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We have beaucoup (lots, a plethora, gobs) of "Give me teh codez" questions in the regex tag, and they aren't getting closed.

Are we OK allowing these questions to proliferate? They are easy to answer and a really cheap way of getting lots of rep, but they also (in my opinion) run completely against the mission of SO.

All of these questions were asked yesterday and none have even a single close vote:

Update
Glad to see these are getting closed via the meta-effect, but there are many, many, many more. Does anyone have ideas about how we might address this more systematically? Or do we simply need volunteers to rigorously patrol this tag?

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I find it disturbing that such questions get upvotes. –  Time Traveling Bobby Jul 11 '13 at 14:43
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Edit by a >3k user does not mean he accepts the question. He may as well at the same time vote to close it. I think I remember on Drupal Answers question edited by diamond moderator and then some time later closed by him. –  Mołot Jul 11 '13 at 14:43
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@Molot - point is, users with close priveleges are seeing these questions but aren't doing anything about them. It's like the regex tag has become it's own secret little rep generator. –  JDB Jul 11 '13 at 14:47
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@M.NightDemonbobby If they were upvoted before then meta air support seems to have seen to that –  Richard Tingle Jul 11 '13 at 14:49
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@Cyborgx37 edited is not a problem, edited and not voted to close indeed is. But in case of old question it's possible that close vote was there some time ago and simply dissolved due to lack of other votes, right? –  Mołot Jul 11 '13 at 14:49
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@Mołot - That's why I picked questions from yesterday. Close votes could not have dissolved, so they were never voted on. If you scroll through regex questions from the last few days, you'll see that somewhere over 50% of regex questions basically show no effort. These examples were ridiculously easy to find. –  JDB Jul 11 '13 at 14:52
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@Cyborgx37 Yea, you have my support (and upvote) all right. –  Mołot Jul 11 '13 at 14:55
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I think you picked a couple of bad examples that were unfortunately closed by the Meta effect. They showed effort. –  minitech Jul 11 '13 at 15:00
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@minitechη You are correct about the first example - I'll remove it from my list. I would argue that the second showed almost no research effort at all, but I will remove it as well and find a better example. –  JDB Jul 11 '13 at 15:02
    
@Cyborgx37: Maybe it’s not that good, but people have to learn somehow. And if it’s actually just someone being lazy… darn. –  minitech Jul 11 '13 at 15:06
    
@M.NightDemonbobby I suspect the upvotes are from answerers. –  Asad Jul 11 '13 at 15:10
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@benisuǝqbackwards This isn't a duplicate. That one is about giving regex questions more descriptive titles. This one is about how to deal with the awful proliferation of gimmecodezplzthx in the regex tag (with the suggested solution being closing). –  Asad Jul 11 '13 at 15:14
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Its a bizzare meta effect, vaguely related topics are closed as duplicates –  Richard Tingle Jul 11 '13 at 15:56
    
@minitechη - I reviewed that first question again, and it looks like you added the code that the user "tried". I don't see any reference to that attempt in the comments, etc. Where did you get that? –  JDB Jul 11 '13 at 17:14
    
@Cyborgx37: Ah, I deleted the comments. It was just one “what have you tried” and one “I tried this”. –  minitech Jul 11 '13 at 18:13

2 Answers 2

To some extent this sort of thing seems to be up to the tag readership. After all the tag is a bit similar - we don't tend to complain as much about give me code type questions [in fact, not as much as I think we ought to, but anyway]. probably doesn't care as much about it as other tags.

However, I also think that regex questions are a little different here. You can't really ask most regex questions without sounding like 'gimme code' to some extent; in most cases, regexes are self-contained code after all, and while you could answer with 'Try positive lookahead' or similar, it's usually easier to just show rather than tell.

I'd also note that the questions you linked to weren't particularly bad, overall; the first one, for example, showed what he tried, and just needed to be told how to replace properly.

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Well, what they tried was edited in by a moderator 8 minutes ago. Presumably as a result of comment discussion –  Richard Tingle Jul 11 '13 at 15:03
    
Some of the discussion on this question is related. –  nickhar Jul 11 '13 at 15:12
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I suspect the permissiveness of this in the regex tag is not the result of attitudes in the "tag readership community". I doubt that regex has a community the way language tags do. Rather, as the OP notes, gobs of people from all sort of languages know regex, and it's a quick route to gaining rep, so it's hard to police. –  joran Jul 11 '13 at 15:20
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Regex questions are so often garbage I've just stopped looking at them. It seems like a pointless effort. –  Raedwald Jul 11 '13 at 18:58
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You can always post what you've tried. That's all that's expected - show us you tried. Were not that difficult to get along with - but these questions are just specs/requirements. "Hey, my boss told me to do this. I don't know how, so can someone else do it for me?" Again - that's fine if, say, I was a co-worker. I don't begrudge beginners. But, if I'm not mistaken, this site is primarily about quality, and these just aren't good questions. The answers they generate are almost useless to anyone except the author. –  JDB Jul 11 '13 at 20:49

This is VERY prevalent in the MS-Access (and related) tags. Access (and VBA in general) is very much a "starter" language. There are LOADS of n00bs who have no experience at all, trying to do things without even a fundamental knowledge of programming. Asking for SQL strings, and not even knowing enough to replace "SELECT * from YourTableName" with THEIR TABLE NAME. But is this a bad thing? It seems the purpose of SO is to help programmers of ALL levels. In this case, BECAUSE Access is so "new-user friendly", those types of questions are probably helpful to many visitors. With regards to regex, I think a lot of time it's just not possible to help someone without giving them explicit code.

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So do we suspend the stack overflow rules for specific tags? Doesn't that strike at the heart of those rules - that without those rules, the quality of the site will degrade? I think the effect is already obvious in regex - there's very little there worth reading. The noise to signal ratio is too high. Really... how many people need a regular expression to find position of the last alpha character that is followed by a space? –  JDB Jul 11 '13 at 20:33
    
I don't own the site. I have no vested interest in it. But I help people with Access because I'm particularly good at it, and I remember when I was a n00b and teh Intarwebz didn't really exist. It sucked trying to find help. If you want SO to look elitist, then feel free to kill every question that doesn't read like an SAT exam question. Personally, I don't think that's what "the creators" had in mind. –  Johnny Bones Jul 11 '13 at 20:37
    
If you want a clear vision of SO from the creators, please read The War of the Closes –  JDB Jul 11 '13 at 20:42
    
I'd rather spend my time answering questions. :o) –  Johnny Bones Jul 11 '13 at 20:43
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OK, that's fair. Not sure why you jumped into a meta discussion, though. ;O) –  JDB Jul 11 '13 at 20:46

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