So given for example a challenge with rather specific input and varying output (i.e. image-processing challenges) is it considered "fair play" to copy input processing logic from other answers? (for example logic to load an image to memory).

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    \$\begingroup\$ A reminder that technically this is allowed, as everything on this site is CC-BY-SA. I'm only posting this comment as a reminder -- I'm of two opinions on this, and will let Meta weigh in with actual answers below. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 19, 2016 at 13:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related, related. I was really surprised that I couldn't find a duplicate... not sure if I'm missing something in my searching. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 19, 2016 at 13:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, this question was the one I was thinking of, but that's still a bit different, not really sure if they are duplicates. The only difference seems to be that it asks specifically about from different challenges. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 19, 2016 at 14:02

2 Answers 2


Copying part of an answer is a matter of good taste

Consider a previous challenge where users had to convert text to camel case. Nearly all of the solutions had a regex, and most of the answers used identical or similar regexes.

While regex can certainly be golfed (and was in in the previous example), the regex portion of the answer was small enough that we were OK if it got duplicated across answers.

So, in response to your question:

Is input processing a core part of the question? If so, then don't copy. If not, then you should be fine.

What is considered "core" can be different between people, so if you are unsure, ask.


It's usually OK, if you credit the author

There were countless challenges, where some users made their on algorithms, but then someone else came (usually Martin Büttner or Dennis), and made a new, very short algorithm. After this, others began using that algorithm.

It's usually OK, if..

...the original author don't mind it.

...You credit the original author of the code/algorithm.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Provided you credit them, I don't see why the permission of the original author should be required if the original post is on SE. I'd rather the community decide where to draw the line. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 19, 2016 at 15:10

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