I edited out from the original this line:

please don't tell me to read a huge tutorial, if you can't answer, please don't.

In a comment I provided a link to a (rather short, IMO) tutorial, along with what may have been poorly-expressed frustraton/irritation at his question and lack of effort (link redacted, and a typo–I meant to say "without proof of research [...]"):

Like this "huge" tutorial? You don't get to decide how people answer your question: without proof or, or apparently desire to, research a question, this kind of runs afoul of what's considered a good SO question. – Dave Newton 1 hour ago add comment

In an incomplete-but-accurate answer I explained it as simply as possible, as requested.

As a response to my comment, I got this

Dave, please don't answers my questions anymore... If your not willing to answer, just DON'T...

Other than the obvious "walk away", which is what I should do, am I wrong in thinking that:

  1. The original question's content made it a poor SO question because it basically stated the OP was specifically excluding doing any actual research, and/or
  2. The response to my comment was out of line?

I'm cool with being off-base on this, but if I am, I'd like to know how, so I can re-evaluate.

Edit It's possible he was peeved with me for my answer to how to use rails format.json, which was a longer question, with a better answer (also from me), but after the comments on my answer I decided he was in over his head and suggested tutorials.

I didn't realized it was the same user; perhaps I brought it on myself due to being short with him a couple of days ago.

  • 1
    If I were you I'd flag it. (Post, comment, both. Your choice.)
    – user206222
    Commented Jan 17, 2013 at 2:25
  • No need to flag it anymore. This meta post is going to get the attention of more than one mod.
    – Mysticial
    Commented Jan 17, 2013 at 2:46
  • 2
    @Mysticial Yeah, I'm not super-psyched about that either, to be honest--my intent isn't to hurt anybody, just want to know if I'm thinking about this more-or-less correctly or not :/ Commented Jan 17, 2013 at 2:49

2 Answers 2


In my opinion, you are absolutely correct about the quality of the question; yet after that, you still answered it, giving the OP what they needed.

The response to your comment seems out of line, yes. Especially since you did give what appears to be what the OP was asking for.

The OP was probably reacting to your comment's tone, at least I imagine. However, I know that was only in response to the OP's own tone in the question to begin with.

That said, I think this user has made it clear he does not want your help anymore. It's not really his place to 'demand' that, but it might be useful to observe his request. ;)

  • 16
    +1 for "The OP was probably reacting to your comment's tone". It took two to tango here. The OP was out of line with the demands and the tone, but responding in kind probably didn't help.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Jan 17, 2013 at 3:17
  • @AnnaLear For high values of "probably"... I definitely over-react to stuff like that; it tests my Buddha nature sorely. Commented Jan 17, 2013 at 12:41

The line added from who asked that question could just meant not to simply give a link to a tutorial, and not imply anything about the OP not doing any prior research. As the OP talked of huge tutorials, that line seemed to say "I don't have the patience to read a too long tutorial," which sounds (to me) like saying "if there is a huge tutorial, read it for me, and make a summary I can read."
Probably the OP didn't consider that somebody could have answered using few words, and linking to a page giving more details. This is the answer I would consider more helpful, as it would also give a reference, and it would give more details for who needs them.

Both the comments were out of line.
From the OP's side, it is wrong asking to somebody not to answer his questions, as the questions are asked from him, but the answers are for the benefit of other users too. In fact, if the question is only relevant for the OP, the question would probably closed as too localized. Apart that, if the answer you are adding is not much helpful, somebody else would answer the question, and your answer would not be up-voted as much as the other answers. I don't also think the OP can ask a question to which specific users can answer it. Everybody can answer, and if the answer is wrong/completely wrong, who answers would get down-votes.

  • I don't buy there was much, if any, self-directed prior research, particularly after considering his other questions. OP was asking a question that required a tutorial, because OP has no idea what any of the words meant on their own, and does not have the requisite knowledge to process a shorter SO answer (as evidenced by the question of a few days ago). An answer that would satisfy what he needs to know would end up being a tutorial, likely longer than the ones he's been pointed at. IMO, naturally :) Commented Jan 17, 2013 at 11:29
  • I didn't say the OP made any search before asking the question; I just said there isn't any evidence the OP didn't make a search before asking. He could have searched, found only tutorials, and then asked the question. The tone seems more like "do the work for me," but that could just how I perceive the question, and not how the OP meant it.
    – apaderno
    Commented Jan 17, 2013 at 12:49

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