'Would anyone even be interested in a website that 1) offers all the basic classical cryptography/cryptanalysis tools you already know from sites like rumkin 2) adds new custom cipher tools and articles concerning P.SE questions once they are solved (ofc only if the cipher isn't complete crap or just a series of known ciphers)' - Lukas Rotter, on The Sphinx's Lair

IMO, it would be good to have such a website. However, it would be hard to bring together.

So look over onto StackOverflow, where they have a wonderful thing called documentation.

'Steady there,' you say, 'StackOverflow is a lot bigger site than ours!'

That's true. And I'm not seriously proposing the full force of it, or even for anything to happen (for a while, at least).

What I am wondering, is if there could be some way to make a toned-down version of the Documentation feature that would allow all our users to contribute and those who've reached a certain rep level to approve.

Having most users being able to contribute would be amazing in terms of what could be achieved. And the framework is already there, we would only have to adapt it a bit if we went ahead, maybe even in a few years' time.

But there's no point postulating without a clear view of what we want:

What does the community think about having something similar to this?

To clarify, the sorts of things that I have in mind include:

  • Tools to help solve puzzles (note that we also have a post for this), not only general tools but tools specialised for this site as well (e.g. ciphers that people on this site have invented)
  • Author's notes on puzzles (this could also be another home for wrap-up posts)
  • Handy hints on how to solve certain types of puzzles
  • Types-of-puzzles guides (like Deusovi's cryptic clue guide)
  • And more... (What can you think of that would be useful?)
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ +1 I am in if this goes live :) $\endgroup$
    – Techidiot
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 8:11
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ To my understanding, Documentation is currently a deeply flawed beta that's going to take an enormous amount of time and work before it's anywhere near ready to be considered for other sites. I like this idea in principle, however. We could potentially do something similar with meta FAQ questions. $\endgroup$
    – user20
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 12:51
  • $\begingroup$ cough enable code snippets plz $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 23:18
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Related: A Collection of Puzzling Tools... $\endgroup$
    – Alconja
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 0:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Alconja Thanks, I've added into where it was referenced. $\endgroup$
    – boboquack
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 2:47
  • $\begingroup$ @RottersSlave What do you want exactly? $\endgroup$
    – boboquack
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 2:47
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    $\begingroup$ I'll answer on behalf of @RottersSlave. He's asking for the code snippets functionality from SO to be enabled on PSE (previously discussed here and here). Basically, it would allow for a certain subset of "interactive" javascript/html puzzles to be possible without requiring external hosting/downloading of code. $\endgroup$
    – Alconja
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 4:43

1 Answer 1


Since nobody's actually written an answer yet, I'll throw in my $0.02 :)

As someone who has tried to use Stack Overflow Documentation, I do not think it would be useful for Puzzling. It's still in beta - there's a lot of flaws and key features still under development. It might yet be scrapped or look totally different by the time they would offer it to other sites. So maybe we will revisit this conversation in a couple years or whenever it gets out of beta...

At present, I think our existing post structure works well for this information.

For the examples you gave:

  • General tools to help solve puzzles: already done at A collection of Puzzling Tools (tagged , although there's a current debate on what to put in the FAQ here)
  • Tools to help solve particular puzzles: Could be included in the puzzle question or answer, or a separate CW answer post. (I've seen both done before, although I'm having a hard time finding the links..)
  • Author's notes on puzzles: not that it can't be changed, but the community already worked out how to post these
  • Types-of-puzzles guides: The cryptic clue guide is a good example (tagged ). We could create more of these canonical questions for other puzzle types.
  • Handy hints on how to solve certain types of puzzles: This information would fit in the corresponding type-of-puzzle guide ("How do I start solving X puzzle?"), or as its own question. This is an example, although we don't have a particular tag for such questions.

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