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Questions tagged [best-practices]

Questions about the best way to do something on a Stack Exchange site, not for questions about questions about best practices.

34
votes
17answers
10k views

How to ask a smart question

The title of the oldest revision of this SO question is, "Is it posible [sic]?" This doesn't provide any information at all. It should be mandatory for everyone asking questions on the Internet to ...
12
votes
7answers
5k views

Why is linking bad?

I've seen many people refer to linking to pages on SO and even other sites as being bad and saying things like "I hope they don't mind". Why is linking a bad thing? I did just read all about Google ...
10
votes
5answers
425 views

Poor answers and accept rate [duplicate]

What's the recommended approach when you ask a question and you don't actually get valid answers? It'd normally leave the question as unanswered but, of course, that leads to getting a low acceptance ...
21
votes
11answers
2k views

What’s the best way to ask a question if English isn't your first language?

First, I really like Stack Overflow and appreciate it. I always get useful answers and information from it. Now, English is my second language. So, when I submit any question, some people can't ...
3
votes
2answers
721 views

Answering a Question Vs. Solving a Problem [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is “Don’t do it” a valid answer? As long I'm airing my grievances, I thought I'd throw out another point that drives me crazy. This actually is something I'...
21
votes
2answers
404 views

How and when should we use the “invalid flag” flag? [closed]

I found the "invalid flag" option, and have used it a few times. Mostly where someone's flagged a post as "very low quality", but it's either been fixed or it was never really that bad. But it seems ...
6
votes
2answers
392 views

Editing questions with short titles (< 15 char)

The minimum question title length was recently increased from 10 to 15 characters. Some older questions have titles that are considered too short under the new rules. These cannot be edited unless ...
3
votes
4answers
213 views

My bounty is about to expire and I didn't get a good answer, just my own workaround

I posted a question to StackOverflow about an unusual issues I desperately needed help fixing. When I didn't get any relevant answers and the project deadline was approaching, I created a 500 point ...
-15
votes
4answers
219 views

Question of type: “What is the best…” ==> Why not, where to go? [duplicate]

I recently had one question put on "Hold" on Stack Overflow and was really sad, shocked and confused. It turns out that I modified my question, another user also improved it a lot and it was reopened. ...
65
votes
5answers
42k views

Is there a good way to represent file structure in a question/answer?

I'm always looking for the best way to represent a file structure on my posts. I generally use this one: Project | +-- file 1 | +-- dir 2 | | | +-- file 2.1 | +-- dir 3 | | |...
22
votes
6answers
530 views

Acceptable solution for 'answer copying'?

I am sure this scenario is familiar to all of you. You click an unanswered question and after reading the question, you want to help and answer. After you answered, you remain the first and only ...
5
votes
7answers
858 views

What are some good tips for searching Stack Overflow?

I have found that the best way to search on Stack Overflow is to start to ask a question and use the suggestions it gives me. I do this since I have found the search textbox to be mostly useless. ...
12
votes
2answers
247 views

Under which circumstances should I delete my own question or answer

While I was searching through meta I've found several postings about deleting. How it works, who can do it and so on. But I never saw a comprehensive list, in which cases someone should delete their ...
11
votes
1answer
3k views

How to ask best practice questions?

Somewhat extension of: How can I ask a question that can be answered with a better approach? In a related question there was a comment saying it was possible to ask "concretly about pros and cons". ...
5
votes
1answer
343 views

When to ask multiple questions in a single post ? (Revisited) [duplicate]

This question has been asked several times in similar (yet often slightly different) ways. The general consensus seems to be that it's best to ask multiple questions individually in multiple Question ...
18
votes
6answers
440 views

Tagging best practices

I am wondering what I should do when tagging a question that fits multiple tags, in the particular case were the question might belong to general as well as more specific tags. Let me give you an ...
13
votes
10answers
704 views

Adding someone else's answer to your own to make a better answer

If you have answered a question and then later read another answer that is also correct, or another way of doing it, is it good/fair/bad to edit your answer to incorporate the other answer, so there ...
1
vote
3answers
142 views

What format should Area 51 questions take?

I've been dealing with this since my first visit to Area 51, but I thought it was by design. Now it seems it's not just me; Joel Spolsky described my issue eloquently. Relevant snippet (emphasis ...
2
votes
3answers
260 views

How do I discourage bad programming practice in SO questions?

This question can apply to any computer language, but my example is C++. Many questions (quite helpfully) supply sample code (which I can paste into an IDE and try), but use using namespace std; ...
44
votes
8answers
2k views

Are answers that just contain a regular expression pattern really “good answers”?

I have noticed an abundance of regex answers that consist of nothing but a pattern. Obviously, not explaining the patterns will lead the (often clueless) OPs to just copy and paste the solutions. ...
17
votes
6answers
541 views

Best-Practices versus Subjective

What does it take for something to go from being merely subjective to a "best practice"? Is a "best practice" no longer subjective? It seems like something becomes a best practice when a lot of ...
7
votes
1answer
313 views

How can I ask a question that can be answered with a better approach?

I asked this question: How can I retrieve JSONdata from ASP.NET and send it to jQuery? (implementing FullCalendar) The heart-breaking story is: I'm trying to implement the FullCalendar-jQuery-plugin ...
12
votes
2answers
255 views

Are good practices really that opinion based? [duplicate]

I asked this question and it was put on hold as opinion based in less than an hour. A few months ago, I asked another question about good practices and it got squashed quickly as well. I didn't ...
8
votes
3answers
417 views

Are questions about best practices bad?

I was looking at asking for some help from the SO community in relation to best practices for ASP.NET MVC. I planned on making it a Community Wiki as well. But, when I was typing my title, I was told ...
4
votes
2answers
315 views

“You beat me to it!” comments

Can we stop doing this? It doesn't add anything other than clutter.
20
votes
1answer
983 views

Correct procedure for dealing with adf.ly links (shortening service that pays poster)

What's the recommended approach to dealing with posts that include links shortened using AdFly. Should it the link be edited away or replaced, flagged, downvoted, or simply ignored? Unless I've ...
12
votes
1answer
193 views

Is flagging to close old questions best practice?

Related: How to get attention required to close old posts? Every once in a while, I stumble upon an old (usually subjective) question that would have been closed before it left the front page if it ...
7
votes
5answers
160 views

Closing questions just because the OP knows the answer: good or bad?

It seems some think if an OP knows the answer to their own question, it should be closed as "Not a real question." I disagree. Here is an example. The OP posted some C# trivia. The question was ...
6
votes
5answers
277 views

Should pictures be linked to, or embedded?

What are the general guidelines on when to embed a picture in an answer and when to link it? F.e. If you post a pictured guide on how to solve a question, should you embed the pictures or just link ...
6
votes
3answers
689 views

Answering the 'actual question' as opposed to the 'real question'

I notice a lot of answers that are somewhat tangential to the question in hand, especially when the answer goes against best practice. For example, if somebody asks "Why can't I do something in my ...
5
votes
3answers
197 views

How much time is too much to spend answering a question?

I'm getting frustrated when I'll spend 30 minutes writing and expanding upon an answer, only to have a worse answer get enough of a head-start that no one even reads past it. Most recently was on ...
2
votes
1answer
246 views

For search effectiveness, shouldn't SO tags be as generic as possible?

I ask this question because I believe it has ramifications on the effectiveness of search on stack overflow, and also will serve as a guide on my future editing activities on SO (generally geared ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

What is desired practice for deriving answers from comments?

If I ask a question on SO and someone comments on it, not solving the problem, but leading to my solution nonetheless, what is the best way to handle assigning the correct answer? I could just answer ...
-22
votes
3answers
171 views

How Could Stack Overflow Support “What's the Best X” Questions? [duplicate]

I've noticed that "What's the best..." questions are both popular and against the rules on Stack Exchange sites. I've also noticed that getting the pulse of the brilliant tech community that uses ...
3
votes
4answers
548 views

How to correct trivial mistakes in answers?

What is the proper way to correct trivial mistakes in answers? Correctness of even small details is desirable, but especially important when programming. Examples: Case A: Use the FooBra library....
-9
votes
1answer
146 views

Should I delete accounts I'm no longer active on?

I used to take part in the Earth Science SE actively, but now my focus has turned to StackOverflow and Arqade. I could delete my account to show my inactivity. But I have over 200 reputation on that ...
10
votes
1answer
142 views

Linking to answers - possible “self promotion”?

Let's say a new question is posted, and I've answered that question before in depth. If I link to my answer in my comment, would that be considered "promoting" that answer - an attempt to gain more ...
6
votes
2answers
117 views

Re-asking a question

There have been a few cases where I've asked a question on StackOverflow, and received a number of good responses which then made me realize that there was a much better/clearer/more concise way to to ...
3
votes
3answers
194 views

Best Practices when editing your own answer

What are the best practices when editing your own answer (for whatever reason, the question became clearer, a comment made you realize a mistake, you had a new idea, did some testing, etc). Here are ...
16
votes
4answers
230 views

Should ♦ mods be spending significant time in ordinary review queues?

On a site I review¹, I notice one or two of the ♦ mods (especially newly elected) seem to be spending a fair amount of time in the review queues (FP, LA, SE, LQP, CV, etc). But those queues are almost ...
6
votes
2answers
250 views

Why is the best-practices tag not allowed on SO any more? [closed]

I have nothing to add to the title: Why is the [best-practices] tag not allowed on SO any more?
5
votes
6answers
402 views

Comment conventions

This evening I commented on an answer before I left the office and later I found that I might have been too hasty in my efforts. It was pointed out to me, in a comment to my comment that I didnt ...
3
votes
2answers
188 views

Was a good question closed by blind obedience to the rules?

Someone asked this question: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/5556112/best-practices-to-set-up-the-most-kung-fu-build-deploy-environment-in-java The question was clear. There were several answers,...
3
votes
1answer
137 views

How do we deal with a recurring question like OS install base statistics?

In the [iphone] tag, there's a commonly recurring question about install base statistics for the various OS versions out there. While developers can use this information to determine what ...
1
vote
3answers
104 views

How long do you wait before re-flagging a post for moderator review?

Since there is no way to tell if a moderator did something other than to see it done (no email notification), how long do I wait for the fix before flagging the post again? In the specific case that ...
1
vote
4answers
89 views

Can I ask about preference of a programming practice that doesn't practically affect the code?

The question is a little vague, so let me elaborate: I want to ask whether or not the uers of Stack Overflow include return 0 in their code even though ISO C++ doesn't require it. This doesn't really ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Recommended sites to link to when you have an attachment

I frequently post in the delphi topic. Sometimes it is nice to be able to attach sourcecode of components that solve a particular issue. Stack Overflow does not allow attachments outright for good ...
0
votes
0answers
125 views

How to handle questions which change / evolve / involve troubleshooting? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Exit strategies for “chameleon questions” This happens to me a lot, especially on ServerFault. I'll look for some examples from SF and post them later, but for now,...