I was just about to leave this issue... but now I saw something that surprised me.


This question of mine got -9 votes and is deleted.

I thought: OK, that's harsh but fair, after all the argument that, taking my lack of experience, should stop questioning established best practices really does hold some water.

But now I saw this: How do huge open source libraries get maintained while having code far from "clean code" practices?

This question has 69 upvotes.

Ugh. Problem is. In essence, this question is almost the same as mine!

I'm not sure if I understand? Why is that so?

  • 1
    maybe because your question is more ranty blog post than anything else. The other one you mention, not so much. That and what @amon answered.
    – user7519
    Jul 15, 2018 at 16:50

1 Answer 1


To a large part this is random: if a question happens to hit the “Hot Network Questions” list, thousands of visitors will see the question and some will add an upvote. This number of votes is completely disproportionate to the actual value of the question, and leads to a warped perception of the norms of this community.

It is not the case that every highly scored question is universally perceived as a good question. E.g. the hot question you linked has 6 downvotes and 4 close votes. This is actually not far behind your question.

We can however discuss why your question received a strong, universally negative response, and the other a mixed but generally positive response. Some things that come to mind:

  • Your question is much longer. Ain't nobody got time to read all that.

  • Your questions opens with the observation that you're running into a question ban. That was unwise, because:

    • Questions should focus on your actual problem. Conversational fluff should be avoided.
    • You declare that you are familiar with the SE system but not the standards of this community.
    • You tell us that many of your previous questions have been received negatively.
    • You are priming voters to see your question in a bad light.
  • You had already asked a similar question a week earlier. Maybe there are more deleted question in between, I can't see those. However, some voters may have been annoyed by previous questions. For example, one commenter wrote:

    why do you keep asking the same question? START FOLLOWING THE RULES!

  • You basically answered your own question in the question, and frustrated many people by not accepting your own answer and asking here anyway.

    If absolute rules are as absolute as people like to present, then how can projects be succesfull even despite shunning them?

    […] If these rules were as absolute as people like to present them, any code that doesn't heed them should detoriate into an unmaintainable mess. This, however, is manifestly not the case, implying that these rules are not prerequisites of good code as they are often presented.

    I.e. as you have proven yourself these absolute rules are not absolute. A few frustrated commenters write:

    I don't understand why you keep insisting that this is the case when it isn't.

    you know that this premise is wrong – you went through great lengths in the question to disprove that premise. I am totally confused why you then proceeded to ask this question.

The other question does not have this pre-history. It also asks a very different question – not about Absolute Rules, but specifically about the Clean Code book (which is often interpreted as absolute rules, to my continuous sorrow):

I found the code in many [open source libraries] to be far from the principles addressed to write clean code – e.g methods containing hundreds of lines of code.

So my question is: Are the principles of clean code too restricted, and we can do without them in many libraries like these?

The top-voted answer is able to respond to this dilemma:

The principles stated in "Clean Code" are not always generally agreed upon. Most of it is common sense, but some of the author's opinions are rather controversial and not shared by everybody.

In particular, the preference for short methods is not agreed on by everybody. […]

Neither question was closed because the asker was considered “too inexperienced”. Questions from all skill levels are welcome.

  • 4
    TL;DR it was a ranty blog post and not a question.
    – user7519
    Jul 15, 2018 at 16:52

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