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How to ask a question about software library resources

When asking a question that will result in a list (which is a big chunk of this site's content), people often provide an example answer in their question.

For example:What non programming books should a programmer read?

The problem with this is at least twofold. Firstly the question may get upvotes based on the example answer, rather than being a good question. Secondly, the answer provided in the question will not sit in the list in the correct place in the voting, as it's unlikely anyone else will add that answer.

I propose that we should encourage people when asking "list" type questions to provide their own answer separately so that the question and answer can be voted on independently, and the answer can be part of the list of answers.

  • This is a good question, but I think it might be broader than just list questions. For example, questions that ask "What do you think of X?" and then include the asker's view in the question- are they likely to get upvoted for their view on the subject more than the question? Commented Sep 6, 2010 at 16:50
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    Also, whichever way we decide (keep example answer in question, or keep it as a separate answer), how would would enforce it? Would we have moderators actively editing to enforce this, or would we just encourage it via the FAQ? Commented Sep 6, 2010 at 16:51
  • Hi @Mark, wondering why this general question that has upvotes is being closed as a duplicate of a much more specific question with no upvotes that was asked after this question? I'm not complaining, but I'm interested as to your reasoning. "How to ask a list question" doesn't seem like a dupe of "How to ask about software libraries" to me. Commented May 13, 2011 at 16:59
  • Questions asking for a list of resources is, by definition, a list question. We're cleaning up old, unanswered questions, and the other, newer question has a complete answer to this question.
    – user8
    Commented May 13, 2011 at 17:16
  • see also Why do 'some examples' and 'list of things' questions get closed?
    – gnat
    Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 12:14


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