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A lot of time before answering question on StackOverflow, we spent some time asking for clear objective, stack, exact exception message and also reviewing tags.

I would suggest that if a question submission fields can be created like:

  • Title
  • Background
  • Objective/What to achieve
  • Issue/Exception that occurred (along with line) [Optional]
  • StackTrace [Optional]
  • Additional Details
  • Tags

This way we may save time and can answer question with good details.

In this way we would also restrict the type of question. Because if they don't have such information than it might be design/review question that must be posted to programmers.stackexchange.com or codereview.stackexchange.com

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3  
Not all of those apply to every question though. –  animuson Jan 31 '13 at 4:14
    
Nearly all code questions apply this. Otherwise its a whiteboard question and should go to programmers.stackexchange.com –  Adil Mughal Jan 31 '13 at 4:16
    
@AdilMughal we can ask questions about algorithms here also, that doesn't need to have code segments or stack trace. However I somewhat second this suggestion, if those fields are optional. –  Krishnabhadra Jan 31 '13 at 4:36
    
I think these would encourage longer questions than are necessary. In particular, "background" will probably send the wrong message. I already often find myself editing out the first paragraph of new users questions that say something like "I'm new to Python, though I have some background in Java, and I'm having difficulty in some of these assignments..." –  David Robinson Jan 31 '13 at 4:52
    
@DavidRobinson may be you are right there, on background.. But I thing the idea of a optional field for code segment/stack track might make OP's think twice before hitting submit button. –  Krishnabhadra Jan 31 '13 at 4:55
2  
Once you make background optional, and you make additional details optional (which it pretty clearly should be), then there are only three required fields- Title, Objective, and Tags. At that point, you have exactly the same three required fields you already have! –  David Robinson Jan 31 '13 at 4:57
    
@DavidRobinson yes, but still we have those fields (probably with a placeholder encouraging them to add code/stacktrace). There are may people here posting question without them, but later add them because of other people's comments. –  Krishnabhadra Jan 31 '13 at 5:04
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1 Answer

Sorry, but this makes no sense whatsoever.

  • Title is already required.
  • What is "background" supposed to mean?
  • Objective should be stated in the description, which is already required.
  • Not all Stack Overflow questions are about exceptions. I see no reason to have to restrict the type of question any further when it's already so heavily restricted as it is.
  • What is "stack" supposed to mean? If it's the technology stack, state it in the description and tags.
  • Additional details should be stated in the description.
  • Tags are already required.

Also, just because it's a design/review question doesn't mean it must be posted to Programmers or Code Review. For the record, not all such questions belong on those sites either.

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by stack i mean stacktrace which is helpful in case of exceptions –  Adil Mughal Feb 1 '13 at 5:33
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