30

Dennis's answer touches upon this, but I wanted to write a separate answer to make it more explicit: Objective scoring is essential to drive competition, and competition inspires creativity. Here is how a challenge works that doesn't have objective scoring: you come up with a solution that is valid, and may or may not do reasonably well. You think about ...


18

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 ...


16

This is, perhaps, a comment prompted by Alex A.'s post, but too long to be one. Why exactly do we need challenges to have a clear winner? To accept an answer, maybe? But only 62% of questions have an accepted answer. The goal of this site doesn't seem to be to find the one best solution, but for people to have fun making their own. Even in popularity ...


10

It is hard to discuss advantages and disadvantages of such a radical change; it completely changes the scope of the site. Right now, this site holds programming contests, meaning that we don't just try to solve a problem with a specific goal, but we compete against others that try to do the same. Removing the objective winning criterion requirement and ...


10

Yes, they are on topic To address some common reasons why people think they shouldn't be on topic: They don't have a winning criterion. By default, the winning criterion is first posted. Even if you don't like this criterion, it is objective. That said, first posted should be your last choice; the OP needs to attempt to identify other possible scoring ...


9

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 ...


9

There's a simple test: Can I measure how my answer fares against the existing answers before I submit it?


9

I think the biggest issue is not the objective winning criteria, rather I think it's the narrow definition of this site as a whole. Perhaps the the scope of this site should be expanded, not to replace the rules, but to include more than golf tips, code golf, and programming puzzles. By the definition of its own name, "Programming Puzzles & Code Golf" ...


9

It depends: If the answer-chaining question is : Scored based off of the chain, then the tag is self-contained. For example, scoring by the last answer (or second to last answer). Scored based off of something else, and the chain is a restriction, then the tag is not self-contained. Programmer5000 brings up a point that there are different ways to score ...


8

A programming puzzle is on topic only if it has an objective winning criterion Here I would exclude time posted except as a tie breaker after a more meaningful winning criterion. I think it's worth preserving Peter Taylor's comment that sums this up well: A scenario in which there is no "best" answer, just the fastest, is not conducive to quality. ...


8

We had a related discussion a few month ago, and I like the wording of the answer I linked to. A serious contender is a submission which makes a serious effort towards optimizing the submission's score within the chosen language(s) and other choices (such as algorithm choice or optional restrictions/bonuses taken). That's unfortunately still subjective, ...


7

I think this site is about three things - programming, creativity and fun. Any question that offers a good chance to combine the three is, in my opinion, welcome. There are advantages to requiring an objective winning criteria, mainly because limitations often help provoke creativity. The need to meet a specific challenge forces you think, and you may come ...


7

No, as long as the winning criterion is already clear from the tags Most challenges on PPCG are code-golf. A lot of distraction, duplication, and possibly inconsistency is caused by having to re-explain in each of them what code-golf means. On the other hand, the probability and the cost of a new user mistakenly using the tag are small, as that is usually ...


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 ...


6

If a challenge is closed as off-topic, it shouldn't be used as a dupe target. Thus, making an on-topic version of the challenge is perfectly acceptable. As ETHproductions pointed out: In this specific case, it's also important to note that the old challenge was on-topic when it was posted, and closed as off-topic more than a year after the supposed dupe ...


6

I deleted the answer because it made no effort whatsoever to compress its input. Now that the test case has been revealed, it turns out that trying to compress the input is rather pointless, as even the answers with the most sophisticated algorithms can shave off only a handful of bytes, if any. I didn't anticipate that, so my bad. I've undeleted your ...


6

Disclaimer: I added the tag No After looking through answer-chaining, even though most don't have a standard winning criterion tag most fit the definition of code-challenge: A code challenge is a competition for creative ways to solve a programming puzzle with an objective winning criterion not covered by other scoring tags (e.g. code-golf). Also, the ...


5

As a member of the team working on the current solution, I can say that of the proposed winning criteria I've seen, bounding box is generally the best. I'll list each criteria I've seen and their relative merits (or lack thereof). Fewest live cells - our solution will likely have live cells for RAM and/or ROM, so this criterion would probably be ...


5

Since it was this question: Hello World 1024, that garnered this meta question being asked I will address it from the view of this question. As @ugoren said any question here needs to limit the criteria of answers in some way otherwise the site will become bloated with stuff that is not wanted. In the case of the Hello World question I would like to ...


5

Probably Not This is rather difficult to accurately measure in our format, and makes the Sandbox practically unusable. Any simple challenge may be done in minutes, making the winners basically whoever sees it first.


4

I agree that we should close early. We are now at a stage where we have more reviewers than things to review (within a 12 hour period), so should vote to close whenever a question is close-worthy. However, we should be just as ready to reopen questions when they are reopen-worthy. It must be a two-way street, or our system will fall over.


4

Yes, pure programming puzzles are on topic. In a programming puzzle, the obvious objective winning condition is simply solving the puzzle. It's indisputably objective, and to differentiate between multiple correct solutions, a tiebreaker such as earliest post might be added. One might argue that this doesn't provide any real differentiating power, because ...


4

TL;DR: You're asking the wrong question. Being "a serious contender" is about the answer, not the language. Code-Golf is not about having the absolute lowest byte-count at all costs and everything else is off-topic. Otherwise we would have banned non-golfing languages a long time ago, and everybody would answer exclusively in jelly. Code-Golf is about ...


3

This is a good thing provided the challenges belong in the same post If the challenge is "Output the sum of N numbers, or alternatively their product" that just clutters the solutions of two distinct challenges together. They should be separate challenges in separate posts. However, where the categories are inherently part of the same challenge, such as ...


3

In most cases, yes. The submissions don't have to be perfect on those conditions if there isn't much competition, though. Having an unbeatable answer also doesn't mean the challenge is closed for new submissions, if they use new languages or approaches. This isn't ideal for a challenge. But in many cases the asker didn't have an idea about how easy or ...


3

Communicate your idea to the author via comment or chat ping. Modifying the criteria of a valid challenge against the author's will is not an option in my opinion. (If the challenge is invalid, then that is a totally different story.) If the author rejects or ignores your idea, and if changing the scoring system would significantly change what constitutes ...


3

I am definitely in favor of modifying the requirement of having an objective winning criterion. I believe that there are many cases where a programming challenge doesn't need to have a winner. Currently, the goal of many contests is in the form of "write the best program." I believe that a lot of the time, it is possible for the goal be in the form of "...


3

The rules are specified in the challenges itself As long as it is programming puzzle, and it have objective winning criteria, any rules are fine. That includes allow multiple users to win. I don't see any problem with this, except that it may changes how PPCG users work. However there are already a lot of answers on this site involves teamwork (the most ...


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