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Pre Edit 4:

Pointing out that thread's popularity is a direct result of programming community interest in said subject, and that someone likely stands to become rich and/or famous by solving the problem none of the answers, save my own, came even close to resolving.

Long salutation describing my programming experience and implying that I am a programming genius even though I was educated as a philosopher. Ill-fitting analogy explaining that philosophers make better programmers than classically trained programmers.

Meandering post describing a minor issue and suggesting a poor/incomplete solution while also inferring that those who disagree are blatant rep whores.

Edit:

Major edit that changes the whole point of the question, nullifying any existing answers, and openly marveling at inability of others to understand this trivial but super-important request.

Edit 2:

Response to detracters, repeating what I already said in the comments.

Edit 3:

Reluctant acquiescence to community, asserting that community is still wrong but accepting that it cannot help me any further, and I'm leaving unsatisfied. Pointed comments directed towards specific users or answers publicly belittling them. Thanks to those who obviously understand the issue even though their solutions were grossly inadequate, calling into question their schooling and ancestry.

Complimentary closing,
Signature

P.S. Suggestion that people study My favorite Programming Book before answering such advanced questions as these on SO.

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locked by Robert Harvey Apr 2 '12 at 20:24

This question exists because it has historical significance, but it is not considered a good, on-topic question for this site, so please do not use it as evidence that you can ask similar questions here. This question and its answers are frozen and cannot be changed. More info: help center.

7  
preemptive comment asking that people give it serious consideration rather than closing it. –  Adam Davis Mar 12 '10 at 5:24
5  
Is this the bit where I edit the question title only to find it rolled back 10 minutes later? –  Erik Mar 12 '10 at 5:25
22  
follow up comment pointing out a dupe, then explaining how it's not an exact dupe by splitting hairs. –  Adam Davis Mar 12 '10 at 5:25
11  
What exactly are you asking? –  Josh K Mar 12 '10 at 5:25
17  
Comment about a missing screenshot which may or may not be required to further clarify the point. –  random Mar 12 '10 at 5:26
63  
Snarky comment about OP's 37% accept rate. –  mmyers Mar 12 '10 at 5:36
8  
@mmyers brash invitation to respond to all my questions with an answer I can accept while implying that the accept rate metric is ludicrous and should be abolished. –  Adam Davis Mar 12 '10 at 5:39
17  
@random, @pollyanna, @mmyers - generic comedic response alluding to a recent XKCD strip or /. post –  quack quixote Mar 12 '10 at 5:47
19  
superfluous request that this be made community wiki, or moved to SuperUser, implication being OP doesn't know how to use the computars. –  D_N Mar 12 '10 at 6:08
8  
Comment that starts out pithy, but then morphs into something which would be better posted as an answer. –  ChrisF Mar 12 '10 at 13:59
48  
So can we now flag every question on the site as a duplicate of this one? –  mmyers Mar 12 '10 at 18:53
7  
Another superfluous request that this be made community wiki, or moved to SuperUser, implication being OP doesn't know how to use the computars. (With apologies to D_N, but a comment like that has to be repeated. Preferably more than once.) –  David Thornley Mar 13 '10 at 18:23
6  
Comment bemoaning the general decline of SO since the halcyon days of beta. –  Michael Petrotta Mar 14 '10 at 6:30
16  
Is this homework? We won't do your work for you! –  Ether May 12 '10 at 0:23
10  
Smug observation that this isn't even a problem on Linux/OS X –  madlep May 12 '10 at 3:32

44 Answers 44

up vote 39 down vote accepted

Answer that points out that your Architecture is obviously wrong and questioning why on earth you are still using this stupid technology when your problem could be solved by one line of jQuery code.

$.butterfly({
    aLongList: ofParameters,
    whichAre: notExplained
});
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7  
insincere thanks for example. subtly sarcastic comments that perhaps if one read through the whole existing Q&A thread one might see that this solution has already been suggested and rejected in comments here meta.stackexchange.com/questions/41976/… and in an answer here meta.stackexchange.com/questions/41976/… –  Adam Davis Mar 13 '10 at 16:54
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(Flagged as offensive and downvoted because I hate OPs that accept low-voted answers.) –  Gnome Mar 24 '10 at 23:09
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Comment made months later pointing out potential reference to popular topical online web-comic: link to said web-comic (profession of love for particular plain text editor) –  snicker May 12 '10 at 15:17
6  
Year-later post pointing out that your answer overlooks serious issue A and B, which are comprehensively handled in (this post of my own)[meta.stackexchange.com/questions/41976/…, which is itself an answer on a year-old question. An obvious and likely successful ploy to get the Necromancer badge. –  ErikE Sep 24 '10 at 17:02

A nicely worded, but pretty useless answer, which mainly gets its upvotes due to extensive use of Markdown formatting and by linking a lot of stuff, both related and unrelated to the problem in question.

Useless title to draw more attention

A lot of basic information about the questioner's problem. Mostly, it repeats what everyone who is familiar with the tags of the question already knows, but in more exuberant manner, providing the basic information at least twice. It also contains scarce code inclusions to look programming-related. The post also contains a few formatting tricks, including:

  • Unnumbered lists, with item captions in bold. Items of such list should contain a lot of text, so those who reads the question will be sure, that the user is an expert in his area, and has analyzed a lot of alternatives.
  • Numbered lists, which, of course, may be omitted, since users do not like numbers
  • Links, both related and unrelated. At least one link to the blog of the user.
  • A piece of code in the language requested by OP, the piece being originally written in other language by a lowly voted answer.

The post has at least two sections to justify the use of big font, which is used just to make the post look bigger.

Another useless title

In the second section of such a post code snippets are posted. The algorithm was not originally written by the author. But he rewrote it in C#, and since most users know C#, it would be easier for them to upvote a post that contains the language they are familiar with.

public class Hello
{
   public static void Main()
   {
      System.Console.WriteLine("Hello, World!");
   }
}

Of course, this code, having been written quickly while the post is still under attention, contains a number of issues that were thankfully discussed on SO before. The users links the other stackoverflow question, and one more, just in case, so that others upvote him for his effort.

And of course, a hesitating expression of hope that this post helps, knowing that what it helps is only his own reputation counter.

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15  
+1 for the big titles, the many links, and for correct use of comma in "Hello, World!" –  b.roth Mar 12 '10 at 17:11
60  
acceptance of answer because it's too long to read, but obvious effort indicates that it must be valuable. –  Adam Davis Mar 12 '10 at 18:01
33  
+1 Because I'm too lazy to scroll down any further. –  Robert Cartaino Mar 12 '10 at 18:29
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Gratuitous edit of inconsequential grammar or spelling mistake, even though the answer has already been accepted and nobody really cares. –  Robert Harvey Mar 12 '10 at 20:06
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Awwww, I care! –  mmyers Mar 12 '10 at 20:12
2  
Daily vote limit reached; come back in 3 hours. –  perbert Mar 12 '10 at 20:34
17  
Keen observation that author is trying to perform a task. Suggestion that author should totally drop that and try a lightweight JavaScript library that emphasizes interaction between JavaScript and HTML. –  snicker Mar 12 '10 at 23:38
1  
@snicker applause to previous speaker. Expression of confidence that there exists a plugin for that framework that will execute the task at hand to the OP's full satisfaction. –  Pëkka Mar 13 '10 at 0:22
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@Harvey, mendacious gratitude for useful edits that only make this post closer to community wiki threshold. –  Pavel Shved Mar 13 '10 at 5:39
1  
Completely inappropriate +1 for this blatantly incorrect answer just because it's on the cusp of earning the Populist badge for its OP and I think that's cool. –  Pops Sep 19 '11 at 14:30

The answer that tells you that you've read far too many posts already, and that you start to get tired of the whole thread. And as you start reading the second sentence you've already forgotten what the question was about. This is when you're mind decides that there are other important things to think about, like what your voice inside your head sounds like. So you start to listen to the words that are read to you, by yourself. Why does it feel like I hear the words in my head when I'm only thinking them? Are these my own thoughts or am I reading what the poster wants me to read, to myself, in my own head. I wonder what's new in the Questions' section...

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Extremely late answer which adds absolutely no value aside from serving to indicate a certain bullheaded ignorance of the system's suggestion to not post a new answer by its author.

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I have same problem any update?

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12  
flagged for moderator attention as non-answer –  Adam Davis Mar 12 '10 at 17:52
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Indication of intention to ask question on meta.meta.stackoverflow.com to ask what should be done about all these useless "noise" answers. –  HAL 9000 Mar 12 '10 at 18:25
2  
spite-flagged @Yacoby's comment for noise –  D_N Mar 12 '10 at 22:58
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Expression of also having the exact same problem. Request to E-Mail instructions how to solve problem post haste to Yahoo E-Mail address. Assurance of gratitude. –  Pëkka Mar 13 '10 at 2:13
2  
Should be a comment, not an answer! :) –  uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN May 30 '11 at 17:30

Late answer indicating that the existing highly upvoted answers, including the accepted answer, are now wrong due to recent patches for the program or a new major release of the language.

Completely correct example showing that it is now trivial to achieve what the OP wants by doing

foo.newlyAvailableFeature("and/or", >syntax<);

Edit added the next day wondering why the asker hasn't changed the accepted checkmark to this answer and why nobody is upvoting.


Edit 2 added a few days later griping about how terrible it is that the community doesn't care about old questions.

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1  
Comment that I flagged post with alert to moderator ("this question is no longer relevant and doesn't need new responses") to have moderator lock question –  Daniel DiPaolo Jun 23 '11 at 21:28

http://www.unexplained-link.com/with-no-other-context

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8  
flags as spam, then searches through user history to find other posts to flag as spam –  mmyers Jun 23 '11 at 15:13

Answer that steals the previous answer idea, hoping to be slightly better in order to steal the auto-award of the bounty (or failing that, then at least some extra upvotes from the attention the bounty draws).

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Answer which doesn't solve the problem, added in hopes of an auto-award of the bounty (or failing that, then at least some extra upvotes from the attention the bounty draws).

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1  
Comment making fun of the first comment for being a combo breaker –  jmfsg Feb 17 '11 at 15:37

Answer posted by OP, explaining that he would accept an answer but is unable to because the question was migrated from another site to this one before he had an account here.

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Hello sir, thanks for the excelent q. Having same prob here, plz can ne1 help? Mail me teh codez to mail@example.com Thank you and God bless

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2  
abrupt comment questioning whether this is an answer to the question. –  Robert S Ciaccio Jan 8 '11 at 22:10
1  
@calavera soothing comment reminding that this is the only way for new low-rep members to add input to a question. Musing that it has been discussed on Meta several times, and that maybe it is time to start another feature request regarding this. –  Pëkka Jan 9 '11 at 0:08
2  
comment by newbie pointing out that this is not the way of using this site and that you should open a new question. –  Andrea Spadaccini Feb 17 '11 at 15:02

Comment about user's own non functioning code, mixing half learned languages and concepts together with syntax errors

public class I'mOO' {
    pulic static null main(String[] args) {
        System.Console.println("This is what you want, right?");
    }
}

Statement saying that this fixed own problem, OP's totally forgotten at this point.

Speling errors mixd with allegation that users wh can not complile this code are incompetent.

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Dismissive reply by megapoint user.

Statement of annoyance about having to explain himself by way of this update. Introduction to some ASCII art that elucidates nothing about the problem but does reveal why you ought to upvote him.

-----------------------------------
|                ___      _______/|
|           ____/   \    /        |
|          /         \  /         |
|         /           \/          |
|        /              *         |
|   /\  /                         |
|  /  \/                          |
| /    *                          |
|/                                |
-----------------------------------
my knowledge
* note that downturns and plateaus were result of listening to other people

-----------------------------------
|                                 |
|                                 |
|                                 |
|                                 |
|                                 |
|                                 |
|  _______________________________|
| / *                             |
|/                                |
-----------------------------------
your knowledge 
* note that uptick is from one of my previous answers
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1  
@Pollyanna adoption of tone that suggests but does not claim insider knowledge about something X that has tangential application to the problem. (Or does one @user when being this snooty? I dunno.) –  D_N Mar 12 '10 at 5:38
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+1 sympathetic upvote with wink - we megapoint users gotta stick together... –  Adam Davis Mar 12 '10 at 5:41
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Criticize @Pollyana for sympathy upvote. –  perbert Mar 12 '10 at 20:37
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Removing downvote to recover my own points, even though I allude its because you made your answer more useful. –  Erik Mar 12 '10 at 23:14

This question reminds me of the age old conundrum:

Q: What is the velocity of butter?

Through much study and searching through dangerous jungles and encountering deadly beasts, I have finally found the most exquisite answer. In my generosity I will share this pearl of wisdom with you:

A: Greased lightning.

This is clearly superior to my previous best answer, which many people would be tempted to use, but further wisdom shows to be inadequate:

A (old): The velocity of butter is in a direct inverse proportion relating indistinctly to the mass of the moon.

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Extremely late answer that ignores everything already written and makes a duplicate joke because the question's so popular

Also hoping for a [Necromancer] badge...

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Useless reply to a random answer as if this was phpBB.

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Answer added a few minutes after this one from a new user, agreeing on everything with the former, and claiming that this library really solved everything and more, and how grateful they are that this was created.

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2  
Suggestion that answerer read FAQ. Flagged as spam –  snicker May 12 '10 at 15:38
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Why was this flagged as spam? It is a legitimate product that solves the OP's problem... and it worked for me! -user1290424 –  Pops Jul 16 '10 at 18:30
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@user1290424: Accusation of sock puppetry! Also, general cluelessness. –  Piskvor Oct 27 '10 at 11:46

Answer added months later describing joyfully a marvelous, wonderful, amazing library which will solve all your problems if you use it, and also sort all your files, search through your mail, and shoot rainbows all over your life.

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Comment about all the dead rainbows piling up around here with neat holes through them. –  David Thornley Jul 16 '10 at 22:10

Answer which does nothing more than repeat what has already been said, but posted 60 days after the question has been asked in the hopes it'll harvest one of those coveted [necromancer] badges.

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Applause for agreeing with my answer instead of accepted answer. Expression of camaraderie and interest in exchanging contact information –  snicker May 12 '10 at 15:37

The question relies on a wrong concept, you really shouldn't do it that way.
Now, I can't give any sample code and couldn't use the tools I recommend if my life dependent on it, but here's a link to a popular post, in hope my bald head reflects some of its shine.

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Is anyone still working on this problem after two months? If you find the answer, please send teh codez to me at gnome@gnomemail.test.

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Pre-edit #1: Ramble about figuring out at a much later date how relevant this topic is: how to hash.... And then the importance of discussing this topic: How do I answer....

A crappy answer that has nothing to do with the question - but who cares because it's at the bottom of the list.

EDIT: Attempt to explain how the question was misunderstood and overly apologetic - and go into great detail how rude the biting comments are while explaining that we are all human and tend to make mistakes - except for the OP, of course.

EDIT2: Blame my misunderstanding on @David Thornley's awful editing of the question. Explain how my answer would have been correct if someone had left the question alone...I think - maybe...

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Another answer posted after the topic has run out of steam which has no hopes of getting any upvotes.

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8  
I would upvote it, but I can't for two reasons, one of them obvious –  jmfsg May 12 '10 at 0:38
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Downvoted without comment on the reasons for doing so. –  jamiei May 12 '10 at 9:02

Unexplainably late reply with poor spelind and grammer by low-rep user that includes a suspicious spammy-looking but still ambiguous link to something that might actually solve the problem, if only the web page didn't make your eyes bleed and head explode from looking at it because the background is yellow and the site uses frames and looks like it might be a direct word-for-word translation from the original Chinese.

Unnecessary closing greeting,
Vaguely foreign-sounding first name

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2  
flag offensive due to lack of eyebleach for website. –  Adam Davis Mar 25 '10 at 1:05

Edit which completely changes the meaning, wording, and essence of the post due to its prior poor grammar and spelling.

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1  
expression of hope that you don't mind changes. suggestion to revert them if new edit is unsatisfactory with thinly veiled pride that you won't consider it due to my stellar re-phrasing of your post. –  Adam Davis Mar 14 '10 at 3:44

Especially badly written, or wrong answer with the sole purpose of gathering 3 downvotes, so I can delete this answer again and harvest myself a nice and shiny [Peer Pressure] badge.

Of course made CW so I won't lose any of those precious internet dollar points in the process.

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+1 just to frustrate obvious badge-whoring. flagged for mod attention so the answerer's posting history can be examined for sockpuppetry. –  quack quixote Mar 14 '10 at 2:19
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Comment telling this anwer will be deleted and thanking the folks for the even more shiny [Disciplined] badge. –  fretje Mar 14 '10 at 18:48

Answer of poor inglish is formed and explanations running in intersection directions of longitude but rainfalls in code perfectwise question answering:

public class Hello {
    public static void Main() {
       System.Console.WriteLine("Hello, World!");}
}
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5  
Brillant is answer for the upvote it must. k thx bye. –  scunliffe May 12 '10 at 0:57

Snarky non-answer that should have been a comment.

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7  
snarky offhand comment that I will delete in a couple months to avoid looking like an asshole. –  Robert S Ciaccio Jan 8 '11 at 22:22

Six to eight weeks.

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flippant agreement with specific assessment but encouragement to expand on answer with specific methods used to reach this approximation. –  Adam Davis Mar 13 '10 at 16:51
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@Pollyanna: specific methods used to reach that approximation will take six to eight weeks to enumerate. –  quack quixote Mar 14 '10 at 2:17

Answer Posted After An Answer is Already Accepted With Superfluous Formatting


Introductory statement about familiarity with the problem. Short background on experience in the field of study related to the question.

Anecdotal short story about how post was just noticed today because generic personal life event has prevented poster from participating in discussions! Statement of confidence that others can relate.

Section about how if extenuating circumstances had not interfered, I would have posted almost the exact same answer. Short response stating that the accepted answer is extremely valuable. Multiple praises of accepted answer. Transition to enumerated list of reasons why accepted answer is great:

  • Praise of accepted answer's formatting clearly being emulated in this answer
  • Acknowledgment of skills and knowledge of the author of accepted answer
  • Statement about brevity and conciseness

Long winded response about what accepted answer would look like if extenuating circumstances had not interfered. Subtle yet sharp jabs at author of accepted answer inferring that my answer would have been better

EDIT:

Pre-emptive edit in response to expected comments regarding freehand circles, waffles, or ponies


Image stressing points mentioned above further


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1  
Pointing out that you forgot to include waffle-ponies. –  D_N Mar 12 '10 at 23:02
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Pointing out that this really belongs on Meta. –  Pëkka Mar 12 '10 at 23:25
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@Pekka: statement of disgust at blatant attempts to slander my name with accusations of rep-whoring. Recommendation that you refrain from further comment. Emotionless response devoid of personality insisting that the rest of your day affect your mood favorably –  snicker Mar 12 '10 at 23:54
1  
@snicker announcing that you are wrong and they are yum-yum delicious. –  D_N Mar 12 '10 at 23:56
2  
@snicker Cool diagnosis, outlining how your overly emotional response must be sign of serious issues. Feignedly symphatetic recommendation of getting some help. Subtle insinuation of your desperate need for rep points being an expression of a deeper deficit in your personal life. Confirmation that the rest of my day is indeed affecting my mood very favourably. Sideways mention of being a total success with women. Subtle implication that you are not. Announcement about having a hot date tonight, and therefore inability to spend any more time in this discussion –  Pëkka Mar 13 '10 at 0:13
2  
+1 for freehand circles. –  Adam Davis Feb 6 '11 at 4:17

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