results. And sometimes, there are votes on first answers, and none on better answers (with less strokes on the same langage) which have been posted 2 or 3 days later.

These are indeed both problems. Most people aren't going to check every answer methodically to see whether it's better than the previous ones and upvote it if so.

Maybe there should be an implicit deadline on contests, and a rule stating that the players should vote for best answers when the deadline has been reached.

I think that having a deadline is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The result will be that someone who discovers the site for the first time sees not a vast array of possible challenges but a narrow set of recent ones. Rather than the current situation of their late answer being potentially undervoted, they wouldn't be able to post it in the first place. Is that an improvement?

See also the related question Should I change the accepted answer?

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Deadlines are probably a nice idea, in that other golfing sites also have them. They encourage people to submit soon. Certainly, for the first golfing contest I ran on Stack Overflow, while I didn't have a strict time limit, where there were two entries of 1 byte long, I favoured the earlier submission.

Unfortunately, the Stack Exchange software doesn't directly have any deadline-based thing, except for bounties. And while there are some site-specific customisations (e.g., this site has higher limits for auto-community-wiki, and other sites have MathJax), I don't know if a brand-new feature like this would get implemented "just for one site".

So the best you can get for now is a social convention, not anything the site software can enforce.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Hum, I didn't expect some site customisation. I guess it would be a big work just for code-golfing. I was rather thinking about setting up some habits and customs that would be reminded at each contest. Just launching ideas... \$\endgroup\$ – Orabîg Nov 22 '12 at 20:10

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