Regularly on Stack-overflow I come across some really great solutions but although the solution works fine the author does not say WHY it works.

A great example of this is here

The top voted answer states a solution that works (which plenty of people have accepted) but there is no information about the reasons behind the solution - If included they could do nothing but enhance the answer.

Can we somehow encourage people to state the whys as well as just posting the hows?

After all Stack overflow is all about providing the best possible information.

  • Instead of being "infuriated", this should lead you to investigate more about these particular parameter settings and techniques to fix that problem. The answerer could have linked the relevant documentation, but still the OP is in charge to investigate that in detail. – πάντα ῥεῖ Feb 21 '18 at 0:32
  • Yes, agreed - of course the researcher is responsible for his own investigation. My question is about encouraging the respondent to add a little more detail to their answer - after the best answers on SO have this. It couldn't be a bad thing. "infuriated" was the wrong word... have updated it. – Continuity8 Feb 21 '18 at 1:22
  • Encourage them as @Servy proposed: Vote, comment. Probably a bit useless, for such an old Q&A and an even closed question. – πάντα ῥεῖ Feb 21 '18 at 1:28

If you feel that a given answer doesn't provide an adequate explanation for its solution then you should reflect that in your votes. If you feel you can provide the author useful information on how their answer could be improved, you could also comment on it.

That is how you encourage people to include information that's important to be in a post.

Of course how much explanation is considered "appropriate", and whether a given post either has insufficient explanation, or too much information, in the context of a given question is something each reader needs to determine for themselves.

  • "... is something each reader needs to determine for themselves." Agreed! For that concrete question asked about, that answer should lead to more investigation from the interested reader side, about how the VM Bios actually works when found to be successful in fixing that particular problem. – πάντα ῥεῖ Feb 21 '18 at 0:25
  • 1
    In this case there are comments requesting an explanation - unfortunately the author has not responded to these. A basic explanation could do nothing but enhance the answer, and could also provide a very useful starting point for one's own investigation. After all Stack overflow is all about providing the best possible information. However if you don't agree that's a perfectly valid perspective to have. – Continuity8 Feb 21 '18 at 1:30

I routinely comment "this would be a better answer if you explain why it works" but some answerers don't bother to come back and improve the answer.

If you know why it works, or you're able to do a little searching to find out, there's no reason you can't write the better answer you wish the question had. Include the explanation, an example, or whatever is missing. I've seen answers like that pass the early terse version many times.

Related: Deciding what answer to accept: the correct one-liner or the later elaborate one with code?

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .