Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

I've used StackExchange sites since day one. Lately not so much so. One reason that I started steering clear was the zealous admins or monitors or other members of the community who vigilantly down-vote, move, or remove on topic questions.

I understand the point of purification; however, during the time I've used these sites it really seems to have gone to the extreme. Often, people have simple questions, which aren't quickly answered by Google or near-by peers and they come to these sites looking for those with more experience in particular topics to help them QUICKLY solve a problem.

And that was my experience the last time I used a stackexchange site, months ago, and again today. Rather than getting a quick answer, I got caught up in the nit-picking process, and immediately I found myself just wanting to leave... and asking when this interrogation and nit-picking is all done, what will we have accomplished? (I'm here for a little hand to a quick solution. Do I have the wrong idea about what these sites should be used for.)

For example: If in StackOverflow, someone asks for a specific regex pattern that works with JavaScript replace. What is the point in talking about all the patterns that the OP might have tried before he/she asked the question?

share|improve this question
"...or whatever the correct term is for these people who vigilantly down-vote, move, or remove on topic questions." We call them members of the community. Can you point to some specific questions? – user7116 Dec 22 '11 at 21:27
"members of the community" That will work for me. I'm not trying to belittle anyone. – Michael Prescott Dec 22 '11 at 21:29
These discussions generally work a lot better when you can point to specific examples. I'd down-vote, close, move and then delete this, but I'm giving up irony for Christmas. – Shog9 Dec 22 '11 at 21:30
"What is the point in talking about all the patterns that the OP might have tried before he/she asked the question?" It shows that the OP tried something before asking others to give them code. – NullUserException อ_อ Dec 22 '11 at 21:36
As for that specific question you're referencing (that was me nitpicking) - you're supposed to show some effort at answering your own question, providing sample(s) of what you tried does this. "Do this for me" questions are usually not very well received. – Mat Dec 22 '11 at 21:36
Ok, I guess I can understand that. A lot of people just want an answer to a question BEFORE they actually tried to answer it themselves and so we need everyone to show proof that they tried first. It does make me wonder. Is this true for the gamut of stackexchange sites or just the highly technical ones? – Michael Prescott Dec 22 '11 at 21:40
Often, if you attempt to show such proof, it will get you thinking more closely about the problem and you will answer your own question. – Robert Harvey Dec 22 '11 at 21:43
If people don't make even a cursory attempt first, then they usually don't realize how open-ended or ill-conceived the question is. If your friend asks you "how do I fix my computer" you are damn well going to ask for details, unless you're truly a jerk and just tell him to run powerful magnets over his hard drive. – Aarobot Dec 22 '11 at 21:45
I've found a lot of down-voted questions to be very useful lately (improvements can still be made, that's one nice aspect of the site). Sometimes the down-votes do seem to throw out the baby with the bathwater . – Fruitb Aug 21 '13 at 8:47

Uh, the point is to not degrade into your typical crappy internet forum?

share|improve this answer
Your Gravatar needs two Santa hats. – Robert Harvey Dec 22 '11 at 21:45
Yes, I understand that. Which is why it is "purified". The thought that comes to mind is, if a very specific and concise question is asked, and immediately an answer provided. THAT is more useful to people than the build-up to the answer. – Michael Prescott Dec 22 '11 at 21:46
@Michael: Regex questions are a bit of a rare breed. It's possible to create an almost limitless supply of "What is the regex that will do this very localized thing for me?" questions. – Robert Harvey Dec 22 '11 at 21:47
@RobertHarvey: I seriously think we should have a site for this. Dump all regex questions on there... – Won't Dec 22 '11 at 21:49
Meh. The thing with regex questions is, once you've rigorously described the problem, you're a hair's breadth away from describing the answer - which makes your question a lot more useful, because instead of asking "How can I parse a part number out of OCR'd text when it looks like this?" you're asking, "How can I match the second occurrence of a pattern?" or some such. Which isn't all that localized anymore. – Shog9 Dec 22 '11 at 21:56

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .