I see questions like this occasionally, where it amounts to little more than a bunch of code. Usually there are some end-user details, like, when I click this button, it doesn't do what it's supposed to do.

Actually, the question to which I linked is a bit better than usual. At least he attempts to explain what should happen vs. what does happen. Either way, though, it's still a question based on end-user results, not based on anything technical. As such, it's not a question which will likely be of any use to anyone else in the future.

In the past, I would have voted to close a question like this as being too localized. After that option was removed, due to certain abuses, I would have voted to close it because questions asking for code should demonstrate a minimal level of understanding, but that option has also now been removed, due to similar abuses, I'm sure.

So where does that leave us for a question like this? The closest valid reasons for closing this question now would be that it's too broad or unclear, but neither of those reasons adequately apply. It's not really off-topic, since it is programming-related, so the "Other..." option under there doesn't even really apply.

Since there's no good options, it seems like everyone is simply resorting to down voting, but that's not very helpful to the person posting the question. I understand that the other options were removed for good reasons, but it seems like a question like this is now falling through the cracks.

Or am I wrong? Is this kind of question something that should be welcomed on StackOverflow? I personally didn't down-vote it because, as far as I can tell, it's not a bad question based on all the good reasons for closing. Personally I don't want to waste my time debugging someone else's code for them, but I suppose if this kind of question is welcome, maybe it shouldn't even be down-voted and it should just wait until someone comes along who is bored enough to be willing to help?


1 Answer 1


Close them as "Unclear what you are asking."

Read the close reason as "We don't accept 'code-dump, how fix' questions here, so it's unclear what you are asking for specifically. 'What's wrong with my code' is not a problem statement."

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    I foresee Meta posts asking for additional close reasons. Because it's not really unclear what he's asking, now is it? (Though you're right).
    – Bart
    Jan 13, 2014 at 21:51
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    I agree that that's probably the closest fit, but the "unclear" reason, in these cases is, well... unclear. He was actually being fairly clear about what the problem was. It was about as specific as it could be, from a end-user perspective. Perhaps it's not as common in other areas, but I can tell you, in VB.NET, it's a fairly regular occurrence... Jan 13, 2014 at 21:57
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    @StevenDoggart: Use your best judgment, but his problem description is murky at best. Any question that requires you to first read the entirety of his code to try and figure out its purpose, and then read it all again to try and spot some as yet unidentified error, is what I call an "under-specified" question, the very embodiment of "Unclear what you are Asking."
    – user102937
    Jan 13, 2014 at 22:01
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    @Bart I think changing it to "Unclear What Help You Need" would leave no room for misreading
    – gnat
    Jan 15, 2014 at 6:08

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