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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34
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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
136 views

PPCG equivalent to http://stackoverflow.com/jobs

Dyalog's APL team is looking to hire, and we are more interested in golfers than regular programmers, as the former are more likely to have the right mindset. Since codegolf.stackexchange.com/jobs ...
92
votes
45answers
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 ...
106
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
53 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 ...
29
votes
1answer
997 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
180 views

Should we repost a challenge because of a changed consensus?

Golf you a quine for great good! is a great example, since it was posted before the quine consensus was made. That means it's cluttered with answers not following it. Should we repost challenges ...
18
votes
0answers
137 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 ...
9
votes
7answers
250 views

Default policy for ouput 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 ...
401
votes
47answers
190k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
69 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
114 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 ...
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?
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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
223 views

How do we deal with novel emerging/recurring challenge types?

Recently, there has been a new type of challenge introduced called duct-tape-coding. Fears have been brought up that, like code-trolling, this challenge type may spawn posts that are extremely trivial ...
2
votes
1answer
94 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
53 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 ...
19
votes
5answers
337 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? ...
5
votes
1answer
182 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
285 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. ...
5
votes
0answers
129 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
210 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 ...
19
votes
5answers
601 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. ...
60
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 ...
14
votes
1answer
327 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 ...
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? ...
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 ...
4
votes
0answers
147 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
98 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 ...
59
votes
7answers
931 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 ...
24
votes
2answers
462 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
208 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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
350 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 ...
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 ...
14
votes
1answer
634 views

The smallest Android app in the world

I am interested in understanding what is the smallest Android app possible that the OS will allow to be installed. It need not have any function or interface (or even any executable code) - it just ...
13
votes
2answers
268 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, ...
5
votes
3answers
227 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) ...
1
vote
2answers
208 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
442 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
410 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
224 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
823 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: ...
16
votes
4answers
887 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
190 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 ...
23
votes
10answers
616 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
204 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 ...
28
votes
4answers
396 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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