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
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?