I was about to ask a question entitled "Speeding up R for and while loops", and noticed while hesitating that "Speeding up R" is apparently "too short to be useful".

So I thought I'd try "Speeding up PHP" - it's just another language and contains no more information than "Speeding up R" - in spite of this, the notice promptly goes away.

With this, is a minimum length check perhaps a bit... weak?

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    Perhaps your titles are a bit... weak? – Oded Apr 27 '12 at 15:51
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    @Oded - did you even read the explanation? – dplanet Apr 27 '12 at 15:52
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    Well, it is clear from your description that the check for a title being too short is based on (ta da!) the length of the string. – Oded Apr 27 '12 at 15:54
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    @Oded - that is correct, congratulations. But it still does not address that you didn't read the description. – dplanet Apr 27 '12 at 15:56
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    What? You added two characters and expect that the length of the title will be the same? – Oded Apr 27 '12 at 15:57
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    Well BoltClock added the bit that made me sound surprised about this. – dplanet Apr 27 '12 at 16:00
  • Apologies, just wasn't sure what the question was trying to say. – Oded Apr 27 '12 at 16:01
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    Whatifwecountedthenumberofwhitespacecharactersinstead? – BoltClock's a Unicorn Apr 27 '12 at 16:11
  • BoltClock - that is an acceptable question. – dplanet Apr 27 '12 at 16:13
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    Since writing a good question title is hard its no surprise that coming up with good heuristics to ensure that it is one is also hard. But 15 characters does indeed stop lots of truly bad ones – Some Helpful Commenter Apr 27 '12 at 16:17

I think the check is doing a great job, actually.

"Speeding up R" is not really a useful title. It's pretty vague; you should mention in your question title what, specifically, you're trying to fix. "Speeding up nested for loops in R" 1 would be an improvement.

If you don't know enough about the problem to know which part of your code is slow, then perhaps you need to look a little deeper before posting 2

Of course, "Speeding up PHP" is no better, but there is only so much you can do with programmatic checks like this. There has to be a limit somewhere.

1 I don't know anything about R, it might not even use for loops, but I think you get my meaning =)
2 Please take that as a general statement, not a personal attack on you or your question.

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  • I agree, there has to be a limit. But I would have thought a better programmatic check would be to have a minimum word limit rather than a minimum length limit. – dplanet Apr 27 '12 at 15:58
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    @dplanet - A better check would be for both # of words and total length. – Oded Apr 27 '12 at 15:59
  • I agree with @Oded. Also, possibly removing tags from the title before doing the length check would be useful. – Josh Darnell Apr 27 '12 at 16:00
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    +1 for footnotes. I love footnotes. – Shep Apr 27 '12 at 16:41
  • @Shep I will take a +1 however I can get it =P – Josh Darnell Apr 27 '12 at 17:01

"PHP" has two more characters than "R". So the minimum length for a title must be > 13 and <= 15 characters. Experimentation will show that it is, in fact, 15.

Whether this is weak or not is a subjective question. Seems fine to me.

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