See that question: Does giving a developer a slower development machine result in faster/more efficient code?

From OP's comment "many many responses... but not many answers.". This question is very silly, so it's very unlikely an answer could been given. I'm concerned about Pr.SE direction. Silly questions should be ignored or downvoted. One or two posts should be enough. That question was turned on a forum thread. Just discussion and repeated posts writing the same thing in another words.

Should we accept this kind of question?

Another example: Make a big deal out of == true? And: Will high reputation in Stack Overflow help to get a good job?

They attract attention but few or no good answers.

What you think?

4 Answers 4


I think the OP's intentions were good and not at all silly. Perhaps we can do a better job of editing the question or guiding OP to alter the question to get better answers and not just a lot of responses.

The first example that you cited is a good one. The original question came off as 'should we give programmers slow machines...', which of course started the flood of responses. In reality the OP's real concern is 'what's the best way to test code on average hardware a typical user might be running'. My guess is that if that were the question posted then there would have been 7 answers, not 47.

I'm always a little wary of editing questions too much as I may have missed the intent and in those cases I would normally opt for leaving the OP a suggestion as a comment. But that may be just me, I'm not one who likes to edit too much...


Another thought - maybe an additional close reason "Succesful question" - the question has served its purpose and gained lots of answers, but no more are needed.

On a closed question, answers can still be voted on, and comments still added, so the question is still "alive", just not answerable.

Anyone have thoughts on whether that makes sense, and if it would work?

  • The problem is the quality of the answers that this kind of question attract. Questions like that has lots of rants and few or no useful answers. It can be a good question to a forum but not to a Q&A site.
    – Maniero
    Commented Nov 20, 2010 at 3:42
  • @bigown Moderators can lock a question to keep 'me too' answers to a minumum right? Would that be sufficent to prevent this type of thread?
    – Michael K
    Commented Nov 22, 2010 at 13:35
  • @Michael: Lock just prevent to newcomers to answer. Anyway, my intention is get opinions, I don't wanna take actions without listen the users.
    – Maniero
    Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 3:42

Random idea that just popped into my head - I'm not sure if I agree myself even, but I'm throwing the thought out there to see what happens:

If a question reaches a certain size, should it cost reputation to add a new answer?

This is based on an assumption that after so many answers, anything new is either going to be repeated, or such a good point that it'll get upvoted.

So, when a question gets to 20 answers, a new answer requires/costs 10 rep. At 30 answers, it'd be 50 rep, and for 40 answers, it the cost would be 100 rep. If the answer gets X upvotes, the rep cost is refunded.

Actual numbers could be tweaked, but basically it's saying "only add an answer if you've got something worth saying".

Would that be a successful deterrent, or would it perhaps cause other problems?

  • This not gonna happen on SE.
    – Maniero
    Commented Nov 20, 2010 at 3:41
  • why not? Seems like a reasonable strategy.
    – AShelly
    Commented Nov 24, 2010 at 22:02

I think yes. Sometimes 'correct answer' can only come from good discussion. Sometimes discussion is 'the answer'. Also in many questions OP asks for things like "How much of you guys.." In such questions there is simply no correct answer. Or often you can see very subjective questions which have no definite answer but can be very informative if you read through all the posts, and see different opinions. I even believe this site should be more 'forum like'

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