I'm mostly a PHP guy but it's only recently that I started looking at the PHP tag and the level of the questions is really poor.

With poor I mean that, apart from answering the question, you usually have to point out SQL Injection problems and XSS problems.

Can't we do a "community wiki" question like "What every PHP developer should read before asking a question on Stack Overflow" that points out to good resources on common topics like SQL Injection, XSS, Encoding, how to avoid notices and warnings and so on? Is this something worth doing or not?

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    Tag Wikis? And yes, I know that visibility is bad... Apr 13, 2012 at 10:00
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    Why don't you write it up as your own blog post. You can then point people at it in a comment on these bad questions.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Apr 13, 2012 at 10:07
  • @Chris i will surely write some blog posts on the topic, i was wondering if doing something like this question programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/46716/… would help Apr 13, 2012 at 10:11
  • That's an old question that was migrated from Stack Overflow - I wouldn't use it as justification to post something new on any Stack Exchange site.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Apr 13, 2012 at 10:47
  • @Kobobby yes tag wiki are what i'm looking for Apr 13, 2012 at 15:50

2 Answers 2


Can't we do a "community wiki" question


like "What every PHP developer should read before asking a question on Stack Overflow" that points out to good resources on common topics

God no.

Perhaps updating the PHP tag wiki is what you really want to do, but as you can see, it's already pretty comprehensive.

  • That "what Stack Overflow is not" page is turning out to be quite useful. Apr 13, 2012 at 15:36
  • @AdamRackis Indeed, it is. I've already seen many comments on the main site referencing it on questions/answers that are flagged. It's a great resource.
    – casperOne
    Apr 13, 2012 at 15:47
  • Didn't think about tag wiki, if it's done right it's exactly what i wanted. Apr 13, 2012 at 15:47
  • @AdamRackis And are you checking up on me? I think I'm within 400-500 rep of you? Who will hit 10K first? Stay tuned to find out.
    – casperOne
    Apr 13, 2012 at 15:48
  • @casper - right now I've got 9 days left in my job before I start my awesome new one. Right now I'm writing a SQL UDF for a mainframe programmer who...can't. Part of me wants to dive into MSO, and part of me wants to just go to Starbucks and read all day. Stay tuned to see whatt I end up doing... Apr 13, 2012 at 15:49
  • @AdamRackis Well, I'm going to the Yankee's home opener for the next four hours, enjoy, as I definitely won't be on meta then. Laters!
    – casperOne
    Apr 13, 2012 at 15:50
  • Be careful in the Bronx...I hear the people from there are just awful Apr 13, 2012 at 15:53
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    @Adam Depends, but I hear me and my clan's rep is pretty tight.
    – casperOne
    Apr 13, 2012 at 18:14
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    That "What SO is not" page is an elaborate set up by Robert to Harveyst bazillion gold badges =) Apr 13, 2012 at 21:44

I agree with you that the general level of questions under the tag is pretty poor. I spend most of my time on that tag and a lot of the questions are very basic. However, I do not agree that creating a wiki will help.

I think part of the problem is that the low barrier to entry for PHP makes it a popular language for beginners and amateurs. I used to fall into both camps, but now I hope its only the latter.

Nobody posting on SO for the first (second or third) time is going to read the tag wiki or any community wiki, they don't even read the How To Ask page when faced with it for their first question. Its only when you get interested in being a part of the SO community that you read that stuff.

My strategy has been to try and point out when people are trying to do something that is poor practice. If I answer such a question I will try and point out why doing what they are doing is not a good idea and present a better option. I have been down voted for it occasionally, but that's OK.

I also down vote answers that encourage poor practice and up vote those that encourage good practice.

Remember that (most) users don't post poor questions intentionally. Look at it as an opportunity to teach them how to do something properly and point them at resources that encourage good programming practices.

If we all do the same, maybe we can raise the standard of questions under the tag.

I notice the tag seems to be going the same way lately, so maybe my optimism is misplaced.

  • Yes i agree with you but sometimes there are so many basic errors in the question that i felt that i neede a single place where to point users to so that they can (if they want) correct the most obvious problems. Three days ago my cousin asked me if i could take a look at his site and i discovered that PASSWORD were not crypted. And the site had been done by a "programmer". Apr 13, 2012 at 15:50
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    (OT, but @NicolaPeluchetti, if you're going to complain about the quality of anything, please, for the love of English, capitalize your Is. I, always, never i.)
    – Mat
    Apr 13, 2012 at 16:05
  • @Mat you are right!!!! :P Apr 13, 2012 at 16:06

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