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I just saw the question and it bothers me when I see this and similar questions that are simply expecting people to do it for the poster.

And they usually get it done, too.

Should these questions be discouraged (via downvote)? Or is this considered a perfectly acceptable query on SO? I ask because I'm still new-ish around here and I'd like to hear (read) the general consensus.

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

In my mind, if there are people on SO ready, able and willing to write some code for those askers, it's perfectly all right for them to do so. After all, the community always profits from it as a whole - it helps make SO a real programming compendium where you not only find answers to questions, but real-life code snippets to go with it. So, no harm done.

On the other hand and in no contradiction what I just said, I think people who have nothing else to contribute than "plz send teh codez" are lazy bummers, and deserve a downvote and a snarky comment anytime. :)

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+1 @Pekka: can we have a sniff-sniff, smells like pooh flag? lol...absolutely correct. I like to see some effort via code. For one, this can oft-times clarify where the bad English or poor description fails. – IAbstract Feb 15 '10 at 1:16

Rather than discouraging people from asking "plz send teh codez," I usually try to encourage them to improve their question. Asking for details about what they've tried so far is usually enough to get them moving in the right direction.

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Bill, it may help them move, but it also shows which ones aren't interested in learning - they're the ones who don't respond to requests for clarification or code. – John Saunders Feb 15 '10 at 4:25

Since every question (except exact duplicates) is unique and the set of people who see it and interact with it is as well, it seems unlikely to be able to predetermine how one should vote. You and I may disagree on whether a situation is a lazy programming simply asking for code or represents a teaching opportunity for someone who wants to learn, but doesn't know where to start. I'd say follow your own inclination on voting, but be aware that there are people who probably disagree with you and will vote differently.

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