Recently, I voted to close What does the _ in [a-zA-Z0-9_] mean? as "Not a real question".
My reasoning is simple: Anyone who knows what the
- in that expression means cannot possibly be ignorant about the meaning of
_ (it stands for itself, just like the
a). Therefore, this question cannot be genuine.
If enough people agree with me, the question will be closed. If they don't, so be it.
However, as you may notice, there is quite a discussion going on in the comments of that post. Keeping in mind that MSO was created so that these kinds of meta arguments do not bog down the real content, I decided to post this question here, and replace my comments on that question with a link to this post.
Does my argument make sense?
To expand on that argument:
The only thing that gives me pause is that I agree with "Just because you think a questioner knows the answer already does not make the question any less valid on SO."
I do not "assume that one must know all aspects of REs or none". However, think about the difference between
/a-z/. That is a huge difference ... one would have needed to read and grasp a lot to be able to get that. And, by the time one understood that, one would have known that
_ stands for itself in
That is why I do not think this question can be helpful to a newbie in the future. A newbie will not know the difference between
pax: Just because you think a questioner knows the answer already does not make the question any less valid on SO.
Vinko Vrsalovic: The 'reality' of a question is orthogonal to the intention of the questioner. ... But, as long as he posts questions (coherent and answerable) they are valid.
random: Are you saying it's not a "real" question because it's an "easy" question and one that you yourself already know the answer to?
Telemachus: you're still taking a kind of all-or-none attitude to learning. ... Maybe you learn in a very linear manner, but I can assure you that many people do not.
I do agree with the statements quoted above. However, I do not think they are applicable in this particular situation. If they were, it would be perfectly OK to post:
What does the
What does the
What does the
Hey, maybe I learn in a different way than you do and just because I understand what
a means in
/a/, that does not mean I can generalize it to other letters in the English alphabet.
Besides, even if I knew the answer to that, it is possible someone, somewhere else might not know and that person would benefit from a clear and concise answer to each and every one of those questions.
And so what if I posted all these questions one after another in an attempt to collect a point here and a point there. After all, by the rest of the criteria, the question is real, and my intent is orthogonal.
Of course, filling up SO with noise is detrimental to both the main purpose of SO and its money making potential. I want SO to make money for Joel and Jeff and all who worked on it and therefore I would never start posting the kind of questions I gave above, but, by your arguments, if someone did post those questions, each and every one of them would be a valid, real question.
Thank you again for all your answers. I have benefited from the points raised on this thread.