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I've already had a couple of golf answers that were less than 30 characters - even with the character count included.

Is it possible and sensible to reduce that limit to 20 or 25 perhaps?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'd expect all the trivial problems that can be solved in < 10 characters to crop up at least in public beta, though. How often do you think this would happen during the lifetime of this site? \$\endgroup\$ – Joey Jan 30 '11 at 13:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ I agree in general, but, in the interim, you can put in some filler text. :-) \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Jester-Young Jan 30 '11 at 14:17
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I would say a good answer should include an explanation of how it works, so there should be no trouble at all to write at least 30 characters.

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I agree that we should reduce the limit, but by how much we will only learn from usage. The examples you're likely referring to:

  • rot13: 5 char solution with about 9 additional characters that were necessary = 14 characters in total.
  • sqrt: 11 characters with 11 other characters that were necessary = 22 characters.

I think 20 might be a useful limit, but as I say we'll see over time. For now, you could have added a link to the rot13 function for the first one and explained to non-Python users that ** is a power operator for the second. Both would tip you over the 30 character limit.

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I've been fortunate enough to be under the limit a few times and what it encouraged me to do was actually follow the guidelines for what constitutes a good answer, including:

  • Try to explain your solution.
  • You should show how the program or function is executed, accepting the input, and printing the output.

Source: https://codegolf.stackexchange.com/tags/code-golf/info

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If you start with a header stating the language and number of characters used, it should help fill up enough reach the minimum character level.


JavaScript (21 characters)

alert("Hello world!")

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