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I have posted a couple questions like this: Code can stop working with compiler optimization

All of them have been closed. I can see why this question may be perceived as too broad, but I think that should only be faulted on the asker if they CANNOT narrow their question. I don't have a whole lot of information to go on and the bug I am encountering is very confusing and elusive. I'm not sure what causes it, if I did I wouldn't need to ask what might be causing it, I'd just fix it myself. I understand that answers are shots in the dark but the answers I have gotten have at least given me places to look in my code for where the problem may lie and I think that if my questions were to remain open, an answer would eventually lead me in the right direction. As it is, I know I am getting closer to a solution with help from Stack Oveflow's users so why close a productive question just because it is difficult to answer definitively?

The bottom line is I'm probably doing something wrong in my code and Stack Overflow is helping me figure out what. The discussion is productive, so I see no reason for it to be closed. Although my issue is hard to define, I am actively trying to narrow the problem. If I could make my question any more clear I would.

What message are you sending here? I can only get help from Stack Overflow on questions that aren't too difficult to answer?

share|improve this question
I know it can be frustrating to debug, but from the perspective of the people who commented and voted, you were asking people to take a stab in the dark. You didn't show code, and couldn't find a small working example of the issue. It's difficult to answer something like that without having something to work from – simchona Jul 13 '12 at 0:20
And yet I got a couple useful answers pointing me to probable issues, such as not initializing variables or relying on undefined behavior. If following one of these leads gets me to a solution, then wouldn't you say that the question was productive? Edit: Sorry, I don't mean to argue, but I really think that an answer could uncover the problem I'm facing. – Big Endian Jul 13 '12 at 0:22
It's still speculation, though. – simchona Jul 13 '12 at 0:24
up vote 13 down vote accepted

What message are you sending here? I can only get help from Stack Overflow on questions that aren't too difficult to answer?

No, the problem with your question is that there isn't much to go on. The only information we have is:

  • My code sometimes freezes
  • My code sometimes produces no result
  • It works if compiler optimisations are turned off
  • It's something to do with executing the sin() function

Even though you've supplied a snippet of code there's no context, we've no idea what's happening before it gets to this point.

All the community can do is speculate as to what might be wrong, and we're not here to play guessing games.

For example, the two answers already provided are just best guesses:

  • It could be either but a good bet is that it's you :)

  • You're probably accidentally using undefined behavior somewhere

There's nothing wrong with guesses, many answers to questions are based on guess work, but they're educated guesses based on the quality of the problem definition. In your case the problem definition provides very little quality information to work with which will mean the quality of the answers won't be great.

You need to provide a sample of code that compiles and can reproduce the behaviour that you're describing. Only then can the community actually help out.

share|improve this answer
I would vote up your answer, but I guess I don't have 15 rep on Meta. I think I may be misunderstanding the standards for questions and, like it or not, I suppose those are the rules. I'll take your answer because it clarifies the site's rules. I do have one last question, and that is why I got down-voted for my question here. Aren't I using the Meta correctly in an attempt to address questions about Stack Overflow itself? – Big Endian Jul 13 '12 at 0:30
@BigEndian - Voting is a wee bit different on Meta, don't take it personally and don't be put off coming back to ask more questions about how the sites work: – Kev Jul 13 '12 at 0:33

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