Project Euler has been offline for several days, after the site was hacked.

Screenshot of Project Euler outage announcement

Problem is, a large number of our questions relate to Project Euler, and many of them do not contain any description of the challenge that the code aims to solve. Some link to the page on Project Euler where the challenge is posed; others merely mention the number of the challenge.

This incident should serve as a warning that Internet dependencies are fragile. Even if Project Euler manages to come back online soon, we should take some action to protect Code Review against link rot.

Fortunately, Project Euler questions are under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license. As a result, mirrors exist. Furthermore, I think we should be able to reproduce the questions here on Code Review, as Stack Exchange content is under a similar CC BY-SA license, and our use is incidental and primarily non-commercial.

I'd like to see all questions on Code Review protected against link rot:

  • There should be a summary of the challenge being solved in the question title.
  • The question should contain, at minimum, a paraphrase of the challenge. (Take care not to copy the text verbatim, if the originating site forbids reproduction.)

These standards should apply to new questions. Existing questions should be opportunistically edited to meet these standards.

Agree? Disagree? Should these standards be required for new questions, or just recommended?


2 Answers 2


Like all questions on Code Review, there should be enough detail in the question to determine what the desired implementation should be. Good questions have a good description.

The Project Euler situation highlights this need as now some questions have no description.

Just like we require questions to contain the code-to-be-reviewed embedded in the question to avoid link rot, so should all questions contain the description-of-the-code-to-be-reviewed directly in the question, not in a link.

Yes - embed the description of the code in the question, not as a link.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Would you go as far as closing such questions as "Unclear what you are asking" until such details are added? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 19, 2014 at 21:01
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ To be consistent with other questions, a close is not needed, but a downvote would be appropriate? (and a comment indicating why) \$\endgroup\$
    – rolfl
    Jun 19, 2014 at 21:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Right. Closing shouldn't be needed. Any user should be able to edit the question to include a summary of the challenge. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 19, 2014 at 21:09
  • 8
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm of the opinion that code only questions should be closed. (Although, others disagree with me.) Since a question whose only description is a broken link is no different than one without a description, they should be closed until it's added. \$\endgroup\$
    – RubberDuck
    Jun 19, 2014 at 21:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ What about GPL3 projects? \$\endgroup\$
    – cpicanco
    Mar 30, 2015 at 1:35

I do think they should be allowed whenever possible. Some questions may be better reviewed with a description of the challenge, whether it's embedded or linked. If the challenge description is too long, then it should be simplified as much as possible and embedded.

Regarding Project Euler questions in particular, giving the problem number isn't enough. Unless there's already some link to the website, reviewers and visitors will have to venture out to get the problem description themselves. And if the website is still down, then it just inconveniences everyone.

If we are to ensure as little dependency on 3rd-parties as possible, then embedding a description should at least be strongly recommended. Closing these questions as "unclear what you're asking" might work, since it also calls for further detail related to the code. Leaving a comment is also good.


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