WitchOfTruth's blog

By WitchOfTruth, 2 months ago, In English

A few thoughts on editorials.

I do understand that writing good editorials is tough so I accepted that here and there they may have some issues, Some omit important details, some are overly complicated and some are written like authors couldn't bother less and just translated someone's solutions from c++ into English. But let's put it aside for a moment.

On the other hand, is there any legit reason not to post editorials automatically and immediately after the end of a contest?

It is really annoying to wait for an editorial and at the same time it seems a really low-hanging fruit that should not require much development.

The only possible reason I may think of is that an editorial may not be written yet at the time of a contest. But this is a problem per se. Why do we even have contests without prewritten editorials? It should be strictly forbidden to schedule a contest without an editorial. Just like you cannot hold a contest without problems, you should not be able to hold a contest without an editorial. I would think editorials could also be a convenient tool to verify the problems for a coordinator, strange it is not the case. Ideally I would also like editorials themselves to be tested by coordinators but that is probably too much to ask for now.

Anyway. Editorials are not optional/auxliliary or whatever. They're an integral part of a contest.

Note that given that editorials have to be written anyway, requiring them being prewritten should not lead to any additional efforts yet it will improve participants' experience.

 
 
 
 
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2 months ago, # |
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Auto comment: topic has been updated by WitchOfTruth (previous revision, new revision, compare).

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2 months ago, # |
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Today's contest editorial was posted one hour after the contest ended, I think it has undergone some modifications during this hour!!

Deltix Round, Autumn 2021. Editorial

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    Well, yes, but it also says "Editorial for problems F-H will appear a little later", so it's not actually a complete editorial.

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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        2 months ago, # ^ |
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        If that is the case why do you think all contests have editorials on release buddy. Last deltix problem E had no editorial for a week or more when all others had editorials, they are clearly doing something wrong

        UPD: I read your update and youre the biggest clown living on earth

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        2 months ago, # ^ |
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        "always"?

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2 months ago, # |
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Tbh I prefer delayed editorials.
Atcoder posts editorials instantly. It just kills any discussion among participants because no one is interested in asking "How to solve X"? Sometimes people do want to explain did they solved X. Rarely do people explain their approach on their own unless they feel they did something much better.

Editorials can only teach one way to solve a problem. Next time try asking "How to solve X?" you will learn lot more ways to solve X.

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    I think the very fact that there is quite a lot of discussions in the comments to editorials is a good proof that it will not kill discussions. Also I don't think there is much correlation between whether an editorial was posted early and intensity of discussions. Can be measured though. And people gladly explain their solutions in the comments when they see it does not match an official editorial

    Probably the reason discussions are less heated for atcoder is that atcoder itself is kind of less social, It does not have any messaging on the site and their contests don't get mentioned on cf's main page. Only an unremarkable blog in recent actions every week

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    Editorials can only teach one way to solve a problem.

    While I do agree that discussion in comments sometimes generates alternative and quite educational solutions, I disagree with the above statement.

    The editorial can contain several approaches if testers come up with a different solution from the intended one. I understand that it is hard to 'demand' an alternative editorial from testers, there is no doubt about that. I instead argue that it should not require much more effort than posting their solution in comments.

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This is very annoying. If they are not going to post the editorial right away, they should at least say when they will do it, so we don't have to keep checking CF blogs to see whether it was posted or not.

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I think sometimes the problem setter found that problem can be solved by another approach, so they wanna us know that.

914F - Substrings in a String supposed to be solved by string suffix structures, but solved by bitset.

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2 months ago, # |
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While I agree that having the editorials right after the contest ends is nice, I don't necessarily agree that it is a must have.

Why do we even have contests without prewritten editorials?

May I ask why not? The authors can provide a short explanation on how to solve their problem and if it's sufficient and reasonable, I don't see why the round can't be organized. For example, when a problem can be solved by greedy approach, a proper editorials should include some kind of proofs but an explanation in proposal might not need it (because round reviewers can get it themselves).

Note that given that editorials have to be written anyway, requiring them being prewritten should not lead to any additional efforts

People have their own schedule and in case you're unaware, there might be unexpected issues coming up during the testing process that require additional work from the authors (unclear statements, weak tests, unbalanced problem difficulties, etc). Those issues should take priority over writing the round editorials.

On the other side, publishing the editorials too late is not good, either. I think a deadline of 3-5 days after the contest seems to be reasonable.

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    People have their own schedule and in case you're unaware, there might be unexpected issues coming up during the testing process that require additional work from the authors (unclear statements, weak tests, unbalanced problem difficulties, etc). Those issues should take priority over writing the round editorials.

    If something pops up during the testing, you can just postpone the round. Of course it has to be done before the announcement. In fact, I don't think announcement can be made until round is ready, including the editorial.

    It is somewhat disappointing to meet such resistance and excuses explaining why it won't work. Especially given that we already have atcoder where publishing editorials in time is a solved problem. Probably accidents happens there too (do they?) but it is more like an exception

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      2 months ago, # ^ |
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      Especially given that we already have atcoder where publishing editorials in time is a solved problem.

      AtCoder do not always have ready editorials for ABCs and they did postpone their rounds quite a few times.

      you can just postpone the round

      I think it is just a matter of preference. Personally, postponing a round is far worse than not having an editorials ready. I can't tell for others but if I want to participate in a round, I will have to adjust my schedule and plan for other activities accordingly. Hence, having a round postponed totally screws up my plan and I would take a late editorials as an alternative any single day.

      It is somewhat disappointing to meet such resistance and excuses explaining why it won't work.

      You should learn to accept that other people have different opinions and yours are not more valid than theirs. Why are editorials so important to you? All the codes are available and you can always post a comment and/or send a private message to others to seek for help. I often find an easier and more understandable explanation from the comment section, which's why I never get the crave for an immediate editorials.

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        2 months ago, # ^ |
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        I think you are just listing non-issues. Could you use your imagination a little bit? All the problems that you mention could be easily be solved by not scheduling a round before the editorial is ready or almost ready. Just like you won't schedule a round before having problems, you could also not schedule it before having an editorial...

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          2 months ago, # ^ |
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          Just like you won't schedule a round before having problems, you could also not schedule it before having an editorial...

          You do realize that comparing problems to editorial doesn't make sense right? Please tell me do you participate in a round if it is written in the announcement that the editorial is not ready? I'm pretty sure many people won't have any issue with that.

          And by the way, ICPC WF never has official editorial. Should we use it as our standard rather than AtCoder?

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            2 months ago, # ^ |
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            Sorry, I don't see an argument being made here, just you rambling...

            If we could have something at basically no cost, why not have it? Why are you so against the idea? Will you stop participating if editorials get posted right after the rounds?

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              2 months ago, # ^ |
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              If we could have something at basically no cost

              This is a pretty big assumption. If it really comes with no cost, don't you think people are that dumb to not apply it?

              My point is pretty clear: I prefer having a quick editorials but I don't support making it a requirement for a round.

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                2 months ago, # ^ |
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                This is a pretty big assumption. If it really comes with no cost, don't you think people are that dumb to not apply it?

                Yes? Some people are too conservative and unreasonably against change, no matter how little that change would cost or how much it'd improve our lives. They will really fight against change, even when they can't cite one downside related to it. Just like you here.

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                  2 months ago, # ^ |
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                  how much it'd improve our lives

                  A quick editorials can improve your life that much? Well, get a life then.

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                  2 months ago, # ^ |
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                  I think it was clear I was speaking in loose terms and not literally referring to the subject at hand. But since you feel the need to attack strangers on the internet, maybe you're the one that needs to get a life?

                  Chill down.

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                  2 months ago, # ^ |
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                  Somehow, it's not a personal attack when you called people "too conservative and unreasonably against change" based on one random debate on the internet? If you can't take it don't dish it out.

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                  2 months ago, # ^ |
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                  Your argument in the comment I replied to was literally "this hasn't been done before, therefore it's not good". Is that not being unreasonably conservative?

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                  2 months ago, # ^ |
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                  Your argument is based on an assumption that there is no additional cost incurred, which can only be verified by actual authors and reviewers. I admit that my argument didn't make sense, either.

                  Still, I was keeping the discussion strictly about my opinion versus your opinion. You were the one who decided to judge other people based on a discussion, so you simply got what you asked for.

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        2 months ago, # ^ |
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        I can't tell for others but if I want to participate in a round, I will have to adjust my schedule and plan for other activities accordingly.

        You miss the second point of the blog. Prewritten editorials means round should not be announced until editorial is ready. This way any kind of postponement is transparent to the users

        All the codes are available

        It is often terribly difficult to decipher what the author meant unless you were very close to the same solution yourself.
        Also some problems just don't get enough attention in the comments for some reason
        But that is not the problem. Having quick editorials doesn't hurt anybody, not having them causes inconvenience for a lot of people.

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7 weeks ago, # |
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I think that it is hard for the organizers to publish the editorial for ALL of the problems before because it takes some time to explain the harder ones like this for example: https://codeforces.com/contest/1609/problem/H But i think it would be a good idea to write the editorial for the simpler ones before the contest and publish them automatically at the end because usually for problems A, B and C you can explain them in 20 words. You can't say it takes more than 5 minutes to explain them. I'm talking about Div2 and Div3 not for Div1, i don't have experience there:)