Yes, I've read the whole FAQ. I've read all of the related questions and answers here. I've looked for all the information I can find on my SO account. I'm still stumped.

I'm an experience programmer, and a well-known free software advocate. I won a STUG award for my work on MediaWiki. But I've just joined here recently after finding some answers here useful to a project of mine. I answered one question here, and it got upvoted. I recently put that project up on GitHub as a free, public domain library. Then I searched for some questions that I might be helpful on to "pay back" what I got here. I answered 4 or 5, most by saying "Here's a library I just finished that does that, look at function X in file Z." I linked to the library--not to any commercial site or product or even my blog, just to the GitHub repository of public domain code relevant and useful to the question.

I can understand if a bot might think that looks like spam since the answers are short and contain a link. But they're clearly not: the answers were relevant, useful, and did not link to anything commercial, or even my own site.

The FAQ suggests that I "improve my answers". Fair enough. I'd be happy to if you'd let me. But frankly, I think they're pretty good as they are, even if they are brief and refer to code on another site (not even my site, mind you, GitHub).

As I said, I'm big in the free software community and would like to participate usefully in this one. Please help.

  • 3
    I only see one answer on your account. I can only assume the others have been deleted? Were they along similar lines as this early revision: stackoverflow.com/revisions/15533218/1
    – Bart
    Mar 26, 2013 at 5:20
  • I assume they were deleted too. I'm just not sure why. They were mostly brief references to my code on GitHub, but I did specifically and meaningfully answer each question, and did not even link to my blog as I did on that first one. You'll notice I received a comment on that first one, and I edited my answer in response. I'd have been happy to do the same with the others, but they seem to be in the bitbucket now. Mar 26, 2013 at 5:31
  • i really can not figure out why . Is there other answer too(deleted) you gave ? Mar 26, 2013 at 5:34
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    Well, if the answer I see is anything to go by, that was at first a link-only answer. I.e. you only linked to a location where someone might find something answering their question. And that's something we'd like to avoid. Answers should be self-contained. And if you had a habit of linking to your own material on an external site, that might have well attracted spam flags. That your code is not commercial and not on your own site does not always matter if it seems overly promotional. But that's all a guess on my side, without seeing the content.
    – Bart
    Mar 26, 2013 at 5:37
  • There is a prejudice on the site against answers that are mostly links, some people immediately flag them when they see them. So you end up having to play a game of making sure you have a high enough percentage of non-link text to text, very arbitrary of course. Personally, I never cared as long as I got the answer that I needed. Mar 26, 2013 at 5:41
  • Ok, I'm fine with making sure I have more non-link content in my answers. That might even improve some of them. :-) Now how can I regain my privilege to do that? Mar 26, 2013 at 5:53
  • Also, from the MSO community, thank you for asking here, on MSO, a constructive, well formatted question. It makes a change from people saying "I canN't POST MAI codes" and then post the body of their question here instead.
    – tombull89
    Mar 26, 2013 at 16:00

2 Answers 2


I did not delete your posts, but here are my opinions on all 5 of your deleted answers, to hopefully help you out some for the future:

Question: how to retrieve general informations from a open source package, eyes on poker-eval library

Your answer:

Check out my OneJoker library as well. It's not very well documented either (yet), but it's a lot simpler and in active devlopment, so you can pick my brain about it.

Since the question was about getting information about a library - not finding a replacement, it's really not on topic. You also did not really include any relevant info.

This question: Trying to sort values in C using a bubble sort method for poker game

Was about specific code the OP was looking to fix; they were not looking for a replacement library. Again, you did not include any info helpful to the question asked.

Check out my OneJoker library, and in particular /src/lib/poker.c. There's a hand info function that determines rank, class, kickers, and orders the hand for display.

Next question: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/14795514

Here, you did not really answer, either. You linked to another answer, then mentioned your library again. Some sample code would have helped, here.

As far as nCr, my answer here might be helpful. My public domain OneJoker (GitHub link) library has some fast functions like binomial coeficient, colexicographical rank and unrank, iterators, and such. Look at /src/lib/combinatorics.c.

Next: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/6740260/

This was a 'shopping question', and your answer is on topic there, but the question is not, and is now closed. Still, you did not include examples or even a detailed list of why it fit the bill.

Check out OneJoker library. Faster evaluator, simple to use with the Python binding but not too bad in pure C either, and can easily do what you ask.

Finally: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/3697382/

The story of the question is the same as above; shopping question, now closed. Your answer is slightly better than the above, but should probably have shared and explained a brief bit of relevant code.

Take a look at my OneJoker library, and in particular /src/lib/poker.c. It contains an evaluator and a "hand info" function that analyzes what group a hand is in, what kickers are needed, orders the hand for display, etc. There's a hand description function that, given a hand, prints "Four Sixes, Ace" or "King-high Straight" or "Queens full of Fours", etc.

One other note; you mention above you set out looking for posts your library could be helpful to. Be careful about doing that, because it can cause your answers to mostly be about your library. Be sure to continue to contribute your broad knowledge otherwise, too. In fact, be sure to read the part of the self-promotion FAQ about volume.

Note, my comments above are meant to help you understand why they may have been deleted.

  • 2
    Posted from mobile; appreciate any spelling/format fixes! Mar 26, 2013 at 9:06
  • 8
    I would have certainly flagged these answers as spam. They don't answer the questions but advertise a third-party solution. Even if it's not for commercial gain, it's still advertising.
    – JJJ
    Mar 26, 2013 at 10:14
  • Followup question about the combinatorics one: I reposted that one because it was the most recent and most relevant, and I linked to my upvoted answer on this site, which seems to me far better than answering it again. Am I wrong about this? I see the question's been deleted now (though I'm not sure I agree with that either), so no need to bother with my answer anymore, but is even linking to other questions/answers here a bad thing? Mar 26, 2013 at 11:13
  • 4
    @Lee each answer should carefully and specifically answer the precise question asked, and should do so in it's own answer box. If a question is truly an exact duplicate, one should be closed as such. Mar 26, 2013 at 11:19
  • 1
    Hmm. I understand the desire for self-containment, but this case strikes me as something that may happen frequently. One question "How do I do X?" is answered well, and another question is "How do I do X, Y, and Z (which are clearly related and likely to share some answers)? It's not quite a duplicate, so just closing it and pointing to the first answer doesn't satisfy. And it may well be that it has useful answers separate from the first, but the first one is surely relevant. Maybe requesting a better question is the best way to handle it, but that doesn't feel right to me somehow. Mar 26, 2013 at 11:30
  • @Lee yes. It happens frequently, and it's an issue we're always looking for improvement on. But it's only tangentially related to this. (Your answer ban) Mar 28, 2013 at 2:02

Ah, I seem to be restored now. I will consider "Looks like you got caught by mods deleting mostly-link answers" an adequate answer.

  • 6
    Nice. Be careful though. Keep your posts as self-contained as possible. Being out of the ban (I guess because of recent upvotes) might well mean you're still on the edge. So try to stay away from that for a while. :) (i.e. no link-only answers. Nothing that can be mistaken for spam. Etc. )
    – Bart
    Mar 26, 2013 at 6:16
  • 6
    We're glad you'll be expanding some of the more relevant answers to show people how your code can help them.
    – user50049
    Mar 26, 2013 at 8:43

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