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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401
votes
47answers
192k 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 ...
107
votes
96answers
30k 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 ...
94
votes
46answers
22k 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 ...
33
votes
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? ...
59
votes
6answers
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 ...
47
votes
6answers
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 ...
92
votes
4answers
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 ...
17
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
14
votes
3answers
565 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
820 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 ...
33
votes
8answers
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 ...
71
votes
9answers
15k 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 ...
18
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 ...
50
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 ...
17
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 ...
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
915 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
643 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
705 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 ...
59
votes
7answers
935 views

A proposal to combat Meta Bloat™: The Big Consensus Freeze

I believe it's a widely acknowledged problem in this community that the number of meta posts a new user needs to know to figure out all the rules has long got out of hand. We require certain answer ...
20
votes
5answers
706 views

Are pure programming puzzles on topic?

The tag wiki for programming puzzle says: A programming puzzle includes a goal, a partially completed program, and rules outlining how the program can be modified. The program is specifically ...
28
votes
2answers
1k views

Definite policy about duplicate answers

Every now and then, we get an answer flag the declares an answer a duplicate of another. So far, I haven't really acted on them – except for leaving a comment if the flagger hadn't done so already – ...
23
votes
3answers
3k views

Should submissions be allowed to exit with an error?

Suppose we have the following Python code: f=lambda x:x*2 X The first line defines a function which doubles a number. Then the second line is reached, is found ...
19
votes
5answers
604 views

When should rule changes count?

Related: When is it allowable to change the rules? As noted in the linked meta post above, it's typically particularly frowned upon to significantly change the rules of a challenge after posting it. ...
15
votes
1answer
355 views

Can we make use of abandoned sandbox posts?

Over the years a lot of challenges have accumulated in the sandbox(es) which never made it to being posted on main. Some of these were probably abandoned because they were duplicates or had unfixable ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Should we combine answers where the same code works in many different languages?

Take this recent challenge for example. There are many languages where the shortest solution is simply *. Likewise, for other trivial challenges, the same 1-byte ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Can numeric input/output be in the form of byte values?

This answer just prompted a question, which I've wondered about a few times when answering challenges in esoteric languages: For some esoteric languages, the only means of input/output is reading and ...
14
votes
1answer
446 views

What should count as “not an answer” here? [duplicate]

Lately, I've seen a bunch of poor answers flagged as "not an answer" (NAA) in the flag review list. Such flags seem to be controversial, even among reviewers. For example, at the moment: this ...
11
votes
4answers
580 views

What even is a “function” by our standards?

On a recent question, the following was brought up by @Sp3000: In fact, I'm almost starting to wonder what a "function" is, since it seems like every language with goto could define a "function" ...
24
votes
3answers
2k views

Do function submissions have to be reusable?

Simple question: if I answer a code golf with a function (for a task which is supposed to terminate), does the function actually have to be reusable? Or could it, say, modify some globals which break ...
23
votes
3answers
1k views

Should Booleans be allowed where a number is required?

This is a rather common inquiry in contests that require computing elements of a sequence. For example, consider the following recursive implementation of the factorial function (Python): ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

On GolfScript and language bigotry

I'd like to receive people's opinions on languages "designed for golfing", such as GolfScript and FlogScript. However, since there are no FlogScript submissions on the site as of current writing, this ...
18
votes
3answers
634 views

Should we disallow non-observable requirements?

One of the more recent things to avoid that's coming up a lot is the use of non-observable requirements. The most common incarnations of this are things like "no hardcoding", "implement this algorithm"...
16
votes
4answers
599 views

What are the policies for threads relating to Facebook Puzzles, Project Euler, UVa, SPOJ, etc.?

Related question. Questions from Facebook Puzzles, Project Euler, UVa, SPOJ, and the like do not expire, unlike Google Code Jam or TopCoder. Therefore, in order to be able to discuss such problems ...
28
votes
1answer
997 views

Untestable languages

What is the general feeling about answer that can't be tested because no compiler or interpreter is available? The accepted answer to this question is a case in point. The question has been raised in ...
16
votes
4answers
889 views

Can serious contenders do more than the challenge asks for?

As our help center likes to put it: All solutions to challenges should: Correctly implement the required specification. Be a serious contender for the winning criteria in use. For example, an entry ...
17
votes
3answers
1k views

Do programs have to terminate?

This is related to Sp3000's question earlier, but probably a separate issue: Are programs required to terminate, provided they print the desired output before entering an endless loop and can be ...
16
votes
1answer
954 views

Keep your golfing in your code, not in inputs and outputs

I am becoming more and more annoyed at the ever-increasing number of rules about what is deemed acceptable as inputs and outputs to programs Here is a compilation of such rules that I found: ...
12
votes
2answers
418 views

Does using SMBF count as a cheating quine?

There has been some debate about whether or not using Self-Modifying Brainfuck counts as a "cheating quine": Write a Metaquine Golf you a quine for great good! About SMBF: The program's source ...
15
votes
1answer
455 views

Are challenges that may not be solvable on-topic for PPCG?

Consider the following example challenge: Given a set of integers, output a truthy value if there is a non-empty subset whose sum equals 0, or a falsey value if no such subset exists. Solutions ...
28
votes
5answers
1k views

What constitutes a “free” language for cops and robbers?

Recently Isaac proposed that using non-free, i.e. pay-to-use, languages for cops and robbers challenges should be considered a standard loophole. As Dennis stated in a comment, there is some ambiguity ...
11
votes
2answers
654 views

Are questions from Google Code Jam, TopCoder, etc. on-topic?

The original proposal is for "Code Golf and Programming Puzzles". I think this suggests that discussion of questions from programming contests should indeed be on-topic---as long as they're not ...
13
votes
1answer
688 views

Is HTML/CSS a programming language?

CSS can simulate rule 110 and thus is turing complete. Thus HTML + CSS is considered a programming language for our definition. However, as user @TimmyD mentioned appropriately HTML+CSS is Turing-...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Counting bytes for multi-file programs

So far, submissions consisting of multiple files have simply been counted by summing up the scores of the individual files. Also file names aren't counted as long as they are arbitrary. (We do count ...
10
votes
2answers
278 views

Should there be defaults for tiebreakers in tag wikis?

In the code-golf tag wiki, there are defaults for scoring if not specified (in bytes). Recently I have seen some questions what to do in case of a tie. My proposal is to make this a default in the tag ...
28
votes
1answer
511 views

Is it OK to promote my own posts in chat?

Occasionally I see other users posting links to their own answers or challenges in The Nineteenth Byte. Is this OK? Can I promote my own posts as well?
18
votes
4answers
502 views

Do all challenges have to be answered with code?

We have a tag fastest-algorithm and we've had it for a while now. Submissions are scored based on the time complexity of the algorithm. This means that the actual implementation has no effect on the ...
14
votes
3answers
429 views

Should language-specific code golf challenges be explicitly disallowed?

In light of a recent code golf challenge in which the specification restricts participation to JavaScript, I think it's time we revisited making a hard rule about language-specific golfs. We may ...