Recently, there has been a poll about peoples' addiction to Stack Overflow, and justifiably so, there is a lot to like here. But what are the things you dislike?
The site culture is extremely unwelcoming to newbies.
For those who wanted me to elaborate with examples
- Newbie is learning jQuery (or PHP, or the Qt toolkit, or Django, or etc..)
- Newbie googles basic question
- Newbie receives answer listed on Stack Overflow.
- Newbie finds Firefox is not working (or wants to know if they should learn Prototype instead).
- Newbie asks question on Stack Overflow
- Newbies gets 6 downvotes, and comments like "Should be on SU" (Newbie thinks: WTF is SU?) or "Subjective and argumentive"
- Question gets migrated/closed, Newbie comes back and sees question listed as closed.
- (Not all users make it this far). Newbie clicks link to SU. Sees "Beta Access" and password prompt (Newbies, by definition, do not read the blog).
How many users are going to do the research and find out that SU is for general questions, is in beta, and that the password is on the blog? A much much smaller number than those will go "F**K THIS" and go the Yahoo answers.
I've seen this happen many times even without being on for huge amounts of times (I don't have exact numbers, but I'd say it even happens as much as two or three times a day).
And to the person who says this only happens to those who think downvotes are a slap in the face. To a newbie, they are. While once you have over 100 reputation (nothing to anyone on Meta Stack Overflow, by definition, but not something you get instantly), -2 is far from the end of the world, for a newbie 5 of them will take all their rep. And closing the question (without explanation of how to get to Super User/Server Fault/why subjective questions are banned) is inclined to provoke the response: "My question isn't good enough?! Screw you".
It's made me start using markdown in blog posts, emails etc... which leads to intense frustration when it doesn't work.
Other than that, just to nitpick:
- Lack of a full API
- Lack of offline client (would be useful for the tube)
- Personally I'm a fan of discussions beyond what's possible in SO
- I still don't think using time as a basis for the rep cap is a good idea
EDIT: Other minors:
- Various notification things, including "I've fixed my answer, please check whether this solves your downvote"
- Cancellation of comment voting
- "Anti-close" - "this isn't a dupe"
No attention should be paid to the length of this list though - SO is still the best thing since sliced bread.
More rep loss from downvotes would be good (if I understand the "status-planned" tag on that question, this is going to be implemented, right?).
But though it might fix the unfairness of lazy users gaining lots of rep, it's not going to stop drive-by bad questions.
- The "Delicate Flowers" of Stack Overflow
- They think any and all down votes are bad, hostile or just plain mean
- Happy, aimless up voting and vote trading
- Hostility towards the mass reputation SOpedians (10k+) because they have high reputation. It is like they somehow don't deserve it. E.g.: The Problem with Reputation... OK, maybe Joel Spolsky's posts, but the rest very well earn their points by and large.
- Folks who see more value in badges and reputation than quality questions and answers
- SOpedians who continuously whine with complains about being abused, kept down or otherwise grievously mistreated by the elected moderators, high rep users, or the allegedly tyrannical rule of Jeff Atwood himself.
- Discrepancies between WMD's preview and actual presentation
After hitting the "Add comment" button, there is no way to close the small text window that opens if you have happened to hit the button by mistake, or no longer feel the need to make a comment. I suppose the user could reload the page to make it disappear if they really wanted to, but a simple "cancel" or "close" button would do the trick just as well, without forcing them into F5'ing.
Other than that, it's a pretty nifty site!
Simple, there's no API.
Update: Lies, all lies! There is (now) an API!
I can't use an avatar without signing up for gravatar, which then doesn't take OpenID.
(See also Can we use non-gravatar avatars?).
- you cannot use arbitrary URLs in posts (and nobody tells you so right away)
- the yellow-ish background of questions matching my favourites (I deleted all my favourite tags because of that)
- the "show x more comments" link (I wish all comments were visible right away)
- I'm not notified of new comments to posts which I commented at (yes, this is no discussion forum...)
- error messages when posting are displayed at the bottom of the editor, where they are easily missed (esp. for newbies)