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The question "I Know Nothing About WCF Web services - Please Help" used to be titled "WCF Web Services", and said:

hii i want to create a method to save a file and call this method form client using wcf web services. but i dont know how to create it

I voted to close this as not a real question. I felt it really meant, "I don't know anything at all, please teach me something" (and edited the title accordingly). I felt we should support people who come here because they've tried to learn something or tried to do something, and had questions, but who have at least tried.

Now, please tell me why I'm wrong, as I'm sure I must be wrong.


Note that the OP has deleted his question, apparently after three downvotes (none of which were from me). The text of the original question is included above, as is the original title.

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Are you asking just about what to do with that specific question or are you questioning the "no question too newbie" statement? –  Troggy Jan 25 '10 at 13:14
    
I'm questioning the statement. –  John Saunders Jan 25 '10 at 13:45
    
+1 for the title. –  Tyler Carter Jan 25 '10 at 15:32
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It could've been renamed to "How to use google.com please help". Stackoverflow.com seems to be dredging through a sea of lazy questions –  Chris S Jan 25 '10 at 15:50
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I believe that new title is inappropriate. It adds no clarification and is slightly offensive. –  Georg Schölly Jan 30 '10 at 15:12

5 Answers 5

up vote 12 down vote accepted

This is not a problem of "too newbie", but of "too general", hence not a real question.

Examples of very newbie questions which can be answered nonetheless are "What is bool in C++"?, or "What is this goto thing?"

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You forgot the canonical example: stackoverflow.com/questions/1003841 –  balpha Jan 25 '10 at 13:14
    
@balpha: you're right. I had put that question out of my mind. –  John Saunders Jan 25 '10 at 13:46

Is misspelling "hi", not using a capital letter at the start of sentences, and starting a sentence with "but" a valid reason to close?

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If that's all there is to the question, yes. –  random Jan 30 '10 at 11:01

There are no question too basic, but there are askers who are too lazy and who will on occasion ask questions which do not deserve to live. Voting to close as it isn't a question is perfectly fine in these situations.

Depending on my mood I might even suggest that they have crossed into the spam/offensive territory, but the associated penalties might be a bit too harsh - depending on how much of a repeat offender to the OP turns out to be.

In the cited situation, it's not a question, so can't be treated as too newbie, it's just a request for teh codez.

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Voting to close is OK in my opinion. It doesn't look like the OP provided any data and didn't mention a specific problem.

You were wrong to edit the title, because it can be seen as offensive, you put words in the mouth of the OP based on your assumption, and you've changed the meaning of the question.

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I should also mention I cannot see the deleted question until I get another 480 points. –  Kobi Jan 25 '10 at 13:18
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Agreed on the title, quite offensive edit, if it was made as described (I can't see the deleted question until I get another 9756 points). This is clearly crossing the line in what you can do in editing. –  Gnoupi Jan 25 '10 at 13:42
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@Kobi @Gnoupi, the OP deleted his own question, apparently after 3 downvotes. I posted the contents of the question in this question, and included the original title. Please suggest a less offensive title that says the same thing. –  John Saunders Jan 25 '10 at 13:48
    
I usually prefer not to edit these question at all, but to leave a comment and close after a while. It's not just the broadness of it, but the low quality. A question like "I need to write a WCF service that receives files. I've created a project based on a template, what next?", while essentially the same, will prompt sympathy and is less likely to be downvoted and closed. –  Kobi Jan 25 '10 at 13:57
    
@John: You don't need to say that in the title, however. Yes, the question absolutely should have been closed, but that particular edit was probably not necessary. In the case of a question this particularly bad, just vote to close and move on. –  John Rudy Jan 25 '10 at 15:31
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@Kobe @Gnoupi: I edited the title to say what I beleived the OP actually intended. "WCF Web Services" did not reflect the intention. I'd be interested in other suggestions for a title edit. Keep in mind it's the OP who deleted it, not SO. I expected the question to live long enough to benefit from a better title. –  John Saunders Jan 25 '10 at 16:07
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I partially agree with @John here - it's one thing to change a specific title to say something else, but the original title was vague, meaningless and somewhat misleading... Therefore, it absolutely should have been changed. That said, if I had edited it, I probably would have gone with something like, "How can I create a method and call it via a WCF web service?" as that would have been far more specific. But the question was lousy and hardly a good test-case for editing strategies - any edit was bound to involve some amount of guesswork. It's just as well that it's gone now. –  Shogging through the snow Jan 25 '10 at 17:49

Whats he really needs is an introductory article / book / tutorial on the subject, and in order to be coherent it really needs to be properly structured and written by one author.

I feel the same when closing questions like that, but I don't believe that StackOverflow is the correct place for such broad questions.

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