Questions tagged [policy]

This tag indicates that your question is about site policies. Usually, new proposals for policies or questions about existing ones will have this tag

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What is our consensus on languages which do not halt by design?

Current consensus seems to be that programs must terminate by default. This makes sense in general. However, does this bar use of languages which are not designed with a halt state (other than ...
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1 vote
0 answers
55 views

What loopholes should be assumed when a name-specific file is used for code golf?

I have posted this golfing tip for Bash before: In Pure Bash (or any other pure shellscript), use . for looping. It's a tip that recomments using a file whose the ...
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4 votes
1 answer
78 views

Should "import" statement be included in byte count if I'm not using it directly [duplicate]

Related: On scoring imported functions I knew that if I want to use some imported functions, I had to include "import" statement in the byte count. For example, I want to find out the most ...
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  • 29.2k
17 votes
0 answers
153 views

Correct flag usage on invalid submissions

Recently, a couple of invalid answers have been flagged as NAA. This is somewhat of a duplicate of this answer on our policy, but I want to mention this because it's important that everyone is using ...
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  • 40.2k
4 votes
3 answers
85 views

Does a Vim submission have to end in a certain mode?

This question came up recently in a discussion of the validity of my answer to this question. It was argued that the answer was a V submission, not a Vim submission. It is widely agreed that ...
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9 votes
1 answer
178 views

Handling old, popular, creative, but non-competitive answers

Take a look at this answer: Produce the number 2014 without any numbers in your source code. This is the most upvoted answer on our site right now. However, as many have pointed out, by modern ...
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  • 40.2k
3 votes
4 answers
86 views

What assumptions can be made about the environment in Scratch?

It seems to be undisputed precedent for Scratch answers that only the code is counted when determining the bytes used for an answer (although, how to come up with the amount of bytes that the code ...
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  • 171
20 votes
5 answers
565 views

What is our consensus on floating point issues?

As far as I can tell, we don't yet have a definitive Meta consensus to the following question: Are answers allowed to work "in theory" but fail in practice due to floating point issues? ...
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6 votes
1 answer
194 views

Byte counting policy for library imports in Factor

As this month's LotM (Forth) was not gaining much participation, I guessed it's partly because it's way too low-level, so I was looking into Factor as a modern, high-level alternative to Forth. If it ...
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  • 62.7k
11 votes
7 answers
517 views

Default policy for output in decision problems

Challenges tagged as decision-problem involve "deciding whether the input meets certain criteria". Although some challenges with this tag involve more than two categories, most involve only ...
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  • 99.4k
9 votes
2 answers
302 views

Omitting trailing closing parentheses in Excel

When golfing in Excel, it is often possible to omit closing parentheses at the end of an expression. Excel will detect this, add the missing closing parentheses and ask if this is what was meant. ...
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  • 27.7k
5 votes
0 answers
136 views

For fastest-code questions are new compiler optimisations as non-competing allowed?

I looked around and it seems that the language is defined by the compiler not operational semantics. In normal code golf new languages are banned because of the loophole of implementing the answer as ...
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8 votes
4 answers
306 views

Policy on answering challenges with cumbersome I/O

We've probably all seen new users ask questions with cumbersome I/O rules, like mandatory taking the input by reading separated lines of STDIN and outputting to STDOUT to give an example. In those ...
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14 votes
1 answer
331 views

Closing a more general challenge as a duplicate

Recently there has been a bit of debate as to whether this question is a duplicate of this question. So I though I would bring it to meta where we can have a constructive conversation, not only about ...
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  • 87.9k
2 votes
1 answer
108 views

In bash, can I use non-coreutil programs

Since bash scripts (or any other Linux shell scripts) are accepted as a programming language, I wonder what (Linux) programs are accepted as callable from the command line. It seems that it is ...
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  • 2,871
4 votes
0 answers
170 views

Scratch 2.0 is no longer considered a "free" language. Does this retroactively make cops-and-robbers cop answers in Scratch 2.0 non-competitive?

As per this question's answers, Scratch 2.0 is no longer considered a "free" language. As per this question's accepted answer, non-free languages are allowed if marked as non-competing. Scratch 2.0 ...
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5 votes
0 answers
106 views

Non-standard command line calls

Note this isn't about command line flags, which already have a consensus here. There was a recent PHP answer involving multiple PHP files. Normally, programs with multiple files are either using one ...
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  • 44.7k
25 votes
2 answers
649 views

Is it permitted for a submission to terminate merely with probability 1?

The question is in the title. I'm interested in submissions that terminate with probability 1 but have unbounded worst case running times. This is related to the question Do programs have to ...
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  • 4,274
10 votes
1 answer
212 views

Post other people's code?

Some people are very good code golfers but for their own reasons do not want to join PPCG. Is it acceptable to post their solutions as answers to challenges? If at all acceptable, I would personally ...
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  • 27.7k
9 votes
2 answers
354 views

So what happens now?

Martin Ender is stepping down as moderator. We had a moderator election only about half a year ago. There were three candidates, of which two were elected. The last candidate was PhiNotPi. Do we ...
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  • 27.7k
26 votes
1 answer
402 views

The view from a newcomer (or an unwary traveller)

I had a small programming problem, Checking a file contains only null bytes. Having chanced on PPCG a few days before, I thought this could be an interesting place to see various ways someone might go ...
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  • 259
13 votes
2 answers
281 views

Is function returned by first invoke of a currying function submission required to be reusable?

As per past discussion, function submissions should be reusable. And, currying function may be a valid submission. Consider a challenge which require 2 inputs x, ...
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  • 29.2k
6 votes
4 answers
252 views

Input/Output format, scoring, and the status of The Powder Toy

The Powder Toy is a falling-sand game with enough functionality to be classified as a interesting take on fungeoids. However, there are a few problems with this. Input/Output Programs (simulations) ...
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7 votes
2 answers
239 views

Definition of a Function in Concatenative Languages

Concatenative languages are languages where juxtaposition of functions represents composition. Programs consist of the primitives in the language combining to form a large function which takes program ...
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17 votes
1 answer
425 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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  • 57.1k
1 vote
2 answers
211 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 ...
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16 votes
1 answer
201 views

Are bots allowed in The Nineteenth Byte?

People seem to know that active chat bots are prohibited in TNB, but I don't see that written anywhere. Is this indeed so? And if so, are pure listening bots that never speak also prohibited? These ...
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  • 27.7k
23 votes
10 answers
636 views

Are baseline submissions serious contenders?

One of PPCG's oldest rules, mentioned in What topics can I ask about here?, is that all answers to challenge questions must: Be a serious contender for the winning criteria in use. For example, an ...
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  • 206k
0 votes
1 answer
209 views

Why is this non-serious-contender answer still around, despite a "helpful" flag?

As explained in our policy on serious contenders, this answer is not a serious contender because it is deliberately crafted to get a low score (the only way it could win is if there were no other ...
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2 votes
0 answers
75 views

Default for fastest-code or restricted-time challenge

Because it would be hard for newcomers to find and read all of the meta questions about this topic, I suggest having a common post for all of them. It would be easier for moderators to point newcomers ...
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  • 16.9k
28 votes
4 answers
430 views

ASCII Art Output Rules

I know there's a desire on PPCG for challenges to be flexible in terms of what they allow for input and output. However, I think there is an argument to be made that ascii-art is a special case, and ...
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11 votes
1 answer
336 views

Multiple answers in a single post

Is is acceptable to bunch together multiple answers in a CW post just because the challenge is trivial? See e.g. https://codegolf.stackexchange.com/a/151280/43319.
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  • 27.7k
2 votes
1 answer
60 views

How many winners can a challenge have?

I'm currently writing a challenge which forces people to work in pairs to participate in the challenge. However, this leads to the question, who wins in the pair? I'm thinking about (ideally) having ...
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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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11 votes
1 answer
325 views

Is a transliteration tool enough to grant count as SBCS?

Prompted by this. I'll speak about Dyalog APL here, but this could really apply to any language. Background Dyalog APL has its own SBCS called ⎕AV. For backwards ...
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  • 27.7k
6 votes
2 answers
475 views

Is outputting a Maybe acceptable in Haskell? [duplicate]

The vote on this output option has moved here. Haskell has a very strong type system, so there is a type called Maybe to work around some restrictions. The ...
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11 votes
1 answer
270 views

Should we have a new, improved matrix determinant challenge?

There is currently a challenge to compute the determinant of a matrix. However, it was written 5 years ago, before our current quality standards were established. It falls short of those standards in ...
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9 votes
0 answers
317 views

If we can require a particular domain, can we require a particular path?

Background Following on from this question where it was decided that, as we define languages by their implementation, JavaScript solutions could include a requirement that they be run under a specific ...
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  • 35.5k
2 votes
1 answer
166 views

Is using the Swift REPL for my answer valid? [duplicate]

This is a very strange hack that I came across the other day. In the Swift REPL, if I create an instance of any type (say for example, a String), it automatically gets assigned to a variable in the ...
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25 votes
7 answers
758 views

Should question/challenge titles always be in English?

There's some dispute over this challenge's title. The author originally created it as "Многочлены Чебышёва". A user edited it to "Chebyshev Polynomials" (an imperfect translation, ...
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0 votes
1 answer
78 views

Is it wrong to ask for an answer that is not source code?

Consider king-of-the-hill challenges. Significant effort on the part of the challenge presenter goes into collecting the code entries and massaging them into a runnable state (language versions, ...
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  • 1,240
9 votes
3 answers
421 views

Can JS answers require the code to be run at a certain domain?

In challenges that require loading remote data - e.g. "What's my PPCG ID?" - some JavaScript (or other languages that may be run in the browser) answers may rely on being run at a certain domain (...
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0 votes
0 answers
28 views

Are modifications to existing languages allowed as submissions? [duplicate]

Say I have a language I'd love to use (like JavaScript for example), but there are tons of little pieces of functionality I'd love to modify built-ins with, like ...
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1 vote
4 answers
76 views

Defaults for word lists

Some challenges (that I'm currently mulling over with a view to posting) require that the solution produces valid words. Having to embed an entire dictionary in a code-golf entry isn't the point of ...
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  • 5,681
10 votes
1 answer
261 views

What to do about mathematical concepts with different definitions?

You must be wondering, why is this a so important subject? Well, take the example where a challenge asks you to take a "natural number" as input. What's a natural number? A non-negative integer, or a ...
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12 votes
4 answers
899 views

Is the current time or date with modulo random enough?

Several questions have recently been asking about random. I see a lot of answers in those questions using the date not as a seed but as the random number that is then modulo'ed. Seen in Java: ...
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2 votes
1 answer
113 views

Must answers be given as SOURCE code, or is machine code acceptable? [duplicate]

It's been my understanding that answers in code golf competitions should generally be given as source code. But lately I've seen a few answers specified as x86 assembly, counting the size as the ...
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  • 1,287
2 votes
1 answer
68 views

Can I assume that the input will always be within the printable ASCII range (0x20-0x7E)?

Many challenges don't specify what characters the input consists of, so I often assume the input will only consist of printable ASCII chars. Is my assumption correct? Note that this mostly concerns ...
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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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15 votes
1 answer
357 views

What to do about widely disliked questions that don't technically break any rules?

Sometimes a question is posted that widely disliked (often due to being too easy, or being excessively arbitrary, or playing around in a space that's been mostly comprehensively covered without ...
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