The state of the underhanded tag

I recently looked at the tag and noticed that all 3 of the newest questions are closed as "Too Broad". From our new rules for popularity contests and the tag being off-topic it would seem that underhanded may also be off topic. What is the community opinion on the underhanded tag?

• related Feb 8 '16 at 2:12

Note that is not a winning criterion, unlike ; it's more like in that it's a specification of the content of the challenge. Underhanded challenges can be code golfs or popularity contests or whatever. I don't think the issue is that it's difficult to find a objective winning criteria for them.

I've actually been meaning to bring this up. I think the real issue with is that it's a poorly disguised attempt at keeping around after code trolling challenges became off topic. Underhanded challenges don't provide quality content to the site. In fact, I think they perpetuate others' negative opinions of the type of code we write on this site, and they perpetuate the image that we're a "joke site." There are only so many times we can have the same challenge of "do X but make it look like you're doing Y, lol sneaky sneaky" anyway.

With that in mind, I'd like to propose that be retired in the same way that was, with existing challenges being closed as off topic and locked for historical significance, and future challenges of that type being made unwelcome.

• While not precisely a winning criterion, the underhanded tag wiki says that [v]otes cast on challenges should take into account how well (or poorly) hidden the bug is. That means that an "underhanded" code golf challenge with an objective definition of what is considered hidden should be stripped of the tag. Feb 8 '16 at 0:57
• @Dennis or the tag wiki should be changed to match reality. I stand by my position of 20 months ago that it's virtually impossible to write an on-topic challenge which fits the tag wiki's description, but there are some good questions in the tag which predate its wiki entry. Feb 8 '16 at 7:04
• I completely agree with killing off the underhanded tag. As it stands, it doesn't add anything to site quality.
– user45941
Feb 8 '16 at 7:14
• As much as I dislike underhanded it's a little bit better than code-trolling in that the latter was "do anything but X" and the former is (usually) "make it look like doing X but do Y instead". The main problem is that "make it look like doing X" (still) fails to provide an objective validity criterion for answers. Feb 8 '16 at 7:46
• So, we will be basically going back to only allow questions of the type "solve this very basic problem in golfscript using as few characters as possible" where the problem must be very basic (usually a basic math problem or a hello world derivative, otherwise there will be too few people interested in answering)? I predict that after the 100th codegolf question about finding primes, printing hello world or ordering a list, people will start losing interest in this site.
– vsz
Apr 18 '16 at 6:12
• If people abuse the underhanded tag as a disguise for code-trolling questions, we should solve that problem, instead of pre-emptively banning everything which is not strictly code-golf. There can be serious underhanded challenges which are not jokes, and we can learn a lot from them. Much more then from seeing the 100th golfscript implementation of a very basic algorithm.
– vsz
Apr 18 '16 at 6:12
• @vsz Actually, I din't see a lot of GolfScript nowadays, Jelly, CJam and Pyth are the trend :). Also, challenge evolves, they aren't "always the same thing", we have more and more challenges like De-snakify a string who gets a fair amount of answer, with more than half of them in regular languages. Apr 19 '16 at 9:23
• @vsz Also, the problem with underhanded is that the challenges are often poorly designed, and I agree that coming up with a good one is hard. It's basically a popcon where you can't count on the fancy graphical output you ask for to make your challenge loved by the community. Apr 19 '16 at 9:24
• @vsz we have a healthy rate of new non-golf challenges (KotH, fastest code, code challenge). Apr 19 '16 at 14:44
• Many existing underhanded questions deserve to be revived due to their ingenuity. It is a pity that one single answer here was accepted and referred to as “Community consensus” that was used to justify the butchering of this category. Nov 21 '16 at 11:36
• Besides that, what seems to be the problem with popularity-contest as the objective winning criterion? Just assume it by default and save this amusing category, a battleground for wits! Nov 21 '16 at 11:38