Can we get this as a close option?

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    Why say no to easy rep for you? :P – Ivo Flipse Aug 24 '09 at 17:18
  • I dont even understand what that means Ivo. – StingyJack Aug 24 '09 at 17:19
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    I believe Ivo is suggesting if its so simple to find the answer, that means it can be easy for you to post the answer and reap the resulting reputation. – Timothy Carter Aug 24 '09 at 17:20
  • @Stingy, easy questions have easy answers. Provide the answer, and get easy rep. – Sampson Aug 24 '09 at 17:20
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    its not the rep, its the clogging of a great repository of information with questions that were asked with either no work done first (wasting our time) or simply for the fact of gaining rep (again wasting our time). – StingyJack Aug 24 '09 at 17:23
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    I love the irony. How many times have we been over how inappropriate this thinking is? – GEOCHET Aug 24 '09 at 17:25
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    @Stingy: Contrary to what you have heard, the Internet is not actually made up of tubes. – GEOCHET Aug 24 '09 at 17:25
  • Point me to it Rich. – StingyJack Aug 24 '09 at 17:25
  • @Stingy: You misunderstand the entire point of SO. – belgariontheking Aug 24 '09 at 17:26
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    Again, Rich B goes right to slinging crap around instead of explaining his point. – StingyJack Aug 24 '09 at 17:26
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    stackoverflow.com/faq – GEOCHET Aug 24 '09 at 17:26
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    "No question is too trivial or too "newbie"." – GEOCHET Aug 24 '09 at 17:27
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    "Please look around to see if your question has already been asked (and maybe even answered!) before you ask"... then "Also, try to refrain from asking questions about Stack Overflow itself unless you absolutely, positively have to". – StingyJack Aug 24 '09 at 17:28
  • Thanks for explaining Rich, its just irritating to me. – StingyJack Aug 24 '09 at 17:29
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    @StingyJack, "Please look around to see if your question has already been asked (and maybe even answered!) before you ask"... then "Also, try to refrain from asking questions about Stack Overflow itself unless you absolutely, positively have to" is all referring to SO; it is not saying, "make sure the question hasn't been asked anywhere"... it's saying "make sure the question hasn't already been asked on SO" – Timothy Carter Aug 24 '09 at 17:34

No we should not. The goal of SO is to be the end result of all google/bing searches for programming related questions. Just because the answer could be easily found elsewhere does not make it invalid. All this applies to SF and SU, just insert the relevant topic.

The FAQ spell out in a good amount of detail what types of questions are appropriate and specifically references "newbie" questions:

No question is too trivial or too "newbie". Oh yes, and it should be about programming. You know, with a computer.

Please look around to see if your question has already been asked (and maybe even answered!) before you ask. If you end up asking a question that has been asked before, that is OK and deliberately allowed. Other users will hopefully edit in links to related or similar questions to help future visitors find their way.

It's also perfectly fine to ask and answer your own question, but pretend you're on Jeopardy: phrase it in the form of a question.

The intent is for SO to be the end result for things that can be easily (and not so easily) searched and answered. Therefore, if it hasn't been asked SO, it is perfectly acceptable and "Too Lazy to Search the Web" and "LMGTFY" (Let Me Google That For You) are not appropriate responses. If you do not want to answer simple questions, that's fine, move on. But those questions are acceptable here so long as they're programming related.

  • ok. I get that. It seems like there are a lot of questions that could be solved by 30 seconds of searching, but arent duplicated on SO. – StingyJack Aug 24 '09 at 17:21
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    @StingyJack, Hopefully someone will ask those questions, then in the future when someone does search for it, even if they haven't heard of SO, they will find the answer on SO. – Timothy Carter Aug 24 '09 at 17:23
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    The statement about "No question is too trivial or too "newbie". is gone! – Antonio Mar 27 '15 at 14:23

No. There's already a "Too lazy to search SO" option, properly called "Exact Duplicate".

See also:

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    He never actually specified SO. I think he more meant the question can easily be googled. – Brandon Aug 24 '09 at 17:20
  • @Brandon: i know. But that's completely inappropriate. I've added links to clarify why. – Shog9 Aug 24 '09 at 17:22
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    +1 for actually trying to make this question a little more appropriate. – GEOCHET Aug 24 '09 at 17:28

The purpose of StackOverflow is to be a repository for as many valid programming questions that it can. Just because the answer can be found on Google doesn't mean it shouldn't get asked on SO or any of the other sites. If you think its too basic or minor to be on the site, downvote it.

At least if its asked on SO and someone whose never been to the site before before googles the same question, they'll be lead to SO. Everyone wins.


Nobody should be called "lazy" because they decided to ask on SO rather than searching the web.

If we get all questions/answers on SO, SO becomes the end-point for anybody who does decide to search the web. It becomes a source that is peer-reviewed, wiki-editable, and always up-to-date. That is leaps and bounds better than most results you'll find with a web-search.

  • For sure one should search the web before asking in SO. – Antonio Mar 27 '15 at 21:48

On the podcast, Joel & Jeff have specifically stated that they want Q&A on very simple, easily Googled, things. This way, when somebody does Google it, it brings them to SO.

  • Wow... and i get beat up for suggesting it. Go figure. – StingyJack Aug 26 '09 at 14:26
  • @StingyJack-I think I might have miscommunicated my answer. Please see my edited answer. – John MacIntyre Aug 26 '09 at 18:31

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