Lately, it seems like a lot of questions are the wrong questions - I hate to single one out, but this one, for example. The questions aren't bad, but they are simply things you don't do, or shouldn't do, or need to do because people have gone too far down a bad design or a misconception or whatever. And of course, the user doesn't give motivation for the situation usually.

My concern is that there are tons of answers which are "don't design your database that way" after someone has already got a performance problem with a million rows of data in some screwy schema AND the format of Stack Overflow is not really conducive to collaborative analysis of large problems.

Any discussion going on here about being able to branch answers into a full blown wiki discussion of design issues? - i.e. a fully editable single page discussion of a design.

3 Answers 3


Chances are that someone else will want to do the same misguided thing. They will find these questions and see answers that guide them to a better solution. This is a good thing. Bring on the wrong questions, so we can give them the right answers!

  • 1
    I'd wanted to post an answer to this question, but when I read this I realized I couldn't have said it better myself. +1
    – John Rudy
    Dec 21, 2009 at 3:42
  • 2
    The ones with fundamentally bad setups are also the ones who aren't that resourceful, and there are some in the community who will downvote you for not actually answering the question.
    – OMG Ponies
    Dec 21, 2009 at 6:35
  • My point was that I don't think the current structure of answers lends itself as well as it could to a full analysis of the design options which should be "rolled back" to eliminate the need to solve the problem presented.
    – Cade Roux
    Dec 21, 2009 at 13:56
  • People can always link to their own wiki or blog, but then other people cannot fully participate there and it fragments things.
    – Cade Roux
    Dec 21, 2009 at 13:58

A humiliating example to support Jon B's answer:

As a perpetrator of at least one demonstrably wrong question and despite an overwhelming desire to purge said question from living memory, I can see very clearly the value here.


For users with low reputation, there is a popup that appears when answering, which specifically discourages you from asking for clarification of the question:

popup on the StackExchange answer form

I interpret that as saying don't criticise the question. Am I missing something here?

  • Sorry, forgot about this. It appears only for users with low reputation (not sure about exact numbers), and is rather new. When this discussion was posted, such thing didn't exist. I clarified the answer a bit. Oct 30, 2016 at 16:15
  • 1
    Got it. Thanks for taking the time to explain. Oct 30, 2016 at 16:21

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