What is meta? ×
Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 130 Stack Exchange communities.

Twice now I have asked a question in a single paragraph and have been told that it doesn't meet some mysterious standards.

All I seem to need to do is split the sentence up (unnecessarily) into two paragraphs, and the question is suddenly considered fit for SE. This makes no sense!

share|improve this question
1  
Did you forget to include the current code you're trying or is it more a "show me the codze"? –  random Jun 27 '11 at 14:38
    
@random I assume this is one –  Michael Mrozek Jun 27 '11 at 14:41
    
Indeed, that was one of them. I don't see what is wrong with the question at all. –  Mild Fuzz Jun 27 '11 at 14:56
1  
I don't know if it applies to your specific question, but please be aware that adding some newlines can improve readability a lot in some cases of run-on sentences. –  Joachim Sauer Jun 27 '11 at 14:58
    
I understand that, but I don't think it applies to my question. Do you promote single sentence paragraphs? –  Mild Fuzz Jun 27 '11 at 15:00
3  
This would have been a better question if it were formed in a single paragraph. –  JNK Jun 27 '11 at 15:10
1  
Who is telling you that "the standards" aren't being met? Moderators? Other users? A system message? –  Pops Jun 27 '11 at 15:19
    
system message. –  Mild Fuzz Jun 27 '11 at 15:20
9  
I would suggest that you write a better question in the first place. Indicate what you've read and what part you don't understand about what you've read. That by itself would have prevented the system message and your experimentation with newlines. –  jcolebrand Jun 27 '11 at 15:30
    
Single sentence paragraphs: they're all the rage at news organizations. Sigh. –  Rick Sladkey Jun 27 '11 at 18:07
    
@jcolebrand It is not always necessary. Surely a goal of this site is to contain as much information as is useful, and very few words more? Are you saying that, just to make a question conform one must fill in all sorts of nonsense statements like "I googled this and didn't find anything" or other such wastes of words? The reality is the system should be able to accept questions long and short, and if a false positive like this is regular occurrence then it should be catered for the in FAQ's. It is not. –  Mild Fuzz Jun 27 '11 at 19:53
1  
@Mild ~ Not at all. What I'm saying is that I don't have the least clue about your background or about your level of experience when I read a question. Additionally, when you merely put "It doesn't work.\n\nHelp" then I presume you don't know anything about the topic. When Jon Skeet posts something (for example stackoverflow.com/questions/3657778) there's enough detail to know what he's ruled out already. Learn from those better than you (which is what I do and why I have the advice now to give) and you'll go further. Stand on the shoulders of giants my friend. –  jcolebrand Jun 27 '11 at 20:35

1 Answer 1

First, the quality standards are not that mysterious. You're linked to the How to Ask page in the sidebar when you get the "It does not meet our quality standards" message, which has links to even more resources. There are also good guidelines on what to do when you get this message on What can I do when getting “It does not meet our quality standards”?

More to your point:

All I seem to need to do is split the sentence up (unnecessarily) into two paragraphs, and the question is suddenly considered fit for SE. This makes no sense!

Yes, you're right, that doesn't really make any sense. The "Ask Question" submission probably should check to make sure you've done more than add a few characters of white space to game around the quality check. Maybe the first submission could be added as the initial draft of a question when the "quality standards" message is tripped (for something to compare subsequent submissions to)? I don't know if this would be worth the development effort, since most people hopefully make a sincere effort to improve their post.

share|improve this answer
    
I assume that the 'quality' check is looking for an absence of white space. If it then makes sure that you haven't just added white space to get around it, it sort of becomes pointless entity. Personally, I think automated checks like these are clearly flawed, and we should be relying on the community to remove the tripe. –  Mild Fuzz Jun 27 '11 at 14:59
8  
@Mild Fuzz: Flawed? Certainly. But definitely not worthless. The automated checks are doing a very good job of keeping out the worst posts. I think you've just demonstrated that a halfway decent post will still get through with just a few quick edits. –  Bill the Lizard Jun 27 '11 at 15:02
    
Sure, it can get through, but only when the user has the smarts to guess that the algorithm is looking for white space. The FAQ's are not much use in this instance. –  Mild Fuzz Jun 27 '11 at 15:10
8  
@Mild Fuzz: Not only when you guess that the algorithm will accept your question when you add white space. I'm sure your question would have been accepted if you had done any number of things suggested in the "How to Ask" docs. The goal is to get people to read those docs and ask better questions. Just because a few people figure out another way around it, doesn't mean that the whole system is pointless. –  Bill the Lizard Jun 27 '11 at 15:13
    
I disagree. My question is simple, and therefore able to be complete with very few words. The system isn't set up for these sort of questions, ergo it is not fit for purpose. Should all SE questions be several paragraphs long, with multiple code example and images? Or do you accept that often questions are valid with only a few words? This is a regularly recurring false positive, testament to this is the popularity of this question in a relatively short space of time. –  Mild Fuzz Jun 27 '11 at 19:50
    
@Mild Fuzz: Now you're just being ridiculous. A few false positives doesn't make a system "not fit for purpose". They system doesn't require that "all SE questions be several paragraphs long, with multiple code example and images." Questions of only a few words are not valid, and should be rejected until the author improves them. Popularity is testament to nothing. –  Bill the Lizard Jun 27 '11 at 19:54
    
I am not being ridiculous, at all. I resent the inference. I offered extremes in my argument but my point stand. With the flow of questions into the SE network, how much time could be saved if the people who had already written perfectly good, short succinct questions weren't made to rewrite them? My time is precious, but thankfully I am one of the lucky ones who has found a quick way around it. How much pointless waffle is added to bulk up questions to appease our dumb judge? –  Mild Fuzz Jun 27 '11 at 20:00
3  
@Mild Fuzz: Time is being saved by not having to answer low quality questions. As the question asker you're getting a free service, so your time is not as precious as the question answerers'. The system is working exactly as designed. –  Bill the Lizard Jun 27 '11 at 20:01
    
I just asked another question, with lots of paragraphs, that didn't meet standards, so I wrapped a link in a link tag and capitalised the first letter and bingo, it's through. The system blows! –  Mild Fuzz Jul 3 '11 at 20:49
    
@Mild Fuzz: Make a suggestion about how to improve it instead of just whining and maybe someone will listen to you. –  Bill the Lizard Jul 4 '11 at 12:47
    
My suggestion is to open out the algorithm, so we can all see it and make it better! –  Mild Fuzz Jul 4 '11 at 14:53
    
@Mild Fuzz: Making it open would also make it easier to game. –  Bill the Lizard Jul 5 '11 at 0:24
    
True, but it's not hard now!! –  Mild Fuzz Jul 5 '11 at 9:07
    
Maybe there should be a wider discussion on the required metrics, but keep the implementation secret. –  Mild Fuzz Jul 5 '11 at 9:08
    
@Mild Fuzz: You should post that as a separate question tagged [discussion]. –  Bill the Lizard Jul 5 '11 at 11:12

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .