Quite ironical. While you guys have had an argument from contestant perspective, let me put across the perspective of setting panel.
Yes, the long contest is hard - as one can see by checking contests before division system and ones after division system when @mgch took the responsibility of contest admin, and it will get harder if it can anymore. . And its only for the good.
What will you get by easier problems? One of the biggest things the contest admin must see is that, all sorts of coders find problems interesting. For good coders the contest was earlier, boring, as tasks were obvious. But looking now, I feel the situation is getting better.
First four problems were easy and have submissions varying from 3k to 7k but 5th problem has only 148 submissions.
So what? Let me highlight two points here.
Firstly, the solution of KCOMPRESS was quite intuitive. Going by direction of how to construct the sequence B (which is actually a standard routine of thinking) gave an easy way to get AC. Perhaps if you’d had said that “Princess and Dragons was too tough” or “Challenge question should had been made more attemptable” then I’d had agreed. But if you aren’t able to solve KCOMPRESS, then I say come forward and take responsibility. Make more efforts into learning. Analyze if the problems are tough, or is it just you. Why do you have to follow the herd? Why cant you have an independent opinion of problem based on your skills? Of course, number of submissions is a good relative measure of “Ok, whats the easiest question which I can attempt now,” but its not foolproof, and should not be a reason at all why you feel a problem is out of your reach.
Secondly, you say so many people werent able to solve KCOMPRESS. How many of them went ahead and checked its editorial and upsolved it? Div1+Div2, the editorial has roughly 2.1k views. What does the setting panel and contest admin make out of it? You guys arent able to solve questions, then you arent even upsolving as well, forget that, you guys arent even reading editorials! So much effort goes into making them!!
The situation seems like, if we give something easy, everybody does it, and if we increase the difficulty a little more, very less people do it as everyone follows the herd. KCOMPRESS was just a little bit of logical thinking + how to express your solution in terms of algorithm, and steps/data needed to arrive at final answer. Implementation can be easily followed by googling “How to find maximum element in range.” The binary search logic was not very hard to get either.
Then people say there is mass cheating in long? Its always the div2 guys, along with some 4 or 5 stars in div1. We cannot control internet. But rest assured, the plagiarism detector does seem to take care of many cases. I cannot believe that there would be too many people who “got a top rank” from cheating.
The thing I want to point out is that this contest able to differentiate between very good programmer and average programmer on the other hand had been there problems with difficulty level varying gradually from top to bottom, the contest will be successful to differentiate between an average and an above average programmer however in the august Challenge both these categories fall under one banner.
I think contest did very well in this regard, especially in div1. If the top coder of div2 is someone who can apply a basic segment tree query then admin cannot do anything for it.
I just want to make a request to Long challenge problem setters that there must be problems of each level, otherwise the contest becomes boring after 2 or 3 days for a programmer like me,
Winners never quit and quitters never win. Keep leaving questions like this and you’d be surprised at how little progress you are making in such a huge span of time. Just an honest advise, nothing personal, upsolving is more important than you think. And pushing yourself over your limit is even more important.
I am not in favour of Long Challenge because it is a 10 days contest and always accompanied by mass cheating. Short contest like Cook-Off is much better than this.
@osho_garg - Perhaps short contests do have a good educational value due to quick revealing of solutions as compared to long, but again, self-learning is best done in long