In the spirit of removing What Have You Tried comments, I have been flagging them when I find them. However recently I find my flags are being declined. Two examples being:

Particularly in question is the first example above. I obviously cannot provide evidence, but similar flags in the past have all been approved.

Has there been a change in the general attitude towards "What have you tried" comments, and should I stop flagging these?

  • 2
    Now, if the OP updates his question to include the relevant details/what they have tried, then you can flag the comments as obsolete since they no longer add any value to the question.
    – lnafziger
    Commented Aug 3, 2013 at 14:23

2 Answers 2


I don't know where you got the idea that asking someone what they have tried was a bad thing or somehow discouraged here. It is not. That is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in a comment.

The only problem comes when such comments are needlessly rude. But that's true of all comments. Those are the ones you should be flagging. If someone is legitimately asking what a person has tried, that is perfectly acceptable; leave those alone.

Related: Is it OK to leave "What have you tried?" comments?

  • 1
    Makes perfect sense to me, and I'm happy to hear this. For some reason I got the impression from the hullabaloo a few months ago that "what have you tried" was simply considered a bad comment.
    – lc.
    Commented Aug 3, 2013 at 5:54
  • 3
    @lc. Nah, it's all about how you ask. We don't tolerate rudeness, that's in the FAQ. But we also expect people to show some indication of effort in their questions. Questions that don't show any effort can even be closed accordingly. So there's nothing wrong with asking constructively. Commented Aug 3, 2013 at 5:55
  • A bare "What have you tried?" comment is needlessly rude. It's intentionally belittling in exactly the same manner as "RTFM".
    – user201929
    Commented Aug 3, 2013 at 13:26
  • @ZeroPiraeus How would you explain the denial of my flag on the comment "I'll be that guy. What have you tried so far?" in the first link in my question? I'm trying to figure out when it is considered accepted and when not, but there does not seem to be a clear rule. Does adding the words "so far" make it acceptable?
    – lc.
    Commented Aug 6, 2013 at 9:11
  • @ user201929. No it's not. In fact when in response to users posting a spec of "I need a function that does X,Y,Z in <language>/<package> and I have to have it by tomorrow", accompanied by no code, but an essay only about how urgently the user needs it, it's about the only comment that makes sense to post. And certainly more constructive than a downvote without comment.
    – smci
    Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 23:00
  • or else "What have you tried so far? Please post your code"
    – smci
    Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 23:00

"What have you tried" comments are perfectly valid, but I think that references to http://whathaveyoutried.com come off as condescending.

The response is related to the off-topic flag: (emphasis mine)

Questions asking for code must demonstrate a minimal understanding of the problem being solved. Include attempted solutions, why they didn't work, and the expected results.

Prima facie, it makes more sense to allow WHYT comments than to have questions flagged for forgetting to include attempted solutions

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    To be honest, simply asking "What have you tried?" is far more condescending and less useful than the exact same comment with a link to that site. At least that way they understand why you asked that. Commented Aug 3, 2013 at 7:04

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