Edit I was mistaken about the links being bad in the mp3 challenge. It wasn't playing well with Centos but seems to be fine on Windows. As such, there are no grounds for closing that challenge. The Rubik's Revenge challenge is currently on hold.

We have at least two high voted ("good") questions (mp3 beats and Rubik's Revenge) that I see as being in a similar boat:

  • They are both highly upvoted (+16 and +30)
  • Were someone to answer, the answer could not be scored (rubik's lacks test cases, beats has bad file links)
  • Both posts are 2+ years old
  • Both OP's have not been active on PPCG for ~2 years.

As it stands, I think it is relatively clear that since they cannot be scored, they effectively fall into the "lack objective winning criteria" category and as such are off-topic.

The recourse would then be put them on hold and since the OP's do not seem to be involved, it would be up to the community to edit them.

My actuall questions are specific to each of the posts:

  • For the Rubik's Revenge post, if the scoring criteria is left the way it is, test cases are needed. However, to generate test cases, it is likely that someone would need to first actually write an answer (or go through most of the steps for writing an answer.) It seems to me that this would then kind of invalidate the answer of that poster, because he'd be generating test cases and then running his own answer around this. Is there any way around this short of changing the winning criteria for the challenge?
  • For the mp3 Beats post, there are some comments that indicate the challenge might be improved by removing the requirement that files be .mp3. If the challenge were closed (or even if it isn't) would it be acceptable for me to post almost the same challenge, with the filetype restriction removed?
  • \$\begingroup\$ Interesting question. I'm particularly interested in hearing opinions on whether it is better to edit an old challenge or post a new challenge without the problems. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 6, 2016 at 14:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ If a question is closed, it is as if the question was never posted, so there is no harm in posting a new version of a closed question (assuming that the closed question cannot be repaired simply by editing). \$\endgroup\$
    – user45941
    Feb 6, 2016 at 22:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mego How about in the case that it isn't closed? Or would it be okay for someone to substantially edit his question into the less restricted version (since it has gone 2 years without answer)? \$\endgroup\$
    – Liam
    Feb 6, 2016 at 22:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ General consensus is that rule changes to improve a challenge are acceptable. However, that particular post is only addressing challenge authors editing their own challenges. IMO, if a challenge author goes inactive for a long time, the challenge effectively belongs to the community, so as long as the community approves of the edits, there's no harm done. Older answers may need cleaning up if they get invalidated. Of course, that's all assuming that closing the question isn't the best course of action. \$\endgroup\$
    – user45941
    Feb 6, 2016 at 22:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks! Very helpful. \$\endgroup\$
    – Liam
    Feb 6, 2016 at 22:57

1 Answer 1


At this point in time, the Rubik's Cube challenge has been closed, and there is one close vote on the Beats challenge (courtesy of me). I agree that these are interesting challenges, and thus deserve to be on the site if their problems are worked out.

If you are interested in working on making these challenges quality, there are a few courses of action you can take:

  • Make edits: This is a viable solution for the Rubik's cube challenge, since the main issue with it is a lack of test cases. Simply adding test cases and nominating it for reopening will do the trick.
  • Create a new version: This is a better option for the Beats challenge in my opinion, as its issues are more serious, and drastic changes will be needed in order to bring it up to our standards. Make sure to use the Sandbox for feedback!

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