I recently got several downvotes on an answer I provided (the link is for 10k users). I think the answer was spot on and I'd like to get some feedback/discuss why. What's wrong with my answer?
A downvote is a signal. You can choose to ignore or complain, but normally that won't help anybody.
If I get a downvote, I reread my contribution. Sometimes, I did make a mistake and I correct it. Sometimes the question is changed and the answer is not suitable anymore. In that case you can either edit or delete (if it is hopeless).
But remember, a downvote does not mean "we don't like you", it does mean "we don't like your post." Unfortunately this also goes for upvotes.
DaveBall's comment is spot on:
@Ram (-1): You should think about the algorithm and their complexity long before coding, profiling and code optimization. Because improving your code by some percentage is vanishing if the algorithm is O(n^2) instead of O(n log n), for instance.
Your answer is also pretty short for a complex topic and generally useless. You don't provide anything to help the user get started doing what you suggest.
I'm also not entirely sure it actually answers the question. You don't address whether brute force algorithms can scale or how to scale them.
"Go do this" is rarely an answer, and certainly not for a complex topic. If you can provide a solution to the problem, great, but it should be explained; if a "solution" wouldn't make sense per se, like in this case, then you still need to explain what's involved. You want to help the user understand so that they don't come back tomorrow and post a similar question, having learned nothing.
- It doesn't really matter what the original question was; this is and always will be a comment. An answer must actually attempt to answer the user's question (or provide an acceptable alternate if the user is doing it wrong).
- A user with 1 rep should be very careful about giving the appearance of condescension. I don't know you; you might be a developer with twenty years under your belt who has made millions in this game. Here, you've got 1 rep. Its easy to misinterpret what someone types, and to downvote. Add them together and you're cruising for a downvote bruising.
- I cannot stress enough that this is a comment and not an answer. New users often leave answers as they don't have enough rep to leave comments. This turns our user base into Bruce Banner. And since I haven't gotten a patent on my device to punch people in the face through the innertubes yet, the only recourse for their smash-energy is to downvote.
- Lists should always be three items long. Yes, this is meant to explain #3 and to be ironic.
It's not an answer to the current question, therefore it should be a comment. When your answer DOES NOT solve a certain question, don't post it as an answer; post it as a comment!
Currently flagged as "not an answer" http://phpcode.eu/images/1315593816.php