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  • Downvote if you Don't Agree that we should ban questions whose answers that are searchable on the Net.

  • The intention of this question is make it very clear that we should not be rude about developers whose questions can be found on MSDN, Google, or a book.

Should we ban all C# Questions whose answers are already in MSDN?

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Y U single out C#? Pretty much everything is documented somewhere, so why even have StackOverflow in the first place? I exempt Java from this. Java questions should be banned because Java stinks and is the worst language in the history of languages. – Won't Dec 9 '11 at 14:45
TO ALL WHO DOWNVOTED THIS SUGGESTION: Thank you for proving my point! Now I have proof that we should Not complain "why did you Not search MSDN" or "Why did you Not use Google" types of complaints. – thenonhacker Dec 9 '11 at 15:15
up vote 20 down vote accepted

You can't assume that the people posting the question didn't do a search. If they got the search term slightly wrong then then there's a good chance that they wouldn't see the result in the MSDN.

Also even if the answer is in the MSDN, it's not the easiest of sites to navigate and find information from. I often have to search through several pages following multiple links to get the information I actually need. So having an answer that deep links to the relevant MSDN page is a good thing.

The "problem" here is those people who leave such comments. They're not constructive and are often rude. If you (not you, but the commentators) don't want to answer the question then just don't answer the question. Move onto something more "worthy" of your time.

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It's the "one minute of my life I'll never get back" problem. Don't just move on, don't bitch, down-vote the question. So I don't have to look at it either. – Uphill Luge Dec 9 '11 at 11:00
Again, Thank you for proving my point! To understand why I asked this question, look at this:… Now I have proof that we should Not complain "why did you Not search MSDN" or "Why did you Not use Google" types of complaints. – thenonhacker Dec 9 '11 at 15:15
@the: Um, what? I see no such complaints there. Were ere some before? If you're talking about this deleted answer, you're very much overreacting. – Michael Petrotta Dec 9 '11 at 16:05
@Michael: It wasn't deleted yesterday. Well that's good, it's deleted now. :D – thenonhacker Dec 10 '11 at 3:20

In short, no.

To add to Chris's answer, MSDN is a fairly good resource and reasonably well indexed by Google. However, despite having topic pages for much of the .NET Framework, its languages and many other things, many of these documentation pages don't have good examples of how to use a particular feature or class library.

It may also be non-obvious to a learner how groups of features documented across several (and often unrelated) pages can work together to arrive at a solution.

For example, say you're a developer working with the IIS7 administration API's:

The docs there amount to some waffle about how these API's enable developers to extend and manage IIS7 and then a huge blob of rather terse descriptions of the API's themselves. There's not much context and the reader may not know they also need to browse over to here to provide some background for these API's and their usage.

I've been using MSDN in its various forms (offline and online) for 14 years and there are still days when I find myself tearing my hair out when trying to piece together information on how to use a particular API or language feature.

Sometimes you need assistance with understanding the documentation and that's a fair enough thing to ask for.

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Thank you dude! If could only give many green checks, this one deserves it too. See my comments above. – thenonhacker Dec 9 '11 at 15:17

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