If You Can't Formulate Problems Properly, Please Refrain From Proposing Them

So today, we’ve witnessed IEM92021, a seemingly promising contest, with great rewards. Unfortunately, not everything was executed properly, which forced me to abort my participation.

To be precise, I was eager to dedicate 3 hours of my precious time to solving this, let’s call it ‘grabage contest’. Is it the problem quality that was bad? I guess we can’t find out. And why so? Simply because of the ambiguity of their statements.

To be fair, I only read the first problem and decided to give up after 25 minutes of attempting to understand its statement. It may not have been that much of a deal, if there was somebody to answer my inquiry. But heck no, the reputable contest proposers have no time to answer my questions, so I decide to leave and not even give a shot to the other problems.

So may I ask you to do me a favor? Please get some testers at least to make sure the problem statements are clear as pretty much the whole boring statement is ambiguous. Just take a look at the following sentence:

You have to search “d” or “D” for the day in the input string and whenever you will get it, take the immediate two characters (digits) as day-data. If the next two characters are not digits, search for the next occurrence of “d” or “D”.

Whenever you will get it? Does this mean I should take the last occurrence of ‘d’ or the first one?

Moving on.

If the entered date is valid, print valid; otherwise, print invalid.

How should I know what a valid date is when there is no definition of such a thing? I can’t judge whether year 1920 and 2020 are valid if both of them give the same output when printed in one of the formats (YY). Are future years valid if its his birthday? I don’t know, this is a coding problem not everything works as in real life. If you claim that future years won’t occur, will future dates occur? Such as 26th of July 2021? There is a whole lot of things that I can’t judge by this poorly written statement.

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Huh… first time?


Definitely not, but usually I got around it after some time. :laughing: This one was a crypt for me so really felt the need to outline the issue. :wink:

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Dear Coder, There were some technical glitches on CodeChef and we were unable to send reply. We immmediately posted the replies. You can still find the replies still now on the contest page.

Regarding your queries,
Q1. Whenever means for the first occurrence of ‘d’.
Q2. NOT ONLY TO PRINT INVALID, RATHER PRINT invalid cannot be computed. It was highlighted in bold letters in the questions.
Q3. It was answer on the Announcement page after your query.

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Your answer to Q2 is delusional. Printing cannot be computed for invalid is still a mystery, because guess what - we don’t know what invalid date is.

Your first and third point are fair. Yes, it was my mistake not to look at the announcement and I owe you an apology because you actually gave me an answer to my question.