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Competition Rules: Why not email or PM solutions?  RSS feed

 
Tim Cooke
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I received this question today over PM. Certainly worth inviting replies from other CodeRanch Staff than just me.
A curious member wrote:why is the rule of writing the solution on the forum? I think it would be better to email or PM them. Propably people (like me for example) wait till Friday late night with publishing the solutions, so others won't see it and steal the ideas
 
Bear Bibeault
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"Steal the ideas"? I'm not getting the point of the question.
 
Tim Cooke
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Bear, I think the idea is that you might post the 'killer solution' for someone else to come along and tweak it to be one character shorter, then post it as their own. Perhaps that other person would not have come up with that solution on their own.
 
Tim Cooke
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To address the specific point raised here: If you're worried about somebody else stealing your ideas, then all you need to do is wait until near the closing time to submit your solution.

On a more general note, here's my take on it:
The purpose of running a competition at CodeRanch for a conference ticket, say, is all about publicity. The conference organisers give us a ticket in exchange for CodeRanch to make as much noise about it as possible and create as much interest as possible. An interactive competition is a great way to do this. CodeRanch gets lots of new visitors, we win. The conference organisers get lots of people hearing about their event, they win. Then at the end, a lucky member wins something, you win! See, everybody wins!

Inviting you to post your solutions in the thread serves a number of purposes:
- Regular activity in the thread keep it near the top of the "Recent Topics" list.
- Regular activity keep visitors coming back to see what the next attempt looks like.
- Regular activity allow the event organisers to see the kind of interest their event is getting.

If we just posted an announcement thread then got all entries via email or PM then there is absolutely no public activity or discussion going on at all. The original thread would just sit there with tumbleweed rolling through it. Forums work best when there's lots of discussion.
 
Maneesh Godbole
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What Tim said. +1
I see another advantage in posting the solution on the forum. Seeing someone's solution might trigger off that 'Aha' moment for me and might lead me to a more obfuscated solution. This way, everyone wins.

Besides this, I think the staff is smart enough to figure out if anyone steals an existing solution and posts it with some minor change. And even if the staff misses it, the OP of the original solution is sure to point it out.
 
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