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I spent quite some time in the last few days watching other people "moderate" SO, by giving hints to the users through comments mostly.

Is there a set of standard comments that can be used? I think most people I've seen had come up with their own way of saying things like: "post some code", "the problem is not in the code you posted", "work on your accept rate", etc...

For example, a bit earlier a saw a nice comment from Robᵩ:

Welcome to Stack Overflow. The lines that you have shown us look ok. I presume the problem is in the lines that you haven't shown us. Please reduce your original program to the smallest possible program that still demonstrates the error, and copy-paste that program into your question. See for more details.

Would there be some interest in making, say, a Firefox plugin with pre-made answers to accelerate the process and standardize the feedback given to newer users?

Edit: I saw the script suggested here but this doesn't seem to use "standardized" comments coming from the leading actors of the community. It would be pretty easy to fork and make it use a set of standardized answers stored on github so that everybody can give consistent answers.

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See… – jonsca Nov 28 '12 at 2:33
Ahh excellent, it should be more advertised I guess :) – emartel Nov 28 '12 at 2:35
While I believe this would be true for properly crafted questions... but that's rarely the case on SO :) – emartel Nov 28 '12 at 2:40
@jonsca, you should put that as an answer. – jmort253 Nov 28 '12 at 2:40
@jonsca ok, I played with it a little, and while interesting, it doesn't cover a lot of the common topics I see, and since everybody can create their own snippets to include, it isn't "standardized" much – emartel Nov 28 '12 at 2:47
Incidentally; the "increase your accept rate" comments are something you should not do. – Andrew Barber Nov 28 '12 at 3:29
@AndrewBarber not even to users with 0% accept rate that don't speak English as their main language and probably didn't understand that the site works by accepting answers? – emartel Nov 28 '12 at 3:46
@emartel a one-time reminder is okay, not repeated comments on the same – Sathya Nov 28 '12 at 4:53

There is a script available for such purposes on Stack Apps.

I think the sentiment is that making such a utility part of the Stack Exchange interface would potentially tempt users (both well meaning and not) to simply insert a pro-forma comment and move on. While there is some specificity to those in the script ("Welcome to X Site!", etc), new users could and ought to benefit from advice that's even more tailored to the situation.

share|improve this answer
Converted from comments above. – jonsca Nov 28 '12 at 3:33
It's debatable, but there are certain users on the network that should be banned from leaving any comment other than what's in the pro forma comment tool. ;) It might be better to have some canned responses instead of some of the rude/NC comments that some users leave. ;) However, at the same time, I agree that personalized comments, if written gracefully, can have a positive impact on users. – jmort253 Nov 28 '12 at 3:54

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