What is meta? ×
Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 130 Stack Exchange communities.

I am here today to ask for a monumental change.

  • A section that asks the user what they have tried

I feel that question quality could improve dramatically and members can help others faster, rather than waiting for the OP to post what they have tried or what system/language they are using. I would like to propose a required section on the Ask Question form that, if the question is programming related, requires the OP to post code of what they have tried. As a topping, could the tag section expand with "include the system or language your using?"

This would alleviate the need to comment, "What have you tried?". I assume it would significantly decrease the number of low quality post flags, allowing moderators to focus their energy elsewhere.

This is a very basic mock-up of what I would love to see:

share|improve this question

closed as off-topic by Laura Apr 21 at 21:45

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question pertains only to a specific site in the Stack Exchange Network. Questions on Meta Stack Exchange should pertain to our network or software that drives it as a whole, within the guidelines defined in the help center. You should ask this question on the meta site where your concern originated." – Laura
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
That, it a much better idea than my, and I quote, "Pester Screen of Death". Would you require someone to fill it in? –  ben is uǝq backwards Sep 11 '12 at 20:01
3  
While I like the idea, I feel that not all questions can be shoe-horned into this format. Specifically, many of the questions that ask for a "why" or a "which" tend to be less applicable to this. –  Mysticial Sep 11 '12 at 20:04
    
@Ben There needs to be a mechanism in place that requires the user to enter what they have tried. I feel a pop-up or on-screen message would be ignored. –  Kermit Sep 11 '12 at 20:04
    
That wasn't my question. What would happen if a user completely ignores this new box? –  ben is uǝq backwards Sep 11 '12 at 20:05
    
@Mysticial I agree. If we can determine whether it is a programming question, then the WHYT section would be required. –  Kermit Sep 11 '12 at 20:05
7  
Assuming it is optional, the mere presence of such a field might be a gentle nudge to provide the information. Making it required probably will not work since there are some acceptable questions, as @Mysticial has said, that do not have a "what have you tried" type response. But I do like the idea –  psubsee2003 Sep 11 '12 at 20:06
    
@Ben My apologies, didn't finish reading your comment. If it is a programming question, it should be required. Perhaps penalize the user for not using the box? –  Kermit Sep 11 '12 at 20:07
    
@njk The point I was saying is that not all programming questions have a "what have you tried" type response. –  Mysticial Sep 11 '12 at 20:08
3  
I'm not certain about "penalise" as @Mysticial has pointed out not everything has code. However, an idea might be to automatically shovel it into the low quality question queue if somebody doesn't use the box. –  ben is uǝq backwards Sep 11 '12 at 20:09
11  
"What have you tried?" <insert wall of code here> –  user149432 Sep 11 '12 at 20:11
4  
Instead of an additional input form element, wouldn't it be enough to add What have you tried? right after "what's your programming question? be specific."? –  Bill the Lizard Sep 11 '12 at 20:13
2  
@BilltheLizard What are the chances a novice will bother reading it? –  Kermit Sep 11 '12 at 20:13
3  
Probably not as good as the chances that they'll just leave because we've added too many form elements. –  Bill the Lizard Sep 11 '12 at 20:15
9  
I'm probably in the minority here, but I don't like that SO is turning into personal debugging service. This would just make it official. –  Juhana Sep 11 '12 at 20:21
2  
I'm not sure about this... But that single-item list on your question really bothers me! :) –  bfavaretto Sep 11 '12 at 21:34

Browse other questions tagged .