83 questions linked to/from Things to avoid when writing challenges
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### Closing old question as duplicate of a new one

What is our policy regarding closing an old challenge as a duplicate of a new one? I know this happens on other sites (at least SO), if the newer question is generally better or usually if it gathers ...
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### Challenge Type System

A very common task in writing a challenge is to define the allowed input/output types. These descriptions have a couple of problems as I see them: They can get really verbose. If I want somebody to ...
184 views

### Can Halting be considered output?

I am currently designing a language that cannot halt unless it all of its memory is cleared, this means for any practical application it has no output whatsoever. However when the program does halt ...
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### Why are case limits or border cases never required in questions?

Border cases Why are case limits or border cases never required in questions? For example what to do if some variable overflows in calculations or some argument of the function is wrong or it is ...
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### Trailing Newlines, Spaces, Limited Precision and Language Limitations

I think we should gather a list of all languages that are, by default, allowed to to do things differently on challenges that do not explicitly disallow it. Every question I write it seems that ...
125 views

### Scoring that rewards useability

In my dream world, I would rather have code challenges generate a code that's actually useful in the real world, a code that makes its way to be an idiom, to be used in real world projects, and put in ...
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### Are Non-Programming golf puzzles allowed?

The name of this Stack Exchange site is "Programming Puzzles and Code golf" but I was wondering if other types of similar golf (not the sport) would be allowed or welcomed for questions. In ...
2k views

### Do submissions have to be answered with a programming language?

We've got various answers strewn across meta that tell different stories: On the standard loopholes, we disallow answers that aren't programming languages. This appears to be the most definitive ...
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### On “golf this for me” tips questions

Sometimes we get tips questions from a first-time contributor asking for help golfing a particular piece of code that they wrote. Often these question don't fare so well. Can we do anything here? ...
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### Couldn't there be more specific close reasons?

Often, and I mean very often, I see questions closed or on hold for the reason of Unclear what you're asking Though the question is very clear and understandable, it was just voted unclear ...
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### Challenges with categories of winners

A challenge must have an objective winning criterion. However, does this have to define a single winner, or is it acceptable for a challenge to have categories of winners? We already encourage people ...
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### What's wrong or unclear with this challenge?

This morning I posted a challenge (2k users only). It's back in the sandbox now, visible for anybody and for review. I had this challenge in the sandbox for 5 days before I posted it. With some help ...
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### Does output count if part of it scrolls off the screen?

Let's consider a QBasic solution to FizzBuzz. The code works correctly, printing the required output from 1 all the way up. The problem is, since there's a lot of ...
286 views

### Why is this popularity contest given special treatment?

I was looking at this question, and noticed while it does lay out its task rather clearly it doesn't really state what the winning criteria is. I scrolled down to the tags expecting that it was a code-...
271 views

### On-topic to ask for help with an pre-existing code golf challenge from another site?

There is a code golf challenge on a foreign (not related to Stack Exchange) site with which I have a problem. The challenge is designed for Python 3 and has a length limit of 150 characters. I ...
154 views

### Why are there still a lot of issues for a Sandboxed post Sandboxed for a long time?

When I posted this to the Sandbox, I have waited for 21 days before I posted the challenge to main. However, there are still a lot of issues in that post, and someone had found a duplicate. Why are ...
236 views

### Should I always give every minimum detail and specifications about a challenge or we can rely also on intuition?

Regarding my challenge: Help me I'm lost in the ocean! I went to read: What details should always be given for a code golf task? and a question raised in my mind. I hope I can ask that here in ...
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### Should challenges that give unfair advantages to certain users be off-topic?

Consider the following two challenges: This Sandboxed challenge gives an unfair advantage to users who have been around longer and contributed more towards collaborative golfing efforts. The original ...
116 views

### “Too broad” close reason applied to “restricted source” puzzle

After posting a rather specific, narrow, restrictive, one-language (well... one group of languages: POSIX-ey shells) puzzle, thats been "closed as too broad", commentators then offered explanations ...
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### Feedback for closed questions

I just posted a question available here: Print out a valid pokemon team! , which got closed due to lack of details. I do understand that at first, my question was somewhat unclear, as mentioned by ...
204 views

### Voting to close question if it's unclear for some?

There are cases where a challenge asks for some specific inputs/outputs, for instance an array where each element is a tuple or something similar. This might be perfectly fine and clear in some ...
211 views

### “put on hold as unclear what you're asking” is itself unclear

My question Ordered sequence of ascending integer combinations was put on hold despite receiving five good answers in the first 12 hours. It has also received a fair few upvotes, as have the answers. ...
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### For compression-related challenges, should we take steps to level the use of 7-bit and 8-bit character sets? [duplicate]

(Closely related in the original premise, but both the question and its answers go off in a different direction: this meta post.) Something I've noted in many challenges which are fundamentally about ...
117 views

### I don't think my question is a dupe

How is Language Agnostic Code Golf! a dupe of Which language is shortest?? Sure the general ideas are the same, but the methodologies are totally different. It's a dupe because both questions involve ...
141 views

### Irrational Short Code Rationales [duplicate]

Many questions nowadays include a ridiculous rationale as to why the code needs to be as short as possible. The frequency of these rationales apparently is starting to annoy some people (although, I ...
233 views

### Can we get a “magic link” to the Sandbox?

One of the more popular comments on our site goes something like this: Hi, and welcome to PPCG! Your challenge was closed because it's a bit unclear/broad/whatever as it is now. I would recommend ...
229 views

### May dc take negative input as it's designed to?

In the language dc, the - character is reserved strictly for subtraction, so it cannot be used to enter a negative number. An ...
365 views

### What are the standard requirements for answering a [random] challenge?

There are lots of of challenges involving randomness. However, not all languages have a built-in method for randomness. Some languages, like python or most golfing languages make it really easy. You ...
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### The broken window of “Produce the number 2014 without any numbers in your source code”

Produce the number 2014 without any numbers in your source code is our highest-voted question. It regularly inspires newcomers to pose similar challenges, which get heavily downvoted with the poster ...
211 views

### Updating the [popularity-contest] tag info: suggestions

The current tag info of the popularity-contest is outdated and needs to be replaced/improved as we now have much clearer notions of what a pop-con is compared to the time of creation. From the recent ...
178 views

### How Can I Make my Question Better?

I recently posted a question, and would like to know what is wrong about it, and how it could have been made better. This is not to get the question back, but rather so that I know what makes a good ...
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### What should we do with very low quality questions?

Sometimes, very low quality questions are asked on the site, that are nevertheless within the rules for what's acceptable on the site. I'm thinking of questions like: ...
277 views

### How should my challenge be tagged?

How should I tag Good Old Suffix Vector? I initially tagged it code-golf because it requires code that is as short and possible, and logic because it involves constructing boolean values, and there ...
336 views

### Case Sensitive Strings

Since this isn't explicitly codified anywhere, and was sparked by discussion surrounding my recent challenge, I figured I'd bring it up here for consensus before modifying the tag. Related: string ...
227 views

### What should count as a compression algorithm?

I am working on a new challenge (sandbox link) that has something in common with my old challenge Paint Starry Night. In these challenges the goal is essentially to design a compression algorithm ...
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### Explaining a challenge only with test cases and examples

I have a slightly problem. I want to post a challenge (to the sandbox) about building a matrix with X pattern. The problem is that I don't know how to explain it using technical words or ...
249 views

### Can I make a CnR with no winning criteria for Cops?

I've had two challenge ideas floating around in my head for a while. I'll spare the details but as a general overview: The first is a challenge that should, in principle, be fun but in practice it is ...
216 views

### How to deal with an accidental chameleon challenge

What happened I was about to post Does base n have any Rotate-Left-Double numbers?. Kevin Cruijssen told me in the sandbox comment that he got a proof that significantly simplifies the problem. I ...
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### Are all golfing languages friendly to Unicode?

I'm going to make a challenge involving Mahjong Tiles (U+1F000 – U+1F02F, though I'm going to use only U+1F000 – U+1F021). ...
82 views

### Why is this a duplicate?

Recently I asked this question: https://codegolf.stackexchange.com/questions/75040/solve-a-quadratic-expression. Seconds after I posted, it was flagged as a duplicate of Resolve quadratic equation, ...
81 views

### What exactly should be the format for the test cases? [closed]

Working on my latest challenge, I realized that I don't know what is the optimal way of providing/formatting the test cases. So the question is, what is the best way for a challenger to provide test ...
131 views

This question was put on hold as unclear. I thought it specifies exactly the requirements, the objective, and the winning criterion. Could somebody kindly explain what's unclear about it? update: ...
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### When should I give hints for a challenge?

If a challenge is difficult, when is it suitable to hint? (I don't think early is good, it breaks other's thought)
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### Are questions about blockchain systems good questions?

Current handling of Ethereum questions seems inconsistent (Ethereum being the second largest blockchain). This about the recent difference between Shortest code to generate a random ethereum address ...
205 views

### Can we still ban built-ins for $\pi$?

I recently posed a challenge about computing a function of $\pi$. It was closed for being unclear and received a number of criticisms. One of the main ones I think was that banning built-ins for \\$\...
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### Kindly explain why it is not impossible to read the minds of users who voted to close a question citing “unclear what you're asking”

The users who voted to close this question Fastest algorithm to output array containing all integers in range excluding duplicate digits have left no clarification as to what is not clear to them at ...
265 views

### Sandbox instructions for new users

We now have a nifty new info-box to point new users to the Sandbox. Hooray! But when a new user does go to the Sandbox for the first time, the instructions there don't give them much to work from to ...
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### Community FAQ for Programming Puzzles & Code Golf

Community FAQ For the Programming Puzzles & Code Golf site For official guidance from Stack Exchange, visit the Help Center. Posting Challenges/Solutions How can I incorporate good-looking ...