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Numerous "do my work" questions are asked on Stack Overflow daily. These questions are often the result of lazy developers and deserve the closing that they quickly receive. However, I think there are some "do my work" questions which could be seen as understandable -- questions that would take the asker a long time to solve and an answerer a couple of minutes to solve. In order to offer incentives to answerers and require users to contribute to Stack Overflow if they want to ask these types of questions, these types of questions could require a reputation bounty which would be immediately set.

One instance in which this could be useful is for code translations. For example, a user could find a small function online that performs their desired task, yet it is written in a language they are unfamiliar with. Often, it doesn't take much language-specific knowledge to translate such functions from one language to another, but they can sometimes contain language-specific keywords and built-in functions. Rather than force the user to learn information that they'll likely never use again, another knowledgeable user could take the couple of minutes it takes to translate the function for them.

Do you think this would be constructive or simply encourage rep whores to answer questions asked by lazy developers?

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These kind of question can be asked in parts in the format of "what, in language G, is the equivalent of feature X in language Y?". These avoids the "do my work for me" issue and will provide immediate help. – Oded Jul 24 '12 at 20:02
questions that would take the asker hours to solve sounds like they are asking too much. What would be more appropriate would be to break the problem down into discrete steps, and questions about those steps instead. – JimmyPena Jul 24 '12 at 20:03
@JimmyPena - Perhaps "hours" was an overstatement. I edited that to a generalized "long time." – jeff Jul 24 '12 at 20:06
If you haven't put any time into the problem at all then you don't know if it's going to take you a long time or not. If you have put in the initial research time then you ought to know enough to ask a question that meets the SO guidelines as opposed to a "do my work for me" question. – Servy Jul 24 '12 at 20:11
As others have already commented, besides encouraging localized questions, these kinds of questions are a sign that the OP hasn't done enough research. – JimmyPena Jul 24 '12 at 20:15
If this idea were an orphanage, I'd still douse it in gasoline and light it up. – Jack Maney Jul 24 '12 at 20:53
up vote 13 down vote accepted

This proposal would produce posts which are helpful to the original poster, but don't serve as a useful resource for pretty much anybody else - their "do my work" questions will be different :P

Even if used carefully, this use of bounties would increase the number and visibility of questions which we're not really interested in having on the site. Making questions like this a legitimate part of our rep economy would basically be saying "we're fine with nonconstructive questions, just as long as you're willing to pay rep for them." That's very far from the SO ethos - and the results could only lead to an unwanted dilution of SO.

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I suppose you're right. The issue of the questions being too localized is one I did not think about. – jeff Jul 24 '12 at 20:52

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