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66 votes

Let's allow newer languages/versions for older challenges

Trust the community and add a standard loophole I think the community can handle the add-a-builtin problem (I may be very wrong). I think that if someone adds a feature to their language that is ...
MD XF's user avatar
  • 13.9k
59 votes

Things to avoid when writing challenges

Requiring minimum scores In short, don't post a code golf that says "Your code has to be shorter than 100 bytes" (the same applies to any other winning criterion). The usual motivation is that the ...
Martin Ender's user avatar
59 votes
Accepted

When can APL characters be counted as 1 byte each?

GNU APL and ngn/apl use UTF-8, so use a byte counting tool. NARS2000 only uses UCS-2, so 2 bytes per character. IBM's APL2 is the only modern APL that natively supports APL EBCDIC, so 1 byte per ...
Adám's user avatar
  • 30.3k
52 votes

Things to avoid when writing challenges

Non-observable program requirements The validity of a program should depend on things that can be observed when the program is treated as a black box. Examples are data written to standard output or ...
feersum's user avatar
  • 31.4k
52 votes

Things to avoid when writing challenges

Don't allow / ask for different things in languages with different capabilities Don't write specs like "Do X. If your language doesn't support X, you can do Y instead". Examples are: Do some math in ...
nimi's user avatar
  • 35.8k
45 votes

Things to avoid when writing challenges

Saying you should produce one or several outputs randomly without further specification One random output Say someone writes a challenge about generating a labyrinth of a given size (width and height) ...
Luis Mendo's user avatar
  • 105k
42 votes

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

I tend to agree that there are a lot of rules for new users to "discover", and that this is a bad thing (in general). However, I don't agree with your solution, because I don't see how it's any ...
Geobits's user avatar
  • 19.7k
41 votes

Loopholes that are forbidden by default

URL shorteners / shortened URLs Every once in a while, we get a challenge that requires fetching some data from the internet. While some of them manage to ban URL shorteners in time, other don't. I ...
41 votes
Accepted

Is it OK to promote my own posts in chat?

Promoting your own posts is definitely OK, but there are some very important guidelines to consider. Promoting your own posts is usually OK if It's relevant to the topic of discussion. Hey, have ...
DJMcMayhem's user avatar
  • 59.2k
40 votes

Definite policy about duplicate answers

Allow duplicate answers I think we shouldn't take action against duplicate submissions, even when the code is identical. We should assume good faith: the second submitter almost surely came up with ...
xnor's user avatar
  • 145k
38 votes

Loopholes that are forbidden by default

When consistent and distinct values are asked as input, you cannot input complete or partial functions When I create a challenge and ask for a boolean or two '...
37 votes

Things to avoid when writing challenges

Allowing standard loopholes in general Don't say "Standard loopholes are allowed". They ban silly things like making up a language where the solution is a single character or just printing the string ...
xnor's user avatar
  • 145k
37 votes

Things to avoid when writing challenges

The prime numbers We have 226 questions about prime numbers at the time of writing. Almost every single one of these involves some adaptation of the “canonical prime checking code” or the “canonical ...
lynn's user avatar
  • 68.7k
37 votes

Things to avoid when writing challenges

Formulating the challenge as something and then including a twist that completely changes the task Don't hide information from the reader. Don't enounce the challenge as something that later on it ...
Luis Mendo's user avatar
  • 105k
36 votes
Accepted

The state of chat

One chat room cannot be what everybody expects from it The Nineteenth Byte's purpose is labeled as general discussion; the jestful addendum appears to indicate that pretty much everything goes. A ...
Dennis's user avatar
  • 210k
35 votes

Loopholes that are forbidden by default

Outputting an expression instead of a number For example, outputting 3*3 instead of 9, or outputting ...
35 votes

Things to avoid when writing challenges

Adding unnecessary fluff See also: Chameleon challenges, Cumbersome I/O formats, Do X without Y What's the main point of the challenge? Try to keep the challenge to just that. Don't go adding frills ...
Sp3000's user avatar
  • 61.8k
33 votes

Things to avoid when writing challenges

Patching out approaches On your challenge, someone posts a solution that's cheap and not at all what you intended. You have the option to change the rules, but do so very carefully as there's many ...
xnor's user avatar
  • 145k
33 votes
Accepted

How should Community Wikis be used?

Community wiki is not a rep waiver I've mentioned that from time to time in the past. Community wiki doesn't just mean that you cannot earn rep from a post. Yes, it does have that side effect, but the ...
Dennis's user avatar
  • 210k
32 votes

Loopholes that are forbidden by default

Improper quines We've reached consensus on what counts as a proper quine over a year ago, yet the occasional "quine" that consists of nothing more than literals and/or NOPs still comes up. ...
32 votes

Default for Code Golf: Input/Output methods

In languages without any method of input (e.g. ///) programs may get input through an insertion into the source code
boboquack's user avatar
  • 2,317
32 votes

Things to avoid when writing challenges

Input Validation This is a subset of adding special cases for completeness that seems to come up pretty often. From a given set of possible inputs, a solution shouldn't have to sort out inputs that ...
Jo King's user avatar
  • 47.2k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible