Questions tagged [discussion]

The question you're asking is designed to solicit opinions or best-practices on a particular topic, with the goal of reaching community consensus.

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Sandbox for Proposed Challenges

This "sandbox" is a place where Code Golf users can get feedback on prospective challenges they wish to post to main. This is useful because writing a clear and fully specified challenge on ...
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411 votes
48 answers
201k views

Loopholes that are forbidden by default

There are a number of standard loopholes which experienced question-setters seek to explicitly close. However, inexperienced question-setters may unintentionally leave them open, or respondents may ...
115 votes
103 answers
33k views

Default for Code Golf: Input/Output methods

It looks like we have a consensus that we want certain defaults for the format which answers are expected in for code-golf. On that poll, the question arose twice, which input/output formats should be ...
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96 votes
47 answers
23k views

Things to avoid when writing challenges

If there is something that you find annoying / counterproductive / unfair / detrimental / no longer funny in challenges (question posts), describe it in an answer here, and propose a recommended ...
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87 votes
35 answers
4k views

We're not a Q&A site. But what should be done about it?

It has come up several times recently (more than usual) that PPCG differs from most of the other Stack Exchange sites in that it's not a Q&A site. People don't come here to ask a question because ...
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33 votes
5 answers
3k views

Definitive policy about answers not meeting the challenge specification

This question has been asked so often, I have no idea what our actual policy is: Almost-correct answers Should answers that break the rules be deleted? Should we flag and delete Not an Answer posts? ...
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59 votes
6 answers
16k views

What are programming languages? [duplicate]

Often, answers to questions asking for "programs" or talking about "programming languages" utilize things like sed, awk, … in ...
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  • 2,744
47 votes
6 answers
7k views

Default for Code Golf: Program, Function or Snippet?

One of the things many (new?) users forget to specify in code-golf challenges is whether the answers should provide a full program or a function (or even just a snippet). For most such things, we have ...
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89 votes
75 answers
19k views

List of bounties with no deadline

This is a list of unofficial, deadline-less (hence not searchable) bounties offered by users on various challenges on the main site. Disclaimer: There is no guarantee that the user will award the ...
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19 votes
4 answers
1k views

Are two questions duplicates if they have different scoring rules?

My question Just Another Polyglot Hacker! was marked as a duplicate of Write a polyglot that prints the language's name. Now, our scoring rules are completely different. Why are they considered ...
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34 votes
6 answers
3k views

Nominations for Language of the Month, Take 2

We've decided to revive the Language of the Month event. We've also decided to start a new post for nominations. (You can see the old nominations post here.) So let's get to nominating! Procedure A ...
93 votes
5 answers
3k views

Let's allow newer languages/versions for older challenges

I've been thinking for a long time that our non-competing policy for newer languages (or language versions) is harmful. Just for context, we currently require all answers which require implementations ...
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24 votes
2 answers
3k 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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153 votes
17 answers
9k views

J and GolfScript suck all the enjoyment out of Code Golf

I have found code-golf a fascinating pastime for several weeks now. However, I’m already losing interest because the contests allow any language, and because of that it is pretty much impossible for ...
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  • 12.4k
19 votes
2 answers
1k views

The Tag Categorization Project [duplicate]

This is not a question; rather, it is a collection of categories of tags. The purpose of this post is to post information regarding specific categories, such as templates for tag wikis, and also to ...
20 votes
2 answers
3k views

On "interactive" answers and other special conditions

Interactive languages (and related issues) have afflicted me with a bunch of gripes regarding character count and program testing. Clarifying these should help coders in other languages like ...
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128 votes
16 answers
7k views

How can we help users who are put off by the use of golfing languages?

Every other month someone expresses their (negative) feelings about golfing languages. Here is how this usually goes: they complain that they don't enjoy golfing in the languages they know because ...
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16 votes
1 answer
1k views

What's the policy on interpreter bugs? [duplicate]

Sometimes there are bugs in interpreters that make them unable to run programs that are valid by the specification of the language, or make them work incorrectly. This will break programs using those ...
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14 votes
2 answers
719 views

Reviving Language of the Month: Pick up where we left off, or start over?

Language of the Month was fun. Then it died. Now there's interest in bringing it back! I had assumed that we would just go back to the original nominations thread and pick the top-voted answer as LotM ...
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  • 31.8k
14 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why do we have objective winning criteria?

2 years ago, we discussed dropping the objective winning criterion requirement. No consensus was really reached. I'd really like to start that conversation again, as I feel like it is hindering our ...
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18 votes
1 answer
3k views

Command-line flags on front ends

Our standard policy regarding command-line flags states that one should count the space before the dash (-) too, when there aren't any "free" options, since it ...
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88 votes
96 answers
10k views

What programming languages have been created by CGCC users?

Language-creation has become a popular activity on CGCC. A decent portion of answers, especially code-golf answers, are written in languages invented by the community. These are also languages that ...
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53 votes
0 answers
2k views

How to count bytes FAQ

We've got a lot of questions asking how to count the bytes in different situations. This question is here to put them all in one spot. General questions How to count "interactive" answers ...
42 votes
7 answers
3k views

We need to take an official stance on code trolling

Here's our to-do list for the project: Close all existing code-trolling questions (or maybe re-tag those three I mentioned). status-declined - if locked or deleted, closing might not matter, so we ...
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12 votes
4 answers
2k views

Language Handicap [duplicate]

This question is because my favorite language C++ does not lend itself to code golf. Now I could try and pick up a new scripting language (like golf-script) or brush up on an old favorite (perl), but ...
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15 votes
2 answers
2k views

Clarifying "serious contender" in the help center

The help center says: All solutions to challenges should: Correctly implement the required specification. Be a serious contender for the winning criteria in use. For example, an entry to ...
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  • 137k
62 votes
11 answers
3k views

Leaderboard Snippet

I've been using a stack snippet for a while to generate leaderboards for my simpler or more popular code golf challenges. I want to share the code for this snippet here so others can use it more ...
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52 votes
19 answers
3k views

Graduation Design Ideas

Programming Puzzles & Code Golf will someday graduate out of public beta, and it will get a new site design. Stack Exchange employees generally do all the design work and make the design decisions,...
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25 votes
7 answers
2k views

Let's decide what kind of non-challenge questions we want once and for all

4 reopen votes and 1 delete vote is a strange thing to see. It's also slightly worrying that we have so little consensus on this matter. So let's bring the community together. What kind of non-...
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15 votes
4 answers
1k views

Should function literals be allowed when a function is asked for?

I'm arguing with the poster of this answer. The function literal as is doesn't cause the function to be defined, it has to be assigned to a variable, giving it a name or wrapping it like ...
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14 votes
3 answers
573 views

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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22 votes
9 answers
2k views

Code Golf UserScript to help in navigating the site [v0.37 now available]

Current version: The current version of the script is 0.37. I was inspired by this Meta post to write a UserScript that would automatically tally up the size of code blocks and display the count ...
33 votes
8 answers
5k views

Standard definitions of terms within specifications

Quite often I find that I am repeating myself when creating a challenge. For example, usually I have to retype the definition of "random" in all of my posts, or I have to specify the same thing about ...
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  • 70.5k
106 votes
14 answers
2k views

Congratulations! Your site design is now live!

You may have noticed that the site got a bit less blue today! Thank you so much for your input over the last few weeks. This has been a great process and I really hope you like your new theme. We ...
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19 votes
2 answers
2k views

What character encodings may a submission use?

In code-golf questions, we typically score submissions by their byte count. However, whenever a submission uses a character outside of the ASCII range, the question of which encoding the code uses ...
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20 votes
2 answers
2k views

When is code that requires a REPL acceptable?

Question in brief: For what challenge types and in what circumstances should code that requires a REPL be acceptable in an answer? There seems to be an understanding in chat that code that only works ...
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  • 10.7k
20 votes
4 answers
813 views

Untyped functions in static languages

I'll be using Java in this post, but the following also applies to C#, and likely other languages. We require that submissions must be a first-class function, or a full program to be valid. In Java, ...
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18 votes
5 answers
829 views

Guidelines for posting and closing popularity contests

In light of the controversy sparked by this question, I think we need to create a general "rule of thumb" policy on how objective a popularity-contest needs to be in order to be on-topic. The main ...
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  • 11.1k
74 votes
9 answers
16k views

Interpretation of Truthy/Falsey

Quite a few code-golf questions require output to be "truthy or falsey". This is possibly confusing as these terms can possibly mean different things to different people, and especially in different ...
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50 votes
1 answer
3k views

When can APL characters be counted as 1 byte each?

Prompted by this. The question of APL's encoding often comes up, and many times a helpful soul links to Wikipedia's article on the APL EBCDIC codepage. However, each implementation of APL has its own ...
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18 votes
6 answers
961 views

Things to consider when creating a challenge

There's a lot to remember to include when writing a challenge for this site. What are some things that are easy to forget? Return to FAQ index
36 votes
8 answers
2k views

Nominations for Language of the Month [duplicate]

We've decided that we like the idea of a "Language of the Month" event. The main idea is to get more exposure for less-frequently used languages, and to have fun learning and golfing them together. ...
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  • 31.8k
28 votes
2 answers
2k views

Suggested Edits: Reject Golfing?

Every now and then, I see an edit where somebody does some golfing (most recent). From what I can tell, our standard is to reject those edits as invalid and post a comment saying what was suggested, ...
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  • 20.9k
29 votes
12 answers
865 views

Could PPCG benefit from a new sorting mode for answers?

The default sorting for answers (by votes) seems somewhat inappropriate here on PPCG. In any case it tends to put early answers over late answers, because once a few are there, few people scroll to ...
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9 votes
6 answers
868 views

Fair size comparison across languages with different source alphabets

For fair comparison of codegolf solutions in languages with different source alphabets, there should be a common unit of information. Most sizes here are expressed in "characters" or "bytes", but not ...
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  • 1,097
33 votes
8 answers
5k views

Programming in Minecraft (Redstone) - how to measure program size?

Since programs may be created in vanilla (un-modded) Minecraft using redstone to create logic gates (and more), someone could create such a program for a challenge on this site. How would such an ...
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  • 22.8k
27 votes
3 answers
8k views

What counts as a proper quine?

The basic definition of a quine is a program that, when run, produces its own source code as output. There are a number of techniques and a number of way to implement those techniques across a number ...
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26 votes
3 answers
4k views

Welcome to Code Golf and Coding Challenges Stack Exchange!

What is this site? This is a place to host recreational coding challenges, such as code golf. We are unlike most sites in the Stack Exchange network. We are not a question-answer site, nor are we a ...
17 votes
2 answers
691 views

Should multi-part challenges be allowed?

We occasionally have challenges which consist of multiple separate subchallenges, whose individual scores are simply combined at the end. These are often known as "golf courses". While these are often ...
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17 votes
3 answers
1k views

Should answers to fixed-output challenges be written in a programming language?

We have a definition of what we consider a valid programming language for answers on PPCG. (If you disagree with this definition, please do so on that other post, and not here.) The one type of ...
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