There's a well defined format for code golf questions over at Programming Puzzles & Code Golf

Mouse-2002, 4 bytes.

That's 4 bytes of pure, sweet ASCII.
Sample question

I'd propose a similar construct of

Title, Author, Year
Justification for meeting the question's criteria

This should make it easier for people coming to the question to see if it's worth answering.

In the best case scenario we could have a leaderboard generated in a similar fashion too.

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  • 4
    I think we should ban any question that turns from a "recommend me" question into a "what is the earliest example of" question.
    – Valorum
    Jul 15, 2016 at 9:08
  • 5
    In my experience, most of the questions here that ask for the earliest example of something are either bad questions that get closed quickly, or get only a few replies. This is a large difference from Golf SE, where good questions often get over thirty replies, and that's actually a good thing there. So I think enforcing a format wouldn't be worth too much here. But if you know questions like this with lots of answers here, please tell me.
    – b_jonas
    Jul 15, 2016 at 9:41
  • 1
    One sort of counterexample is scifi.stackexchange.com/q/96389 "Which Sci-fi universe uses the most forms of FTL (Faster Than Light)?" where Valorum has already edited the answers.
    – b_jonas
    Jul 15, 2016 at 9:46
  • @b_jonas - I faced some criticism for doing it. I shan't bother in future. Also, it's worth noting that the vote-scores don't adequately reflect the answer quality, so the whole thing was largely a waste of time.
    – Valorum
    Jul 15, 2016 at 14:22

2 Answers 2


I'm gonna go with "no", if only because the one time that any effort has been made to implement this...

Which Sci-fi universe uses the most forms of FTL (Faster Than Light)?

...the vote-scores haven't shifted to accurately reflect the quality of the answers.

Given that the community clearly couldn't care less that one answer is (objectively) better than another when they dole out their (subjectively chosen) votes, creating leaderboards and ranking them using some kind of defined format sounds like a lot of work for no actual benefit.

I have no objection to you personally editing all the answers on one of these questions, but I don't think we should try to hold people to an editing standard when there's no discernible upside to doing so.


I think using a standard format for answers to this type of questions would be a good idea.

I propose using

Year: Title by A. Author / by D. Director / featuring A. Actor

Explanation what it is and why it fits.

I don't think a leader board is a good idea, though, since it's not a competition. It's up to the querant to decide what the best answer is.

  • 1
    I think a "leaderboard" could work if it wasn't named leaderboard but something else or just nameless. However, we don't appear to have snippets enabled here anyway so it's likely out of the question.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Jul 7, 2020 at 11:25
  • 2
    A common format is a good idea, keep in mind though that not everything is a book. Would you just do Year: _Title_ for a movie? What about a video game, fan fiction, anime/manga? etc. What about on a mixed media question?
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Jul 7, 2020 at 11:26
  • Per my earlier answer, is there any reason to assume that voters will pay any attention to this?
    – Valorum
    Jul 7, 2020 at 11:52
  • 1
    @Valorum we don't need 100% buy in from every user, just enough that we can enforce it. A custom post notice may go someway to help
    – AncientSwordRage Mod
    Jul 7, 2020 at 12:15
  • It might be better if we had multiple formats of post titles, separate ones for movies, games, books etc.
    – AncientSwordRage Mod
    Jul 7, 2020 at 12:21
  • @AncientSwordRage - That sounds complicated and largely pointless. I don't object in principle to you doing this but I'm dubious if it's gonna have any actual benefit
    – Valorum
    Jul 7, 2020 at 13:04
  • I think for the main bold part you just need the year and title. Then to begin the explanation bit you can put the relevant names based on media format.
    – Skooba
    Jul 7, 2020 at 14:44

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