This was also discussed in the proposal. In fact, this question is a copy of that question.

Would asking vimgolf style questions be on topic on vi/vim? This is a type of question that is poorly suited for SO and most of the other SE sites. While it is conceivable that such a question would be suited to CodeGolf.SE, they only have two vimgolf questions there. It also does not feel clear to me whether or not a generic vimgolf question would be appropriate there.

But how about on vi/vim? The concept of using very few keystrokes very efficiently is something that resonates with many vim users.

  • 1
    Feel free to also post this on Code Golf Meta.
    – Doorknob
    Feb 4, 2015 at 18:57
  • I was looking to Emacs Meta for guidance, but curiously the question of Emacs-golfing has never been raised there. Feb 7, 2015 at 8:23

4 Answers 4


For completeness, I'll just reproduce my answer from Area 51

I, for one, would not like to see hard-core golfing questions where the shortest keystroke count "wins" the contest.

Golf-lite would be welcome, though. That is, questions should call for any reasonably efficient technique that one would want to apply in normal daily use, with some consideration for factors other than keystroke count, such as

  • memorability
  • generality and broad applicability
  • robustness

What should be done with hard-core golf contest questions? Personally, I'd like to see them either closed as off-topic (possibly migrated to Code Golf) or have the keystroke count winning criterion edited away.

Going further, I'd like to blacklist the [vimgolf], [golf], and [golfing] tags. Questions should just ask for a solution. Brevity is just one of the many aspects that are normally considered desirable in an answer; it's redundant to ask for a short solution.

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    @lossleader If you disagree, I suggest that you post a separate answer with your opinion. Feb 4, 2015 at 21:10

I am someone who was part of the PPCG beta, so I'm slightly biased towards them.

I believe that vimgolf questions should be placed at CodeGolf.SE.

While it is conceivable that such a question would be suited to CodeGolf.SE, they only have two vimgolf questions there.

A lack of vimgolf questions at CG.SE is not necessarily indicative of a lack of interest in vimgolf questions. Neither of the questions were closed, and both of them have positive scores (+1 and +8) with multiple answers for each.

To quote from the answer on Discuss.Area51

I, for one, would not like to see hard-core golfing questions where the shortest keystroke count "wins" the contest.

Hardcore code golf has it's place, and that's at CodeGolf.SE. CodeGolf was designed for code golf, and the community is more likely to respond to vimgolf questions that meet the question criteria for the website. It's unlikely that here at Vi.SE, a site aimed towards the editor, and not necessarily games involving the editor, that code golf questions will be received as well.

Now, that doesn't necessarily mean that all golf-related questions should be off-topic. There is a valid use for finding shorter ways of doing actions, allowing you to optimize your workflow, but those should not necessarily be considered golfing. These questions should be more aimed towards "how can I do this more efficiently?" than "how do I do this as quickly and dirty as possible?".

  • I would like to note that the fact they are on-topic elsewhere does not make them off-topic here. It's this community that decides (and seems to favour forbidding golf questions), not the other one.
    – yo'
    Feb 21, 2015 at 0:29
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    Just for reference, CodeGolf.SE has since explicitly decided that editor golf is on topic. Mar 9, 2015 at 19:32

From being on CodeGolf.SE. Golf (and other competition) questions think about Rep in a different way. Having them, and having them award Rep, would mess with out rep system.

How much it would mess with it, I am not sure. It might only be a little (and we could not worry about it)

Other sites, such as TeX.SE have dealt with similarly competitive questions by marking them (and thus all their answers) Community Wiki, so no one gets Rep.

Whether we would like to do that or not, I personally feel is a question to be decided after we exit public beta (or at very least have been in public beta for a full year), when we know a lot more about how the site is working.

  • 2
    I would like to point out that none of our (TeX.SX) questions is a PC or CG. They are not aimed at the code, they are aimed at the resulting graphics, method or whatever. Golfing Qs have never appeared AFAIK. If they appeared, I would VTC them as OT and flag for migration. Also note that we are an exception in the sense that we are the only site other than PCCG.SE that allows "questions with more correct answers" or "big-list questions". In general, this type of Qs is frowned upon by the Powers, and for a good reason. Dealing with them is not always simple and takes a lot of good judgement.
    – yo'
    Feb 21, 2015 at 0:35
  • @yo' I never said golfcode. I said "competitive questions". Editted to say "similarly competitive questions" Feb 21, 2015 at 2:03
  • We also tried it out on RPG.SE. meta.rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/3584/… Feb 21, 2015 at 2:05
  • The problem is that we don't consider them competitions. That's a very strongly negative word in this context.
    – yo'
    Feb 21, 2015 at 2:13
  • Some of them are competitions with a bounty award offered. Eg this one tex.stackexchange.com/questions/158668/… Feb 21, 2015 at 2:14
  • Ah yeah, that was the first bad one. After that, a lot of crap has appeared. The fact that this one survived is a miracle.
    – yo'
    Feb 21, 2015 at 2:16
  • That one seems similar to this one tex.stackexchange.com/questions/34482/… from 3 years prior. Though that one is it seems supported by Stackexchange. It is from the bad old days wehn we didn't do things like we do now. Are there any good discussions of this on TeX.SE meta? Feb 21, 2015 at 2:21
  • This becomes too long a discussion. Could you come to the chat?
    – yo'
    Feb 21, 2015 at 2:28

Personally, I don't enjoy "code golf" in the slightest.

However, I do think this site needs to differentiate itself from the kinds of questions about vim that are already acceptable on SO and SU, and for that reason I think I'd support vimgolf questions being on-topic, since as you say they aren't really acceptable elsewhere.

  • 3
    Questions about headstands while riding a unicycle and programming in vim are also not acceptable elsewhere :-) Should be have them on Vi.SE? Feb 4, 2015 at 17:17
  • 1
    I will go ask "How can I generate ASCII art of a person doing a headstand while riding a unicycle in the shortest amount of vimscript?" immediately.
    – user72
    Feb 4, 2015 at 17:19
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    I for one am not interested in these questions, but if other people want them I'm fine with it. They can have their own tag and I can ignore it. Problem solved.
    – Seth
    Feb 4, 2015 at 17:57

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