# How short can you get?

You are to write a program that, when given an integer between 1 and 5 (or 0 and 4 if you wish to use 0-indexing), outputs one of Code, Golf, and, Coding or Challenges. Each input can map to any of the five outputs. However, the mapping must be one to one (each input goes to a different output) and consistent when running the program multiple times.

For example, 1 -> Coding, 2 -> Golf, 3 -> and, 4 -> Code and 5 -> Challenges is a perfectly acceptable mapping. The capitalisation and spelling of the outputs must match, but leading and trailing whitespace is perfectly acceptable.

Rather than , we will use a different scoring system (lets use abcdef as an example program):

• If your program works whenever any single ($$\1\$$) character is removed, your score is $$\1\$$.
• So bcdef, acdef, abdef, abcef, abcdf and abcde should all work as program on their own
• By "work", I mean that the program still fulfils the first two paragraphs of this challenge spec. The 5 possible inputs may be different to the unaltered program, and to each of the other altered programs, so long as they meet the rules above.
• If your program still works whenever any pair ($$\2\$$) of consecutive characters are removed, your score is $$\2\$$
• So, to qualify for a score of $$\2\$$, abcd, abcf, abef, adef and cdef must all work according to the challenge spec
• And so on. If your program still works whenever any subset of length $$\n\$$ of consecutive characters is removed from it, your score is $$\n\$$.

The program with the largest $$\n\$$ wins. In order to compete, all programs must have a score of at least $$\1\$$. Your program must work for all $$\i \le n\$$ in order to qualify for a score of $$\n\$$. So in order to score $$\5\$$, your program must also score $$\1, 2, 3\$$ and $$\4\$$.

This is a Python program which will output all the possible alterations to your original program, along with the score they're worth.

• Must we write a full program, or is a function acceptable? – Robin Ryder Nov 22 at 19:56
• @RobinRyder As per default, either a full program or function is acceptable – caird coinheringaahing Nov 22 at 19:59
• It's worth an ask, but would the downvoter mind explaining their vote? I can only improve, and any and all feedback would help me do that. – caird coinheringaahing Nov 23 at 2:28
• I haven't downvoted, but are you sure the scoring system can't be abused for an infinite score? (in Lenguage, a + is, as far as I remember, decremented into ], so it won't work, but most other length encodings work; I'm trying to produce an arbitrarily extendable Befunge solution now) – my pronoun is monicareinstate Nov 23 at 2:33

# 8086 machine code (MS-DOS .COM), score 26 402

The file is 52 947 bytes long. The length was a product of what produced benign instruction sleds, and the maximum file size for .COM files (65 280 bytes -- 65 264 in case an interrupt happens before you can stop it).

Here in binary form, with repeating lines snipped out for obvious reasons:

00000000 : E9 67 67 67 67 67 67 67 67 67 67 67 67 67 67 67 : .ggggggggggggggg
00000010 : 67 67 67 67 67 67 67 67 67 67 67 67 67 67 67 67 : gggggggggggggggg
<...>
00006720 : 67 67 67 67 67 90 D1 EE AD 93 AC E8 00 00 5A 2C : ggggg.........Z,
00006730 : 30 01 C2 3C 04 75 03 83 C2 02 D1 E0 D1 E0 01 C2 : 0..<.u..........
00006740 : 83 C2 1B B4 09 CD 21 CD 20 43 6F 64 65 24 47 6F : ......!. Code$Go 00006750 : 6C 66 24 61 6E 64 24 24 43 6F 64 69 6E 67 24 43 : lf$and$$CodingC 00006760 : 68 61 6C 6C 65 6E 67 65 73 24 EB 9F 9F 9F 9F 9F : hallenges...... 00006770 : 9F 9F 9F 9F 9F 9F 9F 9F 9F 9F 9F 9F 9F 9F 9F 9F : ................ <...> 0000CE80 : 9F 9F 9F 9F 9F 9F 9F 9F 9F 9F 9F 9F 9F 9F 9F D1 : ................ 0000CE90 : EE AD 93 AC E8 00 00 5A 2C 30 01 C2 3C 04 75 03 : .......Z,0..<.u. 0000CEA0 : 83 C2 02 D1 E0 D1 E0 01 C2 83 C2 1B B4 09 CD 21 : ...............! 0000CEB0 : CD 20 43 6F 64 65 24 47 6F 6C 66 24 61 6E 64 24 : . CodeGolfand 0000CEC0 : 24 43 6F 64 69 6E 67 24 43 68 61 6C 6C 65 6E 67 : CodingChalleng 0000CED0 : 65 73 24 : es  In readable form: org 0x100 cpu 8086 SLED_LEN equ (0x6767 - (part1_end - part1) + 2) db 0xe9 times SLED_LEN db 0x67 part1: nop shr si, 1 ; SI = 0x80 lodsw ; SI = 0x82 xchg bx, ax ; AX = 0 lodsb ; AL = first character of command line argument ; Load DX with IP, since we only know our strings' relative position call near .nextline .nextline: pop dx sub al, '0' add dx, ax cmp al, 4 jne .skip add dx, 2 .skip: shl ax, 1 shl ax, 1 add dx, ax add dx, 0x1b mov ah, 0x09 int 0x21 int 0x20 p1_msg0 db "Code" p1_msg1 db "Golf" p1_msg2 db "and$$"
p1_msg3 db "Coding$" p1_msg4 db "Challenges$"

part1_end:

part2:
db 0xeb
times SLED_LEN db 0x9f

shr si, 1       ; SI = 0x80
lodsw           ; SI = 0x82
xchg bx, ax     ; AX = 0
lodsb           ; AL = first character of command line argument

; Load DX with IP, since we only know our strings' relative position
call near .nextline
.nextline:
pop dx

sub al, '0'
cmp al, 4
jne .skip

.skip:
shl ax, 1
shl ax, 1

mov ah, 0x09
int 0x21
int 0x20

p2_msg0 db "Code$" p2_msg1 db "Golf$"
p2_msg2 db "and"
p2_msg3 db "Coding$" p2_msg4 db "Challenges$"


# Rundown

This is a slightly adapted variation on a previous answer of mine.

The active part is duplicated so that there is always one untouched by radiation. We select the healthy version by way of jumps. Each jump is a near jump, and so is only three bytes long, where two last bytes are the displacement (i.e. distance to jump, with sign determining direction). This displacement is replicated over and over, forming a long NOP sled of sorts.

We can divide the code into four parts which could be irradiated: jump 1, code 1, jump 2, and code 2. The idea is to make sure a clean code part is always used. If one of the code parts is irradiated, the other must be chosen, but if one of the jumps is irradiated, both code parts will be clean, so it will not matter which one is chosen.

The reason for having two jump parts is to detect irradiation in the first part by jumping over it. If the first code part is irradiated, it means we will arrive off mark, somewhere in the second NOP sled. If we make sure that such a botched landing selects code 2, and a proper landing selects code 1, we're golden.

For both jumps, we duplicate the displacement word, making each jump part one opcode followed by a massive repetition of the displacement. This ensures that irradiation somewhere in the sled will still make the jump valid, as long as at least two bytes of the sled remains. Irradiation in the first byte will stop the jump from happening at all, since the following sled will form a completely different instruction.

Take the first jump:

E9 67 67 67 67 ...      jmp +0x6767 / dw 0x6767 ...


If either of the 0x67 bytes are removed, it will still jump to the same place, as long as at least one word remains. If the 0xE9 byte is removed, we will instead end up with

67 67 67 67...


each of which is a address-size override prefix. The CPU will gladly chomp them all down, and then we fall through to code 1, which must be clean, since the damage was in jump 1.

If the jump is taken, we land at the second jump:

EB 9F 9F 9F 9F ...       jmp -0x61 / db 0x9f


If this byte sequence is intact, and we land right on the mark, that means that code 1 was clean, and this instruction jumps back to that part. The replicated displacement byte guarantees this, even if it is one of these displacement bytes that were damaged.

The astute reader will notice that this instruction jumps too far back, but that's alright, since if we hit the jump, then part1's NOP sled must be wholly intact, making a slightly longer jump backwards okay.

If we either land off the mark (because of a damaged code 1 or jump 1) or the 0xEB byte is the damaged one, the remaining bytes will also here be benign:

9F 9F 9F 9F ...          lahf / lahf


Whichever the case, if we end up executing that sled of instructions, we know that either jump 1, code 1, or jump 2 were irradiated, which makes a fall-through to code 2 safe.

## Testing

Testing proved problematic. I've done some tests on certain corner-cases and a few random ones, but I have to find a better way for exhaustive testing. It should not be a problem up to the above-mentioned score.

The following program was used to automatically create all versions of the .COM file for a certain gap size. It also creates a BAT file that can be run in the target environment, which runs each irradiated binary, and pipes their outputs to separate text files. Comparing the output files to validate is easy enough, but DOSBox does not have fc, so it was not added to the BAT file.

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

int main(int argc, char **argv)
{
FILE *fin, *fout, *fbat;
int fsize;
char *data;
int gapsize = 1;

if (!(fin = fopen(argv[1], "rb")))
{
fprintf(stderr, "Could not open input file \"%s\".\n", argv[1]);
exit(1);
}

if (!(fbat = fopen("tester.bat", "w")))
{
fprintf(stderr, "Could not create BAT test file.\n");
exit(2);
}

if (argc > 2)
{
gapsize = atoi(argv[2]);
}

fseek(fin, 0L, SEEK_END);
fsize = ftell(fin);
fseek(fin, 0L, SEEK_SET);

if (!(data = malloc(fsize)))
{
fprintf(stderr, "Could not allocate memory.\n");
exit(3);
}

fprintf(fbat, "@echo off\n");

for (int i = 0; i <= fsize - gapsize; i++)
{
char fname[512];

sprintf(fname, "%06d.com", i);

for (int j = 0; j < 5; j++)
fprintf(fbat, "%s %d >> %06d.txt\n", fname, j, i);

fout = fopen(fname, "wb");

fwrite(data, 1, i, fout);
fwrite(data + i + gapsize, 1, fsize - i - gapsize, fout);

fclose(fout);
}

free(data);
fclose(fin);
fclose(fbat);
}