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I have seen a lot of questions on Stack Overflow asking things like "Is background attachment supported in ie6?" These people don't seem to be using their resources. So I am proposing that there be a link that appears just below the input where you enter the title of the question. This link would state something along the lines of "Asking for support in browsers? Use Can I Use instead". This would limit the waste of questions asking for support

To clarify, Can I Use is a website that allows you to search for a lot of HTML/CSS properties and it gives you the scoop on what browsers support it.

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You want to have such a link appear for every question anyone asks, just for the very small fraction of questions that fit this template? –  David Robinson Jan 28 '13 at 2:31
    
maybe just for ones that included a specific phrase. Like can i use. or something along those lines –  Cody Guldner Jan 28 '13 at 2:36
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Same spirit as General Reference close reason. What about working on the appropriate tag wiki, or a canonical question to contain this information, then using duplicate closings? –  Josh Caswell Jan 28 '13 at 2:37
    
@JoshCaswell We really do need to think hard on how we could be better using the tag wiki system, and how to make it more visible (despite many attempts at making it more visible). It just seems like it could be serving more purposes when it comes to canonical questions. –  Tim Post Jan 28 '13 at 3:00
    
@TimPost: Indeed. I'm quite envious of c++ and php's wikis, on objc's behalf (although I don't know how effective they are). I'm not really sure how to issue a call-to-arms. –  Josh Caswell Jan 28 '13 at 3:03
    
@JoshCaswell I don't think a call is feasible just now, as it's basically 'give us ideas on how to get more ideas.' I've drafted several feature requests for ideas that I thought were fantastic until I was almost done writing them, and then into the rubbish bin they went. Not giving up though! –  Tim Post Jan 28 '13 at 3:10
    
@TimPost: I look forward to whatever you come up with. The focus of my thoughts is rallying my fellow objc junkies (and, by extension, any other major tag group) to some kind of custodial cadre. I've actually been trying to figure out how to ask what steps C++ and PHP took to establish theirs. –  Josh Caswell Jan 28 '13 at 3:14
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@JoshCaswell A lot of the curating of the C++/PHP tags is coordinated via chat. PHP, while getting a little controversial with their close / delete vote backlog is probably the most well oiled machine in this regard, which is why you'll usually find at least one moderator there almost all the time just keeping an eye on things and trying to support them. I'm by no means saying adopt a backlog, (in fact, I'd much rather you didn't) but the first step to organizing the curating of the tag is definitely going to be getting those interested in chat. –  Tim Post Jan 28 '13 at 3:27

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I see some problems with this:

  1. We'd have to auto detect when showing this link would be appropriate, if implemented. I'm a big fan of 'just in time' help, but applying it on a tag by tag basis is unruly, difficult to implement and difficult to maintain. Someone asking about traversing a doubly linked list would be completely uninterested in such a resource and the overhead to keep the 'noise' out unless appropriate is just too much work.

  2. We would not be doing the resource a favor by linking given the sheer volume of questions where it might be appropriate to show. It would look like a sudden DDoS attack. Do we even want to link to resources that may or may not be available in the context of 'find help here instead?' It would need to come from something internal.

  3. These questions aren't reference material for us unless they've been asked before, as things stand now.

The thing to do is leave a helpful comment and spread the word about the resource and add it to the related tag wiki info pages.

You don't have a bad idea, it's just too difficult and problematic to implement on a tag by tag basis. It's something the tag wiki system was designed to partly accomplish, by providing people a list of common questions and common resources, but people (for whatever reason) still fail to find them despite efforts to give them more visibility.

This provides information in a way where something doesn't jump out at a user saying "Nooo, use this resource instead of asking your question." By the time someone gets to the editor, the only thing that should slow them down is the list of related or possible duplicate questions that populates as they type. Adding some churn from the tag wiki system to that mix (a resource we control and curate) would make a lot more sense.

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why not put it in the little peach box off to the side –  Cody Guldner Jan 28 '13 at 3:25
    
@CodyGuldner That would be one idea for an implementation, but all of the questions you see there as you type are things that your question could be marked as a duplicate of. We currently can't close a question because it's covered extensively in the tag wiki, as the tag wiki isn't exactly a question. But, many of the 'faq' questions shown in the tag wiki are shown in the churn that the user sees. Organizing and maintaining the canonical question list needs to be made easier. –  Tim Post Jan 28 '13 at 3:34
    
What do you mean by the tag wiki –  Cody Guldner Jan 28 '13 at 4:26
    
@CodyGuldner If you go to any tagged questions page there's a "learn more..." link right below the tag description at the top. That link takes you to the wiki for the tag. It describes what the tag is about, and on what kinds of questions it should be used. Example: stackoverflow.com/tags/java/info –  Bill the Lizard Jan 28 '13 at 13:50

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