Subtopic: Crashing a program
I think a distinction should be emphasised between programs that crash different things.
- A program that crashes itself only harms the program itself, and only temporarily.
- Crashing a compiler is unlikely to affect any other program unless other programs happen to be being compiled in parallel (I'm assuming this is rare?).
- Crashing an interpreter may affect other programs currently running in the same interpreter. The user may not even realise they are running, or that they are in the same language, so may not think to stop them first.
- Crashing the operating system may lose unsaved work in unrelated programs, which the user running the code may not expect if the challenge only asks for crashing the program itself, or the interpreter or compiler.
It already seems unclear where in this spectrum to draw the line between acceptable and dangerous. On top of that, how often will a solution intended to crash itself/its interpreter end up also inadvertently crashing the operating system? It's hard to estimate this, but with a large number of answerers all trying to find little known bugs, which are also likely to be little understood, it seems fairly likely that one will be submitted that does more damage than intended (perhaps only crashing some operating systems, so the poster doesn't realise their code is dangerous).
For this reason I recommend a stricter policy:
A challenge asking for a program that crashes itself/its compiler/its interpreter is still off topic
In addition to voting up or down, please comment with any relevant points.