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How can I display something where the user's insertion point is using javascript/jquery?

Someone is asking a question about autocomplete options for jQuery. Admittedly the subject line is misleading, but why the -3 downvote for asking such a question? Does it provide value to the person asking the question? Does it provide value to the community? Please help me understand the benefits of downvoting this particular question without providing a comment or context.

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marked as duplicate by Josh Caswell, Martijn Pieters, Eliah Kagan, Emrakul, apaul34208 Nov 2 '13 at 16:40

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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No snark intended, but there's a tooltip for the downvote button that seems pretty clear. Prior to the edit, no research was shown or indicated. Even after the edit, it's not spectacular. –  LittleBobbyTables Nov 1 '13 at 19:09
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@thegrinner not a duplicate in this case - I'm asking specifically in the context of the aforementioned question. –  remus Nov 1 '13 at 19:11
    
@LBT that's all fine and dandy - thanks for the answer. How does the person posting that question learn to do that though? Downvoting isn't going to help him learn to ask better questions. –  remus Nov 1 '13 at 19:12
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You should start by looking at the comments on that question. There are two that indicate problems with the question. Both are likely reasons for downvoting. To be specific, the first is indicating that the question doesn't demonstrate what he tried, the second is saying that there are lots of existing solutions widely available/accessible, and that the author didn't do his research in finding them. The difference is that rather than explaining what the question did wrong, they are phased as to how the author should fix the problems (which is amazing, as it's much more constructive). –  Servy Nov 1 '13 at 19:18
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@r3mus - You just joined today. Might want to read through some posts before you start telling people how the machine is supposed to work. To the best of my knowledge, there are no mind-readers here. Nor is anyone paid to help anyone. If the OP can't construct a good question, people have the right to downvote it as a way to voice their opinion. As LBT said, the question showed no research effort. You then came here and posted a question that's already been answered, which showed no research effort. –  Johnny Bones Nov 1 '13 at 19:19
    
@r3mus -- ideally, the user should have already read How to Ask when they first joined the site. –  LittleBobbyTables Nov 1 '13 at 19:19
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@r3mus Presumably the other people who downvoted saw the existing comments expressing their concerns, and so felt no need to comment further, which is great. I'd be annoyed if there were 4 other comments all saying the same thing. As for them not being constructive, I think they're very constructive, they are polite, not rude, and lead the author towards what he needs to change in his question for it to be good enough. As a result of those comments he edited his post which does begin to address those points, thus improving it (it's not quite there yet though). Seems constructive to me. –  Servy Nov 1 '13 at 19:23
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@JohnnyBones I created this /meta/ account today, following the instructions on how to have a meta-based conversation about SE. I've been a community member for >1y. –  remus Nov 1 '13 at 19:23
    
@r3mus - Meta and SE are different animals. You'll learn that once you've been around a little longer. –  Johnny Bones Nov 1 '13 at 19:25
    
@Servy none were constructive though. I guess that was my original point. Just find it extremely unhelpful. I know there are posts all over the place about the problem and that it needs fixing; just wanted some context on this question in particular. –  remus Nov 1 '13 at 19:25
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@r3mus What about them was not constructive? As a result of the comments the author improved the post, they are pointing out problems, explaining how to fix them, and are not rude or impolite. They're almost textbook constructive comments in my eyes. –  Servy Nov 1 '13 at 19:26
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@Johnny Your tone is very abrupt and unwelcoming to somebody you believed to be a new user. A little friendliness costs nothing. –  Duncan Nov 1 '13 at 19:29
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@r3mus As I said before, "Presumably the other people who downvoted saw the existing comments expressing their concerns, and so felt no need to comment further, which is great. I'd be annoyed if there were 4 other comments all saying the same thing." –  Servy Nov 1 '13 at 19:30
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@Duncan agreed - we're a community helping people. Positivity goes a long way to making the community better. –  remus Nov 1 '13 at 19:34
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@JohnnyBones New people sometimes have problems understanding how SO works. They are lost and don't always know how to find help/do research effectively. Sometimes English is a problem.Same for people asking for explanation here. Isn't it better that they ask and learn how to use the site effectively? I think we should try to be a bit more patient towards new users on SO and here and give them guidance. Witty comments are all good but not always the most helpful. –  Szymon Nov 1 '13 at 19:43

2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

If you want to know why the question was downvoted, of course the obligatory answer is you can never know. You can guess, or make educated guesses. We can certainly point out problems in the post that may have contributed to it being downvoted, but we can't know.

Moving on, we can start by looking at the comments on that question. There are two that indicate problems with the question. Both are likely indicating reasons for downvoting.

To be specific, the first is indicating that the question doesn't demonstrate what the author tried. The second is saying that there are lots of existing solutions widely available/accessible, and that the author didn't do his research in finding them. However, those comments didn't state that explicitly. Rather than just explaining what the post did wrong, from a critical perspective, they are phased as to how the author should fix the problems, indicating that he should be explaining what he has tried and why the existing solutions that are readily accessible do not work for him. This is great, as this phrasing will lead the author to edit the question to improve it (which he has since done to at least partially address those points) rather than getting into a debate with the commentors over why his post isn't bad.

As for "is it necessary to downvote it" yes. Downvoting the question serves several purposes. It indicates to the author and to other possible readers of the question that the question is not well researched and/or is not useful. It incentives the author to fix up the question, as well as being an indication that there is even something to fix up in the first place. It also means that if the author doesn't fix up the post he needs to deal with the loss of reputation, as well as the fact that the post can contribute to a question ban if there is a pattern of posting very low quality content. Downvotes are a major (although not only) signal to this automated process that content is of low quality.

Downvotes also feed several automated deletion scripts which can delete content of sufficiently low quality after a period of time.

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The question, especially when originally posted, shows no research effort. Without even Googling I am confident there are autocomplete solutions out there. If the OP hasn't searched the Internet yet, that's worthy of a downvote. If the OP has searched, but isn't satisfied with what he or she has found, then that should be written in the post. "I've found Library X but I don't like it for reason Y."

Please help me understand the benefits of downvoting this particular question without providing a comment or context.

That's a fair question. Unfortunately, as of now the question hasn't received enough close votes yet to mark it as "on hold". Once it is on hold there will be a prominent message box detailing the reason and what can be done to improve the question.

There are so many bad questions posted that I presume many users are like me and let the close reason speak for them rather than commenting. That works well once enough close votes are received, but admittedly, it's probably quite mysterious and upsetting when the question is still open and the close votes aren't visible.

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The question was closed 2 minutes before you posted this answer ;) –  Servy Nov 1 '13 at 19:31

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