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Remove both question and answer requirements Meta is a great way for new users to ask questions about the site, so there shouldn't be a rep restriction keeping them from doing so. New users should be able to use the Sandbox, so we should remove the answer requirement as well. Questions Rep requirements for meta participation make sense on other SE sites. ...


37

Let's just put it this way — where do experienced golfing language users come from? They certainly don't just fall out of the sky, and must have started somewhere, right? Without the practice and experience, you'll never get used to the language. But if you don't get started, you'll never gain the necessary practice and experience! Just go for it! If you're ...


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See also Stack Exchange Glossary - Dictionary of Commonly-Used Terms. Abbreviations marked with a star (*) are chat specific. Catalog: A type of simple on-topic challenge where the challenge's aim not so much to find a winner as it is to create a catalog of solutions in many languages. CG: Code Golf; a challenge to solve a particular problem with the ...


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I propose that each commonly-used language have a separate explanation of the rules that most pertain to it, with code examples. I think this is more digestible that a big general FAQ, especially to new users. (Meta post to try to make this happen.) Different languages consider different rules important. For example, allowing curried functions is central ...


28

An answer is judged on its content, not on the status of the person who posted it. If an established and respected community member posts an answer to a code-golf question that makes no effort to reduce the number of bytes then it will be downvoted. If a new member with no experience posts an answer that is not the shortest but clearly makes an effort to ...


25

Strive to outgolf For skilled golfers to take us seriously, they need to see us try for the best golf. If someone's already submitted in your favorite language, take it as a challenge to do better. Don't just move on because it's "been done". Write your own golf in that language, or suggest improvements to theirs. We need to get rid of the attitude that ...


22

Of course you can: anyone can answer any question in any language: there's no restriction upon new users apart from those put in place by Stack Exchange (which Programming Puzzles and Code Golf can't control). Don't be afraid to go ahead and try and use a golfing language. Just because users like Dennis or Peter Taylor get impossibly short answers in CJam ...


21

This was recently changed to the text proposed by coredump. New users who enter the Your Answer box will see:


21

I don't really know what's best specifically for you but I'll share my short experience over the past year here. I started out golfing in Java, probably the worst possible language to golf in. However, despite never having won a single challenge in Java, people almost always commented on my answers, offering support and suggestions. So, the key thing to ...


20

The tooltip for the downvote button says This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful. It is an excellent description of the question you link. Does not show any research effort The particular example linked looks like a "Do my homework" question, and does not show any evidence of effort beyond a poor transcription. But ...


19

A few thoughts, from a fairly-newbie: Use whatever language you like. Personally, I see every language as competing in its own space. I compete against other JavaScript entries, and to a very small extent against Ruby and Python. Competing against Brainfuck is silly. Competing against CJam or Jelly or whatever is sillier. Collaborate with others: help them ...


17

If the challenge is a homework question in disguise, or otherwise looks like an attempt to get this community to do someone else's work for them, then I would downvote it. I would certainly not direct them to Stack Overflow. If the post is a regular programming question and is suitable for Stack Overflow, then I would refrain from voting and leave a helpful ...


17

I always start by welcoming the new user. It's best to make users feel welcome in the community and not to sound hostile. I also always recommend the Sandbox (especially now that there's no rep limit). For specific issues: Unclear Welcome to Code Golf and Coding Challenges! This challenge could use a bit of clarification. For example, (insert specific ...


17

Hello and Welcome to Programming Puzzles and Code Golf! I'm delighted that you'd like you join our community. We're glad to have you. To get a feel for the community and how to contribute: You can start with the Tour, which to be honest isn't terribly informative, but it's a start. Check out the Help Center for more details on what kind of challenges and ...


17

Other SE sites have questions that already got a satisfying answer, and new answers will likely be thank you posts or other kinds of noise. In these situation, protecting questions is the way to go. However, our challenges are never really over; protecting rarely ever makes sense on PPCG. The challenges that usually wind up protected either manually or ...


17

Haskell Basic IO In Haskell, a valid answer is usually a function, unless a full program is required by the challenge. Even if a challenge requires you to output an infinite stream of data (like all prime numbers), you can just write a function that returns an infinite list or string. Functions These kinds of functions are valid answers in a code golf ...


17

posts that are unintentionally against our on-topic guidelines have no reason to be downvoted. This is false; posts with a score of -4 or lower do not appear on the front page. Making low quality content less visible than high quality content is pretty much why we cast downvotes in the first place, so this is reason enough to downvote unsalvagably off-...


17

Voting while participating As it's a contest it doesn't make sense to vote for other answers - does it? It is a contest, but I like to think of it as a challenge. And everyone participates individually on their own level. You'll see that many users help others golf their submissions in the comments. There's even a Sportsmanship badge rewarded to people ...


17

Hello and Welcome to PPCG! Indeed, while PPCG is somewhat different from the main Stack Overflow site, there is a lot of information about questions that can be found in the Help pages, specifically the on-topic page and the pages this links to. the on-topic page states: All challenge questions on this site should have: A clear specification of what ...


16

I am evidently sold on the idea. Here is a modified version in order to bring more thoughts on this. If this is an answer to a challenge Be sure to follow the challenge specification. However, please refrain from exploiting obvious loopholes. Answers abusing any of the standard loopholes are considered invalid. If you think a specification is ...


16

We need an honest intro for new askers We need a frank explanation of what makes a good challenge. Not something that lists all rules and possibilities, but advice like you'd give a friend who is new to the site and posting a challenge for the first time. It might say things like "Post in the Sandbox first" and "Challenges like X are allowed, but you'll ...


16

Let's do it! This is a great idea! While new users won't necessarily see it on their own, they can be easily linked to it, once it exists. While we currently have a community FAQ, I think it would be helpful to have something written in a conversational, friendly style to introduce newcomers to the community. In particular, here's some things we can put ...


16

At a brief glance, some potential reasons are: This looks a lot like a homework question or a coding challenge taking from another site. We don't help with homework Using a challenge from another site requires explicit permission The challenge has a fixed clunky I/O format specified This community heavily favors flexible I/O When the winning condition ...


15

This also applies in Chat Often when a post is off topic on the site people will ping the NewMainPosts message announcing the question, with complaints or generally unwelcoming statements. Just because new users are less likely to see messages in chat does not mean that they should be any less welcoming to new users. We would not want new users, even those ...


14

Do not vote for code length! Code length is not a good way to determine what to vote for, because it isn't a good indicator of quality. A golflang submission can be thoroughly uninteresting and still beat out the most clever and well-golfed Python or Haskell submission out there. Of course, golfing languages can have clever tricks as well (abusing the ...


13

Vote. The main mechanism of stackexchange is voting. As @LuisMendo said, if you attract more users in general, you will gradually bring in those more experienced golfers. When you see a good answer or question, vote it up. It attracts new users when they see there reputation going up because of a good post. As they get used to the system, they will learn ...


12

Python General I/O Your submission should be a program or a function. It should print the output or return it. These example submissions compute the factorial in Python 2: # Program that prints n=input();p=1 for i in range(1,n+1):p*=i print p # Defined function that outputs or prints def f(n): p=1 for i in range(1,n+1):p*=i print p # Lambda function, ...


12

Start with your familiar language You'll find that if you start off with learning a new golfing language right away, you'll find it rather difficult to create competitive solutions. That's completely normal; since you're new to Code Golf, your mindset is still set to practical uses. Instead of learning a new language right away, I would recommend that you ...


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