Ok, now I admit I haven't been here very long, but I've been seeing a trend amongst the users here: they love to answer questions! This is a good thing, but I think this phenomenon is a little out of hand. For example, look at either of these:
I don't want to "call out" any of the authors for questionable motivation, but clearly the authors of these answers did not take the time to fully read and comprehend the respective question. Furthermore, I've seen a number of answers beginning with phrases such as, "Now, I'm not familiar with specific language whose feature is in question, but you might try code snippet (often syntactically incorrect)." Beyond lacking usefulness, these answers waste space and may work to confuse the askers.
So my questions are as follows:
- Why does this occur? Is this a symptom similar to Slashdot's "first post" disorder?
- Is there a good method to programatically detect such a response? (For example, Exhibit 2 talks of "listing files" in a gzipped file while the question mentions only "network streams" and "zlib" compression.*)
- A down-vote moves the answer further from the question, and subtracts 2 reputation points. Is this sufficient? Should this reputation penalty scale to the users reputation level? (For example, Exhibit 1's author has 13k reputation; 2 reputation is nothing to him)
(*I recognize that gzip uses zlib compression. My understanding is that gzip is only mentioned when talking of files on disk, not when discussing network-or-other streams.)