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When I tried to post a question, I got the error message, "This post does not meet our quality standards." The post is below. I noticed that I saw red squiggly lines under some words in the post. Is this why I can't post my question?

This should be an easy one.

I have an XSLT file that correctly routes a level of XML based on the status of a single node:

<xsl:for-each select="Investments/Investment/Location[LowTaxes='Yes']">
<xsl:for-each select="Investments/Investment/Location[LowTaxes='No']">

Unfortunately some of the data doesn't have a node.

I would like to set the default to get picked up by the node, but when I do this:

<xsl:for-each select="Investments/Investment/Location[LowTaxes!='No']">

It appears to only pull in Location nodes that have "LowTaxes" children. The problem is I'm trying to account for the case where that node is omitted.

What can I do?


The Title is "xslt default in conditional logic" ... but I didn't see anything indicating the title was bad.

share|improve this question
Please don't use the bug tag from things that work as designed. It is not a software bug. – Oded May 16 '13 at 16:13
The red lines are probably due to your own spellchecker. As for your question triggering the filter, I can only guess it reacts in a bad way to This should be an easy one (or to your question title, which you do not mention). – Frédéric Hamidi May 16 '13 at 16:14
What's the title to your post? They recently bumped up the quality filter threshold, and I've seen many questions on meta like this where the title only needs to be changed to a full and proper English sentence for the post to pass the filter. – Rachel May 16 '13 at 16:15
What was the title of your question? Which tags were you using? – Matt May 16 '13 at 16:15
Omit statements such as, "This should be an easy one". It doesn't help anyone answer your question; it's noise that is distracting even if true. – Servy May 16 '13 at 16:21
In order to help you, we need the following information: The post's title; the exact text (using the exact way you would have posted it), and the tags you attempted to put on the question. – George Stocker May 16 '13 at 16:37
I'm not sure why this is being downvoted. – Asad Saeeduddin May 16 '13 at 16:48
@Servy: What is the basis of your assertion? In my thinking the pool of people who are willing to invest a second to answer easy questions is larger than the pool of people who want to answer hard questions. And informal content makes for easier reading. – micahhoover May 16 '13 at 17:40
@Asad Probably because the OP didn't include everything people would need to solve his problem (which is a symptom of a poorly written post. A little irony there). – George Stocker May 16 '13 at 17:41
@micahhoover I agree with Servy. We're willing to invest the time if you are. Posting well written content (and not making value judgments about its difficulty) helps to show people that you're not just throwing the problem over the wall and letting us deal with it for you. – George Stocker May 16 '13 at 17:42
@GeorgeStocker: Why are you telling me to stop making value judgments and then tell me I don't have "well written" content? You are making a value judgment. I don't have time for double standards. – micahhoover May 16 '13 at 17:57
@micahhoover We're trying to help you. You're being told why things may result in downvotes or not being able to post. It up to you to follow the advice given out here, or not follow it. I never said don't make a value judgement -- everyone does that. I'm saying don't make a value judgement on the difficulty of your problem. As servy pointed out, it distracts from the issue and gives the distinct impression (coupled with a less than stellar question) that you're just throwing something over the wall. I'm pretty sure you don't want to make that impression, that's why we're trying to help you. – George Stocker May 16 '13 at 18:00
@Oded The quality checker coming up with false positives fits within the definition of a bug – Sam I am May 16 '13 at 18:17
@SamIam - I'd call the filter over zealous, but not buggy ATM. We are working on improving it, however. – Oded May 16 '13 at 19:29

The Title is a big part of the quality check. Your title is ... lacking.

If a googler were to come across your post, what should they glean from the title?

xslt default in conditional logic

Looking at that title, I haven't the foggiest idea what you're getting at. Since that's the line that shows up on Google, it's important that it adequately explains the problem.

Now, contrast that with what you want them to glean from it.

You probably want someone to be able to have a picture in their mind of what you're trying to do, so if they're trying to do the same thing, they'll click on your post.

If you improve the title, your question would likely be accepted. Try something like the following:

How can I set a default value in an XSLT file when the XML doesn't have a node?

It's really important to write good content when you're posting a question. The only thing we know about you is what you write. You could have spent days on this problem, but without a well written question, it comes off like you're trying to take advantage of the community -- and that's part of the reason why the quality checks are in place.

As Jeff points out below, capitalization in titles is important. That may have hurt your in posting your question.

share|improve this answer
Google doesn't care about all those filler words. It will filter them out of the searches anyway. If this was really causing them problem, it should say so. How does the filter know whether you have the foggiest idea reading it? How would I? – micahhoover May 16 '13 at 17:51
Er.. What? Are you seriously using that as an excuse for not making a complete sentence? Titles are displayed in Google Searches, so even if the search algorithm doesn't care, readers searching in Google probably do care. When I do a search, I lean heavily on the title to decide whether or not to click, so please don't say that it doesn't matter. – Robert Harvey May 16 '13 at 17:56
@micahhoover As Robert Points out, Google may not care, but readers do. Are you writing it for the search engine or for people reading it? Also, do you write code for the compiler or for the people who will read it? – George Stocker May 16 '13 at 17:57
@GeorgeStocker: Sure, people are more important than google. I agree. I didn't bring up Google. – micahhoover May 16 '13 at 18:01
@RobertHarvey: Is "Er.. What?" A complete sentence? That might be the way you use google, and I don't blame you for that, but don't call me lazy because I can search the same thing in less words. "Eschew excess verbage". – micahhoover May 16 '13 at 18:03
@micahhoover: Note that someone has already proposed a feature request to indicate when askers are using a bad title, here: SE's developers are not omnipotent; like most shops, there are a limited number of them for an ongoing stream of feature requests, and they have to prioritize, just like every other software shop. – Robert Harvey May 16 '13 at 18:04
@micahhoover all lower case titles are a penalty, that's probably what pushed you over the edge here. Body seems clean though. – Jeff Atwood May 16 '13 at 18:49

Recent tweaks to the quality checks have left us a little overzealous about titles, while the intention was just to give bodies more scrutiny.

Starting with the next build we'll be a little more lenient about titles. Under the new check this post would have been let through, although the title could probably still have used some improvement in my opinion.

share|improve this answer
I'm not so sure this is a problem we want to solve. I'd love some examples of the last 100 or so titles that were rejected by the system, just so we could see if there's an actual problem. In this case, I feel like better feedback to the user would go farther than relaxing the requirements. Take this user's title, for instance. It'd have to be edited just to be useful to anyone else. – George Stocker May 17 '13 at 1:02
@George: I very much do want to attack that particular issue in the near future; however, right now this isn't quite working. Yes, the original title sucked - but it sucked for reasons that had very little to do with capitalization. Until we can tackle this properly, de-emphasizing that particular rule slightly should reduce confusion without having to crank down the overall quality threshold – Shog9 May 17 '13 at 4:36

My solution is simple: drop Stackoverflow.

Here's why:

It rejects your posts for vague, value-based reasons but you are not allowed to ask value-based questions.

It fails to tell you what you can do to fix it.

I am moving on to other forums.

share|improve this answer
So you're picking up your marbles and going home then? – Robert Harvey May 16 '13 at 17:59
"It fails to tell you what you can do to fix it." so this is...what exactly? – Servy May 16 '13 at 18:01
Displaying an unclear error message is definitely a problem that SE needs to fix. The Quality Filter algorithm was originally designed to stop really low quality questions from getting posted, however a few weeks ago they decided to bump it up a bit, and since then we've gotten a lot of questions here about how to fix fairly reasonable questions so they pass. We can't fix the filter ourselves, but we can tell you why it's rejecting your question and how to get around it (in your case, it doesn't like the title because it's not a proper sentence). – Rachel May 16 '13 at 18:06
@Rachel: Feel free to upvote this feature request – Robert Harvey May 16 '13 at 18:13
@RobertHarvey Already have :) – Rachel May 16 '13 at 18:14
The problem was acknowledged and corrected, and advice was given on how you could have avoided the problem altogether. You could have stuck around and continued to use the site after the problem had been resolved. Of course, leaving in a huff is much more dramatic, so bye I guess. – Asad Saeeduddin May 16 '13 at 23:26

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