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Reform in the solution submitting and viewing system required

I have noticed that the solution submitting and viewing system in Brilliant has changed. But I don't think this is for the good. Here are a few suggestions:

  • The window for previewing solutions is too small. This makes previewing solutions difficult, as the sizes of the preview window and final solution box are wildly different.

  • The box for typing the solutions has gotten tinier, to accommodate the tips box beside it. That makes writing solutions even harder, as we cannot adjust the size of the text box as per our requirements.

  • Whenever we would click on the "show \(X\) solutions" button, a confirmation box would appear, which would warn that access to the solution discussion costs some points, and would ask the user whether he would like to proceed. I see no such thing in this new system. In fact while working on this problem, I accidentally pressed that button, and now I cannot solve it. :(
    \[\] I would be grateful if the Brilliant staff looks into these problems, and change the solution writing (and viewing) system to the way it was (or atleast almost the way it was). Thanks! :)

Note by Sreejato Bhattacharya
3 years, 8 months ago

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Hello,

We have widened the solution composing/previewing box, and reformatted the guidelines as requested.

As to the third point, we have eliminated the point penalty for viewing solutions. We felt that charging people points for viewing a solution, was more of a deterrent toward people learning than a fun challenge.

If we continue to see evidence that lots of people are unintentionally entering the solution discussion before solving the problem, then we will consider putting the warning box back in. Peter Taylor Staff · 3 years, 8 months ago

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@Peter Taylor Eliminating the point cost is a good idea, I agree. However, I still think the warning should appear (or maybe only in problems in your own set), because there have been lots of people (me included) who have accidentally clicked it. Daniel Chiu · 3 years, 8 months ago

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@Peter Taylor I think that rating should decrease, however, if someone wants to view the solutions. This generally means they cannot solve the problem, so their rating should decrease. Tanishq Aggarwal · 3 years, 8 months ago

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@Peter Taylor By the same argument, isn't a point penalty for viewing a problem a deterrent toward people trying new problems? Josh Silverman Staff · 3 years, 8 months ago

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@Peter Taylor I prefer spending points for the solution......but since the free solution is a better idea...I also support it

But it'd be better if there was a dialogue box asking "Do you want to view the solution for 0 points?" or something like that...... Vaibhav Reddy · 3 years, 8 months ago

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@Peter Taylor Sorry but I couldn't understand the reason in keeping this free solutions

then there is no reason in stopping people to discuss this problem in the discussions Vaibhav Reddy · 3 years, 8 months ago

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Completely agreed with all the points... and Brilliant should lay stress most on the third point, because last week I mistakenly clicked on the "View Solutions" button instead I wanted to write one Kishlaya Jaiswal · 3 years, 8 months ago

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I completely agree with you.

Regarding your third point-The same thing happened with me in the same question! :( Sambit Senapati · 3 years, 8 months ago

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@Sambit Senapati Same for me too. Woah. Anton Than Trong · 3 years, 8 months ago

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@Sambit Senapati That's a strange coincidence. :) Sreejato Bhattacharya · 3 years, 8 months ago

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I've accidentally clicked that button twice... Anton Than Trong · 3 years, 8 months ago

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I don't understand why there is a strict partition between choosing "view solution" and "enter discussion". Is there some way to allow for a user to view the currently existing solutions, or at least what their "key technique" is before deciding to write one themselves? It is a pain to spend time writing a solution only to find that the same exact argument has already been made in detail by another user. Josh Silverman Staff · 3 years, 8 months ago

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@Josh Silverman The "enter discussion" option is for those who haven't solved that problem (and it costs some points). Once you have solved a particular problem, you can either look at the other solutions, or write one yourself. There's no way you can view other solutions before writing yours (unless you make a fake account, which, of course, is prohibited). In case you find out that the same arguments are used in detail by another user, you can choose to keep your solution private, and write a solution to another problem instead. Sreejato Bhattacharya · 3 years, 8 months ago

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@Sreejato Bhattacharya

There's no way you can view other solutions before writing yours (unless you make a fake account, which, of course, is prohibited).

Hah, yes, I know! That is what my post is meant to complain about.

In case you find out that the same arguments are used in detail by another user, you can choose to keep your solution private, and write a solution to another problem instead.

I don't know how much free time you have, but a good solution can take me a while, sometimes up to 45 minutes. With a job and people to feed and things, it is pretty annoying to spend so much time on a solution only to learn it was totally redundant to what's already been posted.

The solutions are all timestamped so it should be obvious if someone solved the problem and then attempted some funny business to ride the coattails of another solution, right? I don't understand what the reason is to prevent people from reading the other solutions before making their own. Josh Silverman Staff · 3 years, 8 months ago

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@Josh Silverman If I recall properly, we were granted access to other solutions for the first week of this new system. The problem was that one could solve a problem by a totally non-rigorous method, or even by guesswork, then see a more rigorous solution submitted by someone else, rephrase it, and claim it as his own.

I usually prefer to write as many solutions I can within Wednesday, since the solutions are sorted by the number of upvotes after that. But I've noticed that it seldom makes a difference. Often solutions submitted in Thursday/Friday get voted up to the top. Usually it takes me half an hour (of course it is not an invariant!) to write a proper well-formatted solution, and I never ever keep a solution private, even if I am sure it won't get any upvotes. :) Sreejato Bhattacharya · 3 years, 8 months ago

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@Sreejato Bhattacharya

The problem was that one could solve a problem by a totally non-rigorous method, or even by guesswork, then see a more rigorous solution submitted by someone else, rephrase it, and claim it as his own.

I don't remember that being the case, but let's say it was. If it is the policy that solutions are viewable and that the solutions are time-stamped, there is not so much mystery as to whether somebody saw another solution and tried to hock it as their own.

A compromise could be to allow the key technique to be visible to people who've solved the problem. There is only so much time in a day and it would be nice to spend time on solutions that will help the most people or provide a missing insight rather than to unwittingly recast a line of reasoning that's already been well presented by another user. Josh Silverman Staff · 3 years, 8 months ago

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@Josh Silverman In the last system, if two users had the same ideas for their solutions, the user who submitted his solution first would get an advantage. It was pretty difficult to distinguish which solutions were original, and which solutions took ideas from other solutions. That being said, I completely agree with the idea of letting an user view the key technique. Another good idea would be to let us view the number of upvotes the other solutions have received, so we can decide whether to write a solution or not. Sreejato Bhattacharya · 3 years, 8 months ago

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