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After adding a particular tag, such as

this super helpful assistant will pop-up to suggest what their question should contain:

Since forcing users to get badges or asking them "what have you tried?" to improve question quality isn't working, this seems like a viable alternative.

The nice thing about this is that it will allow the community to create standards (or a "tag-tip" wiki) for what each tag should say.

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Did you really just invoke Clippy? (Now I'm going to start having the nightmares again.) –  Al E. Apr 29 '13 at 18:57
Upvoted for "help the helpless " - This is what we're here for. Thank You Very Much –  Adel Apr 29 '13 at 18:58
This is the first implementation of the "show tag-based info" idea that I actually like. –  Pëkka Apr 29 '13 at 18:59
This really should be a unicorn assistant, though.... –  JNK Apr 29 '13 at 19:01
Who creates/edits the tag tip wiki? Anyone? People with a certain number of answers in that tag? –  Martin Smith Apr 29 '13 at 19:20
At the risk of appearing too dorky even for Meta, I vote we twist Clippy into the shape of the Angel Investigations logo. (Can also be used to dust help vampires.) –  Bill the Lizard Apr 29 '13 at 19:21
Memories of clippycorn –  Oded Apr 29 '13 at 19:33
@MartinSmith If this feasible, I would suggest the same rep privileges apply for tag-tips that do for tag edits. –  Kermit Apr 29 '13 at 19:38
For clippy's sake, can this just stay closed or open? –  Kermit Apr 30 '13 at 13:23
wtf. This was reopened by 5 community members, why did it have to be closed again unilaterally? Please reopen - it is distinct from the other suggestion in that it has a concrete suggestion with a screen shot. –  Pëkka Apr 30 '13 at 13:32
Clippy? That's ridiculous, it'll turn people off immediately. Try this –  Ben Brocka Apr 30 '13 at 20:29
@BenBrocka Navi, clippy etc... Are you guys kidding ? You all know what we need –  ʞunɥdɐpɐɥd Apr 30 '13 at 20:41
@random it's not about clippy, it's about how also the selection of example tips hit the mark (unlike the other question, which otherwise is perfectly fine of course). That small difference made the suggestion fare much better than the original one... look at the votes. Not that you weren't correct in closing it, technically. –  Pëkka May 1 '13 at 8:44
This could have helped me for sure. –  user243903 Dec 7 '13 at 19:43
This is a really good proposal! I can already see the annoying assembly postings which really are net-assembly vanish like snow in the sun. :) Not really, but it may help. :) –  Devolus Dec 7 '13 at 19:50

2 Answers 2

There are certain tips for writing good questions that new users particularly don't abide by, for which they are often chided via comments and told to edit their questions. A large percentage of comments relate only to not obeying these tips. Further, lots of questions are closed ultimately, because they don't follow such tips.

As you said, the tips vary greatly depending on the context (that is, tags) of the question. Here's a few examples:

  • : Include RDBMS tag, relevant schema, sample data and a link to an SQLFiddle of same and desired output
  • : Don't "code dump", make sure posted code compiles, create an short, self contained, correct compilable, example (SSCCE)
  • : Post examples of text that should match and text that should not match. Post a link to an on-line regular expression tester with your sample input and attempted regular expression.


It would be great if such tag-sensitive question-writing tips were shown to the user as they were writing their question, rather than waiting for them to write the question and then get a raft of negative comments and have to edit it. The tag data would have to have a new attribute(s) for "question tips" (possibly a child entity for many).

As tags are added to a question, a panel could appear on the right with the relevant tips with (links to) sample questions demonstrating each tip.

The information about tips would be community driven with the tag-edit being enhanced to allow experts (for example, 1000 reputation points in the tag) to edit the tips.

Certain tags would "inherit" their tips from a "parent" tag, for example, , and would all use the tips of .

I don't think tips should disappear after a certain number of reputation points is reached, because the tips are always relevant, and advanced users tend to answer questions, not ask them.

Further suggestion (tougher to implement, but very cool IMHO):

Do the above, but write some JavaScript code to detect when it seemed like the tips weren't being followed, and prompt the user to refine the question before posting it.

I don't know if this is the kind of answer you're looking for, but I was about to write my question on this exact topic, and noticed this duplicate. I think it's an awesome idea, and it would save lots of people lots of time correcting badly-written questions.

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A simple proposal for the "Further suggestion" part: If the asker has less than x rep (something low in the range 100-250 maybe?), add a checkbox to the tag tips that needs to be checked before the question can be posted. This ensures the user can't just ignore it / is made aware of it - the context sensitive helpers we have atm (similar questions, post preview) seem to often be ignored as many new users aren't even able to format their question wihle seeing a live preview. Of course the mandatory checkbox should be removed once the user has sufficient reputation and should know the ropes. –  l4mpi Feb 21 at 10:56
@l4mpi That's a brilliant idea. Simple to do, but I imagine it might have quite a positive impact. –  Kuba Ober Feb 21 at 20:20

Yes this should be implemented. Someone get on it.

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+1 for brevity. –  Kermit Feb 20 at 17:17

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