Questions tagged [discussion]

Questions that may not necessarily have a clear-cut right or wrong answer and are often subjective. If your question isn't a bug report, feature request, or request for assistance, or question with a concrete answer, it's probably a discussion.

221
votes
19answers
44k views

Ban LMGTFY (let me google that for you) links

I've just asked a question on Stack Overflow which was a prime candidate for googling. I admit it was a poor question and with a little bit of research I would have found the answer. It annoyed me ...
198
votes
5answers
9k views

Area 51 Commit Percent

How is the commit percent decided for Area 51? I know it is based on rep, but how exactly does it work?
219
votes
41answers
11k views

Should the weight of downvotes be increased?

When we started Stack Overflow, we wanted to make sure that downvotes were more of a visual and psychological motivator than a punitive action. That's why upvotes are +10 downvotes are -2, and cost ...
256
votes
10answers
7k views

How to overcome “Edits must be at least 6 characters”?

On Stack Overflow, there was a question with an incorrectly formatted list, which lacked a newline before it and thus came out like this: 1. Hello 2. Something else 3. Goodbye I changed it to the ...
315
votes
7answers
8k views

Stack Overflow is getting a Meta of its own

We've grown considerably as a network since the days of the original trilogy, when the prospect of growing into a network of over 100 thriving Q&A sites was a distant glimmer in a cloudy night sky....
92
votes
6answers
2k views

What to do with cross-site duplicates?

What's the right course of action for cross-site duplicates? There are two flavors: A question is posted which belongs on another site and ends up already having been asked there. I can't find an ...
95
votes
6answers
3k views

How does a lurker gain reputation to receive privilege for commenting? [duplicate]

I have been reading Stack Exchange for years - mostly not logged in, and have never posted (this is my first). I'm simply not very talkative, and very good at googling. Recently a few occasions have ...
238
votes
10answers
8k views

The bikeshed problem and Stack Exchange

In short, the bikeshed problem: If you go before the Board of Directors and ask for 1.5 billion dollars to build a nuclear reactor, no one will review or discuss the details of the plant. ...
130
votes
3answers
4k views

Allow recovery from flag hellban

Currently, users can get stuck in a permanent flag hellban from which there is no recovery. I've asked around before and it doesn't look like recovery is possible. To recover, you'd need to gain ...
68
votes
4answers
3k views

Why does reputation start at 1, and have a lower bound of 1?

If a user is the type of person to consecutively get downvoted to potential negative reputation, so be it. What's the reasoning to maintain a minimum of one? One reason that may justify this is of ...
407
votes
43answers
53k views

My God—it's full of unicorns!

Based on this comment, I have started building a unicorn avatar maker. It's still quite ugly, and the results aren't different enough yet, but this is what it looks like so far: Question list / Joel'...
261
votes
7answers
35k views

The Help Vampire problem

What is Stack Overflow's long-term solution for the Help Vampire problem? Quote from article follows: Identifying Help Vampires can be tricky, because they look like any ordinary person (or ...
73
votes
4answers
4k views

When should I vote?

I have seen a few questions here on Meta Stack Exchange that cover parts of this, but they are often too local, and none of them seem to cover all the relevant scenarios. I will break it up ...
64
votes
6answers
3k views

If you just witnessed tactical downvoting, is it a reportable offense?

I don't want to be like the little kid that got beat up at school and runs home crying to mommy, but I just got tactically downvoted in a question. Someone else posted a virtually identical answer to ...
845
votes
52answers
14k views

Why aren't people voting for questions?

While at least some answers from every question seem to have been up-voted as a "helpful" answer: about 49% of questions have score of 0 or 1. another 21% of questions have a score of 2. Most ...
50
votes
8answers
9k views

Which answer do I accept if I have multiple correct answers?

I asked a question that turned out to have multiple correct answers. How do I pick between them to determine which to accept? All of the answers were different. They were not the same answer given ...
50
votes
10answers
2k views

Meaning of downvotes in Meta vs Main sites?

Upvotes are easy on both Main and Meta sites. You like something, you vote it up. Downvotes are trickier. On Main down-voting a question means that the question is a poor one. Poor meaning badly ...
55
votes
1answer
1k views

How should I handle questions which are answered in the comments? [duplicate]

Sometimes I have asked a question which got no answers, but is answered in the comments to the question. How should I handle these questions? I can't accept an answer, so it is never an accepted ...
79
votes
9answers
2k views

The “I Get It” Reputation Problem

I wrote a question about blocking certain characters in passwords. It became tremendously unpopular, and it seemed like everyone wanted to rain on my parade every day. Eventually, I "got it," agreed ...
101
votes
12answers
8k views

Improving “demonstrate a minimal understanding” close reason

Note: the eventual outcome of this discussion involved dropping this particular off-topic reason, along with other changes. See: https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/216585/recent-changes-to-close-...
168
votes
6answers
27k views

Etiquette for answering your own question

Often you have a question, you can't find the answer on Stack Overflow so you search for it (or think a bit more). Having found the answer you'd like to keep a record so you can find it again later. ...
161
votes
11answers
4k views

Do you feel dirty if you nudge new users to accept your answer when they indicate you've answered their question?

I've had a couple of answers today where the OP indicated via a comment that I solved their problem, but the question wasn't upvoted or accepted. In both cases the person probably wasn't able to ...
-1
votes
0answers
740 views

why are the best questions the ones which have been closed? [duplicate]

I frequently come across a really useful answer on StackOverflow which has been closed because it doesn't match the Q&A format. Examples include JPA Implementations - Which one is the best to ...
518
votes
18answers
22k views

Global auth is dead! Long live universal login

Update: Universal login is in place and considered "done". If you see anything weird, please submit new bug reports. As y'all know, our current flavor of "global authentication" leaves a few things ...
77
votes
1answer
6k views

What is an acceptable answer?

I answered a question and my answer was: (pick one) Deleted Converted to a comment Added to my question as an edit Why was this? Why was my answer not acceptable? What is the definition of an ...
61
votes
8answers
3k views

“Abusing” bounties for unlimited profit

Six days ago I put a +50 bounty on Why doesn't jQuery work in Chrome user scripts (Greasemonkey)? which wasn't asked by me, but to which I'd previously posted a pretty decent answer. Since then I'...
690
votes
147answers
27k views

Help us test the shiny new “User Activity” page! (Plus a bunch of new features.) [duplicate]

We've launched! Please give feedback here. Today, we're shipping the new "Activity Page" of the Profile here on Meta SE, so you can test it out and hopefully share some feedback and suggestions ...
142
votes
32answers
17k views

Ch-ch-ch-changes: Left nav, responsive design, & themes

Thanks everyone for your feedback. The team has responded to feedback in the post Left nav, responsive design, and theming next steps . Check it out. Ch-ch-ch-changes are coming. As you've ...
61
votes
3answers
2k views

How does the User Card popup work?

We are experimenting with enhanced user card mouseover popups and have enabled them network wide. You can tell which users will trigger the popup because they have a 3-D drop shadowy look to their ...
85
votes
13answers
3k views

Anonymous user feedback now in testing

Anonymous and unregistered users with < 15 reputation (the amount required to earn the upvote privilege) will now see feedback on every post in the area that a logged in user would see "add ...
96
votes
7answers
3k views

Dealing with questions of nefarious intent

How should we treat questions that are, or have seeds of, evil or malicious purposes and actions, such as writing spambots and malware? Should they be answered like regular "everybody keeps their ...
91
votes
75answers
4k views

New profile pages are out - bugs and feedback master list

Update: Thanks for all the feedback and bug reports! I am locking this thread so people don't keep answering it when we no longer monitor it. If you see a bug or want to raise a feature request, ...
112
votes
19answers
4k views

Is it appropriate to comment on people's accept rate? [closed]

I've seen a lot of comments on SO, of the kind (paraphrasing brutally): (on questions) if you start accepting some answers, I might deign to post a reply (on answers) good answer, but perhaps too ...
93
votes
14answers
3k views

The problem with reputation: does high reputation attract too many upvotes? [duplicate]

It's not that I feel bitter when somebody else's answer is upvoted above my own, but it's when a user with a high rep answers a question and their answer seems to attract an immediate barrage of ...
36
votes
4answers
4k views

What's the policy about having multiple user accounts? [duplicate]

Take this example: all SO user accounts of user known as "icepax". I can imagine of any human reasons to create a new user account at SO, e.g. willing to restart with a clean (reputation) history. ...
242
votes
56answers
9k views

What are the hidden features of Stack Exchange?

What features of Stack Exchange sites do you consider "hidden"?
252
votes
8answers
45k views

What is Stack Overflow's business model?

I once answered a question that asked how Stack Overflow makes money, but that was before the time of VC. Now, Stack Overflow has cash, and they have an ever-growing list of employees, but where's ...
177
votes
12answers
6k views

Every “close” has its thorn: replace “close” with “on hold” for the first five days

That's right, I'm starting this out with a pun. Featuring a Poison song. I'm good with it. TL;DR We're looking at replacing [closed] with [on hold]. This sort of thing was proposed in a popular ...
105
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the official etiquette on answering a question twice?

When is it okay to post two answers to one question?
115
votes
28answers
6k views

Why do you cast downvotes on answers?

This is a question which started off with a comment, then turned into an answer, and now it's a question in its own right (as suggested by Jeff). I'm not sure where it could go from here :) It's ...
130
votes
10answers
6k views

Why do some people answer in comments?

Why do some people post comments that are actually answers to the question? Wouldn't posting an answer be better?
288
votes
32answers
9k views

We're working on a new stat to help convey the reach of your posts here

We've got a new statistic on the shiny new Profile Page Prototype. It's not perfect yet. And we did a pretty crap job of explaining what it's all about! Let's talk. What you do here isn't just about ...
134
votes
12answers
986 views

Adding Favorites to the Stack Exchange global inbox

We're considering adding favorite notifications to the global inbox, and are looking for feedback on the idea (as we're not completely sold on it). But first, some history. Favorites are kind of ...
179
votes
6answers
3k views

Why can't we use the word “problem” in titles?

Recently this Mathematica question was posted, Mathematica can't DSolve two-body pro-ble​m? The reason for the odd split in the word pro-blem is there is a filter preventing its use in titles. For the ...
45
votes
3answers
2k views

Encouraging users to create an account (and keep it)

I know SO's policy is "you don't have to register to ask questions," but there are so many new members and so many hit-and-runs... The majority of the questions I see now are coming from new users (i....
90
votes
25answers
3k views

Introducing a brand new, consolidated, Help Center

UPDATE: This is now live on all Stack Exchange sites. You can access it at /help or by clicking the "help" link in the top nav or footer of any page. We can all agree that Stack Exchange is a ...
37
votes
9answers
2k views

What purpose does downvoting questions serve?

I understand the purpose of up/downvoting answers -- some answers are better than others, some answers may be wrong, .etc. With regard to questions, though, there are other mechanisms to deal with "...
42
votes
5answers
1k views

Please don't migrate low-quality questions to other sites

A question was migrated to ServerFault that made many of the more active members scratch their heads: https://serverfault.com/questions/246706/what-is-the-max-bandwith-of-lan-and-wan-network The ...
217
votes
1answer
61k views

Does Stack Exchange use caching and if so, how?

Recently, I read this Stack Overflow blog post about how they have some of their infrastructure laid out. I was curious to know, does Stack Exchange use caching (both at the application layer and/or ...
91
votes
22answers
4k views

Heuristics for detecting a bad answer?

A lot of bad answers are slipping through the cracks on Stack Overflow. You can see some examples at Thanks a lot for this post ... and other first time user curiosities I've been paging through ...