I recently had my first really bad experience on Stack Overflow. It started right after I filed a question on Passing a table expression to a table-parameterized function (regarding SQL Server). The question is since edited a bit, but not substantially.
One user spent about an hour on the question and we both got increasingly frustrated in the process. His answer got longer and longer and he remarked a number of things, some of them helpful in some regard, but he never explicitly answered my question, which was: How to pass a table expression to a table-parameterized function.
The guy got more and more irritated and finally asked me to unaccept the answer so he could delete it. I complied after which he deleted it.
I then posted an answer myself posting the gist of what I took away, namely that it's not possible to call table-parameterized function on arbitrary table expressions in SQL Server. This triggered two things: The guy I had a problem with got really angry and another person voted to delete the answer - eventually the answer got and is now deleted.
I myself eventually posted two undiplomatic comments in total at the end of it all, to each of the individuals, one of which is still on the deleted answer. I'm venturing to guess two explanations for what happened here:
Problem questions vs. specific questions
On how to asked a good question the help center uses the word problem quite a lot. It seems to imply that a question represents a problem, a good answer for which would be anything that helps the asker.
There's another kind of question though, and that's where you really just ask a specific question. For example, this one has 661 upvotes as of now and doesn't represent any problem. In fact, the asker, Jon Skeet, didn't have any: He just wanted to provide a good question answer pair to improve the content of this site. (EDIT: A better example is probably this question I posted myself. The answer will be that it's not there, even though no-one posted it yet.)
While I understand that problem questions are in practice often asked and certainly shouldn't be discouraged, I don't see why they should be encouraged at the expense of specific questions. Clearly for someone searching Stack Overflow the latter is more useful: If a user clicks on a question titled Passing a table expression to a table-parameterized function it would be better if the answer contains only the answer to that specific question first and foremost, and not an essay about how to avoid doing that.
I understand that more information can never be a bad thing (if ordered by relevance), but I don't agree that it would be more valuable than the answer to the actual, specific question, and I certainly don't agree that any actual answer to the specific question should get deleted just because the essay on how to avoid to ask it to begin with is missing.
It's a thing that most people in the industry understand, but few ever articulate that experts identify with their technology. I have certainly seen this in myself and over the years I have come to explain a lot of what people do with how their ego is linked into this.
Let's say someone comes along and asks how to do a non-local jump across stack frames in C#. He know it's possible in C. Then people ask him why he wants to do this. Maybe they do this because they are altruists with a genuine motivation to help him, but when people dance around an answer and even get angry after I spell it out myself, I'm cynical enough to believe that often enough they feel that their technology somehow has to compete with C and the actual, correct answer (that is, "sorry, you can't") feels like a defeat. If so, such people will feel an urge to make the question look invalid or stupid in order to deflect from such perceived weakness.
It's difficult to tell these things apart, because often a programmer may indeed try something stupid - maybe jumping across stack frames has no business in his end-user application.
It's also possible, however, that the asker is just curious, doesn't really have a concrete problem at all and just wants to know. It's also possible that his curiosity was triggered by an actual problem, but now he wants to know regardless of what the solution to his problem will be in the end.
I feel very strongly that this is a perfectly legitimate way of asking questions. In fact my whole competence is based on this approach of wanting to actually understand what is and isn't possible rather than just letting other people suggest a path and then walking it.
I feel that I asked a legitimate question, provided a legitimate answer myself (albeit maybe not an excellent one, and I'm not sure if it's correct - but that's not the reason why it was closed) - and still got a lot of heat for it, as well as three close votes on the question and my answer deleted.
Since this is, as I said in the beginning, the first bad experience I ever had on Stack Overflow in the two years I been here, I wanted to put this story out for discussion, and I welcome any feedback.
Finally, some further notes about the edit history of my question. None of the edits changed the question, in particular the non-trivial part of the function's definition was marked with "-- The definition is not really important to this question!" from the start and changing that definition was one part of the changes. The other was replacing a generic placeholder literal "some-expression" (to make the question more clear) with an actual expression in response to another request by the first answerer.