I have to confess to a crime. Yesterday I asked a question without preparing a proper testcase, pretty much hoping somebody would point me out something messed up in my sources that led to an error. I was well aware that the question's probably too localized (since the test code was too big to picture the problem only) and I only did it for personal reasons - and perhaps out of curiosity, wondering if it would work.

It did. I got an answer, probably wasted somebody's time and got away with it. This made me think that this kind of behaviour probably keeps happening on the SO all the time and should be stopped. What do you think could be done about it?

  • If the code clearly appears test code, I would ask the user to show the actual code s/he is using. If you are generally talking about those who ask a question about test code, I am not sure there is something that could be done. Code I write to test part of a framework, or a CMS, or a library is still code; if I don't under why it doesn't work as expected, the question is legitimate, and not different from a question about the code I am actually using. I find preferable to ask a direct question about the actual code being used, but I don't find why such questions should be generally rejected. – kiamlaluno Feb 7 '13 at 11:19
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    If you post enough questions that are downvoted and/or closed, you get banned from asking questions. That should be deterrent enough. (You don't need to worry though if it was just this one question.) – JJJ Feb 7 '13 at 11:20
  • Clearly, in the case the code doesn't seem to be helpful to future users, the question is closed as too localized. (I forgot to add this.) – kiamlaluno Feb 7 '13 at 11:21
  • @Juhana: didn't know about this rule. Makes sense. – d33tah Feb 7 '13 at 11:25

We downvote and close.

We downvote if:

  • The question doesn't show research effort.
  • Doesn't show effort in general.
  • Unclear on hard (hard, not challenging) to answer.

We close if:

  • The question is completely unanswerable.
  • The question doesn't hold any value for future users.
  • The question is answered elsewhere on the same site.

The fact that you "got away" with it is pretty rare, we usually pick up on questions like these and eliminate them pretty quickly.

We appreciate your honestly though. :)

  • Surely the suggests you have for downvote are all covered by the Not a Real Question reason for closing? – user151019 Feb 7 '13 at 13:29
  • @Mark: No. If I ask "How do I round a number upwards in PHP?", it's a valid question, a bad one, but valid. It should be downvoted, but not closed (unless of course, it is a duplicate). – Madara Uchiha Feb 7 '13 at 13:42
  • @MadaraUchiha- possible but see these meta questions and here it is not quite so clearcut, but I would tend to agree with you as that can be answered – user151019 Feb 7 '13 at 14:23

If any particular user keep asking question like that(too localize , not constructive ,NARQ ) and getting downvote it will take him/her to the question ban and that is penalty

  • Never heard of the banning regulations before. Are they automatic or manual? If automatic, what's the threshold? – d33tah Feb 7 '13 at 11:47
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    @d33tah it's automatic and the parameters are secret. Read all about it. – AakashM Feb 7 '13 at 11:59

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