What is meta? ×
Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 131 Stack Exchange communities.

This question already has an answer here:

To start off please don't misinterpret the question.

I understand that Stack Overflow is meant to be a forum for professionals looking to get serious professional help, but I feel as if you are leaving out a whole group of people. While I may have a biased opinion being a student and not knowing nearly as much as your users I see a good deal of almost attacks against users new to field of computers and other things Stack Overflow is associated with.

A good deal of these users are posting legitimate questions that they can't find answers to and are getting almost assaulted by responses of "did you even research this" and other things making them feel like they are incompetent. The reality of the situation however is that these people sometimes don't know they've found the answer or are looking to see if there is someone out there that can explain it in a way that is less confusing.

One of the biggest positives about forums like these with people answering questions like those is they generally rephrase the answer in a less professional way that makes it easier to grasp the concepts of these ideas. Personally one of the most annoying these I have ever had happen is when doing a personal project attempting to understand some of the abilities of C++ I had people posting about how they we're just going to do my homework for me. The thing was it wasn't homework. I was a person attempting to get a better understanding of a language I didn't fully understand.

To fix the problem of these people being brutally shunned out of the community for questions that the professionals regard as "too stupid", "not worth there time", "not researched fully" or even just "plain old too basic", is there another Stack Exchange site for new people such as students or hobbyists where they won't be judged for not knowing things and they can get help without being shunned?

Please take this idea with an open mind and attempt to understand how frustrating it is to see a very valuable resource that will allow you to understand a complex idea and then be shunned out of it simply because the idea was to elementary.

Also - Sometimes people have put in research but they want to hear the ideas of other see what the recommend because these people usually have more experience and can say things like "Well this book while it looks good is extremely useless yet this one was wonderful". These may be opinions but they are also very useful to those that need guidance.

From what I see here this idea might not be taken well but I do believe he is correct and this problem needs to be addressed.

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by dmckee, Andrew Barber, Austin Henley, animuson, lunboks Feb 14 '13 at 3:46

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
so is not friendly who doesn't show research efforts or vampire .. there is nothing wrong with noob and users either up vote or down vote to post not to user imo –  NullPoiиteя Feb 13 '13 at 16:03
26  
There are plenty of well worded, high quality questions from n00bs being posted. It's not the n00bness of the question that is being attacked, it's the lack of effort or quality that is lacking in so many questions. –  Martijn Pieters Feb 13 '13 at 16:04
    
@Lance Ooops! Sorry for stepping on your edit! I must have submitted it a fraction of a second after yours! –  Andrew Barber Feb 13 '13 at 16:07
3  
@Andrew, one of the most frustrating things on these sites is edits tripping over each other, it's the nature of the beast. –  Lance Roberts Feb 13 '13 at 16:09
    
They are putting forth the effort however it isn't being seen. Also not understanding what they are looking for isn't not researching it's simply not knowing. Quality is another large problem where some see it as lack of quality yet in reality they just don't know. @NullPointer There is nothing wrong with a noob but more often then not members don't understand just how noob something is and how difficult some things can be. As I explained some concepts are extremely confusing and from the point of view of someone who knows the answer a quick google search will tell you and be very informative –  Griffin Feb 13 '13 at 16:10
    
Yet from someone who doesn't know the answer what they see is simply more confusing or not the answer they're looking for. –  Griffin Feb 13 '13 at 16:11
    
Also to whoever edit the is there another stack exchange site. The simple answer is no. There isn't. –  Griffin Feb 13 '13 at 16:15
5  
A quote from the How to ask page, with emphasis added: "Have you thoroughly searched for an answer before asking your question? Sharing your research helps everyone. Tell us what you found and why it didn’t meet your needs." Now, if as you say 'legitimate questions ... are getting almost assaulted by responses of "did you even research this"' that would indeed be bad (any examples to show us?), but "did you research this" looks like a response to a question that does not show any research. –  AakashM Feb 13 '13 at 16:16
    
Related: Question Staging SE –  Time Traveling Bobby Feb 13 '13 at 16:20
4  
@Griffin: I happened across this question of yours (link is to original version), and I think it's an illustrative example. I wouldn't have downvoted it. But you were asking whether a particular code snippet would print out an infinite (or extremely large) number of digits- and yet you never actually tried the code to see if it would. Wouldn't that have been worthwhile research effort? –  David Robinson Feb 13 '13 at 16:37
5  
@Griffin: And you'll notice that after you made that revision, your question was upvoted and the post was reopened. In other words, the system works. –  David Robinson Feb 13 '13 at 16:44
1  
@Griffin: Do you mean flagged, or who did you email? (And no amount of emailing anyone will get you upvotes). –  David Robinson Feb 13 '13 at 17:02
4  
@Griffin The question ban that was lifted has nothing at all to do with that question being reopened. –  Andrew Barber Feb 13 '13 at 17:25
5  
No, Griffin, he was right. I don't think you grok SO yet. –  Lance Roberts Feb 13 '13 at 17:40
6  
@Griffin: At some point you have to ask why nobody agrees with you. –  David Robinson Feb 13 '13 at 17:55

3 Answers 3

Ignoring all of the potential arguments about what such new users should or should not be doing, there is a major problem with your proposal:

Most high-quality contributors would quite simply avoid that area like the plague. The overall quality in that area would be horrid, because of the lack of standards. Instead of 'training' new users how to use the site, it would 'train' new users how to not use the site - and probably just teach them that the site isn't really any better than some random forum.

share|improve this answer

Andrew already posted the main reason that a "Stack Overflow for n00bs" just wouldn't work, but there are a few things in your post that I also want to address.

A good deal of these users are posting legitimate questions that they can't find answers to and are getting almost assaulted by responses of "did you even research this" and other things making them feel like they are incompetent.

Asking "did you even research this?" is not an assault. It's often a perfectly reasonable response to a question that's easily answered by Googling or by looking in the assigned text book. If "what have you tried?" needs to be asked, then the OP just needs to show what research they've done. They don't need to go somewhere else.

To fix the problem of these people being brutally shunned out of the community for questions that the professionals regard as "too stupid", "not worth there time", "not researched fully" or even just "plain old too basic", is there another Stack Exchange site for new people such as students or hobbyists where they won't be judged for not knowing things and they can get help without being shunned?

People are not being "brutally shunned" for one bad question. If you ask a n00bish question, nobody is going to hold it against you when you ask your next, well-researched question. Only people who exhibit a pattern of repeatedly asking questions that get down-voted, closed, and deleted are actually banned from asking questions again. Giving those people another place to ask questions seems counter-productive to the goals of Stack Overflow (increase signal-to-noise ratio, make the Internet better, etc.).

share|improve this answer
    
"Asking "did you even research this?" is not an assault. " It wouldn't be an assault if it wasn't posted so constantly after the initial response. Instead of one post of not researching there ends up being 4-5 and then they start talking about how horribly researching it. "People are not being "brutally shunned" for one bad question. If you ask a n00bish question, nobody is going to hold it against you when you ask your next, well-researched question." This is true yet in the confines of the question they asked they are being. –  Griffin Feb 13 '13 at 16:45
    
@Griffin It's posted so 'constantly' because it is needed in order to prompt the user to give more information. Astute users (newbie or not) will catch on, and begin to give that information before hand. –  Andrew Barber Feb 13 '13 at 16:47
    
Also it isn't counter-productive because your helping the developing community. That community you are creating eventually understands the concepts and is able to help the ones to come. This is more of helping out the up and coming community to get on their feet. That way when they are on their feet and understand these things on a professional level they are able to help others that are at the professional level. –  Griffin Feb 13 '13 at 16:47
    
@Griffin My quibble with you here is that what you propose won't help them. There are tons of forums out there that allow this sort of thing. If that sort of thing worked, there would be no need for Stack Overflow. –  Andrew Barber Feb 13 '13 at 16:48
4  
@Griffin We already have many pages of instructions on how to ask questions here. We also have a process to follow when you do get question banned. We are all about helping n00bs come into the community, but they need to be willing to follow those guidelines. –  Bill the Lizard Feb 13 '13 at 16:50
    
Yet like I said these questions were researched. Instead of giving a productive response such as first you should look into this. Give information about this. The answer is simply. You did not research this enough. Not a well constructed responce. –  Griffin Feb 13 '13 at 16:50
    
@BilltheLizard Yet regarding the fundamentals it isn't possible to post questions the follow the instructions due to the fact that they don't have example and don't understand enough to ask propers. –  Griffin Feb 13 '13 at 16:52
    
@AndrewBarber There are also tons of forums out there that are just like SO. Usually however these forums are more personalized to a specific group of people but they are there for professionals who want professional responses. Also the reason these things are out there are because they are useful and needed. They wouldn't be so many of them if they weren't. –  Griffin Feb 13 '13 at 16:54
1  
I would remember that on SO, often some people seem to apply some "theoretical rules" which are usually not applied and officially not valid. But they seem revive them sometimes, for the stupefaction of who sees them applied. It happened that I saw my comments deleted for having asked if the OP had tried something. Said this, I agree that asking what the OP tried/searched is not an assault, but it seems like that some people still need to conform. –  Ramy Al Zuhouri Feb 13 '13 at 18:15

It pretty much depends on what you mean by being "noob friendly".

People (which may also include you) tend to confuse things. If you make a simple question, which has a simple answer, and the answer couldn't be found everywhere then your question is legitimate. If instead you ask a simple question, which has a simple answer, and this answer could be found with a simple research, then you shouldn't have asked the question.

This means that if the problem is not based on a question it is too simple or those who ask it lack knowledge. It's not simple->closed, instead it is no research->closed .

You can even replace "simple" with "hard" and that is still valid.

There some who confuse this concept, from both sides (answerers and askers). One may think : "I have asked a simple question and they've closed it", on the other side one may think: "I closed this question because it's too basic". They would both be wrong, sadly it often happens. Some people are too biased, and this is regularly associated with it being simple or too short, or too generic question with an off topic question. What you should do is just to comment, if you see that your question was legitimate, so that you did search things before asking it. If they close it as a duplicate, don't get too angry because of this, it may happens from time to time. Asking a duplicate question isn't said to be "symptom" of no research, because it may happen that you asked it with a different title from the duplicate one, so also searching with Google that problem wouldn't lead to the duplicate question. In this case accept it, and go to see the duplicate question. If the question doesn't satisfy your needs, ask to reopen it saying that the duplicate question wasn't enough to answer to your doubts. Post here if you need to debate over a closed question.

As for the last thing you ask, I think that this is the right place for asking questions even from newbies. Just ask it in a certain form, always search before asking, show your efforts and you'll be replied. Even simplest questions get an answer on this site if they're written correctly.

share|improve this answer
    
I believe you are right. Like I said however some people can be staring at the answer and not know it is the answer. If something is a duplicate feel free to close it because there is no reason for it. There are simple questions however that are not replied to positively simply because they are simple. This is where the problem lies. –  Griffin Feb 13 '13 at 18:08
3  
@Griffin: If that's the case, that's a problem - and I dare say that happens sometimes. What I see happening much more frequently is people complaining that SO is "elitist" when they've asked a simple question badly, and they assume it's the simplicity of the question which has earned them the downvote, when it's actually because they didn't put any visible effort into asking a good question. That's why I compiled tinyurl.com/so-hints and tinyurl.com/so-list. It's entirely possible to be new to a topic and still ask a good question, if you put in the effort. –  Jon Skeet Feb 13 '13 at 18:34
5  
@Griffin Everyone's a beginner at something or other. Take a look at one of my Sharepoint questions. The answer was, I was misunderstanding how something worked. Not understanding something doesn't get you downvotes; it's the lack of effort or clarity when you ask your question that attracts them. My question goes, "This is my problem. Here's how I understand it, and here's how I tested it. They don't match. What am I missing?". Showing effort and research is a basic requirement of the SE network. It's why it's better. –  fbueckert Feb 13 '13 at 20:41

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .