People Asking the community to do their homework are shut down fast.. Why wasn't this Question?

Software solution from the 2000's, should I attempt to patch or remake the whole thing?

His job was to :

discuss a system that a certain company is currently using and [determine] what should be done with it.

He basically had a meeting and threw the question here. Is that\should that be allowed?

  • 2
    Why didn't you vote to close? Or flag? Or both? (I'm only asking as you seem to have made your mind that the question doesn't belong)
    – yannis
    Commented Mar 20, 2012 at 13:02
  • 2
    I just saw it now.. It had a bunch of answers with one marked as correct. I defiantly don't like it, but i'm not sure if it sure be closed.
    – Morons
    Commented Mar 20, 2012 at 13:13
  • What's with the backslash? Commented Mar 31, 2012 at 23:34

3 Answers 3


Ultimately all Stack Exchange sites where professional matters are discussed (Stack Overflow, Server Fault, Webmasters, Game Development, here) exist because people are having trouble with an aspect of their job.

Some people will post a question hoping for a complete solution, others will be happy with a pointer in the right direction. Here on Programmers you are more likely to get the latter than the former and a "complete solution" question may well be too broad to be answered using the Stack Exchange format.

At first glance this question does seem rather broad, but it could elicit some good points about how to go about deciding whether a system should be patched or rewritten. Currently there are no close votes or flags on the question and four people have answered and two upvoted so at least some of the community thinks that it's OK.

I think the only reason for voting to close would be that the question was too broad - so if you think that's the case vote to close.


There is a far cry different from the question about an existing system, its faults and the best way to design a better solution, vs. PLZZZ TEH CODEZ!

  1. The question cited above clearly described the issue.

  2. The OP didn't get too localized

  3. While potentially broad, the question narrowed the focus a bit by describing what he had already tried.

  4. The OP put in some effort yet still needed expert answers that could potentially benefit others in the future.

Lets compare that to this Emmy Nominated question: https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/140500/how-to-check-string-for-space-in-ruby

  1. No effort whatsoever put into figuring out the answer on his own

  2. No effort at all into even proper command of the English language for that matter.

  3. Not even on on topic for Programmers

  4. No way that the question can be answered without literally writing the code for the OP, thus doing his homework for him.

No comparison IMHO but like others have said, vote to close or flag if you feel that it is not a good question.

  • +1 for PLZZZ TEH CODEZ!
    – Tim
    Commented Apr 4, 2012 at 10:16

Just because you have a suspicion that a question may have answers resulting in doing the asker's job/homework is no reason to close or hate on a question. A question is either good or bad for other reasons not related to whether answering it may do the asker's job/homework. I believe Mark Trap's Answer regarding homework questions is also relevant here. If someone manages to get some free work out of this site more power to them.

  • 4
    It is not a crusade against people needing help with homework, it is a crusade against bad questions. A homework question can actually be a GOOD question if the OP demonstrates what they have tried. Bad questions hurt the community and the site by pushing good questions down the page, increasing the noise and making it harder to notice or find good questions.
    – maple_shaft Mod
    Commented Mar 21, 2012 at 13:24
  • 1
    @maple_shaft the only justification given for this question being potentially bad was that it looked like a "do my work for me" question. I meant to address that this justification is completely irrelevant, I'll try to make that more clear.
    – Ryathal
    Commented Mar 21, 2012 at 14:31
  • What is the point quoting opinion from ordinary member like Mark Trapp?
    – user774411
    Commented Mar 24, 2012 at 11:36
  • @FlagForFun His opinions carry weight because he was a moderator of Programmers for years. He only recently stepped down however he helped make the site what it is today so we continue to respect his opinions.
    – maple_shaft Mod
    Commented Mar 24, 2012 at 15:25
  • @FlagForFun Everyone's opinions carry weight, it doesn't matter if they are regular users or moderators. Furthermore, Mark wasn't terminated, and even if he was that would be irrelevant to the merits of the answer Ryathal linked to. You are free to express your opinions on the premise and merits of the answer, but personal attacks are inappropriate (to say the least). I've deleted your comment, and would advise you to keep your opinions and observations on individuals for yourself.
    – yannis
    Commented Mar 26, 2012 at 9:18
  • @Yannis Rizos♦: You can always abuse your power as moderator. I feel bullied and don't bother to talk further with you. I'm planning to send a formal complaint to stack exchange when I have free time. Don't ever think yourself as moderator can do whatever you want. According to the owner, you are just a janitor.
    – user774411
    Commented Mar 26, 2012 at 9:38

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