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Seeing how these somewhat related threads got received, I'm hesitant to ask...:

Feature Request: ignore questions asked by low reputation users

Filtering out questions from unregistered users

[Ducks]

Look... I realize that SE needs to be welcoming to newcomers. And it's really great if some generous SE users have spare time to assist users who should in fact be posting jobs on eLance or Amazon Turk or wherever. Really, really great. On their behalf, thank you!

But personally, I wish this was a Q/A site for programmers by programmers.

Would it be possible to add a filter that only shows questions asked by users who have proven their ability to actually provide answers?

If not, could the SO template be changed to always display who the original poster is, rather than (or in addition to) whoever edited or answered his question?

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lol, Amazon Turk :) I agree with the spirit of this suggestion, but not its contents (as reputation is never going to be a good identifier for how good a programmer someone is.) –  Pëkka Apr 28 '13 at 14:17
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@Pekka웃: Well, that kind of was the point of my highlighting prior suggestions... I'd care less about the rep (of which you can get plenty by sticking to asking questions) than I care about the questions asked by users who are also able to (or at least take the time to) deliver answers. Put another way, I'm less interested in whether they've rep 1 or 1k than I care about whether their answer to question ratio is != 0. –  Denis Apr 28 '13 at 14:32
    
"could the SO template be changed to always display who the original poster is, rather than (or in addition to) whoever edited or answered his question?". Why? What benefit does this have? All you're doing is hiding useful information. –  Asad Apr 28 '13 at 14:40
    
@Asad: you're not hiding anything if it's the person responsible for the latest activity is side by side with the original poster. –  Denis Apr 28 '13 at 14:47
    
@Denis Sorry, I misunderstood your suggestion. I thought you were proposing changes to the question page, not the question feed. My bad.\ –  Asad Apr 28 '13 at 15:52
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May I suggest to turn your proposal on its head? When a user posts a question, they get the option to also make it visible to grumpy old gits (GOGs). Default: unchecked. In every user's profile there would be a checkbox where one can assess one self as a GOG. Default: unchecked. Like that people like me can self-assess their status as GOGs and newbies get a friendlier welcome and fewer downvotes :-) –  Monolo Apr 28 '13 at 17:13

1 Answer 1

Firstly, "by programmers for programmers" is meaningless. Anyone who can write code is a programmer -- maybe an amateur programmer, but a programmer nonetheless. By this definition everyone on SO with posts under their name (except spammers) is a programmer.

Would it be possible to add a filter that only shows questions asked by users who have proven their ability to actually provide answers?

No. Why? You are effectively deprived of a good source of community members. And you're destroying SOs worth. Relatively few people start on SO by answering. Most ask questions first. Some of them go on to become great answerers. Some don't.

Either way, a large portion of your community is from people who asked first. I started off on Physics.SE in much the same way: I asked a question, liked the place, and stayed over. However, the only reason I stayed was that I quickly got comments and upvotes helping me. If I had gotten crickets, I would have just left.

Besides, a lot of the questions seem to come from these people whose questions get ignored.. If I'm stuck and need help, I'm not going to spend time answering stuff till I reach the threshold. I'll pack up and go elsewhere. I'm pretty certain that almost everyone will use this filter if it was implemented, which means that SO's value in "getting good answers" will be diminished.

In the end, we would end up diminishing a massive source of community members and a source of questions. That's not good.

Stack Overflow is not, and should never be, an "elite club". Elitism in online communities always causes big issues and harms the community. You see a bad question? Close it and comment. Don't ignore it.

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"I'm pretty certain that almost everyone will use this filter if it was implemented" -- Seeing how the thread got downvoted, I doubt it. "which means that SO's value in "getting good answers" will be diminished" -- Or increased, depending on your viewpoint: for all you know, some good answerers might stay around longer if not for the flood of questions they'd rather not see. Not saying I'm a good answerer myself, but returning to this site after an 18-month leave kind of gave me the impression I was diving straight back into a sewer. –  Denis Apr 28 '13 at 14:44
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@Denis: this is meta. Most of the folks on meta understand the big picture. From what I've seen on main and in SO chat, there is a clear tendency towards elitism. About getting good answers: Your point is illogical; I'm talking about people who aren't answerers asking in the hope of getting good answers. The "good answerers [who] might stay around longer if not for the flood of questions they'd rather not see" won't see these questions in the first place. –  Manishearth Apr 28 '13 at 14:47
    
In the end, a small bit of diligent users will be giving good answers to the new questions, and a large majority will thrive in their own elite layer of SO. –  Manishearth Apr 28 '13 at 14:47
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Yeah, and that's precisely my point. I don't want to see questions asked by users who I should tell "dude, just send me an email and I'll send you a quote for the job done". I really, honestly don't. It's a turn off and it's draining. I do, however, care to see the occasional question asked by users who actually know what they're talking about and need a second opinion or advice on an edge case. Those, I learn from. The gazillion "how do I parse this using a regex" or "what's wrong with my code", not so much. –  Denis Apr 28 '13 at 14:50

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