I am having a little trouble knowing how to proceed on the site. When my questions were math-based I had less trouble, but now that I have moved to programming questions I have run into problems.

My questions are:

  1. Suppose I had a programming-related question and suppose that the complete code for the program that I am working on is quite long, but that the problem lies only in a small part of the code. Should I post all of the code I have so that potential answerers can understand how the program works? (Or doesn't work...)

  2. Also, I believe I had been directed previously to post my programming questions on Stack Overflow, but now that I tried using it on my PC I noticed that when I came to ask a question, the question box did not have an editor like the one here. How should I enter the relevant code then?

closed as off-topic by Mat, Infinite Recursion, S.L. Barth, Wrzlprmft, ᔕᖺᘎᕊ Aug 20 '15 at 11:47

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question pertains only to a specific site in the Stack Exchange Network. Questions on Meta Stack Exchange should pertain to our network or software that drives it as a whole, within the guidelines defined in the help center. You should ask this question on the meta site where your concern originated." – Mat, Infinite Recursion, S.L. Barth, Wrzlprmft, ᔕᖺᘎᕊ
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 2
    stackoverflow.com/help/mcve ; and SO has the same editor as other sites, not sure what you're talking about. – Mat Aug 20 '15 at 5:25
  • stackoverflow.com/questions/ask ; When I go to that link - ie. try to ask a question - I find a page with three text boxes: title, body and tags - none of which has a text editor @Mat – user224530 Aug 20 '15 at 5:40
  • @user224530 so what you ask for is having a full scale IDE as the text editor on Stack Overflow? (with code highlight, intellisense, etc.) – ShaWiz Aug 20 '15 at 5:59
  • @ShadowWizard , No. If I could just get the same editor on the overflow site as I have available to me when I ask questions on the meta site. – user224530 Aug 20 '15 at 7:04
  • But you have such editor: i.stack.imgur.com/ZJPrD.png – ShaWiz Aug 20 '15 at 7:11
  • @ShadowWizard , I wish. Instead I get an antiquated looking page with a text box but no editor. I tried to post a screenshot but I don't know how to attach it to this comment. As mentioned in the answer it is probably a bug, but none of my java options are blocked – user224530 Aug 20 '15 at 7:38
  • 2
    You are probably behind a company firewall/proxy blocking CDN, so the required JS/CSS for the editor are blocked – ShaWiz Aug 20 '15 at 7:39

In answer to your first question, this is the 'art' of asking programming questions.

You can post a wall of code, but who would want to read it?

So what you need to try and do is work it down to the shortest representative bit of code you can. Often, in the process of doing this you will find the answer to your question.

Someone even created a site to address this problem: http://sscce.org/

Note that this is not a requirement for Stack Overflow, but it will dramatically improve your chances of getting an answer. And it will teach you to think and communicate more clearly.

For your second question, if you're not seeing the same toolbar above the 'body' on Stack Overflow as you see here, that's a bug (possibly something blocking javascript on your side?)

  • Thanks. Your approach seems good. But just to get an idea: what if I do include all of the code - so that the reader can run my program as it is - while also adding comments to alert the reader to ignore large sections of code that are seemingly irrelevant? – user224530 Aug 20 '15 at 7:19
  • I think in that case you'd be better dumping the whole thing to somewhere like pastebin and just excerpting the relevant bits in your question. – Benjol Aug 20 '15 at 7:24
  • 1
    @user224530 I would vote to close a "wall of code" question as too broad. At Geographic Information Systems we have a custom close reason of "Questions seeking help to debug/write/improve code must include the desired behavior, a specific problem or error and the shortest code necessary to reproduce it in the question itself. Providing a clear problem statement and evidence of a code attempt will help others to help you. See: How to create a Minimal, Complete, and Verifiable example". – PolyGeo Aug 20 '15 at 7:24

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