Removing incentive for spoilers

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vamsikal3
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Removing incentive for spoilers

Post by vamsikal3 »

The Project Euler Team quite understandably does not appreciate spoilers. It is not a complete secret that there are web-pages out there with spoilers to almost every PE problem. So I was thinking the Project Euler Team, instead of policing the internet for spoilers and locking accounts of such users, isn't there a better way to simply remove any incentive for someone to have a spoiler webpage.

My suggestion is based on the HackerRank website. Why not allow PE users to unlock the solution thread, even without solving the problem, if they are unable to solve the problem (or they just want to see the solution). The catch is, if you unlock the solution thread to a problem, without solving the problem, then this problem will not count toward your progress. HackerRank allows editorials to problems to be unlocked, but then the problem will not be counted toward your progress.

Yes, the users who want to game the system will create two accounts, where on one account they will unlock solution threads and on the other account, they will submit the solutions. Why should PE care about such users? If someone wants to Xerox copy the solution to a crossword puzzle and feel good about it, then it is their wish, why should rest of the PE community care about such people?
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euler
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Re: Removing incentive for spoilers

Post by euler »

I think you've addressed your own suggestion. There is no need for us to internally implement any system that allows members to unlock the discussion threads without first solving the problem because those sources already exist externally.

We fully appreciate that eventually a number of members will hit a wall - this has been discussed quite recently here - but we genuinely believe that there will always remain a way forward. It will undoubtedly mean exploring quality websites that can teach the thinking behind similarly related problems or provide helpful guidance on how to approach a particular mathematical concept. In very rare and worst case scenarios someone might need to "photocopy" the answer to access the discussion thread. But we would hope that that member would then take the time to carefully read the thread to understand how the problem could have been solved before moving on too quickly. Clearly we do not approve of those websites, because we believe that there is always a better way. So any posts containing links or references to them here or on the main website would be removed. Given the teams collective view on this, it is a simple and reasonable expectation to ask our members not to post such references.

Also, as you will be aware, we recently changed the wording found on the "green tick page" after someone solves a problem to include the following note:
The rule about sharing solutions outside of Project Euler does not apply to the first 100 problems, as long as any discussion clearly aims to instruct methods, not just provide answers, and does not directly threaten to undermine the enjoyment of solving later problems. Problems 1 to 100 provide a wealth of helpful introductory teaching material and if you are able to respect our requirements, then we give permission for them to be discussed elsewhere.
We are hoping that this might encourage some of our members with a gift for writing and exposition to provide helpful articles on their own websites. This would mean that any of our members wanting to improve their own understanding might stumble on these websites instead as they strive to move forward.
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vamsikal3
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Re: Removing incentive for spoilers

Post by vamsikal3 »

euler wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:47 am
I think you've addressed your own suggestion. There is no need for us to internally implement any system that allows members to unlock the discussion threads without first solving the problem because those sources already exist externally.
Agreed that the tools to unlock a PE solution thread are already available externally, but I was talking about removing the incentive for such webpages to exist in the first place!
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hk
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Re: Removing incentive for spoilers

Post by hk »

Vamsi,
you aren't doing right to Project Euler.
I know quite a few problems on Hackerrank that don't have an editorial (most of the Hackerrank problems based on Project Euler problems don't have one).
Moreover I know quite a few online judges that don't have any editorials at all e.g. SPOJ, Kattis, Rosecode etc.
You're presenting things so as to suit your own reasoning. I don't think that is fair to PE.
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vamsikal3
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Re: Removing incentive for spoilers

Post by vamsikal3 »

Project Euler Team:

I have given some thought as to why I became a member of Project Euler and what my experience with PE was, and, what I think PE should be to have been so as to help me become better at both Mathematics and Computer Programming. The following suggestion may sound ridiculous to you all, but here it goes:

I think all Project Euler problems should be made open answer (hidden behind a 'Show Answer' button) and open solution thread (Link placed right below the problem description) (with the current thread post management.).

Agreed, all the statistics maintained by PE will then become useless, but I believe this open state of PE will encourage more people to become better at Mathematics and Computer Programming and serve as a much better educational tool.
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hk
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Re: Removing incentive for spoilers

Post by hk »

I don't know if you are aware of the following sites. They might suit your needs better.
https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~wwu/riddles/intro.shtml
https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~wwu/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi
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