This question has been asked several times in similar (yet often slightly different) ways.
The general consensus seems to be that it's best to ask multiple questions individually in multiple Question posts so that each can be addressed separately. This is as it should be...in general (and in theory!). See related posts for some context and discussion:
- One post with multiple questions or multiple posts?
- Is it better to ask one complex question or a bunch of tiny questions?
- How to ask multiple similar but different questions?
In practice, however, it can be more useful to ask a few similar questions if they work together to express a single fundamental concern.
I propose that there are some situations when it is best to ask several questions together, rather than in multiple posts.
For example, sometimes the question-asker finds it difficult to ask something in one question and instead asks it in two or three similar questions to "beat around the bush". This often helps the poster express their fundamental concern more clearly or thoroughly and helps the community understand what the poster is thinking, and why.
Here are a few examples of multiple questions used effectively in a single post:
- Why is it faster to process a sorted array than an unsorted array?
- "Thinking in AngularJS" if I have a jQuery background?
- What and where are the stack and heap?
In these examples, answering one of the questions almost requires answering one of the accompanying questions as well. For this reason, it's better for all if the questioner and answerer each ask and answer these related questions together. Importantly, it also makes the question a much better resource for somebody who stumbles on that that question later, or has a similar question. As pointed out in How to ask multiple similar but different questions?, asking a cluster of questions can help distinguish one question from a near-duplicate and avoid an incorrect flagging as a duplicate.
In other cases (such as How do comments work?), it's probably best to split the questions into multiple posts, but the end result can be a highly-useful repository of knowledge that is a "one-stop-shop".
I'm not satisfied with some SX users demanding separate posts for similar questions if the questions are essentially expressing the same concern. I'm also not satisfied with the prevalence of posts with multiple, disparate questions.
My question is this:
- When is it okay to post multiple questions?
- How can we distinguish between multiple questions that ought to be split vs. multiple questions that work together to express a single fundamental concern?
- What guidelines or standards can we give and enforce for the community?
This is different than the related posts I've seen because I'm looking for guidelines. Whereas this post was asking about how the user should frame his questions in the future, I'm asking what the SX guidelines should be.