Should questions of the following type be flagged/closed? What reason can one give?

Question: Is there an operator '+' for calculating 'A+B'?

Answer: Yes, try '+'

The problem is that if the asker that just typed out what he "wanted the answer to be like", it would have solved his problem. Does this kind of trivial question actually help out others? In my opinion, it simply wastes other people's time.

Specific question: Slicing a NumPy array - choose values corresponding to certain indexes

  • possible duplicate of Introduce a "general reference" close reason
    – ale
    Jul 10, 2012 at 18:29
  • 1
    @Al Everett: I don't think so. "general reference" was intended for questions that could have been solved through trivial research but did not, whereas this question is asking about questions with the answer staring right at the reader. Jul 10, 2012 at 18:43

2 Answers 2


Yes, they should be. The OP wrote code that works and didn't bother to test it, so there's nothing to answer. Really, the problem is that there is no question to begin with. It's the same thing as asking what the number is for 911.

A quote from Family Guy:

Lois: Okay here we go, "What color is a fire truck?"

Peter: Aww, oh God I always get these. Umm..okay..uhh..all right.. fire truck.. fire truck fire truck fire truck fire truck. What color are those red fire trucks? Uhh.. Oh god I can picture them now...all red and everything

  • So it should be closed as "Not a Real Question"?
    – JimmyPena
    Jul 10, 2012 at 19:17
  • Yes, that's what I voted to close the one above as. I feel that is more fitting than a too localized label.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Jul 10, 2012 at 19:22
  • Thanks, I'll keep that in mind if I see questions like that.
    – JimmyPena
    Jul 10, 2012 at 19:23
  • 3
    The number for 911 is 999 surely :-). Jul 10, 2012 at 20:25

So you seem to be implying a few different problems:

  1. The question answers itself.
  2. The question is really simple and easy to answer.
  3. The asker didn't put enough time into trying to solve his problem; no demonstratable research effort was made.

For #1 the correct resolution would be to remove the "answer" from the question itself and post it as the answer (or to ask the OP to do it himself). Consider posting the answer as community wiki if the OP isn't coming back to re-post it as the answer.

For #2 that's not a problem. If you don't find the question interesting then just leave it and move on. There is no such thing as "too easy".

For #3 vote to close as not a real question.

Note that each of these problems are independent, but not mutually exclusive.

  • +1 Interesting points on #1 and #2. I would have first thought to follow #3 for showing little-to-no research effort, but a question is a question, right? And if the OP can't see the error in front of them, that doesn't make it any less of an answer.
    – Gaffi
    Jul 10, 2012 at 19:39

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