Jack Douglas
What features are *vital* before opening codegolf.ta to the public[^1]?

Development will continue after going public so please don't suppose this question is meant to imply otherwise — but some things are easier to work on with a small beta community and are hard to change later (like the site name for example), and others might be easier with more input from more people.

Please post one answer per feature that is *vital* before going live.

[^1]: This question was inspired by "[To-do list before going public](/tex?q=379)" on TeX.ta
Top Answer
# "About" post (Complete!)

***→ We now have [such a page](https://topanswers.xyz/codegolf?q=711) — feel free to enhance it!***

A Wiki post explaining:
* "What is this site about?"
* "What are best practices here?"
* "What kind of questions are on topic?"

These are some of the questions that should be easy to get an answer for.

It can also link to other Wiki posts with more detail.

Some of the posts on SE to refer to (from [Bubbler's meta post here](https://topanswers.xyz/codegolf?q=617)):

* [Loopholes that are forbidden by default](https://codegolf.meta.stackexchange.com/q/1061/78410), a.k.a. **standard loopholes**
* [Default for Code Golf: Input/Output methods](https://codegolf.meta.stackexchange.com/q/2447/78410), a.k.a. **standard I/O methods**
* [How to count bytes FAQ](https://codegolf.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/10145/how-to-count-bytes-faq)
* [Things to avoid when writing challenges](https://codegolf.meta.stackexchange.com/q/8047/78410) and [Things to consider when creating a challenge](https://codegolf.meta.stackexchange.com/q/5582/78410)
Answer #2
# Decide on initial set of tags (Complete!)

Besides for tags that indicate how a challenge is held (though the winning criterion is still mainly indicated by the question type),

* king-of-the-hill
* cops-and-robbers
* answer-chaining

how about we begin with (tweaked versions of) the tags from Code Golf Stack Exchange that have at least 100 posts there?

* string
* mathematics (international version of *math*/*maths*)
* number
* art (encompasses both ASCII and Unicode art)
* sequence
* kolmogorov-complexity
* array-manipulation
* arithmetic
* decision-problem
* number-theory (also covers *primes*, *factoring*, and *integer*)
* graphics (covers both *graphical-output* and *gui*)
* source-rules (*restricted-source* and *source-layout*) 
* geometry
* random
* combinatorics
* game
* grid
* quine
* date-time (was *date*, but this combines a whole bunch of lesser-used related tags, including *calendar*)
* matrix
* parsing
* sorting
* number-representation (also includes e.g. roman-numerals)
* graph-theory
* image-processing
* optimization
* path-finding
* counting
* programming-language (replaces *interpreter*, covers all the specific language tags like *python* and *javascript*, and works for *polyglot* too)

I've removed the following otherwise popular tags:
* ~~restricted-source~~ (use *source-rules*)
* ~~source-layout~~ (use *source-rules*)
* ~~integer~~ (use *number-theory* or *number*)
* ~~primes~~ (use *number-theory*)
* ~~permutations~~ (no tag wiki — use *combinatorics*)
* ~~binary~~ (use *number-representation*)
* ~~base-conversion~~ (use *number-representation*)
Answer #3
# Replace "Ask" button text with "Post" (Complete!)

While {Tips} and some {Meta} posts can be questions, by far most post will be competitions.
Answer #4
# Do not assume "Code Golf" when creating a new post (Complete!)

This forces the author to take positive action in choosing challenge type, which at least carries a chance of making them realise that this isn't a Q&A community, and also is a subtle reminder to ensure a clear scoring criterion.
Answer #5
# Customised #banner (Complete!)

## The "Questions" text
Should say "Latest" or "Active" or "Posts" or maybe even "Competitions".

## The empty div

There appears to already be a container for additional content in the #banner. I suggest the following, along the lines of what exists on SE:

>TopAnswers Code Golf hosts recreational programming competitions with objective scoring criteria. We do not answer general coding problems. [More…](https://topanswers.xyz/codegolf?q=711)

It could look something like this:

![Screenshot_2020-02-26 The Nineteenth Byte - TopAnswers.png](/image?hash=0ea5c8f773026e93b175482ca8e048d28a62a60fb5aa13a645e66908457e7732)
Answer #6
# Decide on initial set of challenge types (Complete!)

I suggest we begin with:

* *Code Golf*
* *Speed Challenge* (this combines *Fastest Algorithm* and *Fastest Code*, instead requiring the challenge poster to specify the exact rules)
* *Other Competition* (this replaces *Code Challenge* without encouraging people's posting home work tasks they find challenging…)
* *Least Operations* (this includes *Atomic Code Golf* and *Proof Golf*

It would be nice if each challenge page had a link to a Wiki post about that challenge type.

I suggest we explicitly omit:

* *Code Bowling* because making a good code-bowling challenge is difficult, since comments, no-ops and other means can be used to pad programs to an arbitrary length. In general, code-bowling challenges are not popular.

* *Popularity Contest* as these are exceedingly hard to get right, tend to get abused as a cop-out for not specifying an objective winning criterion, and could be considered unfair here on codegolf.ta because some users have more voting power than others.

* *King of the Hill*,\
*Cops and Robbers*, and\
*Answer Chaining*, because these should be tags in that whatever the challenge is, it will need to be one of the other categories, while these terms just describe the procedures of the challenge, like a type of tournament rules.
What do we need before going public?
@Jack Maybe we should up the threshold for opening a challenge? Not sure what a good value would be. Maybe just double it (4) for now?
I haven't been paying attention this last week, but the launch looks great! Very happy to see this live.
@Jack I think this means we're ready to launch!
Adám replying to Jack Douglas
I think having both is fine. When you scroll down or enter a post page, the #banner goes away. [About] is always visible.
Jack Douglas
If we add the "TopAnswers Code Golf hosts recreational programming…" text with it's link to the 'about' post does that mean we no longer need the 'about' button in the header?
Jack Douglas replying to Adám
We've plumped for 'Latest' for now
Adám replying to Jack Douglas
That works. Or maybe "Active"?
Jack Douglas
@Adám I just tweaked the answers here for the sake of the answer summaries — but feel free to roll back if you don't agree it's better this way
Jack Douglas
(or 'recently active' but that's a bit verbose)
Jack Douglas replying to Adám
How about 'Recent'?
Adám replying to Jack Douglas
Is is possible to change the giant "Questions" on the main page? It isn't really appropriate here. Not sure what it should say though. Maybe "Competitions" or "Posts"?
@xnor @Bubbler What do you think? Are we ready to go live?
Jack Douglas replying to Adám
I think a quick confirmation in here from one or two would be enough — any show stoppers would have made it onto the answer list on this question before now.
Jack Douglas
@xnor, @Bubbler are you happy for us to go live today?
Adám replying to Jack Douglas
What do you think about writing a blog post saying basically "Let's go live" so people can star it to express their agreement? Or should it be a Meta post with two answers: "We're ready!" and "Hold "your horses!" so people can express the opposite too?
Adám replying to Jack Douglas
I guess… but I kind-of feel like I'm running the show here. Ideally, I'd want to hear what other golfers have to say.
Jack Douglas
I'd like to reassure you that we plan to continue to work on improving things for TA generally and CG in particular after going live!
Jack Douglas replying to Adám
I can flip the switch anytime, would you like me to do it now?
@Jack I believe all the vital tasks have been completed. Now what?
Jack Douglas replying to Adám
excellent, thanks :)
Adám replying to Jack Douglas
Adám replying to Jack Douglas
Thanks. Tips needs to stay. It isn't a challenge, but still on-topic.
Jack Douglas
Would you mind creaeting the Wiki 'About' post, perhaps as a stub placeholder, or perhaps just as an outline with a table of contents (there is a markdown plugin for tables of contents that you can see in action on this [databases.ta answer](https://topanswers.xyz/databases?q=89#a63)).
Jack Douglas
@Adám I've added that set of tags and we can adjust as we go along whenever necessary. I also added question types for 'Speed Challenge' and 'Other Competition', and changed 'Atomic Coge Golf' to 'Least Operations'. I've left 'Tips' in, do you want me to remove it?
Adám replying to Jack Douglas
Yes, the tags describe the *subject* of the challenge, not its rules.
Post on CGSE Meta: https://codegolf.meta.stackexchange.com/a/11582/20260
xnor replying to Jack Douglas
Answer tags would be totally separate, probably just a list of languages. I think ideally they'd be connected to the code formatting in the answer or maybe the language listed in the title, so that an answer would be automatically tagged based on them. Or maybe vice versa.
Jack Douglas replying to xnor
that's probably OK — I think we can adapt as we go along if there is a steady foundation
Jack Douglas replying to xnor
Funnily enough, there is a request for that [on meta](https://topanswers.xyz/meta?q=567) — if you could add an answer there explaining why they would b euseful on Code Golf that would be handy. Would answer tags be drawn from the same list, or be a separate set of tags?
xnor replying to Jack Douglas
I think it would be fun with more activity. I don't know if we're settled on voting, and a broader crowd might have different opinions than people here now.
For me at least, searchable answer language tags would be the #1 killer feature that CGSE doesn't have.
That is, marking the language of the submission.
This is probably a far-out request at this point, but how hard would it be to have tags on answers?
Jack Douglas
and "are we fairly settled on voting etc"
Jack Douglas
it boils down to "is it fun yet" I guess
About whether other things should be considered vital, I think a lot depends on the strategic tradeoff of whether you want to have something ASAP to catch people leaving CGSE now, even if the site lacks some features.
OK, I see.
Jack Douglas
but it is very easy for us to add this list of tags for now
Jack Douglas replying to xnor
it's up to you how quick we launch, but I will do all I can to get you ready
Depending on how quickly you want to launch this site, I could see not caring about tags here other than challenge types for now.
Jack Douglas
so we are thinking through the mechanics
Jack Douglas
but I'm fairly sure we don't want to end up with the complete tag free-for-all like on SE either
Jack Douglas replying to xnor
yes it's 'ping a dev in chat' at the moment
Oh, so technology-wise, there's not currently a way to add a tag that doesn't exist?
Jack Douglas
so it's just a start list to get us going
Jack Douglas
we'll figure out how best to handle adding tags a bit further down the line
Jack Douglas replying to xnor
no it is just simpler to start that way
I'm not really clear on why this is something we should settle now, if at all.
Do we need to have a fixed set of tags though? 
Empirically, about 90% of challenges are code-golf.
@JackDouglas On SE, we usually have one tag marking the challenge type, which is required, plus a number of tags like "string" or "ascii-art" or "arithmetic" than are used across whatever challenge types.
Jack Douglas replying to Bubbler
@Bubbler and @Adám, we've added a new 'wiki' question type for this purpose. Are tags generally applicable across challenge types (eg do some/all apply to both Code Golf and Speed Challenge)?
Adám replying to Jack Douglas
Yes. Sorry, I forgot Blogs were not generally editable. That's the type I had in mind. I'll change "Blog" everywhere to "Wiki". Then the flow will be: use Meta+answers to decide consensus → update Wiki.
Jack Douglas
regardless, if you want to start creating an 'about' post we can tweak the type later if need be
Jack Douglas
@Adám for the 'about' post, would it be helpful to have a new 'Wiki' question type which like 'Blog' does not allow answers, but unlike blog is generally editable, and could be unattributed to the OP from creation (perhaps a special 'Wiki' user with an appropriate icon).
@Jack Related: [existing feature request](https://topanswers.xyz/codegolf?q=617), though the last two (bounty and chatroom features) don't need to come *before* going public. Actually we need to decide whether they are needed at all.
I generally agree with the initial sets of tags and challenge types, though then we should decide which name to use for *Atomic Code Golf* / *Least Operations*. I guess the former is more known to existing SE users while the latter sounds more natural for newcomers.
Adám replying to xnor
There's already [a request](https://topanswers.xyz/meta?q=640) for this on Meta.
I ask because I think we'd need things to explain how stuff works for them, but I think people from CGSE would have no issue.
Do we expect or want to plan for participation from people not on CGSE when we go public?