Why is this limit there? (Jeff just says here that he won't increase the limit.)

Some users have cases where they need to ask a few separate questions. And also if they are related, I thought that it is a good policy to try to post separate questions separately as much as possible (e.g. as discussed here).

So I asked these questions:

And I have some more (mostly unrelated) questions to ask.

I think it is quite common to have many questions when you enter a new area (in my case Windows+MSVC).

A related discussion is on the Help Vampires post. Most people are saying there that too many questions are not a problem.

Another related discussion (evolved from the answers here) is how much research should be done before asking a question.

In any case, I think all of my questions are of value to the community and I would like to put some more questions on SO. And I don't really see why that is bad for SO.

Maybe the limit should be dependent on reputation? Or completely absent at some reputation limit?

  • Downvoters: a bit harsh? It's a valid question - or are people just disagreeing with the suggested link to rep? – raveturned Mar 30 '12 at 16:43
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    @raveturned: I think people are disagreeing with the suggestion in general. What's "harsh" about downvotes? – Cody Gray Mar 30 '12 at 16:44
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    People must seriously get over their fear of downvotes. This is reality, not a game. If a group of people disagree with your statement or question or answer, maybe you should seriously start considering that your asking the wrong questions. – BinaryMisfit Mar 30 '12 at 16:47
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    I thought it was harsh because it's a decent question. Then again, votes are different in meta, and I didn't notice the feature-request tab. Just worried the asker might take it personally. :) – raveturned Mar 30 '12 at 16:48
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    Why? To prevent Help Vampires from sucking the life out of StackOverflow. – user1228 Mar 30 '12 at 18:14
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    @Diago People fear downvotes because downvotes lead to indefinite bans. – Damian Yerrick Nov 18 '14 at 1:14
  • Downvotes aren't for disagreement. They're for informing the community that the question or answer is of poor quality. This question is of exceptionally high quality. The harassment and trolling on this platform has really gotten nutso since that organisational sexism incident. – DylanYoung May 24 at 17:08

Because if you've asked 6 questions in a 24 hour period, that's a sign it's time to do some research on your own, or actually get some work done.

Seriously, that's a lot. It has nothing to do with the possible reputation gain and everything to do with the fact that this is a site staffed entirely by volunteers, who give freely of their own time and expertise to answer your questions. You're just taking advantage of that unjustifiably if you don't expend any effort to find answers to your questions on your own.

Asking this many questions is almost always a good sign that you're not putting enough effort into each question. There's no way you can research and write more than 6 quality questions in a 24 hour period. At least not if you sleep and eat and all those other things. And if you're not doing those things, then consider this question limit a public service for your health.

Moreover, keep in mind that there are other users who wish to use and benefit from the site as well. All of the questions you ask necessarily draw time and attention away from the questions posted by other users. Spreading questions out over a longer period of time gives everyone a more reasonable chance for their questions to "shine" (i.e., appear on the home page).

Take a break; come back tomorrow. We'll still be here.

If you still want to stay on the site and hit "Submit" buttons, then consider editing your existing questions to improve them and answering some questions yourself. You're encouraged to "pay it forward" anyway.

I think it is quite common to have many questions when you enter a new area (in my case Windows+MSVC).

Perhaps, but it's also worth noting that Stack Overflow is not a very good place to learn new technologies. You should probably start by reading a book or utilizing an online tutorial.

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    Most of the questions/problems are exactly stopping me from getting the work done. Anyway, doing some own research and asking on SO are never mutually exclusive, aren't they? I just always ask on SO. And in the meanwhile I do research. And if I figure it out myself, I can answer my own question. And that is in the end valuable for everyone (i.e. for people in the future with a similar question/problem). – Albert Mar 30 '12 at 16:24
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    It is actually not that rare that I'm the one answering my own questions. And as it is often a problem stopping me from continuing my current work, I am forced to also do own research if I want to minimize the time to resolve the problem. In any case, it can only be of value for SO, can't it? – Albert Mar 30 '12 at 16:35
  • "start by reading a book [...]" - and now I would ask on SO if someone could suggest me any book about this. But I can't. (OT: I also don't think there would be any book/tutorial about the things I were asking). – Albert Mar 30 '12 at 16:37
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    @Albert Please never ask for book recommendations on SO. That's completely off-topic and not constructive. – Josh Darnell Mar 30 '12 at 16:42
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    @Albert I doubt you have searched very hard if you cant find any books or tutorials about what your asking, or otherwise, your asking the wrong questions. – BinaryMisfit Mar 30 '12 at 16:46
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    "I just always ask on SO. And in the meanwhile I do research." No no no no no no no no NO. Exhaust your research efforts. Then ask. But if you're asking 6 questions in a day, I would take that as a sign that I'm over my head and to take a step back. "I don't know enough of what I need to know, what's a good resource for changing that?" (The answer at that point isn't asking more questions on Stack Overflow. It's finding other useful content, blogs, books, etc.) – Anthony Pegram Mar 30 '12 at 16:48
  • @AnthonyPegram: Why? But maybe that should be discussed on a separate Meta question. And look at my question, I don't think they are invalid or that I should have researched more before asking them. – Albert Mar 30 '12 at 16:57
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    @Albert: Why? Because we don't exist to do research for you. You're expected to do diligence in pursuing a problem, and only after having made serious effort on your own to solving it do you come to us. That way, you don't ask duplicate questions (because your research would have found them), and your questions are much more likely to be good as well as help the "not you" demographic. – Nicol Bolas Mar 30 '12 at 18:35
  • Enjoy the Reversal! – Daniel Mar 30 '12 at 19:18
  • @NicolBolas: I don't understand the reasoning. Of course I check for similar questions first. And if it is not there, it is always valuable for the whole community to ask the question. Why should I do it after I already did the research myself and answered it for myself? – Albert Mar 30 '12 at 21:09
  • I put this discussion about the research into a separate meta question here. – Albert Mar 30 '12 at 21:35
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    I actually rather like SO for learning new tech... But only when there've been quite a lot of existing beginner questions well-answered. I can't imagine learning by trying to ask them all on my own - that would be horribly inefficient for all concerned! – Shog9 Mar 30 '12 at 21:40
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    Honestly, this 6 question rule is overgeneralization. Some areas are way more complex then others and if one works for more then 10+ hours a day, he will need more then 6 questions per day. I'd be happier if the limit was atleast 10. You can hate me for this, but I'm still a student and I have a lot of questions. – Tool Jan 8 '13 at 15:02
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    @Tool: “I'm still a student and I have a lot of questions.” Huh. You know those college professors that you’re paying for? Maybe they could answer some of your questions. – Paul D. Waite Jul 21 '13 at 9:20
  • Btw, now that a lot of time has passed, revisit these questions. They are all providing great value to the community. It doesn't really make any sense to have limits on valuable questions. It doesn't matter whether one thinks I did too less research before asking them. It matters whether they provide value to the community. – Albert May 2 at 17:39

The limit is there to optimize for pearls not sand.

Basically we want good quality questions, questions that take a bit of thought and should take you some time to answer.

there is also a 50 question/month limit as well.

Relevant quote:

Last month we made voting more visible and added 10 additional “question-only” daily votes to encourage people to vote more on questions, so we can better discern their value.

Users intuit that answers are the real unit of work in any Q&A system and tend to favor answers in their voting.

Continuing in that same vein, we have two more changes to formally announce today:

  1. We now limit users (and IP addresses) to a maximum of 6 questions per day and 50 questions per month.

  2. Downvotes on questions no longer cost the casting user 1 reputation, so they are effectively “free”.

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