We've got a bunch of problems. Furthermore, a lot of them have a bunch of similarities in their scoring systems. I've taken the first 50 of them (excluding off topic), and classified them:


  1. Does this seem like good information to tag?

  2. Do my categories seem reasonable?

  3. What should the tags be named, and what should their descriptions be?

  4. Which of these tags (if any) should be a formal scoring system?

  5. Should we retroactively go back and retag? (There are currently 559 of them)

  • \$\begingroup\$ If this does happen, surely we don't need different tags for 1 and 4? Shouldn't it just be 1 with the various appropriate image tags used for other challenges? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 12, 2016 at 20:07
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ When a scoring method has been used a lot and can be standardised easily (meaning there aren't half a dozen free parameters that would still need specifying in every single challenge of that genre) I'm definitely in favour of creating new challenge types and retagging applicable old challenges. code-challenge is a catch-all for scoring methods that don't match any existing challenge type, but necessarily some new challenge genres will always crystallise over time and it's good to go back and see if we can improve our categorisation every now and then. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 12, 2016 at 20:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @FryAmTheEggman I personally think they are different, but that's up to the community. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 12, 2016 at 20:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yay! I'm the first-linked question :D \$\endgroup\$
    – Dave
    Aug 13, 2016 at 17:51

3 Answers 3


I propose a new tag, , to be used as a scoring tag. This means it shouldn't be used with or .

The OP needs to define what operation(s) are going to be scored. If there are multiple scored operations, then the OP can optionally define a different weight to each of the steps, otherwise it's assumed to be 1.

A submission's score is calculated by running all of the test cases and counting the total number of operations executed (multiplied by the weight, if applicable).

I prefer because I feel that it is clearer than . I also considered , but it's a mouthful and not as immediately understandable (in my opinion).

I also propose that we should retroactively re-tag posts that use this scoring mechanism. There are some challenges. I believe that they also lie under .

This answer is not intended to be all-inclusive of classification changes to be made, and is only addressing the "Fewest Steps" bullet point.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Works, but could be dangerous for newbies who poorly pick the defined operations. +1 \$\endgroup\$ Aug 17, 2016 at 12:23

Here are my suggestions for tags:

  • Accuracy-based: (presumably there would be a set of test cases to test against)
  • Output size: (yes, this tag exists)
  • Fewest steps: I don't actually have a good suggestion for this one yet
  • Image accuracy: (note that this is the only new tag)
  • Modified code golf: (these don't have much of a common theme, so it's not worth making a separate tag)
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I think "fewest steps" is "basically the same" as atomic-code-golf in the same way that fastest-code is "basically the same" as code-golf (i.e. I don't think they're remotely the same). It's actually closer to fastest-algorithm, but that one is scored by complexity class, so I think it's still different. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 12, 2016 at 20:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't much like wording of optimized-output, and it would certainly need a better description if we go with it. As far as I can tell, you aren't proposing these as a scoring tag, correct? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 12, 2016 at 20:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MartinEnder Fewest steps means using only a specified set of operations, and solving the problem in as few operations as possible. It's essentially restricted source + atomic code golf. \$\endgroup\$
    – user45941
    Aug 12, 2016 at 22:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Having a look at the example links for "fewest steps", it appears they are mostly about minimising the number of steps in a task, rather than atomic-code-golf or restricted-source. Minimising the number of pixels checked before finding the target colour, for example, or minimising the number of moves made to solve a maze. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 13, 2016 at 0:37

I propose two very similar tags, and , to be used as scoring tags

These tags count the number of chunks (bytes, by default) in the final output. The person with the most/fewest chunks wins!

The term "chunk" here is intentionally broad: the OP can define what he wants "chunks" to be (as long as the chunks can be objectively counted).


  1. includes output-based challenges, but also includes challenges like Uniquely Separated Pixels, which scores by the number of pixels you can include in an image.
  2. includes all of the items listed under "Smallest output" above, as well as some of the "fewest steps" (I miscategorized when posting the question)
  3. There is a important distinction to be made: is about performing a task in as few steps as possible (at runtime), while is about calculating the fewest steps needed. A would be trying to get through a maze as fast as possible (with limited vision), while a would be to calculate the shortest path through the maze.
  4. I considered splitting these tags into byte/atomic based versions. However, in many challenges the fewest atoms is also the fewest bytes, and the line gets hard to define.
  5. I considered using /, but I voted against them as the terms seem more broad to me.
  6. is a variety of , so I'd argue to remove as a scoring tag (keep it on the questions though), and add a tag.
  • \$\begingroup\$ I like the idea of trying to tag more specifically, but it seems difficult to find a meaningful tag name that won't cause ambiguity. I know there's the tag wiki for that, but it would be great to have a catchy tag name that everyone agrees on the meaning of. All that comes to mind is "output-scored", which still doesn't seem to capture it. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 22, 2016 at 15:43

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