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We already know that http://lmgtfy.com/ ("Let Me Google That For You" - a site that sarcastically demonstrates how to use Google) is banned from use in answers, mostly because a lot of people used it and its sarcasm, although funny, can be rude to some users.

Personally, I think that http://w3schools.com/ should also be banned from use in answers.

As demonstrated here, the site is riddled with errors and doesn't care about them despite having taken several measures to ensure that they always remain at the top of search results. To the discerning programmer, such errors are easily spotted and worked around, but to the beginner some of the coding practices recommended are not just bad but dangerous. Coupled with the similarity between "W3Schools" and "W3C", a lot of people will assume they are related - I certainly believed so for a significant amount of time!

I have seen answers to several questions where W3Schools is referenced, followed immediately by someone commenting with a link to w3fools. I think it would just be easier to prevent links to w3schools from being posted in answers to questions.

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The comparison of W3Schools to LMGTFY is a bit of a red herring. LMGTFY is banned for an entirely different reason than you want to ban W3Schools. –  Cody Gray Mar 15 '12 at 9:14
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It's the same like banning people from using Windows. It has flaws. So what? Nothing is perfect. If you see link to something that is obviously wrong just post comment about it and warn the people explaining why it's wrong. –  Shadow Wizard Mar 15 '12 at 9:36
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4 Answers

up vote 36 down vote accepted

An answer citing incorrect or misleading information should be treated no differently than an answer that doesn't cite a resource, but provides incorrect or misleading information. You can:

  • Correct the answer
  • Down vote the answer and optionally explain why
  • Write your own answer demonstrating why the information in another is incorrect, and provide the correct information

Banning the use of an external resource, however problematic it may be is a slippery slope. LMGTFY has only one use - make fun of someone for not doing their research in a clever, but snarky way. That's why we don't allow it.

I'm sorry, but I think this is a very bad idea.

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I agree with your intentions fully, to make the web a better place, but this will never fly. Besides, there are much worse resources on the net than w3schools. Should we ban all of them? Every random dude's blog that isn't an authority and has crappy code?

Instead of suggesting w3fools, just suggest actual good resources. If you do see mistakes in the source of a w3schools link, point them out specifically to the poster. If you see someone quote w3scools as "W3C", point it out to them. Educate, don't hate. If you can do so effectively, w3schools will shame itself and people will learn not to use it.

And if I may add: As much as I do despise w3schools, the snarky w3fools links are getting pretty annoying.

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"Educate, don't hate." Thank you for this. –  Malky.Kid Jan 22 at 9:49
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If w3schools is not that great a resource (ignore the certification issues here) and better resources exist (such as the examples listed on w3fools) why not simply provide an answer using a better reference mentioning neither w3fools (or why w3schools is so bad) and provide a great answer for future readers. Likely you would gather up a bit of rep by providing these more accurate posts to questions which only have w3schools answers.

This is far more beneficial, gets good resources linked and known and doesn't add noise about w3fools or w3schools.

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Not all http://w3schools.com/ information is bad. It is a wide source of information and you can see there is information about every topic.

Sometimes we get degraded information, but that doesn't mean all w3schools information is wrong. Don't forget http://w3schools.com/ is a teacher for every beginner, in many technologies. If you see any answer that provides wrong or outdated information, from w3schools or any resources, you can comment or edit those answers.

We mainly provide solutions to problems/questions. Everything is up to the OP as to what is accepted and what is not. So we can only provide a solution and its references. I personally feel there shouldn't be restrictions on resources and references.

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