A vast majority of database design questions I see are either

  • I'm building a comment database about --------.
  • I'm rebuilding Facebook
  • I'm building a favorites database about --------.
  • Homework

I more than a little certain from the topics and how the questions are phrased that these are new programmers who are operating on a very small scale with a very limited understanding of programming in general and possibly for a user base of "just him" or "just his group of friends".

I don't want to discourage this activity, it's fine that it's here. But explaining the nuance of b*tree index clustering factor and the impact that can have on optimizer plan creation is a huge waste of time. I wish there was a single Boolean flag for

[x] I need a big-boy enterprise-scale answer.

Sometimes I would use it to filter which questions I answer but mainly I would then know how to tailor the appropriate response.

  • 4
    +1 for being amusing, but I agree with Jon's answer. Besides, this flag would be appropriate for Enterprise FizzBuzz.
    – Pops
    Nov 18 '10 at 21:30
  • 6
    Hold on, I'm rebuilding Facebook! Do you mean there are others?
    – Pekka
    Nov 18 '10 at 21:56
  • 2
    @Pekka - I'm rebuilding Stack Overflow. And I'm not using jquery - I'm rebuilding that, too. I think I might run the whole thing on my own operating system that I am writing. Which brings me to my point - what programming language is best for writing an operating system, and how can I learn it?
    – user27414
    Nov 18 '10 at 22:07
  • 1
    @Jon B: That belongs to Operating Systems Development
    – user150068
    Nov 18 '10 at 22:56
  • 1
    @Pekka, @Jon B, doh, I'm building my own CPU with quantumlight technique powererd by an army of schrödinger cats. I just have to work out a plan to cover for 50% cat loss a day but then I will be rich and famous. (insert maniacal laughter). Nov 19 '10 at 10:16
  • 3
    I sympathize with the sentiment, yet can't help but agree with the idea that no system is perfect. Look for rep as a yardstick of how serious the question is.
    – MPelletier
    Nov 19 '10 at 19:42
  • This suggestion sounds like the beginnings of a nifty monetization scheme. Jul 31 '11 at 23:21

I more than a little certain from the topics and how the questions are phrased that these are new programmers...

That being the case, I don't think you need a [non-pro] flag to tailor your response. You seem to be able to tell already from the way they asked their question.

And if there was such a flag, I expect it would be misused, anyway.

  • Most features here are misused, why should this be different? But as I said, I would like to filter the enthusiast questions out before having to read them all. And I'm not sure why it would be misused, there are likely a distribution of people who are talented enough to answer enterprise questions and those who are all about helping the new-ish developer. Do you think that flagging your question as "enterprise" buys you more eyes? I'd bet it buys you fewer eyes. I could be wrong but so could you and you'd never know by not adding it. Nov 18 '10 at 21:35
  • @Steph - I would expect a novice user to assume that "enterprise" = "smart", and would want smart help. But I could be wrong.
    – user27414
    Nov 18 '10 at 21:40
  • 1
    We could guess at what would happen or we could try it and see what actually does. Dec 15 '10 at 18:41

That's difficult. I've contemplated putting in feature requests to be able to filter questions by country of origin or user rep but that's politically difficult too.

Just some practical advice. Don't select answers from the front page, it doesn't show enough info. The tag based view (https://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/sql-server) is a good one, it shows you the subject, the first 2 lines of the post and the questioner's name rather than the last poster name. Those 2 lines are great to see where the question is heading, the OP name lets you recognize repeat offenders. Open the question in another browser tab from there.

I personally work from a bookmark that selects a blend of favorite tagged questions. Pretty similar to the way the front page is working now. It's a bit hard to put together, you have to urlencode the query yourself. %20 for spaces around "or" and escape characters like #:


I've bombed the SO dbase server several times with it but that seems to be fixed after they moved the data center to NY.

  • Chromium, at least (maybe other browsers), will do it for you: e.g. just type http://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/python or emacs or lisp or math (my current set) and it will encode it for you. Nov 19 '10 at 2:32

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