Who should write the editorials?

Who should write the editorials?

The setter? the tester? the contestants :)?

The people that understand in more detail the problem are usually the setter and tester (because they AC it before anyone else, and even know the difficulties of generating test data). Of course is not only necessary to know how to solve a problem to write an editorial, a bit of didactics and a decent english is required.

Currently the codechef model includes one editorialist who writes the editorials of all problems. Long Challenges consist in 11 problems, so that can be overwhelming.

Long Challenges have many setters, many of them with a decent english, and I think some of them could like to write editorials.

Maybe a compensation for editorials (depending on difficulty) should be created in order to encourage setters to write editorials?

Actually even the contestants can help writing editorials! many of us could like to hear the approaches of top scorers in the challenge problem.

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Yes, the setters should be allowed to write the editorials. I think they understand the corner cases and approach better.:hushed:

I also feel individual setters should write individual editorials and it may include tester’s notes…I feel setter is the one who is attached closest to that question and in this way he/she will be more willing to clear everyone’s doubt in discuss.
One more advantage of this…if every setter writes his/her own editorial, then editorials will come out early than usual.

Afaik the editorialists are also very good coders and even they can understand corner cases. But some of the setters might be good at english but still writing “interesting” editorial is a totally different story. Writing is a different skill.
I would recommend to take a sample editorial from them in case they wanna write an editorial. Because knowing english is not enough for writing editorials. How to make editorials interesting is also required.
@alei

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I disagree here. It varies from person to person. People are lazy and they might not want to help people. And he can even solve doubts of people even though he is not writing editorials.

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Yup thats divide and conquer. That might work when we have multiple setters in a contest. Otherwise, it will be late than usual because setter might be busy preparing test cases and statement and replying to comments so he will start writing editorials late (In case of short contests).

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Anyone who is good at it and have time to contribute to community by writing quality editorials :smiley:

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ok, but for long ig there are multiple setters and talking about short contests…the editorials generally come early.

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What If the problem setter writes the editorial for that problem ?

That is what he is proposing XD

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Ohh… It was too long, I didn’t read it all :stuck_out_tongue: (maybe I did ?)

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I would :slight_smile:

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I vote @ssjgz for the editorialist…!

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It would make more sense to have multiple editorialists (2-3 in my approximation) to share the load so that the writing is completed faster and the editorialists can review each others work, thus increasing quality and efficiency.
How viable this idea would be at the management side, I donno…

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I personally think, in addition to official paid editorialists, we can keep official volunteer editorialists. These would be those who actually solved the problems in that contest.
And for each problem CodeChef can pick different volunteer editorialists from the proposal list where users like us would volunteer.
This proposal list will be active for the duration of the contest and at the end, Codechef should pick different user for different problem.

In this way, we would learn from those who actually struggled and solved live during the contest, their thought process, and approach during the contest.

Also, such people would be able to improve their explanation skills and editorial skills and may be promoted as a paid editorialist by Codechef.


This would also create a sort of competition among editorialists, to get promoted as an official paid editorialist, which in turn can help us get the best editorialists on board from within the community.
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Also, expecting setters to write editorials doesn’t scale up for the fact that, just like testing and setting problems, writing editorials is an art. Not everyone could do it, and not many would want to develop the skill and experience of writing editorials.

From my experiences as being an editorialist, I can say that writing editorials is NOT easy.

Apart from keeping the flow of the editorial constant (many a time’s, I get stuck on how to proceed without causing a disconnect in the explanation), an editorialist needs to assume that the reader knows nothing more than what the prerequisites state and then explain the solution. However simple this might seem, it’s actually difficult, since we tend to trivialize many things (and omit the thought process involved in reaching the solution) leading to an extremely confusing editorial.
If you reread your editorial after a few weeks of writing it, you’d realize that many important points have been missed out or aren’t clear in the editorial.

Thus, I consider the job of writing editorials an art and a skill gained from both personal as well as experience of other editorialists. (Personally, I find editorials of @vijju123 and @kevinsogo :star_struck: the best and most comprehensive)

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I got another idea, not sure if it works though: Make the editorial writting distributed, i.e let contestants write the official editorials :slight_smile:

If after contest the editorials are not ready, then the editorial for that problem becomes open to all contestants, and the first one in AC the problem and submitting a quick explanation to problem.editorials@codechef.com (not sure if that mail exists) becomes the official editorialist for that problem.

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This is a great idea

An interesting discussion I think I can contribute to!

I will split my experience into two parts - one for long contest and one for short.

For short contests, as far as I have seen, setter being editorialist had been never good. I can recall just one time (when the setter was also a renowned editorialist) that I liked the editorials, else the setter is usually not able to give time to editorials.

My experience was most of short contests had a single setter, I am not sure how short contests with multiple setters go, but given that there were a lot of last minute changes and problems getting ready on final day of contest - I feel its justified to say setter has very less time to frame editorials.

They can obviously write CF style editorials, but Codechef’s editorials are one of its unique selling points - because they want to make it as friendly and explanative as possible. So I get a feeling shifting to CF style editorials wont happen without a very solid reason, which I feel doesn’t exist right now.

And thats assuming that setter is comfortable with English and explaining things. AFAIR, setters are allowed to apply as editorialist (at least for short contest) if they want - but I never liked when that happened because I felt those editorials were too concise and didnt help me much.

For long contest, its a different story. With multiple setters, they DO have the time to write editorials - but we will need to still do something about those who couldn’t or dont wish to write. Perhaps tester can write for those cases, but there had been cases when neither tester nor setter were very fluent, or had time/will to write them.

Yes, thats an issue that for 11 problems, out of which almost half are >=medium, its very overwhelming to write explanative editorials. I remember when I first applied- HOLY SHIT it was SO much stress to write them all in time. I remember sleeping for just 4 hrs for three consecutive day to get them done. At one point during September long I finally snapped and decided I had enough of stress. I will write editorials because I enjoy them and will make sure others enjoy them - even if they get delayed.

So yeah, the stress is real sometimes.

Maybe a compensation for editorials (depending on difficulty) should be created in order to encourage setters to write editorials?

I am not sure if its possible on a large scale but it happened with me where a setter created his own editorial. And the decision was taken solely by contest admin to allow him to. So I feel contest admin has some power here - and perhaps can easily bargain for more.

Actually even the contestants can help writing editorials! many of us could like to hear the approaches of top scorers in the challenge problem.

That was an idea which occurred to me once, but it is a logistic nightmare. Like:

  • First come first serve does not help. Someone who explains in depth will take more time than someone who writes editorials like quick explanation. We will have to decide by taking quality into account as well.
  • Lets say some easy, or easy-med problem is left open. You are BOUND to get a LOT of submissions for it from community. Who is going to read all those, and decide which one to make official editorial? AFAIR this responsibility will directly goto contest admin because that is the most easy way out. But that simply over burdens them. I thought lets let them live in peace and cook some contests rather than asking them to read 30 versions of solutions to same problem XD. Delegating it to setter seemed counter-productive as well, because ultimately that will give unnecessary baggage to setter for editorialist’s fault and will discourage setting on codechef even more. And assigning this responsibility to editorialist…eh…the time he’d spend reading all those versions, he might be able to actually write editorial till then. Wasn’t shortage of his time the root cause of the incident?
  • So yeah, I couldnt come up with a solution to implement it without burdening the existing resources.

@triee

One more advantage of this…if every setter writes his/her own editorial, then editorials will come out early than usual.

I would highly suggest you to read some editorials written by setter and see the general picture before suggesting. Please don;t take my reply as offence - I just felt your statement is made without the necessary research. Have a look and see if what happens goes fine by you. :slight_smile:

@l_returns
I would recommend to take a sample editorial from them in case they wanna write an editorial. Because knowing english is not enough for writing editorials. How to make editorials interesting is also required.

Ouch.

@ssjgz

I would :slight_smile:

Damnnn. Reminded me of a scene where the heroine goes “Ahh, who would love me” and the hero goes "I could :slight_smile: ". HOLY XD

@infinitepro
so that the writing is completed faster and the editorialists can review each others work

Editorialists reviewing each others work? Sounds like hot waters to me :3

@adzo261

Thats an interesting suggestion. So basically we will get 2 versions of editorials - one from editorialist and another from contestants? That seems logistically feasible as well.

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“”"
I am not sure if its possible on a large scale but it happened with me where a setter created his own editorial.
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I think some setters could really like to be the official editorialists of their own problems. So maybe in the form of submitting ideas we should add a checkbox “do you want to be the official editorialist of the problem?”. i don’t have some statistics, but I’ve received some proposals with detailed explanations of good quality. I think that will decrease a bit the load of the editorialist

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First come first serve does not help
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Yeah, I was thinking the same. I remember topcoder was doing something similar for old contest without editorials, not sure how well it worked.

Is a trade between quality and speed. Ideally editorials should be published just after the contest (In worst case quick explanations, hints, implementations, etc. ). Also the editorialist is expected to answer the questions by the community, and expand the editorial.

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Lets say some easy, or easy-med problem is left open
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I expect only the hardest problems will be left open.

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