33

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 ...


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 ...


14

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 ...


11

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 ...


11

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 ...


10

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


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 ...


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 ...


9

Edit if obvious, close if not ...and by obvious, I more or less mean code-golf, as, off the top of my head, I cannot think of any other criteria tag that’s so universally scored. If a question is tagged code-golf, 99 times out of 100, it means that the shortest code in bytes wins. Older posts may have scored by characters rather than bytes, but the general ...


9

Looking at the minimum distinct character challenges linked it does seem like while there are a couple it's not a very well liked scoring criterion on it's own. "Do X but with minimum characters" is just not interesting on it's own anymore. Unlike other scoring criteria most challenges with this criterion end up feeling pretty much the same. Of ...


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 ...


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. ...


7

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, ...


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

On scoring by ratio to shortest code I like the philosophy here that you're competing relative to your language, but I don't see it working. The idea seems to be based on assumptions from Anarchy Golf that don't transfer: Most challenges have multiple submissions in each language. There is a fixed (though large) set of language options. The golfing is ...


5

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 ...


5

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 ...


4

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 ...


4

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 ...


4

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

fastest-code/fastest-algorithm fastest-code challenges are, as the tag suggests, about creating the code to complete a task as fast as possible. Challenges with this tag should include the specifications of the machine being used to time the submissions (typically the challenge author's machine). fastest-algorithm challenges are about the asymptotic time ...


3

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.


3

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 ...


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

answer-chaining: Each answer influences how newer answers work. Often ends when there are no new answers in a specific time and the last one wins. See What answer-chaining scoring criteria promote collaboration? for more. ast-golf: The answer with the fewest nodes on its abstract syntax tree wins. atomic-code-golf: Challenge with limited amounts of ...


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.


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