in reply to Beyond Golf - reading between the tokens

Like obfuscation, golf is an art. Most excellent golf entries are the result of evolution, experimentation, and creativity - the solution is not approached the same way one would approach a practical programming problem. Fewest characters is actually a sensible criteria as it adds a fun twist that skews the rules sufficiently to ensure that the game is not boring. Experienced programmers no longer have an untouchable edge when it comes to golf.

If another scoring mechanism was used, my personal preference would be - fewest nodes in the compiled op tree. Of course, this breaks down when eval"" is used, but the idea still stands - the eval"" case is just hard to calculate.

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Re^2: Beyond Golf - reading between the tokens
by Aristotle (Chancellor) on Dec 28, 2002 at 13:21 UTC

    Yes, I thought about eval, that would need special rules indeed. The "nodes in the compiled tree" approach is a good proposal - I was trying to formulate the rules in such a way as to be unambiguous, and that would be a watertight way to get it right. Kudos to Juerd for a great suggestion on how to implement that with very little effort.

    As to the point, it's true that these rules favour experienced programmers, but then these folks tend to be hard to beat in the pro league anyway. What usually leaves me unsatisfied at least about most simpler golf challenges is that concise in terms of expressiveness approaches tend to be too long when written out, so simplistic, brute force approaches, often really hackish ones, are favoured.

    Basically, what I'd like to see is a challenge to use the language's expressive power to the maximum.

    Makeshifts last the longest.