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One of the off topic close reasons are:

"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"

Occasionally users are confused by this close reason, as they're not asking for code, or they justify their question by saying they're not asking for code (and are instead asking for an idea or pseudo-code or something).

Can we remove "asking for code" from the close reason?

"Questions 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"

Or do we want to keep it there to prevent some legitimate questions getting closed for this reason?
Even if this is true, I still maintain that we should change it to something else (not sure what then).

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    Just make sure that reason stays - it's my new go-to reason for the hopeless numpty questions that make you face-palm yourself into a stupor. – slugster Nov 5 '13 at 1:42
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    @LanceRoberts The type of questions I have in mind are more along the line of "I have no idea where to start. Can someone give me some idea?" – Dukeling Nov 5 '13 at 1:47
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    Many of those questions will qualify as "too broad". "Explain to me how to do this whole entire thing, but in words, not code" is still often asking way too much for the scope of an SO question. – Servy Nov 5 '13 at 1:49
  • @Dukeling, yep, I agree and that's exactly what I use that reason for. It shouldn't be about code (to use that close reason). – Lance Roberts Nov 5 '13 at 1:50
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    Noooo but I like "asking for code" – Pekka supports GoFundMonica Nov 5 '13 at 2:06
  • And to top it off, here is an example of the type of question I was talking about with my earlier comment. – slugster Nov 5 '13 at 8:11
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That bit was added because folks were interpreting it extremely broadly, using it on straightforward questions that didn't require anything in the way of additional explanations:

See, the intent here was to handle the sorts of "here's my spec, please write code for me" questions that were already being closed - not expand closure to damn thousands of existing questions with good, useful answers. For now, I've retired that OT reason and replaced it with:

...the current "asking for code" reason.

Occasionally users are confused by this close reason, as they're not asking for code, or they justify their question by saying they're not asking for code (and are instead asking for an idea or pseudo-code or something).

Then there may be other problems with their question, but they are correct in asserting that this isn't one of them. Which... Is rather the whole point of having specific close reasons.

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    Are you saying something like this question is fine because it's not strictly asking for code (yet doesn't show any attempt at solving the problem)? (possibly not the best example, as it's probably not particularly clear, but hopefully you get my point) – Dukeling Nov 5 '13 at 2:31
  • Difference between "has other issues" and "is fine", @Dukeling. For starters, that question doesn't, uh, ask any questions... (and really, it just goes downhill from there) – Shog9 Nov 5 '13 at 2:33
  • @Dukelink that's clearly implicitly asking for code IMO. And it's so weak that any discussion about semantics can simply be ignored. – Pekka supports GoFundMonica Nov 5 '13 at 2:33
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    Like the difference between, "I need to find a hitman" and "Do you have a shovel I can borrow?" – random Nov 5 '13 at 2:43
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    @probablyPekka It's close enough for me to use the reason, but far close enough to leave some users confused and frustrated with Stack Overflow. – Dukeling Nov 5 '13 at 8:21
  • This might be a better example. – Dukeling Nov 5 '13 at 8:36
  • Why does that one need to be closed, @Dukeling? Down-vote and move on... – Shog9 Nov 5 '13 at 15:08
  • In my book, there's very little difference between asking for an algorithm and asking for code - if "Is there any algorithm to ..." were to have been "Can anyone give me some Java code to ..." and then it's asking for code and can be closed, right? – Dukeling Nov 5 '13 at 15:37
  • You're working backwards from a solution to a problem here, @Dukeling - remember, originally the questions being targeted here fell into either NaRQ or TL. And maybe that's the major issue with this OT reason: it doesn't clearly state a problem. – Shog9 Nov 5 '13 at 15:57
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    Then I don't really know what type of questions to use this reason for. Maybe I'm confused about closing and downvoting (again). I see too many questions (like the linked one) that could essentially just be a copy of an assignment with a question added. Apparently they are not worthy of getting closed or downvoted (which would set a precedent of showing research effort before asking a question) (closing would probably do more than downvoting), which I disagree with. 'Officially' they may be downvote-worthy, but people rarely do. So I guess I'll end up taking my leave from Stack Overflow at some point. – Dukeling Nov 5 '13 at 16:43
  • I actually disagree that closing does more than voting, @Dukeling. Folks think it's more powerful because it's a higher-level privilege, but that also means there are fewer people able to do it and overall less signal for the system to work with. It's important, but it isn't the be-all/end-all of community moderation. – Shog9 Nov 5 '13 at 16:50
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    I think closing is better because - a downvote decreases some number on a website that many people probably couldn't care less about by 2, but, more importantly, this will be cancelled out by some inevitable upvotes. Closing the question stops answers from coming - if done quick enough, the asker wouldn't have gotten any answers, thus will have little to no motivation to ask another question without showing any research effort. – Dukeling Nov 5 '13 at 16:56
  • "I think hammers are better than screwdrivers because screwdrivers wear out screws while hammers can also be used to crack nuts." @Dukeling. – Shog9 Nov 5 '13 at 17:55
  • @Dukeling: might want to chime in here... meta.stackexchange.com/questions/204360/… – Shog9 Nov 5 '13 at 21:59
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My take on it: keep the reason. It narrows it down in scope and makes its clear what it's intended to be used for.

My interpretation of the existing close reason:

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.

  • The question has to be or appear to be asking for code.
  • The question has to be phrased in a way that the asker does not sufficiently demonstrate effort on their part to solve it. This means:
    • There's no code to back up what they've tried.
    • There's no explanation to show what they expected.

Pretty narrow, to be frank.

My interpretation of your close reason:

Questions 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

  • The question must demonstrate some minimal understanding of the problem scope being addressed.
    • If this is a framework question...
    • If this is a database question...
    • If this is an underlying, wildly busted implementation on the vendor's part-type question...
    • ...what do I do??
  • Attempted solutions must be provided.

    • If they have some configuration, then they should be providing it.
    • If they have some higher level question but one that fits in the scope of the site...and they don't provide any attempted solutions...what do they provide to fulfill this requirement?
  • Why didn't it work? Should be straightforward, no matter what you're asking about.

  • What was expected?
    • Does this mean that things didn't explode/implode/overwrite hard disks?
    • Does this mean that some behavior that the OP saw with their platform no longer occurs?
    • What if they expect something totally different from their platform than what it could provide?

I admit I'm being a bit heavy handed on the comparison, but without the narrowing of scope, I have no choice but to pause and consider these reasons.

Being extremely broad in intent to close = bad. Be as specific as you can.

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