I am aware of many posts with great questions and answers about conventions and best practices when posting larger amounts of code. I am curious though: at a higher level, what if anything has been considered?

I envision a day we can post larger bits of our projects with integrated functionality and see help (code edits/modifications) in a kind of Google Docs versioning style along with the wide array of code syntax already recognized, so we could see who edited what and when.

Just curious, any thoughts appreciated.

  • 3
    Might be an idea for codereview.
    – Oded
    Jan 4, 2012 at 12:16
  • Very true, @Oded I'd be happy if someone could migrate it if other agree and feel I'll get a better answer. Thanks Jan 4, 2012 at 12:29
  • 1
    Sounds like GitHub with Gist. Jan 4, 2012 at 13:19
  • This is an idea for a different network.
    – JNK
    Jan 4, 2012 at 14:53
  • 4
    -1. Better to force people to create an SSCCE
    – user1228
    Jan 4, 2012 at 18:14

2 Answers 2


As a rule, I think we discourage large amounts of code for several reasons..

  • It's off-putting to a searcher to see pages and pages of code before they get to any answers

  • SO is for general, reusable questions and solutions. If explaining your problem requires 2000 lines of code it's probably too specific to be of use to someone else

  • SO is not a free debugging service, and encouraging/enabling posting thousands of lines of code would encourage more people to post questions along the lines of Why doesn't this work?!!?!! followed by their entire program.

What you are describing is a neat idea that is far removed from the core mission of the stack exchange sites.

We are here to answer specific questions about programming, not to have an interactive codebase of "fixed" programs or scripts that would be impossible to search usefully but neat to browse. This is an objective-oriented site for the most part, not a novelty store.

  • @TryTryAgain - happy to help! there's a lot of cool things you COULD do that aren't really a good fit for what they are trying to do here. They have been very successful in large part because they very tightly limit the scope of the site
    – JNK
    Jan 4, 2012 at 15:48

I completely agree with JNK's answer.

After going through all SO documentation

We feel the best Stack Overflow questions have a bit of source code in them, but if your question generally covers …

in the first paragraph of the FAQ is all that I could find, other than discussions on meta of course, that mention anything of snippet posting etiquette.

Including something like this would be helpful:

  • a specific programming problem
  • a software algorithm
  • software tools commonly used by programmers
  • practical, answerable problems that are unique to the programming profession
  • being mindful of keeping your included code a SSCCE OR SEE BELOW

… then you’re in the right place to ask your question!

...or...in Etiquette

Be Nice


Be Honest


Be Concise


  • Sorry if I shouldn't have answered like this. I am trying to turn around a question ban :-( Jan 7, 2012 at 21:48
  • Isn't sending an email to [email protected] an easier option? (It seems commenting on Should the automated ban on questions used on SO apply to Meta as well? doesn't work, though it might be good place to comment, so we can have some future reference.)
    – Arjan
    Jan 7, 2012 at 21:55
  • I did, I was just following this: goo.gl/C1Kwu particularly If you really, really think the question ban is an error, then email the team directly I don't think it's an error. With only 3 questions it will be hard to turn around. I want to ask questions like meta.stackexchange.com/questions/117970/… as well as following this from that meta post: the single best thing you can do to get it lifted is to address any objections raised by others. Were your past questions unclear? Did they fail to show any effort on your part? Jan 7, 2012 at 22:02
  • I think that very answer merely applies to "main" sites like Stack Overflow and others. As on Meta voting is different, 3 Meta posts that people disagree with should not get you banned, I think. When did you send that email? It might take some time, of course.
    – Arjan
    Jan 7, 2012 at 22:07
  • Oh, this just happened today, I sent it earlier this morning. I am just doing all that I can. I'll work on getting back up somehow. And I'll be patient to, hopefully, get it resolved with a moderator after my email gets attention. Jan 7, 2012 at 22:10
  • (As an aside, I don't think moderators are handling those emails, but Jeff Atwood and/or the development team is/are. But that doesn't really matter. Good you commented to Jeff's answer at Should the automated ban on questions used on SO apply to Meta as well? Success!)
    – Arjan
    Jan 7, 2012 at 22:20
  • Thank you! That link was helpful in general...EDIT: Oh WOW! Much appreciated :-) Jan 7, 2012 at 22:21

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