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For these two questions:

  1. Is empty case of switch in C# combined with the next non-empty one? [closed]

  2. Switch statement fallthrough in C#?

I tried to improve the closed one. I'm am thinking their focus are similar, but the closed one looks simpler.

So I'm wondering is a simpler question better than a complicated one? Is an easier understood question considered more helpful?

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Why do you think the difference in whether these two questions is closed is that one is simple and one is complicated? Which question should I answer - why was one closed and why is the other one not, or is a simple question better than a complicated one? –  djechlin Mar 17 '13 at 14:38
    
@djechlin: Nothing about closed or not. Just is a simple question better than a complicated one. Sorry about picked a closed question for the examples. –  Ken Kin Mar 17 '13 at 14:46

5 Answers 5

up vote 2 down vote accepted

So I'm wondering is a simpler question better than a complicated one? Is an easier understood question considered more helpful?

It's hard to imagine a successful argument to the effect that questions should be more difficult to understand than necessary! So yes, questions should be as easy to understand as you can make them. If you can take a complicated question and make it simple without losing the meaning of the question, then a simple question is certainly better than its more complicated equivalent.

However, simple doesn't necessarily mean "short" or "lacking details." Context is important to help people understand what you're asking; it's only when the reader understands what you're talking about that you can ask a "simple" question. One of the most important functions of comments is to help askers get the amount of context right -- we want them to include some code or details of what they're trying to do, but not too much code or unnecessary details.

Clarity is more important than simplicity. Even if it's never stated explicitly anywhere, clarity is a deeply held value on StackOverflow, and you can see it in the kind of edits we prefer. Edits that remove noise, like "Hi!" and "Thanks," are encouraged. Edits which improve spelling, grammar, or formatting, or which otherwise make a question or answer easier to understand are strongly encouraged. Edits which change the meaning of a post are likely to be rejected unless it's obvious that the goal is to correct an error.

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One of those questions is very old, and old questions tend to have more up-votes than brand new ones

secondly, the question that is not closed is simply a different question.


  • The closed question is asking whether an example combines the 2 switch statements
    • you have people correctly leaving comments saying "well run it and see"

  • The non-closed question is asking about why you can't have certain types of switch statement fall-through in c#.
    • this question doesn't have a "run it and see" answer, and is therefore less closable
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By my personal understanding, the only difference between whether it would be and why it is not, is the latter has a additional assumption of a positive conclusion. Since that assumption is broken by the asker's experience, then question falls to an essential question of whether it would be. –  Ken Kin Mar 19 '13 at 3:22

Yes, I think it is. However, it depends on circumstance. A simpler question, as in easier to understand the question is always better. However, we always want difficult to answer, complex questions like this rather than a question about addition. It's much more about clarity.

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1  
I don't think that is a complex question, but rather a question about the elusive side of something so close to us in daily life. –  nhahtdh Mar 15 '13 at 13:51
    
@nhahtdh: A complex topic, I'll say. –  Linuxios Mar 15 '13 at 13:52
    
Simple and clear. I'm accepting a detaild one. –  Ken Kin Mar 20 '13 at 6:25

Questions should always be simple. Then provide the details for your question. I've seen people use a whole paragraph for a question, which really has several questions within it. That is what makes it complicated.

Always state your single question simply. Then in a paragraph describing the details of your question. Then in another paragraph or two, describe your overall goal. This will allow those helping you to see what your trying to do, and might have a better solution to offer than what your trying to do in the first place.

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You must be intelligent when you want ask a question. The length of your question is not important. You must ask the question clearly and completely.

I ask everyone to be clear when they want ask. Sometimes they don't know what they want exactly, so answering their questions is just wasting time.

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