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Not that there's anything wrong with that, how things are...

Are there any plans to add some additional input fields for questions? Additional field's or tag convention's for identifying particular attributes would be handy, that would allow more easily searching through the volume of question's. Tags are great and all but they do not clearly designate something inclusive or exclusive, I would suppose that they would be inclusive from the perspective of the person submitting the question but an explicit anti-tag field may help stratify the question's more appropriately. Seeing as there have been quite the number of spin off domain's, it may be the current preference obtain or otherwise increase how descriptive question's are.

Given that the FAQ states;

  1. detailed and specific
  2. written clearly and simply
  3. of interest to at least one other programmer somewhere

Would it not contribute to item's 1 & 2, to allow for some ability to also designate booliean-like quantifier's to a question? I'm not saying, pre-load a large array of various possibilities, I would suggest that simple radio boxes or some other way to mark a series of tag's for NOT or IS preferred in the solution.

I'm also not saying that question asker's would themselves be ridged, it may be that they are in a position where some things are simple requirements for which they have no control. Allowing some way for conveying this information quickly would allow for some reduction in the over all trend for many to answer "You should not do that, it is fine because of X.".

When I consider some advice from another site that has some advice for Internet Q&A forums, similar (somewhat more detailed) prompting is given those who would ask a question on-line;

  1. Describe the symptoms of your problem or bug carefully and clearly.

  2. Describe the environment in which it occurs (machine, OS, application, whatever). Provide your vendor's distribution and release level (e.g.: “Fedora Core 7”, “Slackware 9.1”, etc.).

  3. Describe the research you did to try and understand the problem before you asked the question.

  4. Describe the diagnostic steps you took to try and pin down the problem yourself before you asked the question.

  5. Describe any possibly relevant recent changes in your computer or software configuration.

Several of these seem adaptable to this particular site (the link I refer to has many other common sense suggestions), but to avoid any burden on users, optional/easy/quick-to-use interfaces other than simply free-form text which (can often) be an awkward forum to convey this information in a concise way.

Forgive any spelling error's, their is no spell checker here and I am dyslexic, I only say so to quell the seemingly all to frequent bigoted self richeous quib an unfortunate reality I would think.

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Thank you, Rich B, for making this question readable. Now if only the content gave me a compelling reason to want to... –  XMLbog Jul 15 '09 at 14:40
    
@Welbog: Yeah, I really don't think this is going to be reasonable still, but oh well, I couldn't leave it. Just the irony alone was too much. –  GEOCHET Jul 15 '09 at 14:42
    
Good catch billy the reptile. I thought I got all the retarded apostrophes out. –  GEOCHET Jul 15 '09 at 14:43
    
@Rich B: I flagged it for moderator attention due to its horrible grammar. I couldn't get through the first paragraph; it offended my internal proofreader too much. –  XMLbog Jul 15 '09 at 14:45
    
Wow. You mean it used to be less readable? I downvoted because I have no idea what this is getting at. –  John Saunders Jul 15 '09 at 16:25

2 Answers 2

You could add a dozen little independent fields from which most questions will only use a small subset, or you could just have one big field where users can identify all the same details anyway. If they're missing something, they can be asked to provide more details.

Seriously, what is is wrong with the way it currently is? Users who neglect to give enough details aren't going to give enough details if there's a field called "put enough details here". The problem isn't the input fields, but rather the mindset of the users filling them in.

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Question askers should not be so rigid in thinking about the potential answers they get. They should be glad they get answers in general.

If you are not getting the answer you were hoping for you should rephrase your question or ask a new one with a narrower scope.

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