Case studies and the TopCoder view point

It’s the challenge phase. At first glance the code you’re looking at seems horribly flawed. A crucial if-statement is missing at the beginning of a loop, making this coder’s solution useless. “How could they have made such an obvious mistake,” you think, as you run through the code one final time to make sure you didn’t miss anything. It’s then that you see it: a slider at the bottom of the viewing window indicating that there is more to this code than meets the eye. As you move the slider to the right, you see the crucial if-statement, indented past the edge of the viewing window.

Was this an act of deception, intended to trick coders into making unsuccessful challenges, or was it an innocent mistake by a coder having trouble indenting correctly? The answer to this question determines whether or not cases like these are punishable under TopCoder’s obfuscation rule.

(full article)