I noticed that this question was closed as "not a real question". The question was asking how to generate all integers from 000 to 999 and then shuffle them in random order. It's clear the question's author didn't put much effort into finding a solution, but the question isn't ambiguous at all, so I don't understand why it was closed.

If the question isn't "ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical", then is there any valid reason to close it? Also, does Stack Overflow have any official guidelines about the closing of questions that show a lack of research effort?

  • 1
    The question is incomplete: It lacks to show the effort of the OP.
    – juergen d
    Commented May 22, 2013 at 17:23
  • @juergend I'm not sure if that's the intended meaning of "incomplete" in this case. I haven't yet found any specific guidelines that recommend closing questions for lack of research effort, so it's still unclear whether "not a real question" should be interpreted this way. (A question could be described as "incomplete" if there wasn't enough information for the question to be answerable, but in this case, the question wasn't ambiguous at all, and could have been answered easily if it hadn't been closed). Commented May 22, 2013 at 17:32
  • 1
    Closely related: Proposal for new close reason "no prior research/work"
    – jscs
    Commented May 22, 2013 at 17:35
  • "Should questions be closed when they show a lack of research effort?" Yes. Yes, they should.
    – user164207
    Commented May 22, 2013 at 18:17

1 Answer 1


Stack Overflow isn't a site where you can just request the code to solve a problem. Askers are expected to provide attempted code, and to provide specific errors / reasons why it may or may not work.

It isn't ambiguous or vague, but it certainly is incomplete. That's why that question was closed.

To improve the question, you could provide your attempted code and ask how you could solve your specific error. Then it could be re-opened.

This page on how to ask may provide more guidance on improving your question. Specifically...

Sharing your research helps everyone. Tell us what you found and why it didn’t meet your needs. This demonstrates that you’ve taken the time to try to help yourself, it saves us from reiterating obvious answers, and most of all it helps you get a more specific and relevant answer!

(emphasis mine)

  • Should questions be closed as incomplete even when they are unambiguous (and therefore can be easily answered)? Commented May 22, 2013 at 17:25
  • 2
    Not a real question must only apply to one reason in the list. Not all. In your case it is incomplete.
    – juergen d
    Commented May 22, 2013 at 17:27

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .