44

Post quickly Thanks to the Fastest Gun in the West Effect, answers posted soon after the question tend to get more upvotes than ones posted later. Moreover, the higher-voted your answer is, the more people see it, the more upvotes it will receive. For example, this tip, posted only 20 minutes after the question, is sure to get upvotes solely because of ...


32

To come back to it after over a year. Should we end the popcon? Keep it Yes, keep it. But why?? Is closing an off-topic question really that hard? If it's off-topic, it's off-topic. If it's a pop-con, then that's just an unfortunate misunderstanding of the tag at hand. If we were to remove pop-con, you'd consequently remove some of the (arguably) most ...


28

Keep It, but... ...we should definitely update e.g. the tag info. The recent discussions have not been unproductive, and I think we have better guidelines than ever before but at the moment they are still all buried in meta questions/answers. Example: As far as I know it is the first time that the term validity criterion emerged so clearly which definitely ...


26

Readability Round here, we're all used to fiendishly obfuscated code-golf answers. While sacrificing readability is perfectly acceptable to squeeze one more byte out of a code-golf answer, it really doesn't cut it in popularity contests. If you want people to upvote your answers, then they want to be able to easily read the code to understand what it is ...


24

Use pretty pictures It sounds silly, but pictures are eye-catching. For example, many of the highest-voted answers to Calvin's Language Showcase Challenge feature images. However, don't include images just for the sake of including images; they should improve the post in a meaningful way.


19

Something Different Quite often the answers follow the same format/approach. Doing something which demonstrates thinking outside the square and attacks the question from a different angle will garner a few votes. Of course this has to go hand in hand with the other answers here. I think this answer is probably the best I can find at the moment. The idea of ...


16

Should the tag be split? I think it's clear that the majority want to see popularity contests continue, but also the majority find problems with most challenges that are posted with this tag. Is part of the problem that the tag is used for more than one thing? There seem to be at least two different challenge types that are tagged popularity-contest. ...


15

Keep it There's nothing wrong specifically with popularity-contest (indeed it is a good scoring criteria for several popular kinds of challenges, such as image-processing). The main issue is that people misunderstand that popularity-contest does not make your challenge exempt from the standard rules of what is on-topic here (an issue in particular is that ...


13

Explain your work This tip is for the more complex popularity contests where your approach to the problem is important. It's one thing to have an answer that works wonders, but people are going to like it even better if they actually understand what it is that you're doing. The more reproducible your explanation is, the better, but try not to ...


12

A follow up to my last answer This second answer is a bit of a write up of my thoughts after some discussion about my previous answer. Everything I said in the last answer I still believe is true, but I would like to put this as a separate answer because it has different points than the last. On Programming competitions This site is for programming ...


11

The current state is good for nobody The rules as they apply to pop cons are bizarre. Whether they should be loosened or tightened, either would be better than this strange in-between. All challenge questions on this site should have: A clear specification of what constitutes a correct submission, so that it is possible to indisputably decide ...


11

Let's not argue over semantics Trying to interpret SE policy and the meaning of objectivity here feels like reading tea leaves. These rules were written for a different situation: questions that are actually requests for help, and answers that give information. Challenges run as competitions with rules and votes are so different that if we stretch terms to ...


11

Short answer: yes, and the tag wiki is partly to blame. Longer answer: although underhanded doesn't inherently hit Too Broad in the same way as code-trolling, it does suffer to an extent from a lack of objective specifications. The current tag wiki excerpt says: An underhanded challenge is a challenge to write a program that looks as if it is doing one ...


9

Popcons have needed to be popular Note: This is simply my perspective on what has been happening, not what should be happening We have a challenge writer, Helka Homba, who is quite popular in our community. He writes great challenges: They are interesting and easy to read. His questions each get about 20 votes (rough guess), and lots of answers. His pop-...


9

Notes: If you find any grammar mistakes or formulations that are clumsy, feel free to directly edit. For other suggestions please use the comments. Should certains points be linked to the relevant discussions on meta? I think this might be too long. Feel free use this as a base for an own draft. I did use parts of the current version of the tag ...


8

While I believe there is room for improvement as far as popularity-contest goes, I'm not convinced this is the answer. There are already popcons that give subjective voting criteria, such as good/bad bullets, most beautiful/interesting, audio quality/complexity, etc. So the solution you propose would do nothing for these except retag them. We could add a ...


7

Add a cow to your answer __________________________ < Add a cow to your answer > -------------------------- \ ^__^ \ (oo)\_______ (__)\ )\/\ ||----w | || || One of my answers long long ago, when code-golf was still on stackoverflow, got far more votes than it deserved. Any ...


6

I'm not really your target audience, but it sounds to me like you're trying to split pop-con into two tags which function roughly as "good pop-con" and "bad pop-con". I don't think that's your intention, but it can be perceived like that, and could send the message that "bad pop-con is ok". I would be less unhappy about a push to get pop-con writers to give ...


5

Explicit distinction between objective and subjective rules First of all, I do agree with Nathan Merrill's post. I'd like to add following point: When writing down the rules for the challenge, the author should make an explicit distinction between objective rules: Things that can be objectively be measured (by a "dumb" computer). These rules form/...


5

Spread the common sense Try to come up with some very simple and obvious basic ideas (the implementation isn't necessarily easy), where others aren't very sure about it really works, and they aren't sure everybody knows that. And after seeing your answer, they are sure. Keep the basic idea simple, while it should seems that it need some effort, specific ...


5

Which challenges are on topic here? First and foremost, the same rules apply to all challenges, whether they are popularity contests or not. These rules are outlined in our help center. They were phrased differently in the past, but their essence was the same ever since the help center was created in 2013. Programming Puzzles & Code Golf is for ...


4

Objectivity gets mixed up with other aspects Several different factors affect whether a popularity contest is welcomed here, not just objectivity. Trying to discuss these factors all at once causes confusion, and the debate becomes cluttered. Let's separate out the different potential problems so that objectivity can be analysed in isolation, as that is the ...


3

Keep It Site traffic history for ppcg.se, by month: With a few notable exceptions (for example We're no strangers to code golf, the blip in April 2012), nearly all questions with 50k+ views have been popularity contests of one flavor or another. It is my contention that had popularity contests been a standard challenge type from early on, the site would ...


2

Keep it I like PPCG because it inspires creative solutions I'd never have considered, usually using techniques I didn't know about (or wouldn't have thought of). In code-golf, more often than not this is done by rearranging the order operations are done, or working out which approach can cut out the most redundant steps. Which I love. Even in Jelly where I ...


2

I do have posted and participated in a bunch of popularity contests and already discused their problems a lot, so I think I may adress some of the issues I've seen, what I agree on and what I do not agree on. I do recommend reading the previous discussions and decisions. Regarding 1: Yes, all challenges should be sandboxed. Regrading 2: If you have 1 day ...


2

Close it! A very short answer, but I don't think anything else is necessary. There's nothing special about that question, and it should be closed due to the lack of an objective winning criterion. The question about whether or not pop-cons are a good thing is an entirely different discussion. Personally, I would like more popularity-contest challenges, ...


2

Despite their more subjective nature, popularity contents are not except from the site's rule of objectivity. All popularity contests still need a concrete, objective way to determine whether a submission is valid and deserving of votes. "But wait," you say, "couldn't I just make the criterion 'output must be an image'? That's objectively verifiable." In ...


2

Humor Research has shown that the amount of humor in a post is positively correlated with the number of upvotes. Therefore, adding humor is a guaranteed method to get the popular vote.


2

This sounds like a good idea to me. There is power in the name of a thing. "Voter-judged" has better connotations than "Popularity-contest" and is more correct for the use to which we're putting it. Even if it's a slight gain, it is a gain.


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