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I found this question on SO. It is a serious question but it was closed as duplicate of a code-golf problem.

That doesn't seem fair or useful, I thought the main reason to mark a question as a duplicate was that it is likely to gain the same kind of answers.

This question asks for a sensible solution, and in a specific language (C#). If SO wants to be the repository for all programming questions then deferring to a page full of mutilated (saving on whitespace and identifier names is essential) solutions just isn't helpful. A link to it would have been useful of course.

Can we have some sort of guideline or verdict on this?

PS: I noticed that way down on the golf page there are a few usable answers. But they are hard to find for someone who drops in via Google.

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The question is poorly written, I'm not surprised it was closed even if it weren't a duplicate. – George Stocker Nov 28 '09 at 16:04
It wasn't the best prose but it was clear what the asker wanted. Do you really close questions for bad style? – Henk Holterman Nov 28 '09 at 16:30
@Henk: actually, it's a bit unclear if he wants the number converted to words completely, or if the LSD should remain a number (as illustrated in his title). Personally, I think it's safe to assume he just didn't think through the problem particularly well / at all and merge it with previously-asked questions... (there was another inconsistency in the question itself, as noted in the first comment, but that's been edited out now.) – Shog9 Nov 28 '09 at 16:43

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I agree, I reopened it.

Code Golf does imply shortest-possible solutions which aren't always what you want in a work environment -- that is, for a "real question".

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FWIW, there are at least two previous instances of this question, (both of which also contain references to the Code Golf question, in addition to real answers) - so it's still a duplicate. See: stackoverflow.com/questions/466042/… and stackoverflow.com/questions/759198/… – Shog9 Nov 28 '09 at 16:35
Shog9, I think closing as duplicate of one of those would be OK. – Henk Holterman Nov 28 '09 at 22:47

I agree. Solving a code golf challenge is very different from writing readable, maintainable real-world code.

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Looking at the questions in question, I don't see where the two questions were that different. This particular code golf question didn't ask for "mutilated" code, and some of the people who would do such a thing have been noted to do it in real answers as well... so, same question, same answers.

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Code Golf inherently asks for mutilated code by challenging people to come up with the shortest possible code, measured in bytes. – jprete Nov 28 '09 at 15:12
Except that was not one of the parameters specified in that particular question - usually if that is the goal it is specified. – AnonJr Nov 28 '09 at 18:11
Golf is a game in which the lowest score wins. Thus "Code Golf" implies a shortest-is-best approach, whether specified or not. If you don't want a shortest-is-best game, either don't call it "Code Golf", or explicitly state so in the goals. – quack quixote Nov 28 '09 at 18:21

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