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The FAQ says that:

We feel the best Stack Overflow questions have a bit of source code in them, but if your question generally covers …

  • a specific programming problem
  • a software algorithm
  • software tools commonly used by programmers
  • practical, answerable problems that are unique to the programming profession

… then you’re in the right place to ask your question!

So as long as the question is specific enough, and there is no duplicates on StackOverflow, I can actually ask these questions:

  • How do I create an alert in JavaScript?
  • How do I use jQuery to add 1 to 1?
  • Is it possible to make text blue using CSS?

So I can ask those according to the FAQ?

share|improve this question
Do any of those include a first attempt at trying to code them in the first place or are they just requests for code? – random Jun 7 '12 at 22:34
I don't know why people are downvoting it. – Derek 朕會功夫 Jun 7 '12 at 22:48
@JonEricson - I see. – Derek 朕會功夫 Jun 7 '12 at 22:55
It also means your post is lacking detail and/or information/clearer examples – random Jun 7 '12 at 22:56
I believe Wil Wheaton said it best: Don't be a dick. – Jack Maney Jun 7 '12 at 22:56
But it said here: When should I vote down? Use your downvotes whenever you encounter an egregiously sloppy, no-effort-expended post, or an answer that is clearly and perhaps dangerously incorrect. I don't see disagreement here. – Derek 朕會功夫 Jun 7 '12 at 22:57
@Derek: They still haven't changed it (or the reputation difference). And possibly just won't. – Ryan O'Hara Jun 7 '12 at 23:07
@Derek Are upvotes and downvotes different on meta? – ChrisF Jun 7 '12 at 23:10
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I fought to get the General Reference close reason incorporated into Stack Overflow. Sometimes I think I fought too hard for it, and sometimes I think that I didn't fight hard enough. It honestly depends on what's on my screen, and how many people are coming to me for advice on how to handle questions where the lack of any research whatsoever on the part of the author is blatant.

General reference is not going to happen for Stack Overflow, at least for now due to concerns that it would be used inappropriately more often than it would be used appropriately. The more I looked into it, the more I found myself sharing those concerns.

The thing is, we only strongly encourage people to do their research before submitting a well written question. Otherwise, one of our close reasons would indicate a lack of research. One close reason almost does, which is "Off Topic" (emphasis mine):

Questions on Stack Overflow are expected to relate to programming or software development within the scope defined in the FAQ. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about closed questions here.

But as you noted, the FAQ doesn't mention doing your research first, that's found in how to ask which every first time question author sees:

Do your homework

Have you thoroughly searched for an answer before asking your question? Sharing your research helps everyone. Tell us what you found and why it didn’t meet your needs. This demonstrates that you’ve taken the time to try to help yourself, it saves us from reiterating obvious answers, and most of all it helps you get a more specific and relevant answer!

So in short, yes. According to our current FAQ any valid and reasonably well written question is on topic here, provided that is not a duplicate of another question. That brings us back to the FAQ:

Please look around to see if your question has been asked before.

That brings me to my closing (pun intended):

If asked, your questions would likely be closed quickly. The community frowns heavily on questions that show no research, it's worth your time (and more specifically, our time) to do a little digging prior to asking.

Related: What is the proper way to approach SO as someone totally new to programming?

share|improve this answer

All of your example questions are General Reference... easily answered by a Google Search. If they get flagged as Too Localized (i.e. only of interest to the asker because they haven't searched Google yet to obtain the answers), I'm inclined to close them.

See Also

share|improve this answer
That's the strangest interpretation of "too localized" I've heard yet – Michael Mrozek Jun 7 '12 at 22:48
But General Reference is not too localized. – Derek 朕會功夫 Jun 7 '12 at 22:50
Feel free to substitute whatever close reason you think is appropriate; Not a Real Question probably works. Too Localized has the advantage of not dinging the user with a downvote. – Robert Harvey Jun 7 '12 at 23:01
I certainly would close the second and third example as too localized. I'd keep one version of "How do I change the text color with css?", since that sounds like a legitimate, if trivial, question. – CodesInChaos Jun 7 '12 at 23:16

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