Hmm, yeah. I still think it is strange that we block comments that simply and directly ask someone to tell us what they have tried, but that comments like this one are considered acceptable:
How about you go and attempt this yourself instead of being lazy and just asking someone else to do it? StackOverflow expects you to show any attempts made
I flagged a comment yesterday (twice, the second time with a custom explanation) that said something very similar, except even more insulting and inappropriate. I recall the ending verbatim:
…, you lazy person!
I'm alright with asking people what they've tried, because that's a reasonable question and you often need to know the answer in order to properly answer the question. And there might be tactful ways to motivate askers to give it a try for themselves; I would tolerate those too, if I saw them. But personal attacks like this are not acceptable as far as I'm concerned.
This is, of course, the major drawback of automatic bans. They force people to find creative ways to work around them, and the results are often worse. A treatment that is worse than the disease, in other words.
But apparently two (possibly more) of the Stack Overflow moderators disagree with me here. Both of my flags were marked "declined".
(Strangely, after checking my flag history, I see that the comment to which I refer is now deleted. The flags were definitely declined, so either I offended someone with my second message and they declined out of spite even while deleting the comment, or the person who posted the comment had second thoughts.)
So it looks like you just need to avoid the magic phrase "what have you tried?" because is automatically blocked. Aside from that, you can express your dissatisfaction with these types of questions and people in the manner of your choosing.
Repeating stock phrases is rarely helpful.Yet StackOverflow refers questions to stock answers when they continuously boil down to the same underlying problem. An OP who understands the meaning behind a nullreference exception but does not see how his code can produce one, is still referred to an answer explaining what a nullreference is. I agree that more than one WHYT comment on the same question is pointless, but the first WHYT comment is still relevant.