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I don't know if it's just me, but I believe I'm seeing a rise in StackOverflow questions that contain no code in the , , and related tags and just a link to JSBin or JSFiddle.

The problem is made worse when new users ask their first question in those tags and get a comment saying "could you put your code in a fiddle?" I imagine next time they go to ask a question, they just create the fiddle and link to it, thinking that they're being a good SO community member and following advice that the commenter gave them the first time around.

I know this has been discussed before and been deemed a problem, but I haven't really seen a meta answer that proposes a solution. I'd like this question to be focused on figuring out ways to discourage "link only" questions that would be valid if the code was in the question itself.

A few thoughts to get things going:

  • The only thing in the FAQ that I can find that remotely relates to this is the "What questions can I ask here" section:

    We feel the best Stack Overflow questions have a bit of source code

    I propose adding a more explicit guideline about just linking to external sites, something like:

    Feel free to link to a sandbox site so that potential answerers can easily interact and modify your code, but don't forget to include your source code in your question as well!

  • It seems like it should be easy enough to warn the asker that they have no code in the question. I know that there are probably some questions that are valid without including source code, but a warning before posting wouldn't hurt:

    We noticed you didn't include any source code. Remember that just providing a link to the code in question isn't enough. Please provide the code you're having trouble with inside the question text.


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