If so, is that bad? I had a look over some of my previous questions recently and noticed that some of my very simple ones which (in honesty) make me look like a bit of an idiot have upvotes, but more complex questions based on in-depth troubleshooting like this one:

Server can't see static assets compiled with Brunch (Phoenix Framework)

Seem to have a lot more downvotes.


1 Answer 1


Well, it's worth considering patterns and anti-patterns in that question - complexity or length do not equate quality. The question has a few anti-patterns in it in my opinion.

I'm having The Most Bizarre Tech Problem. While my site works fine in development, and used to work fine in production, during the last build it has inexplicably stopped recognising the static assets, and is serving an old version of the favicon into the bargain. I've even tried recloning the whole repo, but I'm getting exactly the same problem. The old favicon doesn't even exist in the repo anymore.

...isn't a great description of the problem to someone not looking at it.

I have an nginx reverse proxy in front of the Cowboy server process, with the following config:

That might be useful, but a config dump on its own is a bit of an anti-pattern for a good question. If it worked before, what's changed is the important part of troubleshooting.

Updates are probably useful, if they are seen, and it's better to have them up front as things you have tried so far.

The source (at least for my main server, there seemed to be different problems causing the same error on the other one, which is weird but meh) of the problem ended up being something gone awry with the SSL certs which somehow resulted in access being blocked to only some of the content (???).

The answer doesn't really reflect a solution, just a workaround. Once again, considering that a cert is a cert, there's insufficient resolution to the problem.

  • Interesting. And despite the downvotes on the question (who cares, right?) this might actually be a useful response. The problem here seems, if I understand you right, to be that you'd like to see the question refactored, to ask more concisely. Of course, if you know all of what's changed and you know exactly the right info then you probably know the cause of the issue and don't need to ask the question in the first place... Sometimes the code doesn't change at all, you come back and something broke it... Jul 22, 2018 at 7:36
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    @PeterDavidCarter Clearly if the code no longer works and you haven't changed the code then something else has changed (eg OS updates, library updates, software updates, ...). The only person who can figure this out is the OP, not some random person looking at the question. Jul 22, 2018 at 10:54

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