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Today this question was posted in SO were the OP just posted a link with a bunch of minified JS/jQuery code.

I went for it, fixed indenting and found the "bug".

Should I have not answered and vote to close (and comment why);
or just answer (and complain a bit about the question - I had to!);
or answer and vote to close because it a bad formulated question?

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I think you did well, though most chances that question is going down soon and you'll lose the reputation gained for the answer. –  Shadow Wizard Aug 29 '13 at 15:01
@ShaWizDowArd, hmmm, you mean it will probably be auto-deleted? Didn't think of that, I just felt the kick to solve it ... –  Sergio Aug 29 '13 at 15:04
What @sha said. You are always welcome to answer questions and help people any way you like. Just keep in mind the risk of losing any rep if the question gets deleted. –  Andrew Barber Aug 29 '13 at 15:04
There is a reversal badge that kind of encourages answering bad questions. The vast majority of questions associated with this badge seem to have been deleted though. –  Martin Smith Aug 29 '13 at 15:06
@Andrew & ShaWizDowArd, that is a good point. Anyway in terms of how should I act in this cases is a bit "up to me"? Just didn't wanted to vote to close and have double moral of answering and closing so other answers will not be posted. –  Sergio Aug 29 '13 at 15:07
@Sergio not auto deleted since your answer was upvoted, but deleted by high rep members. It takes 5 users with 3K+ reputation to close then 3 users with 10K+ rep to delete. (20K+ users can delete faster, 10K-20K need to wait two days) –  Shadow Wizard Aug 29 '13 at 15:18
@ShaWizDowArd, thank you for the info. It does make me think twice next time! –  Sergio Aug 29 '13 at 15:19
@MartinSmith: I don't think the Reversal badge comes into play here; it only encourages answering a really bad question with a really good answer. It's virtually impossible to achieve on your common garden-variety bad question; it would need to be epically bad, but with a hidden grain of truth that causes a whole lot of people to say "wow, +1 I never thought of that" when you give the answer. Implausible at the best of times: anything with a few down votes is to be closed (so you can't answer anyway), or at best ignored (so no-one upvotes your answer). Possible on meta, but not on SO. –  Spudley Aug 29 '13 at 15:57
@Spudley - Looking at the most recent couple of reversal badges this isn't true. Just providing a conspicuously overly long detailed answer seems to have worked there. –  Martin Smith Aug 29 '13 at 16:02
I've suggested that we should add some guidance in the help center for this sort of situation meta.stackexchange.com/questions/182812/… –  apaul34208 Aug 29 '13 at 16:03
My first instinct was not the reverse badge when answering a "falling downvoted" question, but when reading all comment my conclusion is that maybe the reversal badge makes not much sense if the answer should not be answered. Actually just 153 badges have been given. –  Sergio Aug 29 '13 at 16:11
@MartinSmith - maybe true for those questions, but with only 153 reversals in the history of SO, they're clearly the exceptions that prove the rule. –  Spudley Aug 29 '13 at 16:13

2 Answers 2

up vote 14 down vote accepted

No one can stop you from answering this kind of question, but since you asked if you "should", in my opinion, no, you should not.

When people get answers to the kinds of questions which attract -9 scores (which, admittedly, seems a bit harsh), it teaches them that they should keep posting those kinds of questions.

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Despite what I said above, I also agree with this! –  Andrew Barber Aug 29 '13 at 15:10
Thank you for the feedback. –  Sergio Aug 29 '13 at 15:18
I don't know if this is a big problem. The -9 is as good a teacher as the fact that they got an answer. So is the eventual question ban that kicks in. Keep downvoting, but you can answer all you want. –  Cody Gray Aug 30 '13 at 4:45

Most of the time I see minified code I de-minifie it with http://jsbeautifier.org/ a real nice tool.

If you can solve the problem you probably should post it. But when you need to debug someone else's code because they are to lazy to debug it them self you should downvote and leave.

Probably you spend 15 minutes on that question and another 15 on this post. Calculate it with you hour rate.. It worthless, even for that little 'kick'

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