Questions about off-site programming challenges, such as those featured on Project Euler, Hackerrank, etc., are off topic here. However, it's come to my attention recently that questions about such challenges are actually on topic on Code Review. Indeed, they even have a dedicated tag for such questions. As such, I propose that we add a new close reason that suggests that the OP check out Code Review, akin to our current option for general programming questions, which suggests Stack Overflow:

This site is for programming contests and challenges. General programming questions are off-topic here. You may be able to get help on Stack Overflow.

It could say something along the lines of

This site is for creating and participating in programming contests and challenges. Questions about off-site programming challenges are off-topic here. You may be able to get help on Code Review.

To clarify, we would of course still direct folks without working code to Stack Overflow, and ensure that only questions that could be on topic for Code Review (with a recommendation to check out their Help Center as needed, as we currently do for SO) be suggested for Code Review.


  • \$\begingroup\$ I like it, though I wouldn't mind Euler questions being on-topic for code golf. The puzzles there would be very interesting for golfing purposes. But, that's a topic for a different discussion. +1 for the new close reason. \$\endgroup\$
    – user45941
    Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 21:55
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ If you make this, please add "as long as your code is working as intended" in there to avoid off-topic questions just being posted on both PPCG and CR \$\endgroup\$
    – Phrancis
    Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 21:58
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not clear what this is aimed at. The off-topic questions I've seen that mention off-site programming challenges are just "help me with coding" that are kind enough to state the source of the challenge, and we already have handling for those. Are there questions popping up about the rules or organization of off-site programming challenges? \$\endgroup\$
    – xnor
    Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 22:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Isn't there a limit on the number of custom close reasons? How many reasons can we make? \$\endgroup\$
    – PhiNotPi
    Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 22:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ Could you perhaps give some examples of closed questions that you'd have pointed to Code Review? \$\endgroup\$
    – xnor
    Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 22:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PhiNotPi We can have up to 5. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex A.
    Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 22:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @xnor This is more preemptive than anything else; I didn't have any specific posts in mind. But I'll look through some closed questions here see if I can find some good examples. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex A.
    Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 22:16
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ You can have up to five reasons, but SE staff will make you work extra hard to justify adding the fourth and fifth ones. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 0:04
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I'd advise you to proceed more methodically. Cite examples and statistics. Then decide whether the help center needs clarification. Does it say anywhere that reposting an outside challenge here is forbidden? I don't think so. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 0:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @200_success I just wanted to get a sense of the community's opinion on the matter before getting too involved with the idea. I think it's been a useful endeavor so far. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex A.
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 0:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ What if the outside programming challenge is code-golf? Like this. \$\endgroup\$
    – Adám
    Commented Feb 24, 2016 at 3:21

3 Answers 3


No, it's too narrow

We only get 5 custom close reasons. Let's save them for something better.

The off-topic questions I remember that mention off-site programming challenges are just "help me with code" questions where the source of the question doesn't really matter. This is already handled by the custom close reason:

This site is for programming contests and challenges. General programming questions are off-topic here. You may be able to get help on Stack Overflow.

Now, I could see this being misinterpreted to allow questions about other programming contests on other sites, but I don't actually remember any off-topic questions like that. (Maybe it's worth rewording though.)

About directing questions Code Review if they fit their rules, I think that's going beyond our responsibility. Once we explain to a poster that we're not about helping people with their code, it's up to them to determine if Code Review or elsewhere is the right place for them. I imagine most close voters do not participate in Code Review, so we should not expect them to give accurate recommendations. If you do have an informed recommendation, you're welcome to post it as a comment.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ +1 for suggesting the OP "determine if Code Review or elsewhere is the right place for them". \$\endgroup\$
    – Phrancis
    Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 22:44

As someone who isn't a member of PPCG, but is a member of both Stack Overflow & Code Review (with relatively high reputation on both), I'd have to emphatically disagree with the wording of both options you presented.

But ultimately, the biggest problem is that in your vote to close reason, you're recommending the user seek help at another Stack Exchange site. We're not talking about a vote to migrate.

A question should be closed because it's a bad question.

A question should be migrated because it's a great question, but it matches the scope of another Stack Exchange network site and not yours.

If a question belongs on Stack Overflow, Code Review, or any other Stack Exchange network site, then flag the question for moderator attention and get it migrated. If you introduce a close reason pointing users to that other network site, you're going to end up with duplicate copy & pasted questions closed on multiple sites in the network.

Importantly, the people with close vote powers on PPCG are not exactly the best authority on what is on-topic for Code Review or Stack Overflow (or what makes a good question there). There might be some overlap.

But how would PPCG members feel if Code Review or Stack Overflow added some sort of equivalent close reason and blanket pointed askers of bad questions to PPCG?

Questions about intentionally obfuscated code are off-topic for Code Review. You may be able to get help on Programming Puzzles & Code Golf

You see what obviously happens right? Anyone on Code Review with the power to close vote defaults to this close vote reason any time they see any question with any obfuscated code, and regardless of whether or not the question is actually a good fit for PPCG, it will be copy & pasted to here (and probably closed, because CR close voters aren't the authority on what makes a good PPCG question).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Note that I'm only presenting one suggestion: the text for Code Review. The one that mentions Stack Overflow has been in place for quite a while. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex A.
    Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 23:57
  • 8
    \$\begingroup\$ Welp, I'd make the case that that's probably also a terrible close reason. If a question is a good fit for Stack Overflow, migrate it. If it's not a good fit for Stack Overflow and you can't migrate it, you're just adding to the close vote queue on Stack Overflow. \$\endgroup\$
    – nhgrif
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 0:00

Sounds good

That sounds good, as long as they're meeting Code Review's on-topic rules:

  • Is code included directly in my question?
  • Am I an owner or maintainer of the code?
  • Is it actual code from a project rather than pseudo-code or example code?
  • Do I want the code to be good code? (i.e. not code-golfing, obfuscation, or similar)
  • To the best of my knowledge, does the code work as intended?
  • Do I want feedback about any or all facets of the code?

Emphasis mine

  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Did they add the part about code-golfing because of us? Because golfed code is definitely good code. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 22:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also note that this wouldn't be a migration path to Code Review, but rather a suggestion of "maybe they can help." \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex A.
    Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 22:34
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Nonetheless, I'd want to hope your comments to move to Code Review are justified \$\endgroup\$
    – Quill
    Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 22:35

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