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I read a question tagged just CSS and where it was clear the poster was new to the difference between languages, new to SO and all web knowledge and just looking for an answer to solve the problem. So I answered with a Jquery answer. A more expert user comment that my question was not satisfy the tag that the posters used (just CSS) so I suggested edit the question with different tags: HTML, CSS and Jquery. The edit was accepted.
My question was then not accepted because a third user post the Jquery solution I had suggest with a practical example and possibly a better code. The absurd was when the user that disapprove commenting my answer , posted an other answer with a solution with just CSS and complain because what s/he posted was the better answer along with penalise my answer and the one chosen by the OP.

This got me thinking.

So my questions are:

  • I understand the reputation is a incentive to answer questions otherwise people wouldn't bother answer but is the challenge give the best coding (in terms of optimisation and whatnot) answer or understand the situation of the OP and supply a suitable answer ASAP?

  • Is the case to penalise an answer just because you think your answer is better. Wouldn't be more accurate if you ask the OP the circumstances. If it s a project need to work cross-browser better a Jquery answer rather than a CSS. If you are dealing with tables for newsletter is better put your width and hight within the html tags rather than use CSS (those are only examples)

  • What is behind this : why there is all craving to have the answer accepted and the reputation increased? what s the value of reputation?

  • Are people with a huge reputation getting pay? Is this something that mention in a CV or during an interview make you stands out?

Sorry, I have no clear the aim of all of this.

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    No. You don't get paid for reputation – Cole Johnson Aug 7 '13 at 18:49
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    There we go again...instead to penalise my question, explain me what s wrong with it so I can learn something. Is not a coding question so I'm wondering why ppl think is not appropriate. Thanks – Alex Garulli Aug 7 '13 at 18:59
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    @ColeJohnson perhaps you don't, I get a bonus equal to the increase of that month – juan Aug 7 '13 at 19:00
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    "instead to penalise my question" - downvotes on meta doesn't mean you were wrong/bad/incorrect/penalizing you. Could mean that people disagree with you. source – Steven V Aug 7 '13 at 19:50
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    I gave you an upvote, I know how it feels to get a flood of downvotes, and sometimes we just need one smile in all of it to keep us going :) – Nobody Aug 7 '13 at 19:50
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    @StevenV Yes, but it wasn't something I understood until I had 1000 rep here.. I think it takes time for users to understand Meta and for Meta to .. just stop talking about unicorns for long enough to make sense ;) – Nobody Aug 7 '13 at 19:51
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    @Skippy I completely understand. I sat on the meta sidelines for quite sometime as well. I'm still a little hesitant to poke the beehive sometimes... – Steven V Aug 7 '13 at 19:53
  • @StevenV I know.. I am not getting upset any more when I get downvoted.. in fact I think it's a good thing, as my rep continues to climb and I'm in no hurry to have mod like privileges here lol – Nobody Aug 7 '13 at 19:55
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    @StevenV downvotes on meta doesn't mean you were wrong/bad/incorrect/penalizing you Not really. This is just a bad question. It's not clear at all what's really being asked. It's poorly phrased, doesn't have organized thoughts, etc. It's just not a good question, and on meta that's a main reason posts are downvoted. Disagreement votes primarily apply to feature requests, to which this isn't. – Servy Aug 7 '13 at 19:59
  • "It's not clear at all what's really being asked." ..I had 4 questions that who answer clearly understood and got to the point of those. So really I can't see what's not clear. – Alex Garulli Aug 7 '13 at 20:07
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    @AlexGarulli I have to admit that it took me quite a few passes over your question to get what you were asking. Especially for the first couple of paragraphs. – Bart Aug 7 '13 at 20:10
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    @Bart- sorry, for sure not the clearest expression - English is not my mother tongue- but I think you can still recognise what has been asked. – Alex Garulli Aug 7 '13 at 20:13
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    No problem @AlexGarulli. It isn't mine either. We do the best we can. – Bart Aug 7 '13 at 20:15
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    @StevenV How can you disagree with a question ? A question is something that you don't know , it s not an opinion. Does not require a boolean value, it s something require an explanation. – Alex Garulli Aug 7 '13 at 20:25
  • @AlexGarulli Your 4th question is clear enough, which was why it was answered almost instantly. The other three make almost no sense to me. After reading through it three times and still not being able to understand what you're trying to say I gave up trying to figure it out. – Servy Aug 7 '13 at 20:28
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I understand the reputation is a incentive to answer questions otherwise people wouldn't bother answer but is the challenge give the best coding (in terms of optimisation and whatnot) answer or understand the situation of the OP and supply a suitable answer ASAP?

From Stack Overflow help:

Accepting an answer is not meant to be a definitive and final statement indicating that the question has now been answered perfectly. It simply means that the author received an answer that worked for him or her personally, but not every user comes back to accept an answer, and of those who do, they may not change the accepted answer if a newer, better answer comes along later.


Is the case to penalise an answer just because you think your answer is better. Wouldn't be more accurate if you ask the OP the circumstances. If it s a project need to work cross-browser better a Jquery answer rather than a CSS. If you are dealing with tables for newsletter is better put your width and hight within the html tags rather than use CSS (those are only examples)

From Stack Overflow help:

voting down a post signals the opposite: that the post contains wrong information, is poorly researched, or fails to communicate information.

Note that this applies to stackoverflow.com, and not necessarily other Stack Exchange family websites (for example, meta you can downvote to disagree). In other words, it's on a case by case basis. These are the guidelines for downvoting, but don't take too much offense if someone downvotes a post of yours. If you get multiple downvotes, there's probably a good reason why.


What is behind this : why there is all craving to have the answer accepted and the reputation increased? what s the value of reputation?

Same reason you want to collect any other virtual "points" or "score". On Stack Overflow specifically, people contribute because they like to contribute. Earning reputation generally demonstrates competence, and therefore allows more and more privileges on the website as your reputation increases.


Are people with a huge reputation getting pay? Is this something that mention in a CV or during an interview make you stands out?

You don't really have to know what you're talking about to get reputation on Stack Overflow websites. Or, more accurately, it doesn't demonstrate a proficiency in any language, since you could be the one constantly editing incorrectly formatted posts or answering the obvious questions that tend to be asked every week. Maybe some employer would like the effort?

And, no you don't get paid for your reputation....

  • Really love the last paragraph: "You don't really have to know what you're talking about to get reputation on stackoverflow websites..." thanks :) – Alex Garulli Aug 7 '13 at 19:13
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    "You don't really have to know what you're talking about to get reputation on stackoverflow websites." ... oh sure, drag me into this why don't you. – Bart Aug 7 '13 at 19:36
  • @Bart how does that drag oyu into this?? O.o – Nobody Aug 7 '13 at 19:53

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