Following a comment I received on this:

Are questions that have answers on other websites OK on Stack Overflow?

For example, questions that have answers on the Pytorch forums, such as this one.

Looking in other forums and actually reading through the discussions with the inconvenient UX, not seeing the upvotes, and having to filter through the posts seems like trouble to me.

Copy-pasting from there to Q&A style Stack Overflow seems to me like a service to the world.

I was wondering if that is what it is, or maybe it is frowned upon.


The question still has to be of quality before it'd make sense to bring it over from somewhere else.

The question in full reads:


Sorry for maybe super basic question but could not find it.

What is a correct Pytorch way to encode multi-class target variable?

I have > 30 target classes for target variable - like AA, AB, BB, BA, BC ....

Should I use ScikitLearn tools and then convert numpy arrays into torch tensors?

Or there is built-in functionality?


...which, if we boil this down to what the actual question is, turns into...

I have > 30 target classes for target variable - like AA, AB, BB, BA, BC .... What is a correct Pytorch way to encode multi-class target variable?

...which is barely even a good question since it lacks the pillars of quality that we ask for (e.g. what was attempted, what error messages one encountered, etc).

If the question isn't good enough to port over from somewhere else on the Internet, then the answer doesn't have any legs to stand on. Good answers are spawned off of questions, and I'm barely seeing a good one here.

So no, don't copy this over from this forum. I would argue that it's where it needs to be in the way it needs to be in, and it can still be of value to others who look for it.

(insert blurb about plagiarism here - don't copy without attribution etc etc)

  • Please notice I don't care what the asker asked on the forum. I cared about the answer, which was scattered somewhere among the answers. Is the question I asked of less quality than the likes of stackoverflow.com/questions/20196159/… – Gulzar Dec 23 '20 at 20:49
  • Simple questions without simple SO answers seem very relevant to me. If not, please explain why. The Pytorch forum discussion is not relevant here. I just linked to it because the jist of the answer was compiled from there. – Gulzar Dec 23 '20 at 20:50
  • 5
    Before anything else, you can't have an answer without a suitable question. Even self-answered questions will get closed if the question is crap. – Makoto Dec 23 '20 at 20:52
  • @Makato Please explain why the question is crappier than stackoverflow.com/questions/19199984/sort-a-list-in-python or stackoverflow.com/questions/45916135/… or stackoverflow.com/questions/20196159/… or other "trivial" questions that are probably answered in the docs? – Gulzar Dec 23 '20 at 20:55
  • @Gulzar: I wouldn't defend those, either. – Makoto Dec 23 '20 at 20:56
  • I can find these in any language, and they have no downvotes. stackoverflow.com/questions/1547252/… or stackoverflow.com/questions/2275004/… or stackoverflow.com/questions/2340281/… I am searching off the top of my head. Please explain why simple questions don't belong on SO? Looking at the docs is 1. harder to search (doesn't hit google every time) 2. harder to browse (SO is build well, which is why it succeeds) – Gulzar Dec 23 '20 at 21:12
  • 3. doesn't always work, as google search works with natural language and docs don't. It is not always obvious how to search a doc. I explained why forums are bad earlier. Please explain why such questions are bad in any language – Gulzar Dec 23 '20 at 21:13
  • they aren't broad at all. they are very specific and very helpful. the vote count supports the helpful case. – Gulzar Dec 23 '20 at 21:14

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