185

I agree with this open letter. I guess it's more directed at the people potentially answering this kind of thoughtless questions, because the people asking them -- more often than not Help Vampires -- will never read meta, or the FAQ, or try to understand the issues involved. So I guess it could be rephrased to say: "potential answerers, don't encourage ...


42

An Open Response Does this belong on P.SE meta? If so, should we expect and accept similar posts from other users? Chances are, the students who paste homework don't read P.SE meta. Your evidence in anecdotal. I could offer a story of how my education was saved by scooping the answer to a stubborn problem from the interwebs, which gave me time to focus on ...


37

It looks like the questions you've asked lie in the overlap between SO and PSE. Both sites could answer them, but they would give different kinds of answers, and since SO is bigger its answers will show up faster. In my opinion, the three questions you've linked are all slightly more appropriate for SO, because they cannot be generalized to apply to ...


32

The questions which are most welcome here are those which come from real software projects, related to real problems which arise inside the project. It does not matter if it is a commercial project, or a hobby project, or if the topic of the project is very specialized, as long as it is an answerable, on-topic question with a reasonable focus. Opposed to ...


23

Of your 9 non-deleted questions, all of them have a net positive score and none of them are closed. Two of them are also marked as a favorite question by at least 1 person, with one being marked as a favorite by 3 people. Most of the questions have a solid view count - the lowest one (and also the most recent) has 50 views, and several have over 150 views. ...


20

The best thing to clarify things for new users would be to rename this site. I am relatively new here and I understand the distinction between Programmers.SE and StackOverflow, but I think many new users don't. If this site was named "Software Design" or something similar I think much of the junk on "Programmers" would go away. The name "Programmers" is ...


18

I think if a student is so lazy that they ask homework questions on this site, they are definitely too lazy to read this long open letter. Plus, this sort of thing should be directed at the people who answer homework problems. If people would simply refuse to answer obvious homework problems, the incentive to ask them will be removed.


15

I would appreciate it if everyone, before over-hastily voting to close any question with the buzzword "design pattern" in it as being a dupe of Choosing the right design pattern, would first take a deep breath count to ten, and think twice how the question changes when replacing "design pattern" by "design approach". If the question makes more sense then,...


13

A good interview question does not have an answer that the candidate knows; the candidate is expected to be able to discuss different options, with some options being thrown in by the interviewer. The questions is asked to find out how (or if) the candidate thinks, not to get an answer to the asked question. On SE sites questions are asked to get answers ...


13

In addition to the excellent answer by @lxrec, Programmers is so much smaller than StackOverflow that you just have to have a bit more patience. It is not uncommon to only receive answers after several hours or even a day, where questions on SO get answers within seconds.


10

My personal 2 cents... stop downvoting people who post on meta trying to get questions fixed. That's what stopped me a while back from doing it. It became such a chore to constantly feel like I'm fighting for something that none of the active users wanted, and to always be downvoted for my efforts by the same group of users. -2 (+1/-3): What needs to be ...


10

What's the best screw driver to use on a nail? A hammer. Some of the best answers on this site reject the premise of the question. I completely agree that "give me the pattern" questions can be problematic. We should close them when nothing useful to the site can be made of them. But some can be redeemed with the right answer that points other lost souls ...


9

I've only been an active SE user for a couple of weeks, and since PSE is my favorite one I've been mulling this question over pretty much the entire time (not to mention reading far too many meta posts). Some days it feels like we're closing too aggressively. Some days it feels like you need a bachelor's in Q&A philosophy to tell what actually is on-...


9

IMHO it depends. Someone once told me, there is nothing so bad it cannot serve as a bad example, at least. Take, for example, the question you were referring to in yours. I agree very much too you that this question cannot be answered in a "yes or no" manner for exactly the reasons you stated above. When I saw that question first, I voted to close as "too ...


8

If you think the question is unclear then vote or flag to close with the "unclear what you are asking" reason. If you think the question can be salvaged, then leave a comment pointing out the problems and asking the poster to make the example more specific. I don't think we need to go further than this.


7

I agree that cheating is the worst thing a student can do; Not because it is dirty or manipulative, but because it causes significant harm to the student and the student along. However, even some the most intelligent people in the worlds history (Einstein and Edison for example) have/had problems understanding even simple problems if they were not described ...


7

Before editing the question, I would probably edit the answer, and explain why it answers a slightly different question than the one which was asked (refering to the deleted comment and the edit). It is not unlikely that others, when trying to find information about related topics, find your answer still useful, even if it does not fit to the last version of ...


6

I've fixed this. The question was originally migrated here from Stack Overflow in November 2011. It was closed today (3 September 2014) by 5 members of the community as being "primarily opinion based", which I agree with. However, when I was cleaning up other rejected migrations that were not adding value, I got over-zealous and accidentally deleted this ...


6

Protection racket Your own list illustrates how pointless this sort of proactive activity is: in most cases, few or no new answers were posted regardless of whether the questions were protected. Indeed, the most-answered question of the lot was immediately protected. It's not the raw traffic that creates the problem. It's traffic coupled with a question that ...


6

IANAP(I am not a psychologist), but I think this is driven by perceived value. Questions may not have as high a perceived value, because on their own, they don't accomplish much. When you are looking for help, how much would you value a question with no answer? It doesn't help that 10 other people have the same problem, but it sure does help all 10 of ...


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