I generally see these kinds of questions when talking about or .

The user asks a question: This fade effect, how?, and I'm looking at the close reasons and I don't find anything to relate it to:

Not Constructive

This question is not a good fit to our Q&A format. We expect answers to generally involve facts, references, or specific expertise; this question will likely solicit opinion, debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion.

Not really... The solution is not very debatable.

off topic

Questions on Stack Overflow are expected to generally relate to programming or software development in some way, within the scope defined in the faq.

Question does relate to programming! He's looking for an existing plugin!

In that case, what should we do with questions like those? Are they on topic? How should we handle them?


In my opinion, those qualify as either "Not Constructive" or "Not a real question". They're basically "gimme the codez" questions with no real substance. The answers which are generated are mere "Use this [link]" answers, which are of no real value in the end. Additionally they show (most of the time) a lack of research.

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  • What if the asker adds caveats such as "I've tried out X but it doesn't work for me because of Y" or "I know that X is a very good option and generally considered the go-to, but my management refuses to let me use X."? Would the question be considered valid if the asker includes qualifiers such as "I'm currently using X, but my co-workers are suggesting that I use Y. I've looked at Y but I can't tell the difference. How does Y differ from X?" – Yawus Jul 10 '12 at 18:00
  • @Yawus: No. Adding limitations makes those questions not more valid...neither do questions for comparison of libraries. – Time Traveling Bobby Jul 10 '12 at 18:14

No, they are not.

There are many reasons why these questions are not a good fit for StackOverflow.

  1. They invite spam. Lots of it. We hate spam.
  2. They result in the same answer being given over and over.
  3. They invite link-only answers. These rot. Rotting stinks.
  4. They result in the same answer being given over and over.
  5. They invite link-only answers. These rot. Rotting stinks.
  6. What color is your bikeshed?
  7. They result in the same answer being given over and over.
  8. They invite spam.
  9. And, finally, what's the best solution today is abandonware tomorrow.
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Says it all in this case.

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  • That's not really it. This one talks about shopping recommendations, which are a whole different topic. – Madara's Ghost Apr 13 '12 at 11:45
  • 1
    @Truth: Not really. You're just shopping for a plug-in. – Cody Gray Apr 14 '12 at 7:58

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