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I asked: Would installing different versions of libssl cause problems?

Then I thought about migrating it to Super User.

I got this answer:

The question should be fine for Super User.

You kind of have 2 questions there though. One resulting from the XY problem approach. If you want to know how to get Spotify to run on a Debian release it wasn't intended for, then you should probably ask that and just note what you have tried.

When I read about the XY problem, I started to think, "Is a "How To" question, considered to be the best type of question?" Or is it better to be a bit more specific?.

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You might want to focus on a single question here. Putting multiple questions into a question is usually not a great approach. –  Bart Aug 19 '13 at 14:28
    
@Bart i edited it, it is better now or should improve it in some way? –  Fischer Aug 19 '13 at 14:31
    
Much better. Thanks. :) –  Bart Aug 19 '13 at 14:33

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The danger with a "how to" or "how do I do X" question is that it's very easy to ask for a general tutorial and be way too broad and vague for Stack Overflow. Remember that questions should be specific and demonstrate what you've tried, how much you've understood and where you've failed.

It's OK to ask a very specific how-to (like "How to save a pointer to a virtual base subobject" in C++) if you present the usual minimal example code and explain where you're stuck. But even then I'd hardly call it "the best type of question". On the other hand, if you basically need a whole subject explained to you, as in "How to design a graphics engine for a game?", then you're definitely way off.

In a nutshell: always be specific and make your best effort before asking, and don't treat Stack Overflow as a repository of tutorials. A "how to" question can be appropriate, but can also be a very bad idea.

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