I'm not fond of calling users out, but with this question, I'm a bit confused.

It came across initially as fitting the "I'm question banned on SO, so I'm parking it here" category to be honest and frank. I understand that it looks like it could be more of a conceptual question, but I think at the heart, it's looking for someone to code the majority of the procedures. There was some great editing, and I agree that doing so gets it out of the irretrievable box a bit, but at what cost?

In the interest of transparency, I did flag this question, and the flag was rejected, so that's not the issue here. I do wonder why it passed muster, though.

1 Answer 1


I was the moderator who handled the flags on the question. From what I can tell, he just needed a little bit of help to clarify that his question—while not great—is on-topic here. It didn't appear need a moderator to intervene at first blush.

When I looked at the flags, though, I saw:

  • too localized: Well, it's not too localized. While it might not be a problem every single programmer faces, how to design an RPN calculator is applicable to more than just a vanishingly small number of people.

  • off topic, belongs on Stack Overflow: the guy's not asking about a coding issue but how to design the problem, and if it is a crappy question, migrating it to Stack Overflow goes against the golden rule.

  • not a real question: this one had the most merit, but given a quick edit cleared things up, it really didn't warrant bringing a moderator's attention to it.

While I suspect that the user is trying to do homework1, based on seeing the question and evaluating the flags raised, I disagree that the question is so irredeemable that it required the swift hand of justice.

That said, it's likely to be closed by the community anyway in short order.

Note 1: I suspect there's a bit of an inherent bias at play when people suspect that someone is trying to get homework help, but homework questions shouldn't be discounted or treated any differently than other questions.

  • When I said "calling out" I should have clarified that I meant drawing attention to the user who asked the question, not the mod who had handled it.
    – jonsca
    Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 3:13
  • 1
    In terms of the actual "question", it asks: "How does the cursor go to to upper and lower lines?" Given that the user is doing this one aspect of the question specifically in C# with a textbox (as specified in the tags), is not asking about a general methodology or hints about implementing one, and yet not specifying what facet of .NET they were using would seem to make any one of those 3 flags valid. I grant you, perhaps it did not need moderator intervention, but expecting that an edit would do anything more than pave over the problem is optimistic.
    – jonsca
    Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 3:19
  • @jonsca I understand: I tried to reword my answer to explain why I don't think the question (or the user) needs to be slapped; I didn't see anything looking at it myself or considering the flags that screamed "this question is complete garbage." Not great, yes; but not irredeemable. Which is why I (and I suspect svick) edited the question instead of closing it.
    – user8
    Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 3:19
  • @jonsca Fair enough: it already has 4 close votes, and will likely be be closed anyway.
    – user8
    Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 3:23
  • If there's any bias on my part, it's people (possibly) skirting question bans on SO. I appreciate your answer here, your edit, and your effort in editing the question on the main site.
    – jonsca
    Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 3:24
  • I think our edits and comments are all crossing each other, so I hear ya.
    – jonsca
    Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 3:25
  • I read the question as "How do I do x in C#" which I read as an implementation problem; not a conceptual one. Now that it's not a wall of text; I can see it's a skeletal design question with so little detail that it can't be answered effectively. I still vote to close it just for being too vague rather than OT.
    – user28988
    Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 3:30
  • 1
    I think you've violated the so-called golden rule. This question shouldn't have been migrated to SO. There is nowhere near enough information provided to make it answerable. Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 9:00
  • 1
    @CodyGray I didn't migrate it: 4 regular people voted to migrate to Stack Overflow.
    – user8
    Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 9:03
  • Ah, pardon me then. I erroneously assumed you were the migrating party without actually checking. Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 9:04

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