The subject matter of Algorithm to compute solution set of single simple equation with two variables is on-topic, and the question is well-posed; however, as a comment points out,

This asks for solution for CodeChef May 2012 contest problem DIVPAIR :-(

Given that, per that site, "Prizes worth up to Rs.20,000 and $700 are up for grabs every month along with lots more CodeChef goodies", how do we feel about the questions been asked on SO?

(This is similar but not identical to the well-worn homework issue)

  • 2
    This is cool, but they have to give the winning answer a bounty equal to 4 times the amount of the cash prize that they earn if they submit it.
    – Cody Gray
    May 4, 2012 at 8:08
  • My opinion is it's not about the money, but it's cheating... Rules: Please do not discuss strategy, suggestions or tips in the comments during a live contest. Posting questions clarifying the problem statement is ok.
    – Betlista
    May 4, 2012 at 9:48
  • 8
    I agree it's cheating, but that's a policy on another site and thus something for them to enforce. Stack Overflow can't be expected to enforce the policies of other websites unless they specifically request it.
    – Cody Gray
    May 4, 2012 at 10:04

3 Answers 3


Taking a cynical view a lot of the questions asked on Stack Overflow have a cash "prize" associated with them - it's called a salary :) or it's the money you get paid for delivering on the contract you signed.

Also questions from students also have a prize associated with them too - the qualifications they hope to get at the end of the course and the higher earnings they hope to gain with that qualification.

You have to assume a certain degree of good faith on the part of the questioner (assuming that the question is on topic in the first place of course). As with homework questions, if you think the problem is contrived post a comment asking for clarification on this issue. It might be enough to make the OP remove their question. Similarly if you come across the competition and spot the questions afterwards post a comment (or even down-vote if you think it warrants it).


Stack Overflow (and all of Stack Exchange) are about answering good questions. Good questions can come from anywhere, and all good questions deserve to be on their related sites. Additional benefits an asker may receive as part of getting an answer to a question are irrelevant whether its doing homework, real work, winning a contest, or building a doomsday device. We are all here to answer questions that follow the rules of our sites, if they break the rules of other sites that is their problem.


This is in relation to the question I posted on stackoverflow which Aakash has mentioned. After searching a bit more, I got to know that the equation I was trying to solve is called diophantine equation. And there is a treasure trove of information related to that.

If someone wants to cheat and solve the question, they can easily search for that on the internet and get it over with. The aim here is to promote a healthy discussion and come up with the best algorithm. It was not a "plz send teh codez" type of question.

Isn't stack overflow supposed to be a forum for collaborating, helping, asking questions and developing your skills? It was because of the question I posted that I came to know of how my fellow programmers think to come up with a solution in the least running time. Moreover, I checked the codechef problem and it seems to be more complex than what I was trying to achieve.

If you are so skeptical of the issue then you may also not like similar links I stumbled across:

Solving a Linear Diophantine Equation(see description for examples)

How to solve Linear Diophantine equations in programming?

And I can promise there are more out there.

P.S. I never knew that CodeChef doles out awards to winners every month. Although I knew that TopCoder does that.

  • 2
    SO is not a forum and is not for developing your skills. Dec 18, 2012 at 20:28

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