Questions tagged [answers]

This tag is for questions about answers: how to answer, whether specific answers are appropriate, and so forth.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
45
votes
6answers
37k views

What does the term “and free as in free beer” mean? [closed]

More often than not to the questions that I have put up on Stack Overflow the answer that I received had the term "and free as in free beer" in it mostly in relation to free or Open source software. ...
45
votes
7answers
1k views

An elegant solution for “answer-stealing” edits?

I have noticed several times that when answering a question, someone who wrote an earlier answer will edit their answer by adding the content of my answer to theirs (as an alternate solution, or to ...
45
votes
1answer
1k views

Should I answer off-topic questions?

Should I post an answer to an off-topic question after flagging it? I seem to find off-topic questions that I can give a good, useful and correct answer to. (The specific question tonight is this ...
45
votes
5answers
891 views

Diminishing returns / non-linear reputation from “great” answers

Over time I realized a very annoying property of the Stack Overflow reputation system: Easy answers to popular question are rewarded with a lot more reputation points than actually great answers. In ...
42
votes
11answers
828 views

How can we make good answers to old questions float to the top?

Occasionally, a great answer is added to an old question. Too often, simply because of the age of the question and the lack of public visibility, that answer will not get any votes. Thus as it stands, ...
42
votes
2answers
575 views

30 answers ought to be enough for anybody

There is one mechanism currently that discourages too many answers on one question, and that is the autocommunitywikification after 30 (on some sites only 15) answers. This is an ugly and ineffective ...
42
votes
3answers
330 views

In user profiles, why are questions given more weight than answers?

I first noticed this when viewing my Network Profile, but it's also visible on my profile at any site. My Top Questions are at the top of the page, prominent, easy to read with plenty of white space, ...
41
votes
4answers
1k views

Should I flag answers consisting only of “No” or “Yes”?

As I hang out on ServerFault more I'm noticing lots of questions that get only "Yes" or "No". I think this is a worthless, rep-grab answer. They are especially worthless when they were able to post "...
41
votes
5answers
1k views

What has happened to the quality of answers on Stack Overflow? [duplicate]

Apologies of this has come up recently / been done to death, I've only just discovered Meta Stack Overflow. I signed up for Stack Overflow just after its launch nearly a year ago, and ...
40
votes
3answers
400 views

Can we have dates in the profile answer tab?

In a profile's questions tab I see a username and date for every question. Can we please have the same for the answers tab? From time to time I check the answers I gave that day and have to open ...
39
votes
3answers
448 views

Sometimes show highest answer before accepted answer?

For some questions the accepted answer is not that useful but the OP likes the answer for whatever reason. Later possibly, someone else comes along and provides a better answer (which ends up being ...
38
votes
29answers
2k views

Does Stack Overflow encourage developer laziness? [closed]

I've answered a number of questions on Stack Overflow recently where it is obvious that the poster has just blatantly used Stack Overflow as a substitute for loading up their own IDE/...
38
votes
4answers
2k views

Are “works for me” answers valid?

I've seen a number of questions where the only code posted is code that functions properly. On that occasion, there will often be a number of users leaving comments stating (and demonstrating) that ...
38
votes
3answers
320 views

Show comments when editing answers

More than once I have been in a situation when a proper response to a comment just doesn't fit within the 600 character limit & the better approach is to edit the answer. At times like these, ...
37
votes
3answers
445 views

My work has been deleted - how can we discourage that? [duplicate]

I answered a question and just after commenting "Yep that seems to be working! Thank you so much!" the question author deleted the question (and, thus, my answer). Is this behavior considered ...
37
votes
8answers
945 views

How to deal with upvoted yet clearly wrong answers

These 2 questions have clearly wrong answers with upvotes. And they're still getting votes. The log file one especially could be tried out, it would fail, but someone still voted it up. A downvote ...
37
votes
2answers
2k views

Dealing with quickly edited, copied answers?

Edit: This question isn't a duplicate of Acceptable solution for 'answer copying'?. The quote in the highest voted answer on that question is "Bottom line: if you want to get up-votes, WRITE A ...
37
votes
2answers
465 views

Duplicate answers should be blocked rather than just flagged

Currently the system detects duplicate answers from the same user and flags them for moderator attention. This is useful, but could be streamlined. Duplicate answers fall into two main categories: ...
36
votes
4answers
514 views

Cannot retract downvote if post has been edited within first 5 minutes of posting

Please do not close this as a duplicate unless you can remove the “status-completed” tag from the original report (because it’s obviously not been completed). Steps to reproduce: Have someone post ...
36
votes
1answer
405 views

Why did the format of full-form URLs to answers change?

As I pointed out in this answer, the URL scheme for full-form links to answers has changed from: https://site/questions/question-id/question-title/answer-id#answer-id to: https://site/questions/...
36
votes
0answers
210 views

Don't display “protected” notice if the question is locked or closed

If the question is locked, obviously new users can't post answers to it because no one can post answers. It seems somewhat redundant to list that box there. I'm not saying remove the protection from ...
35
votes
8answers
981 views

Promoting comments to answers

This has been mentioned before, but a long time ago, and got closed for a rather confusing reason (converting comments to answers is not an "exact duplicate" of converting answers to comments), so I'm ...
34
votes
2answers
516 views

How to improve low quality answers consisting of only a code block? [closed]

During review, many times (20%-30%) I see answers that are only a code-block. Some examples are SQL queries, CSS queries, any prog. language coding issues. The answer is only a code block. Stack ...
33
votes
5answers
3k views

Should there be a policy about 'One-Link-Only-Answers'? [duplicate]

See also: Are answers that just contain links elsewhere really "good answers"? | Is it okay to answer a Stack Overflow question with a link? | Why is linking bad? Related: How do I properly ...
33
votes
2answers
303 views

Warn users trying to post link-only answers

It was suggested that link-only answers should be automatically deleted, instead of requiring flagging or delete votes. Although I agree that it could work in many cases, there may be false positives, ...
33
votes
2answers
322 views

Undeterred badge

We have an Enlightened badge: First to answer and accepted with score of 10 or more. This badge can be awarded multiple times But we don't have a badge to reward adding a good answer to a question ...
33
votes
1answer
462 views

It's rather difficult to look over an answer that doesn't exist

I just now failed an audit. When I went to review the audit, I was surprised to find it impossible to actually look over the answer. Here's a screenshot: (Ha. Of course a nonexistent post contains ...
33
votes
0answers
165 views

Change “Your Answer” to “Your Answer to this Question”

Many new users use the "Answer" section to answer another answer. It seems they (reasonably) assume the Stack Exchange sites work the way many forums and Facebook work: a chronological sequence of ...
32
votes
10answers
582 views

Why don't people vote up questions that they answer? [duplicate]

I think this is more of a question about the nature of SO users. I see a lot of questions with 5 or 6 answers, but 0 up-votes. I realize that sometimes that may be because down-votes and up-votes ...
32
votes
4answers
829 views

Should users be penalized for answering bad questions?

On a recent question, a user decided it was a bad question and downvoted all answers with the comment "-1 closevote, not answer!". I realize that the community doesn't want to reward help vampires, ...
32
votes
4answers
545 views

Suggest dynamic help text for new answerers

We now have dynamic answer help that pops up for new users (< 100 rep) when they focus the answer box. Thanks for contributing an answer to $SiteName!This is a Q&A site, not a discussion ...
32
votes
1answer
215 views

Notify when an Answer is Un-accepted [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Notification when my answer is unaccepted? I was wondering if it were possible to be notified of an answer (your own) that has been unaccepted, so that one can possibly re-...
31
votes
4answers
417 views

Answering questions of those with higher Rep

Sometimes I'll see a question I'd like to try and answer, but then I notice that the poster's Rep is much higher than my own. Seeing as I'm just a Comp. Sci student, I'm reluctant to answer these ...
31
votes
9answers
1k views

Is the “down-voting most/all answers that aren't yours” pattern considered harmful?

Emphasis: This is not a why downvote, or when is it ok to downvote, or what to do when voted down. This question is about a particular pattern of downvoting. Recently, one of my answers was downvoted....
31
votes
2answers
1k views

Why are “Late Answers” reviewed?

Why are late answers from new users reviewed? This simple question might appear somewhere in the meta FAQ or questions, but after searching for several minutes I can't find the logic clearly ...
31
votes
5answers
849 views

Shouldn't the answer with more votes be above the accepted answer?

After reviewing this question... I'd like to make an argument for answers that have attained more votes than an accepted answer always be ranked above when answers are being sorted by votes (the ...
31
votes
6answers
438 views

What do we do with answers that are just links to other Stack Overflow answers?

Googling for a solution to disable HTML5 form validation last night, I came across this question: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/6112266/html5-form-validation-custom-info-message There is one ...
31
votes
6answers
1k views

Informing new users of how to accept answers

I've been answering a lot of questions from new users lately where they tell me I've solved their problem but don't accept the answer. I've taken to doing something like this in a comment under my ...
31
votes
2answers
289 views

Don't ask me if I'm sure that I'm finished when there's nothing in the answer box

All overflow related websites ask "Are you sure you want to navigate away from this page" etc. etc. any time I try to leave a page after beginning a comment or answer - even if I have deleted ALL ...
31
votes
0answers
191 views

Can Community ♦ raise a duplicate content flag when an answer is deleted and re-posted as a new answer?

I haven't seen this behavior out in the wild much, but it happened again recently and I was wondering if a flag could be automatically raised when this happens: User posts answer Answer is down voted ...
30
votes
4answers
1k views

RTFM-like answers: Flag them or allow them?

If an answer essentially tells the OP to "Read the ¤cough¤ Fine Manual", should we flag it? I'm not talking about rude answers (that's a given), but answers like "Look up X in the Y" (and maybe don't ...
30
votes
5answers
380 views

Outdated Answers project kicking off on Stack Overflow

As we announced on Meta Stack Overflow, we are kicking off a project to begin tackling the issue of outdated answers. That post goes into detail on the initiative and our approach. We are focusing our ...
29
votes
4answers
1k views

Should the official FAQ include information on how to answer as well as ask questions?

The StackOverflow FAQ includes a lot of information on how to ask questions and what questions to ask, but very little information on what makes a good answer. I often see answers (example) of the ...
28
votes
2answers
615 views

Do you think that moderators from MSDN forums should use our answers word for word?

I'm participating in both Stack Overflow and MSDN forums. Today I read the answer to the question on MSDN which interested me because I recently answered the similar question on SO. What was the ...
28
votes
3answers
2k views

Using (only) scan/photograph/screenshot of text as an answer?

This answer* is a picture of some text. Now I thought about this for a moment. This text could be considered an answer. After all, it attempts to provide a solution. I didn't read the question to see ...
28
votes
4answers
287 views

How to handle users who are frequently wrong and resistant to constructive cricticism

At times I come across users who frequently post either partially or outright incorrect answers, and who are resistant to constructive criticism when it is politely given to them in comments. Normally ...
28
votes
2answers
419 views

How can awesome answers to average or duplicate questions be promoted?

It would be interesting to see the top or accepted answer score as well as the question score for related / linked questions. I typically browse the highest voted questions first when searching for ...
28
votes
1answer
457 views

Faster than the fastest FGITW ever (I answered a question before it was asked!)

Fear me. I've been able to answer question before it was asked! :-)
28
votes
1answer
328 views

Disqualify a question from Hot Network Questions if it has more answers than net votes

It's been fairly well established at this point that the Hot Network Questions mechanism can sometimes cause a question to blow up out of control (basically because they cause an influx of visitors ...
27
votes
10answers
977 views

Is there a policy on dangerous answers?

I have a pretty active discussion on SO right now, about giving an answer, that could potentially harm the questioner. The question is Do I need to encode/decode query parameters between an ajax ...

1
2
3 4 5
51