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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489
votes
2972answers
264k views

Sandbox for Proposed Challenges

What is the Sandbox? This "Sandbox" is a place where Code Golf users can get feedback on prospective challenges they wish to post to the main page. This is useful because writing a clear and ...
382
votes
48answers
179k 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 ...
99
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85answers
27k 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 ...
86
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41answers
20k 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 ...
87
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35answers
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 ...
59
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6answers
15k views

What are programming languages?

Often, answers to questions asking for "programs" or talking about "programming languages" utilize things like sed, awk, … in ...
33
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5answers
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? ...
46
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6answers
6k 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 ...
20
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4answers
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 ...
76
votes
49answers
13k 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 ...
22
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2answers
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 ...
124
votes
16answers
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 ...
91
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
944 views

The Tag Categorization Project

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 ...
149
votes
17answers
8k 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 ...
18
votes
1answer
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 ...
57
votes
11answers
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 ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Language Handicap

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 ...
16
votes
1answer
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 ...
18
votes
2answers
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 ...
41
votes
7answers
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 ...
83
votes
96answers
10k views

What programming languages have been created by PPCG users?

Language-creation has become a popular activity on PPCG. A decent portion of answers, especially code-golf answers, are written in languages invented by the community. These are also languages that ...
14
votes
4answers
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 ...
15
votes
2answers
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 ...
50
votes
0answers
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 ...
22
votes
9answers
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 ...
54
votes
19answers
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,...
22
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2answers
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 ...
19
votes
5answers
801 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
702 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, ...
15
votes
3answers
556 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 ...
37
votes
8answers
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. ...
15
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
24
votes
7answers
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-...
19
votes
2answers
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 ...
9
votes
6answers
829 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 ...
34
votes
8answers
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 ...
29
votes
8answers
4k 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 ...
67
votes
9answers
14k 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 ...
48
votes
1answer
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 ...
23
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
19
votes
3answers
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 ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Unnamed Functions in Code Golf

For many code golf questions, we allow functions as answers. What exactly does it mean for some code to be a valid submission as a function? This question came up during a discussion on built-ins, ...
48
votes
35answers
3k views

Where to find an online testing environment for specific programming languages?

Here is my scenario. I pose a programming puzzle. It might be golf, or might be something else, but I don't specify the language. Some posts a answer that looks really good, but I don't have a ...
18
votes
6answers
867 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
29
votes
2answers
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, ...
32
votes
6answers
3k views

Can numeric input/output be in unary?

Some string-based languages (including but not limited to sed, Retina, ///) can't really handle integer arithmetic in decimal (or other normal bases). Therefore, these almost always have to start by ...
23
votes
3answers
879 views

What details should always be given for a code golf task?

Related: For Code Golf, how do you deal with languages without a traditional print/echo statements? Related: What programming language should we consider for the code-golf solution ? Related: Use of ...
10
votes
3answers
623 views

Should non-standard compiler flags be included in character counts? [duplicate]

In some languages using a compiler flag might significantly shorten the source file, by making the compilation command longer. Should we make inclusion of the character count of the flag in the total ...
13
votes
1answer
692 views

What are our rules about additional code accompanying function submissions?

This is an extension of this meta question. I've always assumed that function submissions were allowed under the premise that the code would be evaluated once and would in the process either: Define ...

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