I recently posted a question and the replies I got give assumption that many people don't fully read questions before answering and that most comments aren't aimed towards positively constructive input.

Past question in review

I'm not sure if wanting input from android developers and mentioning android in my post isn't enough reason to tag android, but it's clearly enough reason to upset people.

How can I effectively communicate here? What did I do wrong in my previous question?

  • 5
    1. stop using swearwords and 2. your question was totally off-topic. What did you expect? Please read what kind of question are welcome on the site first.
    – juergen d
    Apr 13, 2014 at 22:41
  • 4
    Without even reading your question I can suggest that "If you review my linked question, be sure to read my replies" may be the problem. Comments are there to improve the question. They should be tempory postit notes. Edit important details into the question Apr 13, 2014 at 22:41
  • 6
    And now having read it; it's career advice. Stack overflow isn't for that. Its for self contained programming problems Apr 13, 2014 at 22:44
  • Will I get in trouble if I repost my question in a way that's more acceptable? I guess I'm just getting too frustrated with the 50/50 answers on whether to begin with python 2.x or 3.x... Note taken Richard Tingle, thank you. I'm not sure where I should inquire about this type of stuff, any recommendations? Apr 13, 2014 at 22:44
  • 7
    @Steve I cannot think of a way that that question could be brought on topic. If you can then edit, don't repost Apr 13, 2014 at 22:45
  • 2
    If you keep asking about whether to use python 2.x or 3.x it is extremely likely to still be opinion-based.
    – Louis
    Apr 13, 2014 at 22:45
  • 1
    @Steve maybe one of the chat rooms. Stack exchange isn't really set up for that sort of thing Apr 13, 2014 at 22:46
  • 1
    What you would like to know you can ask in a programmer forum which SO is not.
    – juergen d
    Apr 13, 2014 at 22:46
  • Thanks for being cool with me and helping me understand, sorry I didn't do a better job helping myself understand this website. Thanks for the input. I think I've got what I needed to know. :) Apr 13, 2014 at 22:48
  • 11
    -1 just for your offensive language. I did not even bother to read the rest. Apr 13, 2014 at 22:49
  • Very efficient of you and your time Shadow Wizard. I appreciate the constructive input. I respect you and your show of intelligence. Apr 13, 2014 at 22:56
  • 9
    Sarcasm well taken, @Steve. I find it hard to believe you can't understand that using such words is not the way to communicate, not just here but anywhere in the virtual world. Apr 13, 2014 at 23:06
  • @ShadowWizard Generally saying "I did not bother to read" (mostly regardless of the words that follow) is asking any readers to dismiss what you have to say outright. Because, well, you didn't read. I suggest you avoid that! Apr 13, 2014 at 23:19

1 Answer 1


Actually the reason you've had a negative response to your question is that it's not on-topic for Stack Overflow.

Stack Overflow is primarily for questions about actual programming problems, not a general forum for programming questions.

In particular, Stack Overflow doesn't allow questions that are primarily opinion-based, as your question is.

If you'd like to feel the pulse and get an idea of what programmers think the best way to start is, you'd be better off with a more opinion-based website, like slant.co, for example, where that question would be very much on topic.

You seem slightly offended that people haven't carefully read what you wrote; carefully reading the site tour can give you clues as to which sort of questions will be welcome.

Stack Overflow is perhaps unusual compared to other sites in the sense that it invites questions (as you might in a forum) but yet it is fairly heavily curated (leaning towards wikipedia) with a pretty strict set of criteria for what's permitted (very much unlike yahoo answers). This unusual combination sometimes conflicts with new users' desire to get on with typing their question in a textbox without ploughing through introductions. This difference is, however, one of the reasons programmers like answering questions here; less chit chat, more programming. Yum.

  • 1
    @SteveKovach, adding to Andrew's answer, the guides tour, How to Ask and the help center have been carefully crafted to help you not misunderstand this network of sites ;)
    – brasofilo
    Apr 14, 2014 at 0:03
  • @brasofilo Thanks - feel free to edit that in.
    – AndrewC
    Apr 14, 2014 at 0:04
  • What exactly was offensive about the original question, other than it was off-topic and the OP doesn't play well with others?
    – user102937
    Apr 14, 2014 at 0:06
  • @RobertHarvey I don't claim the original question was offensive. You could construe the negative response as due to people being offended that the OP didn't take the tour before posting, so the not-reading isn't all one-sided. Perhaps I misused the word "similarly", so have removed it.
    – AndrewC
    Apr 14, 2014 at 0:09
  • If we got offended every time someone did that, we'd be punching holes in the walls.
    – user102937
    Apr 14, 2014 at 0:10
  • @RobertHarvey Indeed. :) Perhaps "offended" is too strong a word for the community's response, but the OP clearly feels they've had a strong response.
    – AndrewC
    Apr 14, 2014 at 0:13
  • @Robert News flash: most people end up punching walls on Meta. :P
    – user206222
    Apr 14, 2014 at 4:00

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