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. See also: Stack Overflow question checklist

A small request i.e if it's possible to incorporate.

Can the above bold line be changed to asking for code/formula

We have Excel-Formula tag where we get lot of questions where people simply demand for formulas without trying anything and the above message then doesn't make sense.

EDIT: Perhaps only discussing in comments or only downvoting constantly, some one might considering putting an answer together? I could then mark that as an answer????? This is so that if I close the question in SO using the above and if someone questions, I can re-direct them to this thread?

  • 4
    I agree with the spirit of this but isn't an excel formula a form of very light weight code? – Richard Tingle Oct 7 '13 at 15:26
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    No a code is very different from a formula and vice versa – Siddharth Rout Oct 7 '13 at 15:27
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    If they weren't code, then writing them wouldn't be programming and the questions would be off topic. – Wooble Oct 7 '13 at 15:27
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    There is a very thin line between Code and Formula and hence Excel-Formula were always considered a borderline between SO and SU. – Siddharth Rout Oct 7 '13 at 15:28
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    Excel formulas are definitely code, just in a different format. – Lance Roberts Oct 7 '13 at 15:29
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    I seem to recall that excel formulas in fact are off topic; see here, here and here – Richard Tingle Oct 7 '13 at 15:30
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    Exactly my point Richard/Lance They are considered borderline between SO and SU. I would respectfully disagree that a Formula is a Code. Yes the formulas are written in C++ but that doesn't mean that the formula is same or similar to code. – Siddharth Rout Oct 7 '13 at 15:33
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    @RichardTingle. In the second example you've provided there is an answer with score 27 that says Excel is ok in both sites. The accepted (score:20) answer does not come from a mod or a dev. – Andre Silva Oct 7 '13 at 15:35
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    @RichardTingle, look at the most upvoted answer on all those links, meta.stackexchange.com/a/76767/13295 – Lance Roberts Oct 7 '13 at 15:35
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    sigh arguing a position is not the same as having an argument. Regardless, which position are you taking, 1,2 or 3? – Richard Tingle Oct 7 '13 at 15:41
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    @RichardTingle: A discussion is more like a debate... english.stackexchange.com/questions/47064/…. But then that is not the intention of this post. I am still not convinced that Code and Formulas are the same or similar – Siddharth Rout Oct 7 '13 at 15:43
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    So position 3 then? "Functions are not code, yet are on topic at stack overflow because ......" – Richard Tingle Oct 7 '13 at 15:43
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    because... They can do fine on either site SO or SU – Siddharth Rout Oct 7 '13 at 15:45
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    Anyways with -4 downvotes.. I rest my case.... – Siddharth Rout Oct 7 '13 at 15:46
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    Can we also add "markup" to the list of things that you can't ask for without showing an effort, because HTML is even less code than Excel formulas are. – Wooble Oct 7 '13 at 15:50

If excel questions are on topic at all (a debated topic) then it is because excel formulas are considered code. As such the existing close reason is sufficient to close these questions.

Adding this would open a "can of worms" of other additions, for example as Wooble has mentioned; is a mark up language such as HTML "code"?

  • I will wait for an hour. If no one else posts an answer, I will accept your answer.. – Siddharth Rout Oct 7 '13 at 16:07
  • I approve that choice, someone who strongly believed that excel questions are on topic could probably write a better answer. I think that you highlighted a legitimate problem (people saying "but its not code, you can't close it"), I disagree with the proposed solution only – Richard Tingle Oct 7 '13 at 16:10
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    Thank you for taking the time to answer. Much appreciated. – Siddharth Rout Oct 7 '13 at 17:11

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