I have been thinking about the problem with using "problem" in question titles, which spawned these threads:
- The Efficacy Of Stack Overflow's Question Title Filter
- Moderators should be immune to the word filters in titles (status-declined - 6 Dec 2011)
- The title word filter is one of the worst ideas ever implemented on SO (status-declined - 29 Dec 2011)
As a test, I pretended to ask a question on Stack Overflow with this title:
Help with a Poisson distribution problem
Today you get a popup that essentially says don't do that" in response to the aforementioned question title:
My gripe is that there is only negative reinforcement and no positive guidance to correct the "offense". While I would prefer that we don't ban "problem" in the title, I'm quite aware that it isn't a realistic expectation given the winds blowing internally at Stack Exchange.
In the "Oops!" message, say something like:
Oops! Your question couldn't be submitted because:
- (red text) You have used the following words in titles: 'help', 'problem'
- (red text) Enumerate other errors here
- (green text) For suggestions to improve your use of 'help', see This Hyperlink About Improving Titles With Help
- (green text) For suggestions to improve your use of 'problem', see This Hyperlink About Improving Titles With Problem
We can selectively implement which words get positive examples; certainly "help" and "problem" would be good starting points.
I'm sure smarter people than me can come up with the correct things to put on those pages.
This would reduce the complaining (which I have done as well) about the title filter; it is frustrating to have common words banned, if we have no timely recommendation for improvement.