I know that it's tempting to pile on what looks like an ugly question, but people really should at least take the time to know what we're commenting on or closing before we actually do it.
I'm posting this mostly because of a question which has been soft deleted now (only users with 10K+ can still visit it). Its URL includes all these words, in the order specified: can someone figure this thing out.
This was one of the downvote/close-vote pile-on questions.
Now, this question definitely did have its problems.
- The name was not very descriptive.
- The post was overall poorly formatted.
- The whole reason the OP needed to ask it was because of a single typo.
- It was a question about homework.
but in many ways, the post was an above-average Stack Overflow post.
- The asker posted all of the relevant code.
- The asker posted both the expected output and the actual output.
- Once the sample output was formatted, It was very clear what the problem was.
- The ask was not an unreasonable one for potential answerers. The solution ended up being a change of exactly 1 character.
This person actually posted a lot of the stuff that we constantly ask new users to post.
What ended up happening was in the span of a few minutes a bunch of users came through and downvoted/voted to close/ and made rude comments on it, and the person ended up getting demoralized enough that he gave up on it and deleted the question.
I don't have any problem with the downvotes themselves. If you don't proof-read your post to make it pretty, than you should expect downvotes.
The close-votes are a bit harder to justify. It looks like most people just voted to close because it smelled like a "do my homework for me" question, but as it is, I can't find a close reason that matches the problem with this post ("bad formatting"). The old Too Localized close reason would have fit, but that's not one of the given reasons anymore. The only justification I can come up with is that there are so many bad questions on this site, that if you don't close questions based on smell, then they'll just never get closed.
But the thing that really worked me up was the comments.
The first 3 comments accused the poster of asking us to do his homework for him, and one of them even said that he didn't include expected output (which he did).
Seriously guys, this is where we inform users of how they can improve their posts. If you're going to write a comment, at least check the post you're commenting on to make sure that it's a fitting one.
I suppose that I'm saying that if you intend to comment on a post or to close a question, then you should at least take the time to read the question over and pretend that you're going to take it seriously.