So I was looking through the close review queue today and I saw this question: An algorithm for finding converse duplicates of ordered pairs
The OP asked for an algorithm to find certain parts of related elements in a list. For some reason, all the answers are of the form "Here's my solution in [language]: [big block of code]" without any attempt at discussing algorithmic trade-offs like worst-case time complexity versus implementation complexity. I would assume the latter is what we want from an "algorithm question"; otherwise they should Google or ask on SO with a specific language tag (right?).
My first question is: What should we do when this happens to a question? Closing doesn't feel right to me, since it's still a well-written, on-topic, answerable question. It has been protected, which I completely agree with, but there's probably something else that should be done.
For the record, I was prompted to ask this because of the somewhat odd custom close reason that was provided. See these comments:
I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because as written and answered, the question is answerable by unexplained code snippets in arbitrary languages. – MichaelT 2 days ago
@MichaelT: Full marks for originality: I've never seen that as a close reason before. It was a serious question about an actual problem and I was disappointed at the outcome. I thought it deserved better answers, but is that the fault of the question? – david.pfx yesterday
@david.pfx I'm not sure. I remember looking at the question nearly a year ago and thinking it looked good and could get some good answers. Unfortunately, what you are getting is "here's an implementation in python, here's another one in ruby..." and it appears to be taking on more of an algorithm golf problem nature (with some code) than what I'd really like to see from the question. – MichaelT yesterday
My second question is what the OP asked here: Was this the fault of the question? or better yet Could the question be edited in a way that might discourage these "code-only" answers?
I'm also not sure if this is a trend or just one exceptionally unlucky question; I personally haven't seen it happen anywhere else, but I haven't searched for more examples.