This suggested edit just came through: Project Euler #4 - Largest Palindrome Product

(Currently the edit is approved, but it can be reversed later, if needed)

The comment attached to the edit is:

Add spoiler for the output, because Euler project solutions should be kept secret

Now, that raises some interesting questions:

  • Should competition-site code/solutions be kept secret?
  • Should CodeReview 'censor' questions/answers that give things away?
  • What are the limits? Where is the line?

NO - there is no need to censor CodeReview

Competition sites rely on the competitors to be honest. 'Seriously competitive' sites have other mechanisms in place to prevent 'cheating'.

Censoring these questions (or answers) on CodeReview:

  • will create uncertainty about what is on-topic
  • will not stop people from cheating on competition sites (Most of those sites often have well-known problems, and the solutions to them can be googled easily). Those sites 'own' neither the problems, nor the solutions.
  • will actually contradict the apparent value of many of those sites... for example, Project Euler has this on their front page:

    The motivation for starting Project Euler, and its continuation, is to provide a platform for the inquiring mind to delve into unfamiliar areas and learn new concepts in a fun and recreational context.

    That site is for inquiring minds. Allowing those inquiring minds more opportunity to learn those concepts can only be a good thing. Those inquiring minds will also only be harming themselves if they 'cheat'.


If the question is rephrased as "Can they be kept secret" then the answer is yes: for details, see ...

Keeping them 'secret' is harmless1, if you know the trick (mouse-over) or there's some visible text ("mouse-over to see the result").

But "should" is too strong a word: "may" is appropriate. Text "may" be edited to add spoiler markdown, for example ...

  • On homework questions
  • On competition questions

... but topics should not be downvoted nor flagged for lack of such markdown.

1Or, 'mostly harmless': there are few bugs reported re. viewing using Safari on an IDevice, and re. monospace fonts on beta sites.


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