These days I keep coming over questions containing only code like this one - https://stackoverflow.com/questions/32844182/suggestions-for-e-commerce - which will clearly be closed soon after posting as an offtopic or other reason.

Can we enforce the asker to put in the question text different than code ? Do you think this may make some difference ?

  • 2
    Alas, then what you get is people not formatting the code at all. Also note that the initial version had some text that was not in the code block.
    – user213963
    Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 13:05
  • Although you are right @MichaelT, that can't be a reason not to do this. Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 13:06
  • 1
    A better reason not to do it is that whenever a restriction is placed on Stack Overflow to try to prevent certain questions, people finding themselves unable to post the question on Stack Overflow instead go to other sites (where the question is off topic) to post, consuming community moderation resources on sites that are even less able to handle to handle the question.
    – user213963
    Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 13:11

3 Answers 3


The first thing to realize is that the initial version of the question in question had part of the body of the question that wasn't in a code block. It is the ever familiar 'just paste the text into the text area'

import java.io.; import java.util.;

public class content {

public static void main(String[] args) throws NumberFormatException, IOException { HashMap>> Outer = new HashMap>>();

BufferedReader br = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(System.in));
int count = Integer.parseInt(br.readLine());


And thus, the suggestion presented here would unfortunately not have done anything to block this post.

What's more, coming from another technical site we find that often when people fail to post a question on Stack Overflow for whatever reason (my current inquery is about 'help' and 'problem' in the title text), they give up posting on Stack Overflow and 5-10 minutes later create a post on Programmers.SE and post their (completely off topic) debugging question there - because this restriction isn't in place.

Putting these minor quality checks on Stack Overflow does very little to prevent the poor quality question elsewhere on the network and instead shunts the necessary community moderation to the smaller sites (again, where the question is completely off topic) where there are even less community moderation resources.

No, don't do this. It won't fix the problem on Stack Overflow. It will create more problems on smaller sites.


I think that might help the question to be more understandable... And complete, it will also encourage them to keep asking and trying, if not questions are unreadable and are just a little piece of code. It will also be interesting to make like a recommended displa like this





This way the question could be easily responded because of a bigger knowledge of facts

  • Welcome to Stack Network, Andy. Can I remind you that instead of posting 2 answers you can edit one of them. Please do so to avoid getting downvotes :)
    – Phantomazi
    Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 13:45
  • 1
    I couldn't see my first post so I thought it didn`t get published because of a mistake. I'm sorry
    – Andy Kami
    Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 13:48
  • There are some problems to the network at the moment. Maybe a problem there. Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 13:51

I think this can be useful.

On the other hand, some users might just repeat the question title in the body again, or post the code block as text (which happens quite often already). This doesn't really help users to write good questions, just to put some content in, not even good content.

All said, I wouldn't mind if this was added. It might help the few who do understand what it required of them.

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