I am currently very disappointed with stackoverflow.com because when I ask a question, I get more and more down-votes. For example, this question,


Doesn't this question make sense?

Is there is a monopoly of old users on stackoverflow.com who are discouraging new users to ask questions?

Won't new users (like me) be highly discouraged by such responses?

  • 10
  • 1
    A preemptive comment for you regarding this post and the downvotes - voting is different here on meta – Lix May 10 '12 at 7:24
  • 4
    Your "question" is one line. Do you not see the problem with that? You included at least 4 lines here. Why the difference? – Cody Gray May 10 '12 at 7:31
  • 1
    @user960567 tim is right you need to be more specifc. Dont be afraid just ask your question properly you will get vote ups and sometime you gets a vote down you can justify yourself using comments. Comments are most powerful feature of stackoverflow. Just read FAQ properly see some questions how they are asked, you will get it very easily then dont worry. – amod May 10 '12 at 7:36
  • 8
    Comments...are not "the most powerful feature of stackoverflow". Comments are basically irrelevant to Stack Overflow. – Cody Gray May 10 '12 at 7:40
  • 2
    Small tip: If your question is starting with "Best way to...", it's 99.999% not suitable for SE. – Time Traveling Bobby May 10 '12 at 7:51
  • 3
    @use - all closed as not constructive (except one). By you posting a link to it I'm sure it'll be closed soon too... Quoting from the close reason - "This question is not a good fit to our Q&A format..." – Lix May 10 '12 at 8:00
  • 1
    Thanks, we missed one! (I just love when people make that silly, silly argument.) – Cody Gray May 10 '12 at 8:13
  • 4
    It's a good thing that people are discouraged from posting bad content. The system works. – Shadow The Dragon Wizard May 10 '12 at 8:14
  • 3
    Can we now finally delete these f****** questions so that people stop dragging them in here as justification? – Time Traveling Bobby May 10 '12 at 8:38
  • @Kobobby Better to marked as "Historic interest: not an example of a good question" (rather than lose the content). – Richard May 10 '12 at 9:11
  • @Richard: They are closed as "Not Constructive"... ... ... – Time Traveling Bobby May 10 '12 at 9:20
  • @Kobobby While the questions are a bad fit for SO many of the answers contain useful and valuable information. Unlike closing, deletion is destructive (for most users) and information is lost. – Richard May 10 '12 at 9:25
  • 1
    @Kobobby There is utterly off topic: your example, and there is on topic but the wrong style of question – not constructive – as per the questions listed above. No answer on how to find the G-Spot is ever going to be on topic; whereas the quality programming book (for example) can be. – Richard May 10 '12 at 13:25

You need to be more specific.

I need a more/most optimized way to replace my old file contents with new contents in Java?

You need to be more specific in what you want to do. Just a "I want to do this help me please" won't work.

Drake's comment explains part of what's missing:

What kind of file? What kind of contents? Do you need to keep other parts of the file? Why can't you delete and replace?

You also need to explain what' you've tried.

StackOverflow is not a helpdesk. We won't answer every question you throw at us unless you show some research effort and also make the question clear.

Please read the faq before asking questions.

  • 2
    Spoken like a true @tim... one of them at least... – Lix May 10 '12 at 7:22

Doesn't this question make sense?

No, not much to me, but this part has already been answered in more detail by Tim ManishEarth.

Is there is a monopoly of old users on stackoverflow.com who are discouraging new users to ask questions?

No, but there are a lot of dedicated users that don't like unspecific, one-line questions, where it is clear that no effort has been put in on the part of the asker. Rest assured, though, that we do love to upvote good questions, regardless of who has asked them.

Won't new users (like me) be highly discouraged by such responses?

You are not a new user anymore after 7 months, 83 questions, 9 answers, and nearly 1k reputation. Therefore, you should be highly motivated by such responses to improve your questions.

  • @The Establishment, thanks for improving my English! – stema May 10 '12 at 8:27
  • +1 unlike me, you actually noticed that the fellow had nearly 1k. I'm not too active on SO, but I have noticed that this is becoming a problem--medium-reps still don't know the policies. I've seen >3ks posting link-answers/one-line answers/etc. Though this is a separate problem. I should start gathering evidence and write up a new MSO post :) – Manishearth May 10 '12 at 13:52

As far as your disappointment with SO/SE goes...

You are right. The Q&A 'look-and-feel' setup of SO and all the other SE sites as well make it appear that to new users they can just ask anything and interested individuals will be responding. The reason for this is many users are coming from using Forums and other Q&A places like 'Yahoo Answers'.

The fault is not just you alone and the people here should be ashamed for suggesting that. Case in point, fearing to write an answer that might not be deemed 'a worthy answer' by the community (even if the answer was good enough for the asker) is a serious problem. Heck, even comments can hurt you... So, the problem is that SE/SO bears the appearance of a Q&A site when it is in fact not a Q&A site per-Se.

It's more like a 'request for information on otherwise unresolvable research' board; as far as i can tell, and depending on which site you are on, might need a team of lawyers just to be sure you don't offend, break rules, be specific enough, Google-d your subject to death, and read every possible book at your local library, before even thinking about asking!

I probably wouldn't even write this answer, if I actually cared about my reputation points anymore, but it is clear that those or more like popularity points to me. I've heard excellent answers from people with <1000 and pure crap from people with >21k,,, so, yeah I don't blame you for hesitating on SO, and you are right to do so.

I made this response long to also warn you of answers like this. You WILL GET DOWN-VOTED for being too detailed or including too much sugar, yes I did say that, even if it is relevant. Don't make any mistakes and do all the above and you MIGHT get away with asking your question without having two or three people edit it for you for spelling, grammatical, and technical errors.... If you are new to SO, use it as a reference like I do, only ask questions as a last resort (by last resort I mean that you hiked to china and back looking for an answer).

I'll be surprised if this answer doesn't go down to at least -100 before sundown...sorry for the bad news! Thanks to Stack Exchange -- I now miss the days on dial-up wondering if the sysop was watching me read & write my intimate e-mails. Good bye and good luck....

  • 1
    If you are new to SO, use it as a reference like I do, only ask questions as a last resort (by last resort I mean that you hiked to china and back looking for an answer). That's the design of the site. We want people to be spending time trying to find existing solutions to their problems. The purpose of SO is to create a repository of knowledge. It is supposed to be a reference source. It is correct to only ask the author(s) of a reference source to answer your question after you've spend time searching the reference in question for your answers. – Servy Nov 19 '14 at 16:01
  • Also note the site goes out of its way to make these major differences very clear to new users. They simply ignore every single piece of information put in front of them and ask their poorly researched questions anyway. – Servy Nov 19 '14 at 16:03

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .