plz send teh codez => homework

What's the difference between an obvious [homework] question and one tagged [plz send teh codez] over at SO? Especially where the former has at least a thousand more in the bank?

When coders win their $5USD bids on cloning MeinSpace at Rent-A-Slave and come to SO in search of the entire source code, what makes the distinction between a homework question and one where they have no access to Google or they don't want to be seen posting back on the same bidding site for someone to build their project at $3USD?

Is the leet speak necessary? Or is it just snark for a lark?

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    "Is the leet speak necessary?" - Yes – jjnguy Jul 27 '09 at 15:56
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    As soon as He Who Shall Not Be Named sees this thread, those tags will go away. I'm surprised he isn't here yet; tag abuse is like the Bat-Signal for him. – Hilarious Comedy Pesto Jul 27 '09 at 16:04
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    Certain tags are used by users who have tagging powers, but no close powers, to attract the attention of those who do. – devinb Jul 27 '09 at 16:04
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    @devinb: we should probably encourage such users to flag the questions instead. – Shog9 Jul 27 '09 at 16:07
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    @devinb: Another reason why there should be a "flag for editor attention" option so that this kind of abuse has no reason to exist. – Welbog Jul 27 '09 at 16:09
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    Flag for 3K attention, or flag for 10K attention... – jjnguy Jul 27 '09 at 16:12
  • @Welbog: while i agree that such a flag would be useful, in this case flagging as "offensive" (will be visible to 10K+ users) or "requires moderator attention" would probably suffice. – Shog9 Jul 27 '09 at 16:12
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    Oh the headache of a recursive set of answers – random Jul 28 '09 at 3:29
  • @jjinguy 5(_)|23, 17'5 |\|3(355/\|2\|/. – nyuszika7h Feb 27 '11 at 11:25
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    For the record: This was on-topic when it was originally posted. Chalk that one up to the history of MSO -> MSE. – can-ned_food Jun 4 '17 at 13:37

"plz send teh codes" is a meme coming from the Daily WTF.

It really doesn't belong on SO, as that's not what tags are for. I would consider using that tag to be abuse of the system, personally.

The difference between "send me teh codez" and "homework" is the nature of the question. Usually homework questions have no obvious practical application ("what are the contents of this stack?"), whereas "send me teh codes" questions are usually vague but somewhat practical ("how to build facebook?").

"Homework" as a tag shouldn't be used negatively. It's a legitimate use of Stack Overflow to get help with homework, as long as the question is clear about the fact that it is homework and that the asker doesn't want a full answer, just pointers and nudges in the right direction, or to confirm the work done so far before getting too deep into a solution.

For more details please take a look at Pesto's answer.

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    I think I'll flag this as an exact duplicate of mmyers' answer. – jjnguy Jul 27 '09 at 16:15
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    I wish I could force everyone on SO to read this. – Bill the Lizard Jul 27 '09 at 17:50
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    You're a moderator so you should be able to do anything! You are all supernatural demons, aren't you? – Welbog Jul 27 '09 at 18:15
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    How is facebook formed? How ceo get rich? – user1228 Jul 27 '09 at 18:38
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    How did he find out? Are my cloven hooves showing again? – Marc Gravell Jul 27 '09 at 20:16
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    @Marc: He may have just been confused by my forked tongue and tail. – Bill the Lizard Jul 27 '09 at 20:37
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    I just realized that if I downvote this, I'll get a gold badge. – mmyers Oct 8 '09 at 14:29
  • @mmyers: Knock yourself out. Just remember that you're stomping on the face of every French person in history in doing so. – Welbog Oct 8 '09 at 14:35
  • @Ye Olde Welbogge: Round up two more upvotes for me and I won't have to. (No, it's not a threat; I still can't bring myself to downvote a non-CW answer that's not wrong.) – mmyers Oct 8 '09 at 14:41
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    @mmyers: Pansy. I've already upvoted your answer, and you getting a gold arbitrary award for not working inside the spirit of the system at all is an irony that I would enjoy greatly. If I could downvote myself to do it, I would. I say go for it, you unFrench jerkface. – Welbog Oct 8 '09 at 14:44

If you want to know why plzsendtehcodez was created, just ask me.

I'm the one who created it.

Shortly before or after this question on Stack Overflow, I sat down and realized that we have a tag for homework, but we don't have a tag for when someone just wants you to do their work for them.

Humor and necessity created the tag.

At its peak, it was used by about 15 different high-rep users (I'm recalling from memory, as it quite surprised me when it 'took off' among the higher rep users), and it was on 48 or so questions.

Then a user who had it on one of his questions got upset that it was on there (though it was on there legitimately -- and I didn't put it on there IIRC), went through the system and took it off of every question in the system.

There were a few edit wars between this user and other users, as he was a lightening rod for activity (no, it wasn't RichB), and because I had a deadline at work, I decided to drop the issue.

Other users have since re-introduced the tag (in various forms, including the original), and there is another high-reputation front-page user that particularly dislikes the tag, so he removes it as soon as he sees it. Since he spends all day, every day on Stack Overflow, he has a lot of time to prune tags as he sees fit (no, it isn't Jon Skeet).

I even put in a Uservoice tag to settle the re-tagging issue once and for all (not just because of this issue, but of the gratuitous re-tagging done so users could get the 'taxinomist' badge).

In fact, I even had an email exchange that was answered by one of the newly elected moderators, even though I believe I had sent that email before the election.

Anyway, there's the history of why the badge was created, and what happened to it.

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    Saw a question with it days back, thought it was some kind of error, tagged it whatever the question was supposedly about, saw it reverted, left it at that and came here to wonder what the difference was between that and homework. Thanks for etymology. – random Jul 30 '09 at 14:03
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    I like the PSTC tag. – Paul Nathan Jul 30 '09 at 15:56

Or is it just snark for a lark?

This. It's pejorative tagging, an expression of anger and frustration over those who appear to not only refuse to put any effort into a problem, but dare to demand that someone else do the work for them rather than giving them the tools they need to do it themselves.

It's understandable. But still inappropriate; such questions should simply be closed and/or deleted. They're a cancer on the site, and the response they prompt can lead to even more wide-spread damage.

As Welbog notes, there's nothing inherently wrong with posting homework (or the use of the homework tag).

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    Cheaters! All of you are cheaters! – Welbog Jul 27 '09 at 16:07
  • Way to take a page out of the master's book (me) @shog – jjnguy Jul 27 '09 at 16:09
  • Steal from the best... ;-) – Shog9 Jul 27 '09 at 16:11

A proper homework question has the following attributes:

  • Already tried their self
  • Question regards specific part of the homework
  • Outlines previous tries, and the results of them

Bad plz send codez question will usually just post the exact homework question and expect an entire solution.

The tag, plz-send-teh-codez is meant to give bad connotation to improperly asked homework questions. As Welbog said, the term originated from The Daily WTF.

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    Linking from your answer to my answer is cheating! – Welbog Jul 27 '09 at 16:03
  • haha, i was just giving credit where credit was due. I forgot to mention the daily wtf in my original answer. – jjnguy Jul 27 '09 at 16:05

All the current items tagged as plz-send-teh-codez were done two days ago, with all but one by a single person.

The tag has come and gone a few times in SO's history. I don't think tagging them that way accomplishes anything other than looking down at the asker. Either they're bad questions and should be voted to close, or they're not and should be left alone.

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