I asked this question: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/7324321/mathematics-instead-of-if-statements and it was closed as "Not a real question". Thanks a lot!

I can't be more specific in that post, because I don't fully understand my problem. Instead of getting upset about a broad question, how about one of you moderators just helps me narrow my topic down and has me edit my question?

This place is very limited, because very few people know exactly what their issue is. The only people this place helps are those who already know a lot about their problem, and who could probably find their answer on their own anyways.

I don't know where else to ask, and I can't do what you're asking because I don't know how, so I guess this is just a big "we don't care" from Stack Overflow. I actually lament coming here because it feels sterile and dry, like going to jury duty. Maybe there's a place for broad questions in insert prefixOverflow, but there are a gazillion of them, and I don't know which to try.

Sigh. I know this will probably just get closed, but I'm not swearing or pointing out anyone specific, and I'm just giving my opinion. I just wish Stack Overflow had more humanity in it than a robot from the 50's.

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    Meta Means Murder but Meta does not mean rant. – Chris Frederick Sep 6 '11 at 19:09
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    So... What's wrong with a rant if it's not attacking but trying to give constructive criticism. – Isaiah Sep 6 '11 at 19:12
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    Perhaps the later pundits on your question weren't as constructive as you would have liked, but Jared hit the nail on the head with the first comment out the gates (he was polite AND constructive too). – user7116 Sep 6 '11 at 19:13
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    Thanks, alot! – nhinkle Sep 6 '11 at 19:14
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    I'm not sure why people think they can turn rants into questions by tossing in "Anyone agree?" at the end – Michael Mrozek Sep 6 '11 at 19:18
  • nhinkle - yeah old habit I'm trying to break – Isaiah Sep 6 '11 at 19:18
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    I'm not downvoting because I feel the issue is genuine, but SO is good at answering precise, specific questions. That's simply the way it is. What you talk about in your question is a fascinating field, but it doesn't really fit the bounds of a SO question. – Pekka Sep 6 '11 at 19:29
  • See my questions hardly fall into specific. So I guess i shouldn't ask anymore unless I really really have to. If I could, I just wouldn't ever come back and close my account if SO didn't just happen to be probably the greatest and only place to pick the brains of professionals. – Isaiah Sep 6 '11 at 19:38
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    I've edited your question somewhat for clarity and grammar, and left comments in the body of the post to explain. I hope that you find this helpful. This and (especially) the linked question are not easy to read. Allow me to suggest that, in the future, you type out your questions and don't post them for at least a few hours, maybe even a full day. Re-read and edit after you've been in a different frame of mind for a while. Coming back to something you've written later gives you a more objective view of it, and can help you understand why other people have difficulty reading it. – jscs Sep 6 '11 at 19:54
  • Click the "edited X mins ago" link, and then "source" for my revision, to view the comments. – jscs Sep 6 '11 at 20:08
  • "Is there any resources out there to get me to this level" Not Constructive – user1228 Sep 6 '11 at 20:41

Instead of chickening out about a broad question how about one you moderators just help me narrow something down or something and have me edit my question.

That's not their job....at all. Editors will help clean up a question if they can, but it's not their job to take your general question and try to divine a more specific question you might be interested in. If you have a specific question in mind, you can certainly edit your post and then flag it to be reopened, but I don't think anyone else is going to be able to help with that

  • Then why don't you open an overflow on turning broad questions into specific questions? – Isaiah Sep 6 '11 at 19:23
  • @Isaiah: That might not be a bad idea, though the community will ultimately decide if it's worth pursuing in the Stack Exchange context. Feel free to try: area51.stackexchange.com – David Sep 6 '11 at 19:32
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    @David What? No, "turning broad questions into specific questions" isn't a topic for an SE site, unless I'm wildly misunderstanding him – Michael Mrozek Sep 6 '11 at 19:38
  • @Michael Mrozek: I completely agree. But who knows, lots of people might like it. I like to think that just about any topic is worth an Area 51 proposal. – David Sep 6 '11 at 20:00
  • Michael, it might be possilbe to have "English Copy Editing / Proofreading".SE, similar to Code Review. – jscs Sep 6 '11 at 20:04

For what it's worth, you explained the issue yourself.

I can't get more specific cause I don't really understand my problem that much.

You need to attack any problem one step at a time rather than all at once. Essentially, you need to repeat the following steps.

  1. Find a very specific aspect of your problem to solve.
  2. Ask about it.
  3. Repeat.

If you're having difficulty honing in on a specific question to ask, try to create a sample problem with a few lines of source code illustrating your issue and then continue to edit your question in response to requests for further clarification.

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    Now THIS is the answer. Good call. – Kyle Sep 6 '11 at 19:23

You basically asked "How can I learn more math so my code can be more elegant?" in a very long TLDR fashion. I didn't see the point until I got to the bottom of your question. And even then the question is overly broad and written in a rambling fashion.

I think there may be a question in there somewhere but whatever concrete question would come out of your question may be more appropriate programmers.SE than to SO.

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    It would still be too vague for Programmers. – Adam Lear Sep 6 '11 at 19:17
  • Overly broad rambling fashion is kinda how I write generally :/ – Isaiah Sep 6 '11 at 19:27

Not to sound like a robot, but your question had no question; or at least none in any reasonably answerable form.

From the StackOverflow FAQ:

You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page.

  • Actually it did on the last line: "Is there any resources out there to get me to this level cause I don't want to feel limited anymore and have to copy/paste stuff I don't understand but seems to work" I admit I forgot a question mark but I think it's obvious – Isaiah Sep 6 '11 at 19:15
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    Not to be pedantic, but that's pretty open ended by SO standards (and off topic). To answer your original (closed) question, I will suggest taking a trip to khanacademy.org to brush up your math skills. – user7116 Sep 6 '11 at 19:18
  • Thanks! Had no idea this place existed. See why couldn't someone just put that on there? – Isaiah Sep 6 '11 at 19:22
  • Hmm... I didn't actually see the question you just specified in there. The only related thing is "Maybe there's a place for broad questions in insert prefixoverflow but there are a gazillion of them and how would I know" which really isn't a question by any definition of the word. – Kyle Sep 6 '11 at 19:22
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    The answer is SO isn't a catch-all Q&A site. Some questions just don't belong (the connotation of that should not be construed as negative). – user7116 Sep 6 '11 at 19:23
  • There you're really missing a HUGE audience of people who need help but don't know how to word their questions right or even fully understand their question – Isaiah Sep 6 '11 at 19:27
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    People who don't know how to be succint or to the point isn't the kind of audience they're after @isa – random Sep 6 '11 at 19:28
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    @Isaiah: Stack Overflow was open to broader questions for a long time after it started. The result wasn't pretty, and got worse as the site got larger. – Jeremy Banks Sep 6 '11 at 19:28
  • @Jeremy Banks: I understand, but this pure closing on anything slightly broad makes me rather give up, after I just spent 30min on question that just got closed – Isaiah Sep 6 '11 at 19:40
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    @Isaiah: You're asking strangers to share their time and expertise with you, with no direct recompense, and thirty minutes is too much time for you to spend making sure you communicate effectively to them? – jscs Sep 6 '11 at 19:58
  • @Jeremy Banks: No, I spent around 20-30 minutes actually editing it to make it better before posting. I think it's really my writing style, I seem to write with a rambling, metaphorical flair. I also appreciate text that has some kind of challenge to it, or in the least, a complex, skilled structure. Needless to say my favorite writer is William Gibson haha – Isaiah Sep 6 '11 at 20:28

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