I'm working on a general-purpose programming language. In order to practice using it, gain a bit of recognition, and work out kinks in the design, I'd like to use it to solve some code golf questions on SO—but it's no fun to do so if no one will see the results. Since all of the golf questions are community wiki anyway (or rapidly become so), and since presumably all of my answers will be conformant, if not always actually executable yet, do you suppose this would be allowable?

Is it considered a breach of code golf etiquette to write solutions that others cannot test? It's sort of a case of "I have merely proved it correct, not tried it". Also note that this question may not actually need accomplish anything other than set a precedent to which I can link people.


If there is a specification for the language published somewhere and it is not adapted for that specific question, I don't see a problem with it.

However, if there is no published spec (and thus presumably no compiler), it would not be fair to other participants.

And of course, if you change the language to suit a specific Code Golf question, that is generally accepted as cheating, since the humor part has been done before.

  • I'm working on a draft spec, which I'll be publishing soon. All of the examples will be conformant to the draft, and will be updated to reflect changes in it. No change will be made to the language to suit a specific question unless that change is a reasonable addition with other, demonstrable, practical applications. I wouldn't corrupt my design for anything. – Jon Purdy Jul 16 '10 at 1:43

For comparison (but not an exact analogy) see the solutions too the minimum Turing complete interpreter problem. Some of them (including my OISC emulator) provide the spec to the interpreted language in the answer.

Which agrees with waiwai933's answer: it is enough that there is a spec for other to reference. but making the beta (or even alpha) version available would be better.

If you don't want to do that you could provide a web interface for other to try it out.

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