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For this question I wrote a small script to compress a string by replacing substrings that occur a lot with single characters that aren't already in the string (inspired by the ES6 answer), and posted this answer (which managed to be shorter than the ES6 answer because I replaced more duplicate substrings).

I thought that was a pretty successful strategy so I used the same script to generate a string for this answer, but that one got a downvote.

Is reusing strategies across multiple questions frowned upon here?

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To answer your specific question: Reusing strategies across challenges is perfectly fine. Similar problems require similar approaches. It can, on occasions, indicate a bad question (something overly similar has been done before), but not a bad answer.

Try not to draw conclusions from a single downvote. If a downvote comes without any kind of explanation, it is impossible to know for sure why it was cast. There's usually no point in trying to guess. I've received a huge amount of upvotes for posts that didn't really deserve them and downvotes for others of much higher quality.

If I had to guess why your first answer was better received than the second one, I'd say it's because the PHP answer is the shortest one that doesn't use built-in compression, while the JavaScript answer was severely outgolfed by other submissions by the time it was downvoted.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The only post containing outgolfed... by Dennis... \$\endgroup\$ Jun 29, 2016 at 21:17

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