I've seen it over and over again: A poor guy asks a question, makes a mistake in the formulation, another small typo and the result is less-than-perfect (not to say: stupid). What usually happens next is that within minutes such a question is down-voted, closed or even deleted.
I'm not against down-voting, closing or deleting of unconstructive/stupid content. Housekeeping is necessary.
But Gentlemen - Please! - Leave that poor guy the time it takes to reformulate, extend or rewrite his question. Most of the time I see plain down-votes without a comment within 20 minutes of the original post. And - that's the sad part - the down voters are usually members with >15k reputation.
Please consider the following:
- Not all persons have English as their mother-tongue. Asking technical questions in a foreign language is quite challenging. Is it really so simple to estimate the effort that went into a badly formulated question?
- Often the right question is the key to the correct answer. To find that "golden question" is time consuming, but usually a steep learning curve. You cut that off if you close the question.
- Rewriting a question needs time. Especially if the proper research was not done in the first place.
- Posts on SO are not real-time communication. (There's the chat for this) People tend to follow that fact and expect answers by the next day (or even by the next week).
If your answer is: "If I see the question being improved, I'll take the down-vote back." then I'd have to reply: Nay! This is not going to happen, I know you're too lazy to come back to a bad question.
My question is: How long do you allow someone to react on "improvement requests"?
What is the consensus on SO about this? Is there a consensus? One hour? One day? One week?