Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

I am wondering what was wrong with the following first post that I reviewed as "no action needed":

The question asked for a way to install f77, and the answer answered that, giving the name of a script that simplifies is and demonstrating its usage. I'm not an expert on OSX, so it may well be that the answer is incorrect, but as I have been reminded a few times myself, incorrectness is meant to be moderated through downvotes/comments rather than flags.

Let me clarify: I'm not mad I failed this audit, but I'm wondering about the big picture:

  • Given the post above, can this really only be successfully reviewed by someone who has tried and tested this particular method of installing f77 on that particular version of OSX?
  • "Incorrect answer" is not an option for flagging an answer, neither is it a reason for deletion when you review low-q answers. This would lead me to believe that the review system is not meant to catch those. (Besides, it seems to suggest that it's not sufficient reason to delete an answer in the first place.)
  • If reviews actually require full verification of the answer, is the system still reliable? I'm pretty sure that even the C++ experts don't check C++ answers with more than 2 lines of code - they check for plausibility and accept. (which is exactly what I did for this answer: The description is sensible and plausible, the link is live and links to a page that confirms that Homebrew does exactly what the answer claims.)
  • The text guiding you for the reviews says: "Watch for hidden gems, non-answers, and spam." Do inconsistencies make an answer a non-answer?
share|improve this question
You can downvote through the review, as far as I know it's considered an action. When not sure choose "Skip", not "no action needed". – Shadow Wizard Feb 11 '13 at 0:26
But as I said, I had no grounds on which to downvote this. Are you implying that you can only ever review answers when you are an expert on the topic and can evaluate the factual correctness of the answer? – us2012 Feb 11 '13 at 0:27
@us2012 Of course you shouldn't be reviewing answers if you can't evaluate their factual correctness. "Skip" would be the appropriate action, not "no action needed". – Yannis Feb 11 '13 at 0:52
@Yannis I edited my question to clarify. I respect your opinion, and if this is official SO policy, I will respect it - but I don't think the review system remains stable under those conditions. – us2012 Feb 11 '13 at 1:02
I've voice similar opinions on this before we even had the No Action Needed button. – animuson Feb 11 '13 at 1:09
The "answer" is actually correct. However it is phrased such that it is marginally a comment on the accepted answer's suggestion to use Mac ports. To me, that's an extremely tenuous basis to remove what's otherwise a legitimate alternative answer and even more tenuous basis to serve as an audit. – Carl Veazey Feb 11 '13 at 1:52
@Carl Hrm. But the review screen does not even present the other answers to me as a reviewer. – us2012 Feb 11 '13 at 1:53
@us2012 yes, very good point - and it really makes me wonder if we're supposed to have a zero-tolerance approach to answers even vaguely referencing the approaches of other answers. If so I don't believe that requirement has been communicated effectively. – Carl Veazey Feb 11 '13 at 1:57

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .