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Recently, I've asked a question:

Programming language implemented both in Java and Java Script

It got 3 downvotes really quickly (I think the first downvote happened even before anyone had a time to really read my question).

So, what is the reason for that? One of the user described this question as "not constructive" and not fitting the Q&A format. Is that the case? Is this question really not a good fit for Stack Overflow?

Edit: I know there is no good answer for this question, but maybe some more experienced users will be able to explain what I'm obviously missing.

share|improve this question
I get the argument against its constructiveness (it's a bit of list question), but I don't see why it was downvoted quickly. It's well written, on topic (albeit perhaps not constructive) and you've done at least some research and was kind enough to share it with us. I won't sympathy upvote (because I truly hate the practice), just noting my disagreement with the downvotes. – Yannis Apr 8 '13 at 11:02
For starters: It's called JavaScript or Javascript, not "Java Script". Code tags are not for highlighting of words and shopping and recommendation questions are off-topic on SO. But maybe I misunderstood your question there? – Time Traveling Bobby Apr 8 '13 at 11:03
Please note that despite the discussion, I wasn't the one downvoting. :) I figured that would be a reason for the users to downvote though, but I for one think flagging and downvoting should be kept for seperate goals. People use it together way too often. – Joetjah Apr 8 '13 at 11:16
@Joetjah - even if you were downvoting, that's okay ;) I just wanted to know why my question was so wrong while tons of really poor ones are being edited instead of dovnvoted or closed. I think I understand it now, so I'm at peace now ;) – kamituel Apr 8 '13 at 11:32
up vote 9 down vote accepted

The main problem is that it's a "find me a tool" question. We don't really do that, in general.

Also, your question is missing some information. For example, you say that you're banned from using eval, a standard JavaScript function. This rules out one possibility. What else are you "banned" from using that might rule out other possibilities? You say "etc", but what exactly does that mean?

I would also say that your restricted JavaScript environment may make your question too localized for the "not-you" demographic.

share|improve this answer
Thanks! I may've stated this not very clearly (I'll edit my SO question in a sec) - what I meant is that "I'm not allowed to execute string" so any technique like eval(), function constructors etc. are banned. Also, I asked for the language written in JS, not compiled to JS, so I think it's not too localized? Also, can you point me to the place in FAQ which states that "we don't do the 'find me a tool'" questions? I've found this in the FAQ: "if your question covers... software tools commonly used by programmers" "then you’re in the right place to ask your question!". – kamituel Apr 8 '13 at 11:09
@kamituel: "Also, I asked for the language written in JS, not compiled to JS, so I think it's not too localized?" I would say it probably is. Most people who want to run a language within JavaScript will want it to run as fast as possible. And "as fast as possible" would mean "convert it to JavaScript". Most users of JS have ready and free access to eval and such. So I would guess that there aren't a lot of users who have need of dynamic execution of code in an environment that specifically forbids dynamic execution of code. – Nicol Bolas Apr 8 '13 at 11:12
Your explanation (about question being too localized) actually makes sense. But the others (being not constuctive or advising asking questions which need to have only one correct answer) are not IMO. Thanks! BTW, can you point me to the place in FAQ which states that "we don't do the 'find me a tool' questions"? I've found this: "if your question covers... software tools commonly used by programmers" "then you’re in the right place to ask your question!". – kamituel Apr 8 '13 at 11:24
@kamituel: that may be worded a bit badly; the intent is that if you're asking a specific question about how to use a specific tool (say, git) that's not about programming per se but about using the tool as a programmer in a scenario supporting your programming, then your question is probably on-topic. – Wooble Apr 8 '13 at 13:16

Here are a couple of things that could be improved on. Firstly, there isn't a definitive answer to your question because you are asking a question about which programming language you should use, which is opinion based. You are asking someone their opinion about a programming language that they use that you'd like to use too.

Also (this is reletively minor), the formatting is a bit excessive. You don't need to have a code block unless you are actually writing code. This is an example of when you should use a code block:

$ git commit origin master

You shouldn't use a code block if you are referring to a programming language like Javascript. However, it is appropriate to use a code block when you are referring to a piece of code you may use in a programming language, for example when you referred to setTimeout()

The main point is that you need to write clear, objective-based questions that will usually have only one correct answer. Opinion based questions are too open-ended for Stack Overflow (or any Stack Exchange site for that matter)

share|improve this answer
I'm not asking about an opinion on programming language. I'm asking about the programming language's implementations which meet my criteria. I think that's a difference, isn't it? – kamituel Apr 8 '13 at 11:14
@kamituel The thing is, people's answers are going to be along the lines of "I like using Language X for this type of task". The problem is when someone else says that they use Language Y, and someone else says they use Language Z. All of these are opinions about the respective programming languages and you can't tell which one is correct (opinions can't be correct or incorrect). That's why I said that your question was opinion-based – user216620 Apr 8 '13 at 11:16
Also, if those two people both answered with a different tool, who would get the "Correct answer" mark? – Joetjah Apr 8 '13 at 11:17
@Joetjah Exactly! And why would anyone post an answer on Stack Overflow if they had no chance of getting their hands on some of that juicy rep (please don't mention community wiki...) – user216620 Apr 8 '13 at 11:19
@davblayn - so if user answers starting a discussion or a flame, we should downvote this answer, not the question IMO. Also, I would accept the answer which was the most helpful to me, and upvote other helpful answers. – kamituel Apr 8 '13 at 11:20
I don't care about reputation (lol I lied) but I would be hearthbroken to see the other guy's answer getting accepted while I'm sure mine is better!!! – Joetjah Apr 8 '13 at 11:20
@kamituel Comments cannot be downvoted. And what would make an answer the correct one? That's your personal opinion about the tool... – Joetjah Apr 8 '13 at 11:22
@kamituel People don't really flame on Stack Overflow, but if a question doesn't have a single answer that can be backed up with facts instead of opinions, the question isn't going to go very far. That's just how Stack Overflow works – user216620 Apr 8 '13 at 11:23

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