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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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? ...
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 ...
29
votes
1answer
1k views

How should Community Wikis be used?

Community Wikis (CWs) seem to be an often misunderstood feature on Stack Exchange in general. For instance, I'm often seeing them used to avoid gaining reputation when the author feels they don't ...
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 ...
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?
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 – ...
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 ...
28
votes
4answers
400 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 ...
25
votes
7answers
748 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, ...
25
votes
1answer
395 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 ...
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 ...
24
votes
2answers
466 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 ...
24
votes
3answers
637 views

Is this an acceptable way to shave a byte in ES6?

Say there's a challenge with two inputs. Can we submit a function signature like this? a=>b=>... Instead of ...
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): ...
23
votes
10answers
618 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
23
votes
3answers
950 views

On scoring builtin functions

Suppose there's a challenge which can be solved completely by a builtin function, and functions are allowed. Note that as of writing the standard loophole for builtins is heavily disputed, but let's ...
22
votes
12answers
3k views

Default acceptable image I/O methods for image related challenges

I do not feel that the default general acceptable I/O methods sufficiently cover image-processing and graphical-output challenges. So I would like to poll. What are the default acceptable I/O methods ...
22
votes
4answers
831 views

Can I ask a question seeking feature requests for a golfing language?

I noticed an old question, An improved version of GolfScript, which asked, as a tips question, for people to suggest ways to improve GolfScript. This was a well-received question, but times may have ...
22
votes
1answer
2k views

What does “taking no input” mean for a program?

Fixed output challenges usually state that the program "must take no input". I usually interpret this as "The standard input is empty", but after thinking about this, there are actually several valid ...
21
votes
1answer
978 views

Are languages like sed exempt from “no input” rules?

Some types of challenges require submission that produce constant output and, as such, forbid the solutions from taking input of any kind. That presents a problem for languages like sed, which ...
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 ...
20
votes
3answers
552 views

Are physical analogs of programming legitimate?

By physical analogs, I mean solutions written via objects in the physical world. Specifically, I am referring to a couple solutions to this challenge (including my own and a couple others). Should ...
20
votes
4answers
623 views

Are control characters and ANSI escape codes allowed in output?

Recently, I had people go crazy with escape codes on one of my ASCII art challenges. This x86 machine code answer was able to save some bytes by throwing a few colour codes at the console. At some ...
20
votes
2answers
910 views

What additional information should be allowed in a submission?

Unlike traditional coding competition sites, submissions (answers) on PPCG are free form; the only hard requirement is that all submissions must contain the scoring header and the code that solves the ...
19
votes
5answers
356 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? ...
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. ...
19
votes
1answer
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
18
votes
1answer
380 views

“Way too long” - Allowed or Disallowed?

During my time at PPCG I've seen many answers which don't post the byte count, but instead put "way too long". For example, Thomas Kwa's answer here. I have also seen this on a plethora of Java ...
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"...
18
votes
1answer
364 views

Is an answer allowed to use undefined, but consistent behaviour?

A lot of languages have behaviour that is not defined in the official spec, or might lack a spec in the first place. If the behaviour is consistent and even well known, can such behaviour be used ...
18
votes
1answer
560 views

Where should we put robbers?

Just in case you didn't know already, we have a fairly new type of challenge: cops-and-robbers I enjoy these challenges very much, but I don't know if the current format (cops post answers, robbers ...
18
votes
0answers
139 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 ...
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 ...
17
votes
2answers
630 views

Ethics of posting if you're a bad programmer

I'm not a great (or, really, that good of a) programmer, but I enjoy reading other people's challenges, and thought I'd try my hand at submitting a few challenges myself. However, I don't see myself ...

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