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In general "help me with this jQuery plugin" questions don't fare very well on StackOverflow. People don't mind helping you with code you write because you're making an effort.

When it comes to helping you with code someone else wrote, often my feeling is: well go ask the person who wrote the plugin, or learn how to code.

Setting up plugins is different than programming. Many of the questions are from anonymous low-score users who seem to have the "someone do this for me" attitude. Are these people the JavaScript equivalent of "script kiddies"?

Are they really seeking programming advice or are they user-level people who are stepping out of their comfort zone? Should they be directed to Webmasters? SuperUser? Somewhere else? The number of questions of this type continues to grow — how should we handle them?

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12  
I think it's safe to say that Webmasters and SuperUser don't want programming questions. –  Gabe Mar 26 '11 at 14:55
    
jQuery itself is kind of super plugin for JavaScript when you think about it. You don't have to use real programming when using it. And it doesn't mean we should not help people with jQuery.. so as long as the request makes sense (for example help fix some weird bug, not asking to improve the plugin) I'll have no problem to try and help. :) –  Shadow Wizard Mar 26 '11 at 17:27
    
nobody. cares. on this site –  user145842 Apr 25 '11 at 19:51

3 Answers 3

The problem is with the quality of the questions, not with the technology involved.

"Show me the codez" questions will be always unwelcome, regardless of what is the code about.

On the other hand, I don't see any problem with relevant questions about a jQuery plugin (e.g. its use in a html/js project, debugging/troubleshooting, etc.).

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This. If the OP 1.) is somebody who doesn't know anything about programming, and 2.) has no interest in learning it, I tend to downvote and closevote. Of course there's nothing wrong with helping out somebody nice who has a problem with their blog, but SO mustn't become the place where everybody can come to get their code fixed without putting in any own effort. –  Pëkka Apr 25 '11 at 19:39

I've seen tons of these too--However there are different levels of this type of question, and they decrease from most frustrating to least in this order:

  1. Poster is getting a script error because they have not included the proper <script>...</script> tags.
  2. Poster wants to do something that is clearly outlined in the API for that plugin
  3. Poster wants to do something more advanced that is not outlined in the API for that plugin

Types 2 and 3 to me are perfectly acceptable questions. Type 2 questions can be slightly annoying, but I would argue that they have some merit.

Just because people are "stepping out of their comfort zone" and to jQuery veterans the questions may seem easy doesn't mean that the questions do not have value.

As for Type 1, I think maybe the jquery-plugins tag should contain generic information about how to include jQuery plugins in your application. That way we can close questions and direct people to the tag wiki page.

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I genuinely believe that they are still programming questions. To extend your concept a little, what about people asking .NET questions? Surely that it just 'using an api'?

Although I do agree that just figuring out where to reference a javascript file type questions get a little annoying at times.

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I think they key difference here is that the posters are usually asking how to alter the behaviour (or often just FIND) a plug-in or how to combine a plugin with another plugin as opposed to the nuts and bolts of the code or how the code works. –  Diodeus Mar 26 '11 at 21:31

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