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Recently I had an algorithmic question regarding a programming puzzle. Unsure where to ask it, I searched Meta and found this post:

Thus, I decided to post my question in the suggested forum, with a minimal working code example, explaining my algorithm, and the problem:

The result? I got downvoted and closed. I don't understand this. I followed the rules and I get punished. What did I do wrong? Can I trust Meta or is it subjective?

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    You probably should have asked at Meta Programmers first. The people over there have more expertise what's on-topic there or not. – πάντα ῥεῖ Dec 22 '15 at 10:13
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    You followed the recommendation of one person. Not the rules. Just a recommendation. Which turned out to be wrong. I do suggest that before you post something on a Stack Exchange site you are not familiar with is read the help center articles for what is and is not on topic there. – Oded Dec 22 '15 at 10:35
  • Frankly, given that you did get answers to your question and that the net reputation from the question is positive (2 upvotes, 4downvotes == 2 * 5 - 4 * 2 == +2), looks like things worked out for you. – Oded Dec 22 '15 at 10:37
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    @Oded Wrong recommendation? Seriously? That's your defense? I am asking Meta about Meta. That asnwer was accepted. If it is wrong why do I have to be penalizaed? if it is wrong, why can't you or someone else (who knows the answer) fix it? More people are bound to make my mistake, get punished and simply leave programmers SE to die because, like me, they feel outright cheated and hurt. And as a sidenote, if I can't trust Meta to ask a question, I might as well not use it as well since it is a waste of my time. – Flame_Phoenix Dec 22 '15 at 12:18
  • that MSE question you refer, it is closed as duplicate. Did you consider following to duplicate target to find out what's there? – gnat Dec 22 '15 at 12:36
  • @Flame_Phoenix: As you go through life, you should take things you hear from random people with a pinch of salt. Learn what is authoritative and what isn't. Look up the official documentation when you're not sure about something. We can't police everything everyone says. – Lightness Races in Orbit Dec 22 '15 at 13:12
  • I am explaining what happened, not defending anything. If anyone is taking this much too much to heart it is you. You seem to assume that people answering questions here are perfect and give perfect answers - that's not the case - that it is accepted just means that the OP accepted it, nothing more (and considering the OP asked it in the first place, they are likely the least knowledgeable person in the thread). – Oded Dec 22 '15 at 13:13
  • @gnat Duplicate is not the same as incorrect. Am I wrong? But yes, i checked it now... – Flame_Phoenix Dec 22 '15 at 13:15
  • duplicate target is typically expected to have better answers – gnat Dec 22 '15 at 13:17
  • @LightnessRacesinOrbit If you cannot police every answer given, and I understand that, than pershaps you should not be given the right to punish everyone just for teh heck of it either.... – Flame_Phoenix Dec 22 '15 at 15:43
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    "for the heck of it" – Won't Dec 22 '15 at 15:44
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    @Flame_Phoenix: Nobody has "punished" you. Having your question closed would only be "punishment" if you had some sort of god-given right to post anything you wanted in the first place, which you don't. What's actually happened is that you've punished us for your neglection to read the rules, in the form of added moderation burden and this whole post. – Lightness Races in Orbit Dec 22 '15 at 16:13
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The problem is this: the linked answer says (emphasis mine):

algorithm and data structure concepts

But you are not asking for concepts, you are asking how to implement it. That seems off-topic for Programmers.SE since that is more the whiteboard site (and you don't write code on a whiteboard).

I guess the best place for code questions is Stack Overflow. If you want to be sure, ask on the Stack Overflow meta is the question is on-topic and what could be improved to it.

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    Which is confusing because they ask for minimal working code. How am I supposed to provide that without coding? – Flame_Phoenix Dec 22 '15 at 10:18
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    The close reasons says: go to Stack Overflow, right? (And did you see the user answering the meta question? How much reputation does he have on Programmers? Does he exactly know what is on-topic there?) – Patrick Hofman Dec 22 '15 at 10:19
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    None of the people that answered or replied to me either downvoted, or asked to close the topic. Also, reputation does not make you right on its own. If I have 3K rep and say the sky is red, I am still wrong, as are the people who closed my question. – Flame_Phoenix Dec 22 '15 at 11:33
  • "and you don't write code on a whiteboard" uh sure you do. albeit pseudocode. – Lightness Races in Orbit Dec 22 '15 at 11:57
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    @Flame_Phoenix The only SE I know of that asks for minimal working code is CodeReview.SE. What StackOveflow normally wants is an MVCE or SSCCE that reproduces the "not working" part, and that's exactly what you had in your post. In other words, the reason your question got closed/downvoted was because it was asking how to make a specific piece of code run faster, which is almost always a StackOverflow question. – Ixrec Dec 22 '15 at 12:00
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    @Ixrec My example is MVCE. Have you even tried it? It WORKS, nothing is broken, I am not trying to fix anything. In fact, the closed message encouraged me to put it.StackOverflow is also a fitting forum, yes, but that is WHY I RESERAHCED META before posting it there. Honestly I don't know why by now. I feel like letting you people and your SE collect dust and just use the overall aparently for all purposes stackoverflow, even when nothing is broken. – Flame_Phoenix Dec 22 '15 at 12:14
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    @Flame_Phoenix No reason to start yelling, or getting offensive. – πάντα ῥεῖ Dec 22 '15 at 12:48
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    @πάνταῥεῖ Just feeling frustrated that I am being treaty as guilty while everyone avoids the problem I present. I don't expect to be right, but at least change the asnwer that I followed in this META so others don't fall into the same mistake I did. – Flame_Phoenix Dec 22 '15 at 13:08
  • But we are regular users too, and we do make mistakes, or say things that are just blatantly wrong, just like in any community. You can't held us responsible for it. You can down-vote the answer if you feel like it, or just be more careful next time and double-check. – Patrick Hofman Dec 22 '15 at 13:17
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    @PatrickHofman You are normal people and make mistakes. I don't downvote you for being human. I wish I could say the same thing about the SE community or the people who aparently support it. – Flame_Phoenix Dec 22 '15 at 15:44
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    @Flame_Phoenix I am a moderator on Programmers and I edited your question to make it more on topic at Programmers and reopened it for you. Please review and let me know if I captured the spirit of what you were asking here. It seems the accepted answer was a proper conceptual answer around an algorithm approach to solve the problem in the least number of worst case operations. – maple_shaft Dec 22 '15 at 18:39
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    meta.programmers.stackexchange.com/a/7821/25476 FYI it is not forbidden by any means to post code on Programmers. It should only be used to give potential context though. In all cases we prefer pseudo code where possible, but even when real code is being used, the question itself cannot be about improving the code, it should be about improving the algorithm concepts and approach. – maple_shaft Dec 22 '15 at 18:46
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    @maple_shaft Thank you! If only more people were like you... – Flame_Phoenix Dec 27 '15 at 16:17

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