This seems to be related to other meta questions, but I think there is a qualitative difference.

While this is obviously a site where specific questions are asked and specific answers are given (where possible), very often including example code, a line is crossed when the question's ideal answer is solely a snippet of example code that solves the problem behind the question asked, without any solicited explanation, and could just "drop in" to the questioner's codebase with minimal editing. Such a question is little more than a request for free development work on the part of the community, contrary to the spirit of the site where users seek to increase their knowledge by asking questions.

The usual response is to close such posts as "not a real question"; however, I think that's misleading based on the text of that reason; it is not, in fact, difficult to tell what is being asked in the question. Quite the contrary, the problem is that it's so glaringly obvious what the questioner wants that it's insulting.

Another possible response is to close the question as "too localized"; the exact code snippet would be unlikely to help anyone else even as a guide. However, that too can be misleading; it's very rare that the requested solution is so specialized that nobody else would ever be able to apply any part of it in their own work.

I propose the following close reason:

  • Overt request for code - While StackOverflow welcomes questions that require answers with example code to illustrate the solution, this question does not demonstrate any effort made towards solving the problem, and instead simply solicits answers consisting primarily of original working code that could be copied and pasted into a program.
  • 11
    But the rest of the "not a real question" close reason says "This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical" - I think these questions are usually incomplete (not showing what they have so far) or overly broad. Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 15:55
  • 1
    By the way, when I vote to close a question like this as "not a real question", I do usually mention that we prefer to see some prior research / effort / what they've tried, link to How to Ask, and refer the OP to the "Do your Homework" section. Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 15:58
  • @jadarnel27 - Fair enough. As I said in the question, there are existing ways to handle these situations, but it can be difficult to determine which to apply, so I proposed something that would be more clear-cut (hopefully).
    – KeithS
    Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 16:02
  • 2
    This would be a much, much more clear way of handling these "gimme teh codez" questions vs the overly vague NARQ close reason. Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 16:05
  • I don't think it's a terrible idea, by any means. It would certainly make it clear that those types of questions are frowned upon. I just worry that there is too much room for abuse, as there was in the "general reference" close reason experiment. Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 16:05
  • Ah yes, I wondered why that one went away. Pity; it was useful as a "Seriously? I found the exact answer in two seconds on Wikipedia or MSDN" reprimand, but 20/20 hindsight would say that many people could say that because they knew where to start looking which would be valuable to include in an answer. It's true that this reason could be abused to close any question that would require a tailored code snippet (even if the asker is asking for an explanation).
    – KeithS
    Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 16:14
  • Perhaps, at the least, a paragraph could be added to the "what not to ask" FAQ stating that overt requests for code are frowned on. There are currently no such guidelines for new users to read, and as such their first question is ravaged by people tired of "gimme t3h codez". Discouraging, to say the least.
    – KeithS
    Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 16:16
  • "It's difficult to tell what is being asked here" doesn't always apply to a question. Sometimes, we know fully well what is being asked. Nevertheless, we still use Not a Real Question as a close reason if one or more of the sub-reasons (ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad or rhetorical) still applies.
    – user102937
    Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 18:18

2 Answers 2


I'd like to see a close reason like this (and others along a similar style and level of detail), but not by adding a 6th close reason.

Instead what I would like to see is more specific "sub-reasons", for close votes and certain kinds of flags that allow you to be more specific about the exact reason. In terms of UI and mechanics this could work exactly like the OT vote currently works - a list of sub-options is shown as a second phase.

The reason I'd like to see this is because currently the "why was my question closed?" or "why was my answer deleted?" links that appear after closure/deletion are very vague. Capturing more detailed information like this would allow better help and advice to be given to new users. This would happen automatically, from one canonical snark free source rather than inconsistently and often (perceived) rudely in an ad-hoc style.

This approach fits with the "we already have a reason for this" responses that request for new close reasons typically elicit on meta. It fits within the "summer of love" theme in a way that is no worse (probably better even) for existing users. It removes the cold hard "read the FAQ" that is currently the best feedback a lot of users see after something didn't go well for them, without inserting a huge additional human load.

  • 2
    Regarding the "read the FAQ"; even that wouldn't help here. I read the FAQ and there's nothing in it saying that overt requests for code samples are discouraged.
    – KeithS
    Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 18:25

We already have this: "Too localized".

When somebody wants an answer that is only going to benefit them, that is what "too localized" is for. I think somebody asking you for code fits that bill:

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet.

  • 6
    Sometimes, but not always. It's actually a very rare case where the answer to a question is unlikely to ever aid anyone else ever again.
    – KeithS
    Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 15:55
  • 9
    We actually use NARQ for "gimme teh codez".
    – casperOne
    Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 15:56
  • 3
    @casperOne A policy which I disagree with. "Too localized" is a drastically underused close reason.
    – user229044
    Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 15:58
  • I'm sure you've read this before, but, if you haven't, check out the discussion in What questions should be closed with reason “too localized”? Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 16:00
  • @casperOne - NARQ is too vague and confusing, and doesn't really make sense: asking for code is a question. I prefer NARQ for those drunk, incoherent questions that pass through SO from time to time. I think this would be a much-needed close reason that really makes it clear to OP what the problem is. Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 16:04
  • NARQ seems more appropriate, since it mentions "overly broad" questions.
    – JimmyPena
    Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 16:15
  • ... Except that most "gimme t3h codez" questions are not overly broad; to the contrary, they usually ask for solutions to a specific problem. The trouble is that that's all the questioner wants; a code snippet they can drop in and go along their merry way. Free development consulting, no additional knowledge necessary, TYVM. We don't like that.
    – KeithS
    Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 16:20
  • ... Except that "gimme t3h codez" is not a question, and therefore maybe "not a real question" is more appropriate.
    – user229044
    Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 16:32
  • @KeithS Ideally they should be asked for what they have tried. If they didn't respond, then I would flag it.
    – JimmyPena
    Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 17:05
  • FWIW, I use "too localized" frequently, and wish it was used more often, but in a recent meta question I was corrected as to its usage.
    – JimmyPena
    Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 17:08
  • @meagar For me "gimme teh codez" are NARQ because of the "incomplete" thing, and what they are missing is, well, research and effort.
    – yannis
    Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 18:11
  • Too Localized is gone...it has been replaced by off-topic.
    – user215114
    Commented Oct 6, 2013 at 0:28
  • @gparyani This answer is over a year old...
    – user229044
    Commented Oct 6, 2013 at 3:56

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