Greatest Hits

2779
votes
9answers
316k views

A Terms of Service update restricting companies that scrape your profile information without your permission

Update (April 19, 2016): This change is now live. You can view the updated Terms of Service here, or read about them below. tl;dr: We’re planning to make some changes to our Terms of Service to stop ...
1799
votes
7answers
539k views

What is the XY problem?

What is the XY problem? When asking questions, how do I recognize when I'm falling into it? How do I avoid it? Return to FAQ index
2456
votes
45answers
231k views

Firing mods and forced relicensing: is Stack Exchange still interested in cooperating with the community?

The last weeks and days have seen some erratic behaviour by Stack Exchange Inc., such as likely illegal changes to the content license and the firing of an upstanding community moderator with no ...
-597
votes
72answers
171k views

An apology to our community, and next steps

I’m David Fullerton, Stack Overflow’s CTO, responsible for the product, engineering, and community teams. I joined Stack Overflow in 2010 because I believed in the vision and mission of Stack ...
1082
votes
1answer
474k views

How does accepting an answer work?

What does it mean to accept an answer? How do I accept an answer, and what are the rules? Can I accept my own self-answer? What are the reputation benefits? Which answer should I accept? Should I ...
364
votes
12answers
40k views

Stack Overflow for Teams is now free for up to 50 users, forever

Today we’re launching our Free plan on Stack Overflow for Teams. We know that sharing knowledge and async collaboration is critical to companies and teams of all sizes. We also know people need a good ...
2163
votes
30answers
113k views

Stack Overflow is doing me ongoing harm; it's time to fix it!

Over the last month, Stack Overflow has violated its own policies and precedents to cause egregious and unnecessary harm to me -- to my reputation (personal and professional), to my health, and to my ...
1113
votes
2answers
335k views

Are there any clones/alternatives for running a Stack Exchange style Q&A site?

Since the source code for this site isn't available for purchase or external use, I'm looking for software that can run a Q&A environment similar to Stack Exchange. Are there any such pieces of ...
629
votes
8answers
356k views

Are answers that just contain links elsewhere really “good answers”?

I have often wondered at the practice on Stack Overflow, Server Fault, and the other sites where someone will ask a question and an answer will come in that says Look here: http://link ...
-437
votes
24answers
93k views

Stack Exchange and Stack Overflow have moved to CC BY-SA 4.0

Effective today, all Subscriber Content on Stack Overflow and the Stack Exchange network will be available under the terms of version 4.0 of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) ...
573
votes
6answers
270k views

How do I escape a backtick ` within in-line code in Markdown?

How do I escape a backtick ` within a code block? This is probably a duplicate, since I'm sure it's a common concern, but I can't find a question that addresses this specifically. How do I write ...
-338
votes
60answers
93k views

A New Code License: The MIT, this time with Attribution Required

Update: January 15, 2016 Thank you for your patience and feedback. The changes proposed here have been delayed indefinitely - we'll be back later to open some more discussions. Important context for ...
579
votes
55answers
59k views

We're switching to CommonMark

I’m Ham and I’m a developer on the Teams team here at Stack Overflow. Over the past few months, I’ve been heads down working on the way we turn Markdown into HTML when writing and editing posts across ...
960
votes
22answers
74k views

Firing Community Managers: Stack Exchange is not interested in cooperating with the community, is it?

Less than a month ago, there was some settling of the incident with firing Monica. It's obvious that there was not a lot of approval from the community on the course of action chosen by SE, or the ...
304
votes
38answers
46k views

Goodbye, Prettify. Hello highlight.js! Swapping out our Syntax Highlighter

Update 2020-09-24 This is now live network-wide. Update This is now live on Meta Stack Exchange and Meta Stack Overflow. Any bugs and feedback can be posted here as an answer. I’m Ben and I’m a dev ...
1546
votes
46answers
50k views

Thank you, Shog9

@Shog9, a longtime Community Manager here at Stack Exchange, has just tweeted that he is no longer working at Stack Overflow: @shog9: Well... I suddenly find myself in need of work. If anyone's ...
448
votes
6answers
75k views

How can I link to a specific answer?

Is there a permalink I can use for answers/comments?
485
votes
15answers
94k views

Congratulations to our 29 oldest beta sites - They're now no longer beta!

If you're a user on a long-toiling beta site that's been waiting 7-8 years to get out of beta, this may be the post you've been waiting for. The 29 Beta sites that are 7+ years old no longer have the ...
608
votes
1answer
33k views

What is the association bonus, and how does it work?

I was just awarded +100 reputation on all of my Stack Exchange accounts. What is this bonus for? It simply says "Association Bonus" on my reputation overview. Also: What privileges does the ...
639
votes
19answers
107k views

Any way to send a personal message to another user?

There has been quite a few times that I wished I could send a message to another user on SO - not ask a question for everyone to see, but just a short message informing them of something or requesting ...
533
votes
58answers
95k views

The MIT License – Clarity on Using Code on Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange

Update (Dec. 22, 2015): Thanks, everyone, for your feedback to this proposal. We're going to digest this one over the holidays and should have a follow-up announcement answering your questions and ...
847
votes
75answers
177k views

The Many Memes of Meta

Catchphrases and concepts that spread from person to person are known as [memes], which, courtesy the Internet, can now explode across the Earth like a highly contagious virus (hence "going viral&...
1197
votes
31answers
44k views

Encouraging people to explain downvotes

Note: If you're looking for a simple explanation as to why comments aren't required on downvotes, see Why isn't providing feedback mandatory on downvotes, and why are ideas suggesting such ...
824
votes
51answers
28k views

Net Neutrality and Stack Overflow / Stack Exchange

It's July 12th! (2017) (in Coordinated Universal Stack Exchange Time) Today we're gonna be showing a banner directing readers to the blog post (and thus, indirectly, this discussion) from every Stack ...
398
votes
15answers
25k views

Swag is coming back!

One of the things we enjoy doing at Stack Overflow is celebrating with you when you reach momentous events in our communities. Traditionally, we’ve celebrated by sending swag your way when you’ve ...
743
votes
1answer
131k views

Which tools and technologies are used to build the Stack Exchange Network?

What tools and technologies are used to build the Stack Exchange Network? See also: Which tools and technologies are used to build Data Explorer? Return to FAQ index
-352
votes
68answers
59k views

Post for clarifications on the updated pronouns FAQ

Over the past week we've been busy reviewing our previous FAQ to directly address concerns over pronoun usage. We tried to anticipate likely questions, but… missed the mark a bit. Inspired by the ...
185
votes
112answers
20k views

Opt-in alpha test for a new Stacks editor

TL;DR: We are testing our new open source Stacks editor that offers both Markdown and rich text input options. If you’re interested in testing it out and giving us feedback, you can opt in by visiting ...
373
votes
1answer
262k views

How do I format my code blocks?

How do I post text so that it is formatted as code? What do I need to do so that my code shows up properly — not escaped or removed — when posted? And how to get the correct syntax ...
31
votes
2answers
189k views

If I leave a comment, then delete it, does a person still get notified?

Sometimes I leave a comment, then think better of it -- perhaps I decide to answer instead. If I delete the comment, does the user still get notified that new comments are available or does the ...
570
votes
1answer
81k views

How does “Reputation” work?

On Stack Exchange, users may gain a certain level of reputation. What does reputation do? How can a user gain or lose reputation? See also What is reputation? How do I earn (and lose) it? in the ...
1065
votes
34answers
109k views

Should 'Hi', 'thanks', taglines, and salutations be removed from posts?

I edit a lot of posts every day. I often run across posts with 'Hi' and 'Thanks' on the top and the bottom of the post respectively. I also run across things like: --User Should these items be ...
549
votes
63answers
48k views

The company’s commitment to rebuilding the relationship with you, our community

My name is Teresa Dietrich. About a month ago, I joined Stack Overflow as Head of Product and Community, reporting directly to the CEO. During my years as an engineer and technology leader, I saw the ...
734
votes
39answers
24k views

New Feature: Table Support

Update: I've just enabled this feature network-wide. All sites across Stack Exchange are now able to use tables. Thanks for all the feedback. We'll keep monitoring this question and we'll continue to ...
1821
votes
51answers
44k views

Could we please be a bit nicer to new users?

There is a distinct decline in the level of civility on all the sites here. Some of this is due to new users coming in and posting spam and other nonsense, but the off-topic and downvote buttons are ...
13
votes
2answers
137k views

How to pass “I'm not a robot”

I didn't have trouble answering questions in the past, but now I fail the human verification check. Basically, instead of a CAPTCHA, I can check "I'm not a robot". When I check it, it goes away and I ...
-431
votes
44answers
29k views

We're testing advertisements across the network

For several years we've had advertising solely on technology-related sites. But many of our sites aren't about technology at all, so we haven't sold ads for them. Traditionally, that hasn't been a ...
305
votes
12answers
83k views

Enable automatic deletion of old, unanswered, zero-score questions after a year?

Related to Meta Super User efforts: Old unanswered inactive questions with low views/votes and Meta Server Fault efforts: Cleaning house, really old, unloved questions We already auto-remove ...
526
votes
17answers
17k views

How to avoid “Hot Network Questions” on the sidebar

This may sound like a 'first world problem', but I am quite easily distracted by the 'Hot Network Questions' sidebar, as I find them quite amusing and some of them quite intellectual But where the ...
655
votes
1answer
124k views

How do comment @replies work?

How do the comment replies (aka "pinging users") work? Who can I send an @reply to? How do I respond to a specific user when entering my comment? Will they be notified? What do people mean ...
1009
votes
1answer
99k views

What are “Community Wiki” posts?

Some questions and answers are marked Community Wiki and are owned by a community wiki user: (In fact, this very question is one of them) Why have Community Wiki posts? How do Community Wiki posts ...
326
votes
5answers
155k views

How do I write a good title?

A good title helps your question get the attention it deserves. What goes into a good title? Return to FAQ index
200
votes
7answers
240k views

How to write nested numbered lists

I just posted an answer on Stack Overflow where I wanted to have nested numbered lists, something like 1. Dog 1.1. German Shepherd 1.2. Belgian Shepherd 1.2.1. Malinois 1.2.2. Groenendael 1.2.3. ...
333
votes
1answer
68k views

Why do I need 50 reputation to comment? What can I do instead?

Users with less than 50 reputation points cannot write comments on questions and answers that they don't own. Why does this limit exist? But I want to contribute now. What should I do instead? But I ...
1465
votes
51answers
56k views

Fastest Gun in the West Problem

I feel like there's a problem with Stack Overflow, as the number of people prowling it increases. Each question's answers are sorted by descending score and then by descending time of posting. This ...
794
votes
16answers
42k views

Thank you, Robert Cartaino

The title says it all. Thank you, Robert Cartaino, for everything you did for SE and the community. I don't post much on MSE, but have been a mod for about eight years. There is a lot that can go on ...
121
votes
113answers
15k views

Visual design changes to the review queues

The Public Platform team would like to announce another release in a series of planned work for the Review queues. This release focuses on refreshing the queue user interface in preparation for ...
57
votes
4answers
161k views

What's the font used in code blocks?

I quite like the look of the font used in the code blocks that appear on Stack Overflow. What, dear listener, is the font face used for such?
119
votes
1answer
94k views

How do I change my profile picture, or avatar?

Where does the image come from? How do I change my profile picture, or avatar? How do I change my profile picture on all SE sites at once? How can I use different avatars on different SE sites? How do ...
162
votes
16answers
19k views

A big thank you, Tim Post

As you may have seen, this was Tim Post’s last week at Stack Overflow. To say that he has been a staple of this company for a very long time is an understatement. Tim has served as a community manager,...

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