Improvements to CodeChef.

1 min read

Hola,

First things first, the site is back online and waiting to judge your submissions 🙂 We made some minor improvements to the site and it is quite visible on the problem page. The meta data section for the problem has been revamped to show only supported languages for the problem and the author of the problem as well. 🙂

Never before on CodeChef were you able to correctly guess whose problem you were solving. Now it should be quite eminent after seeing the author info.

We have also made certain changes to the problem submission page. Now the language field drop-down pre-fills with supported languages for the problem.

The bug with the code editor has been fixed too. Some of you may have seen it missing from the problem submission page. That issue has been resolved and now it should be visible consistently.

Hope you find these changes useful. Do let us know what you think of them at feedback@codechef.com. We are eager to hear your take on them.

–Tojo,
Team CodeChef.

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21 Replies to “Improvements to CodeChef.”

    1. Ya really.. it will be great.. if not all,at least on those problems which were there in contests coz de already have the editorials.. U just need to link it to d editorial page. please do that if possible.. thank u 🙂

    1. No. This is something that we do not intend to do. We have received quite a few requests for the same and we do understand the motivation behind it. However, we firmly believe that giving away the test data is a spoiler. It kills the motivation to try that extra bit harder. There is enough already available to the user in terms of other people’s solutions that we make public, editorials to the problems and a community to ask and get help.

  1. I have a suggestion regarding the list of accepted submissions. First of all please improve the pagination feature. I mean just next and previous buttons are not enough. For instance if I want to see the AC solutions in python I may have to click the next button like 100 times. Another thing you can do is categorizing the solutions according to the language. Please look into it. Thanks !!

  2. I would love to see the problems I have already solved in the practice section with some kind of color coding. Is that something in the pipeline?

      1. This is pretty useful – but I can’t get it to run in Chrome. It would be extremely useful if you incorporate this feature in the site itself.

        1. Let me now in discussion if there is problem with extension, probably we can solve it, description is here ( http://codeforces.com/blog/entry/4599).

  3. It’s pointless to not share test cases. As a student, we want to learn from this site but honestly that’s not what codechef is really for.
    Someone who is already awesome at algos can only participate and win in contests. In a way I don’t understand what codechef is really for, one can practice problems on SPOJ itself and companies that are looking to recruit candidates choose interviewstreet. The quality of problems is better on topcoder.

    Sharing test cases could differentiate codechef from the rest, once the problems are put for practice, imho it would be better to let the user see what test cases his solution fails.

    Otherwise you should advertise codechef as a platform for coding gods so that mere mortals like us can steer away.

      1. @Nikhil and @Ankit:twitter : Thanks for expressing your views.

        As we mentioned before, we still believe that there is so much already available on the website for someone to try and solve a problem in the practice section. The solutions of other contestant are made public and the editorials of the problems are also made available (for contest problems at least) and then there is a community which is out there to help you. We still believe that giving away test data kills the fun and the challenge of the unknown. We do not want our contests to take that short cut.

        However, we do understand that all is not perfect on the website and that is what we are working towards to achieve. We are trying to build a bunch of features where learning is given more emphasis than just winning in a contest. You will see a remarkable (hopefully useful) change in our problem editorials in a few weeks’ time. And before that you will be able to see all solutions in a more useful way.

        Regarding, how CodeChef is different from others, to be honest, we never went that route. I mean that was not our goal when we started – to be different. And we think that all of them can co-exist in spite of their similarities or differences.

        We saw that there is a big gap between students who can code and the students who win contests. We wanted to bridge the gap by providing the 10 day contests, where the contestants have enough time to learn concepts and solve a problem at leisure with the motivation of doing so during the contest. We also tried to provide a platform in the form of our end-of-the-contest editorials, where the users can directly interact with the problem setters to clear their doubts. Yes, you can do so and contact us if your doubts are not answered. We try and respond to each and every query that we get. We were also more focused on the Indian programming scene and hence you see the separate set of prizes for the top Indians.

        CodeChef has over the years, been driven by the feedback of its users. And hence you see the short contests, the dynamic ELO based ratings, the new Question and Answer based forums and other changes. We are committed to our users’ learning but you should not take that on face value. Give us some time and see whether your experience improves or not.

        There are a bunch of features that gultus has suggested in the comment above. We love them all and are surely going to start working on at least a few of them very soon. We want the community to benefit and we want the community to drive what we are doing. Not giving away test data is too small a point to deride us. Keep sending your feedback and we are surely going to work on it to make this community a great learning platform for new comers as well as the “coding gods”.

  4. Good addition to the meta-data. I have quite a few suggestions for the improvement of codechef.

    1) Change overall look and feel of the site. I find the current page design pretty boring.

    2) User Profiles should be made into tabs there is too much info on a single view at the moment. On the top Name flag of country on all pages. Ranks and Rating Points just below that. Below that the following tabs
    i) User Info and rating graphs.
    ii) Problems Solved. The ones in contest should be shown in reverse chronological order at the top. Below that the problems in the practice section should be shown classified according to difficulty levels.
    iii) Problems Set Now that your problem meta-data has author associated with it you can show the list of problems set by that particular user. This tab is shown only if there is at least one entry.
    iv) Contest Performance. The rating graphs don’t exactly show how the contestant has performed in a particular contest. This tab lists the contests in which the user participated and their ranking in the contest.
    v) Recent Activity

    3) Create an annual championship for the short contests. In addition to the overall ratings there should be ratings for each year and at the end of the year some set of the top rated contestant should be given away prizes. This will keep the users a lot interested in the contest and also it will add some sense of excitement.

    4) How about freezing the leaderboard and submissions to the world with 24 hours left in a long contest like it is done in the ICPC for the last one hour of the contest. I think this would add some kind of excitement to the contest.

    5) The home page needs to have lot more information. I find the recent activity on the home page of not much use it must be given less priority in terms of space and prominence must be given to things like Popular questions from codechef discuss.

    6) I have seen that there is a facility to rate user’s solution and post comments on it. But I see no way that others know about these activities. Maybe post the data some kind of feed on the home page so that people know that a particular solution is being discussed.

    7) I don’t see a reason why a user needs to go to a new page to submit a solution. I think clicking on submit should immediately load a lightbox on the same page with the ability to submit.

    8) Every user should be allowed to create couple of lists of users either public or private. These lists should be used to show performances of track users performances overall and contest specific in the site.

    1.  These are brilliant suggestions. We will certainly consider each one of them and hopefully you will be able to see a few on the website soon. Some of them may take more time and some of them may not be feasible. Please be patient with us until then.

  5. Yes, According to me also you have to improve buttons like it should not be only next-previous, you should include more functions. It will improve the submission quality. 

  6. Can you please add an option to disable the editor permanently when submitting problems? I always use my own editor, and then copy and paste the program into the box, then hit submit. Now since the editor takes a couple of seconds to kick in, everything keeps jumping around on the page when it loads and it’s quite annoying to scroll down and find when the submit button has moved to.

    1. @Stephen: We regret to inform you that currently we do not have any feature to disable the editor permanently when submitting problems. You can toggle the editor on and off, through a check box above the editor.

      1.  Yeah.. which you have to do every time. Could it perhaps be off by default, and you have to check it to turn it on? I would think a lot more people would use their own editors than the submission box one.

  7. Wrong answer on which # of test-case file the program was run on should be shown. This would help greatly in analyzing where the solution failed.  

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