33

Of course you can! We welcome any and all participation. How you choose to participate is up to you. I went over a year without posting any challenges at all; all of my participation was answers. Calvin's Hobbies, one of our most successful challenge authors, almost exclusively posts challenges. At least in my mind, the point of this community is to have ...


32

When is best for views? As it turns out, it doesn't matter all that much. Consider this plot: The mean number of views is slightly higher on Mondays and Wednesdays but things are pretty consistent overall across the whole week. What about time of day? Also doesn't seem to matter. This is good news! We need quality content everyday, all the time, not ...


28

Stack Exchange is not an issue tracker I haven't voted on this since it was posted, because I wasn't really sure how I feel about it, but now that the Pyth question has been posted, I don't think PPCG is the right place for posts like this. Posting a question along the lines of "I want to make XYZ a better language, so I'd like to know what features people ...


24

The challenge poster must specify the intended definition If such a mathematical ambiguity is spotted, leave a comment and vote/flag to close the challenge as "unclear what you're asking". The reason why? Well, this is the close reason one should use if they think a question isn't clear enough for them to answer. The closure will prevent such possible ...


24

No There is absolutely no benefit to restricting a question to users of a certain type. This is would only serve to make users who are not allowed to participate unhappy. However, I do think it is perfectly fine to separate users into separate categories, as was done in Red vs. Blue. As long as the categories are properly symmetric, such that users on ...


20

Here's a list of details and considerations a good challenge writer should be aware of. I try to mentally go over these myself whenever I write a challenge. This list assumes the principal parts of the challenge - namely the problem statement, the scoring criterion, any examples, an introduction - are already present and fleshed out. Rather, it focuses on ...


20

Yes, asking for feature requests is still on topic Code golf is a major part of this site. We should continue to welcome questions aimed at improving existing golfing languages for the betterment of the code golf community.


20

In an ideal world, you would. Practically, you normally can't — a) because of people using proprietary languages, b) because you might get many dozens of answers. Many answers will include a link to an online tester, especially those written in esolangs or golfing language specifically (but others also sometimes include links to ideone, or JavaScript answers ...


20

Yes, this is on-topic “How do I golf this?” questions are welcome here, and this is essentially one of them: the OP wants to golf the smallest .apk file that Android’s package manager recognizes. If they supply some more specifics about their requirements (e.g. which Android device?) so others can help out, this is suited for the main site.


19

Since we're talking about my sandbox post here, let me make the case for yes, this should be on topic! It's not actually different from a code golf challenge, except I won't accept an answer, and it encourages answers in many different languages (using words, but nothing else). In fact, as Doorknob mentioned in his answer, this is actually part of our ...


18

This is a false distinction. On every code golf question, people answer in a variety of languages, striving for the shortest solution in that language. If it were simply a competition for the overall shortest solution, there would no point coding in Java or Python or any language but a select few that are very concise or perfectly-built for the task. At ...


18

Yes But I think popularity-contest might not be ideal. How I would do it is choose some specific image of the Mona Lisa that everyone has to aim for, then give each submission a score based on how different it is from this image. This score could be the number of pixels that are the exact correct color (higher score wins). Or if you want more granularity, ...


17

I'm not a fan of catalogues for the sake of catalogues. A catalogue should have a raison d'être. The original question about catalogues talks about the catalogue nature of challenges corresponding to simple (and common) tasks So in my mind there are two reasons to turn a question into a catalogue: The task is so standardised that it's become a cliché. ...


16

I do not think so. This site is for challenges and contests and your question does not seem to include any kind of challenge. You can fully answer this question yourself just by looking at the docs of the programming languages you want to consider.


15

One consistent, and one non-consistent The thing I like about Truthy and Falsy is that often you may do things like output 0 for falsy and everything else for truthy. For example this brain-flak answer outputs nothing for even numbers and the input for odd numbers. It could be argued that this is an exploit, I think this gives the opportunity for some ...


15

Yes, the winning criterion needs to be specified in the challenge First, tags like code-golf where the winning criterion is obvious in theory. You're right that it's probably not entirely necessary, but especially with newer users it's often not clear whether they just picked a suggested tag without even being aware of the concept of winning criteria. To ...


15

Use the sandbox Even for the most experienced challenges writers, catching all open questions and potential issues of a challenge can be difficult. That's what the Sandbox for Proposed Challenges is for: get help from the community to catch these things before going live on the main site. As a rule of thumb, I saw that you used the sandbox once before, but ...


14

I don't think they are on topic here, because where do you draw the line for what counts as an esoteric language? The fastest way to get help with these languages is probably in the PPCG main chat. But I would actually suggest you do ask them on Stack Overflow (provided it would be a good question for SO if it was about a "normal" language), and then leave ...


14

Fundamentally, there is none I don't have specific data but I can say from experience that a question posted on any day at any hour can become popular, can become a Hot Network Question, you just might have to wait a bit. I've found (or at least it seems) that there are far fewer answers posted when it is nighttime in America, but posting then is fine since ...


14

I suggested a potential feature request related to this when we were discussing ideas about the fact that we're not a Q&A site. This is of course a suggestion that would require changes to the software, which would likely be only useful for PPCG and Puzzling. The main idea is to introduce a separate bounty system for challenges. The main difference to ...


13

Just hitting upon a great challenge idea isn't enough. You must consider how you word and structure the specification. In fact, I'd dare to say that the clarity of the specification is more important than the actual challenge idea! The fundamental understanding of a specification is that it's not merely a presentation of inputs, outputs, and what-to-do, ...


13

Number of approaches I often see that questions which have multiple ways of being solved are more interesting than challenges which have only one exact way to approach the problem. If that's the case, it is just a contest of who has the best built-ins. When there are multiple approaches, it's also quite a puzzle of finding out which approach is better for ...


12

Floating point If your question requires the use of floating point, you will almost certainly need to constrain the input and allow answers to produce whatever output they want for inputs outside the specified range. You should do sufficient numerical analysis to ensure that it's possible to meet your specification for accuracy in the output over the entire ...


12

Code Katas are a great idea in general, but I don't see how they fit into this community. The main requirement for every challenge posted here is that it has to have an objective winning criterion. Code Katas are looking for good solutions, whatever that means in the language you're currently using. But that's something you can't really quantify. Whether any ...


12

For code golf, you don't have to verify the answers yourself. Verifying all of them personally could be time-consuming or downright unfeasible (after all, not all languages are free and run on all platforms), so you can rely on the community to do this for you. This will become a lot easier if: The question has a clearly established validity criterion. The ...


11

Keep it Simple Something I've noticed is that questions that are too complicated are less likely to do well. I'm not talking about the difficulty of the solution, I'm talking about the amount of detail and complexity involved in the question. Your lost pawn problem had a lot of moving parts. The three dimensional array, the exacting textual output ...


11

The generally accepted rule is: Can answers from one question be copied over to the other with little or no modification and still be competitive? If you are unsure, post your revised challenge in the Sandbox and ask if others think it is a duplicate.


11

Create separate challenges I'm not saying this is the solution, but we've just talked about this in chat, and I wanted to make a meta post for this anyway. So this answer will act as a collection of pros and cons of this solution and comments and votes will certainly show the communities opinion (please add similar answers for the other options). This ...


11

Size coding is on topic; I agree with Peter Taylor that an objective winning criterion can be in theory formed. However, it doesn't seem to have many advantages over code-golf questions, which as @mınxomaτ pointed out are commonly answered in machine code. Here are some issues that may come up: Interpreted languages are automatically excluded, and ...


11

Make sure there's no trivial closed form solution This is probably a corollary of Adnan's answer, but even with sequences that have many definitions and approaches there is often a simple closed form solution that a) completely sidesteps the interesting background of a sequence and b) is the only viable golfing option. Always try to make sure that closed ...


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