As everyone here well knows, we get a lot of questions on Stack Overflow. And, as some of us here probably already know, there is a quality filter in place for new users:
Also, there are certain quality filters applied to questions to try to ensure a clear title, a reasonable explanation of the question and correct use of English and actual sentences. When the tests fail, the post is rejected.
It's not just apocryphal. People actually get hit by this, and their question gets rejected. I think that's a good thing. I'm not sure of the accuracy of Jeff's one-time ballpark estimate that the worst 10% of questions get left behind, but I think it's a reasonable standard.
Why, then, do questions like this one still manage to get through?
It looks like a joke, like it might even be computer generated the way random keywords are just thrown in there. Except that we have computer algorithms that can automatically generate questions that blow this one away in terms of quality. Given a few attempts, monkeys at a keyboard could bang out something better than this. No, something this bad can only be the handiwork of a real person, and a special type of person at that: one who just doesn't care and can't be bothered. Do we really want this type of person, or their questions, on Stack Overflow? I know I don't.
So, let's strengthen the algorithm used to detect and filter out poor-quality questions. It is my claim that this one should never have gotten through.
Let's start by enforcing a simple minimum length requirement. You need more than 16 words to ask a question. If you don't, your question doesn't belong on Stack Overflow. It is impossible to state your problem, disclose your language/technology/environment, and briefly describe what you have already tried to solve the problem in any fewer than 30–50 words.
If you disagree, find some counter-examples of high quality questions that the site is better off for having that are so short they would have been automatically rejected. And make sure they're from new users, because obviously we could loosen the restrictions once someone hits 1k, 2k, or 5k reputation.
NB: I am strictly proposing that we do this on Stack Overflow. I realize that some of the other SE sites might not agree with the heavy-handedness of this approach. There might even be useful questions that can be asked on those sites that contain less than 30–50 words. I don't think that applies to SO.
If their community moderators decide that they want
the big guns our quality filters turned on, they can ask for them. Otherwise, the traffic is generally low enough there that these questions can be improved or disposed of. That strategy isn't working for SO. It's like drinking from a fire hose there. Even though most of these poor quality questions do eventually get purged, the overhead on our users is too great.
What do we stand to lose? And should we care?