Questions tagged [question-quality]

is for questions that address the quality of questions and how it should affect their treatment.

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1981 votes
7 answers
743k 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 Other languages: ES, JA, PT, RU
449 votes
26 answers
15k views

Should Stack Exchange in general be awarding "A"s for Effort?

This just came up again: homework is not acceptable if the asker has made no effort whatsoever I'm developing a bit of an involuntary twitch that manifests itself when I encounter the word "effort"...
Shog9's user avatar
  • 449k
223 votes
1 answer
43k views

What can I do when getting “This question body does not meet our quality standards”?

While trying to ask a question, I got the error message This question body does not meet our quality standards. Please make sure that it completely describes your problem - including what you have ...
181 votes
11 answers
2k views

Does SO need social networking features to improve the experience for expert users?

No, not like this: Hear me out! As Stack Overflow grows, it becomes increasingly ridden with extremely newbie and mediocre questions. It's just natural. The team are fighting hard to keep the crap ...
Pekka's user avatar
  • 114k
117 votes
2 answers
1k views

Add a "don't migrate crap" migration 'path' to all sites

Don't Migrate Crap This is the golden rule of migrations. And we do it far too often. I'll even admit to it. It's sometimes difficult to justify to one's self to spend more time drafting a custom ...
user avatar
84 votes
5 answers
1k views

auto-detect the phrase "it doesn't work" and ask user if enough info given

I get pretty peeved at questioners who say "it doesn't work" in their questions, without elaboration. Someone has to comment "It didn't work how? How do you know? What error message was ...
77 votes
6 answers
2k views

Breaking down question blocks - let's talk about rate limits

I've been quite vocal about the fact that we're overhauling post blocks, and dropped some hints as to how we're contemplating improving them. The last few weeks of my professional existence has gone ...
user avatar
76 votes
0 answers
3k views

How is question quality measured in A/B tests?

As sites grow, there's a noticeable increase in community unhappiness with question quality. Quite a bit of the problem is simply a matter of scale, but sites sometimes optimize for extremes. Bad ...
Jon Ericson's user avatar
  • 79.4k
63 votes
5 answers
2k views

Warn new users when they ask a question after a previous question is closed, downvoted, or deleted

Another "miséricorde": Can you please review my ban? Consider this comment (emphasis added): I think its okay, please dont take any efforts for me. I personally do not feel the system helps ...
bwDraco's user avatar
  • 11.5k
39 votes
15 answers
3k views

What kinds of bad question askers exist? [closed]

Based on these proposals, it seems that the developers of Stack Exchange are trying to prevent "bad questions" from getting into the system: Should we cap reputation gained from questions at +2000? ...
Billy ONeal's user avatar
39 votes
3 answers
642 views

How can we discourage people from answering bad questions? Should we?

It happens all too often someone will post a question with no regard to how the system works. They put in no effort whatsoever, their accept rate is often low as well and they come up with a questions ...
mcgrailm's user avatar
  • 839
38 votes
5 answers
673 views

Are code troubleshooting questions really what we want to encourage? [closed]

In an effort to more fully understand the gestalt of Stack Overflow, I offer this question for perusal: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/7513258/i-want-a-dialog-box-in-case-of-error#question ...
user avatar
38 votes
7 answers
892 views

I've found a particular set of "question"s with bad titles; how should I proceed?

I saw a question on the front page of Stack Overflow that had a title that intrigued me. If you search for a keyword: question you will find a set of what I would consider poorly titled. You see, ...
James's user avatar
  • 2,637
34 votes
4 answers
898 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, ...
Farray's user avatar
  • 2,514
32 votes
7 answers
3k views

What are the top issues when it comes to low quality questions? [closed]

If a "How to ask a good question" FAQ were to be compiled, what do people here think are the top issues that it should address? On my list are: rudeness, vagueness, spelling and grammar. Edit ...
Oded's user avatar
  • 154k
31 votes
7 answers
732 views

Are "basic" questions cluttering Stack Overflow?

So I frequently watch the python tagged questions on SO, and have discovered something I believe to be an issue, you may disagree, but I wanted to at least pose this to the community. This one in ...
Hoopdady's user avatar
  • 455
31 votes
2 answers
20k views

Unicorn Meta Zoo #3: How do we grade questions?

Welcome to the Unicorn Meta Zoo, a podcast by members of the Stack Exchange community team. If you want to avoid spoilers, jump straight to the audio. Participants We're talking about whether or not ...
Jon Ericson's user avatar
  • 79.4k
31 votes
3 answers
513 views

Are you doing yourself out of a job by answering some of the questions on Stack Overflow?

The quality of questions on Stack Overflow seem to have gone down hill dramatically in the last six months. There seem to be far more general questions along the lines of why doesn't my code work. A ...
Tony Lambert's user avatar
30 votes
3 answers
2k views

Can we pay more attention to questions before we act

I'm posting this mostly because of this question(it's been deleted now) 10k Only.. To summarize, The question had the qualities that we usually ask people for, and it's main fault was it's ...
Sam I am says Reinstate Monica's user avatar
29 votes
1 answer
368 views

Quality ban warning

How does the hobbling for bad askers work, on sites where the question ban isn't enabled? In particular, as a moderator, I see repeated entries in a user's history stating user posted after seeing ...
Gilles 'SO- stop being evil''s user avatar
29 votes
3 answers
1k views

Make the "Sorry, we can't accept this question" message more helpful

Before succeeding in posting my last question, I got this error message: Sorry, we can't accept this question. There seems to be some filter for stopping bad questions, but it is apparently prone ...
user avatar
29 votes
1 answer
273 views

Add recursive defenses to the quality standards

Or in less complex words: ignore the string It does not meet our quality standards when checking if something meets our quality standards. There are incidents across the network of users who simply ...
Grace Note's user avatar
  • 84.7k
28 votes
1 answer
357 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 ...
ais523's user avatar
  • 2,160
27 votes
3 answers
1k views

Why do some very simple questions get lots of upvotes?

Why do some very simple questions get lots of upvotes while some of the really logical questions get very few upvotes? On Stack Overflow I have seen dozens of simple questions (whose answers are ...
Ebad Masood's user avatar
23 votes
8 answers
1k views

What should I do if I am afraid to post for fear of downvote hell?

--- The General Question --- Should I avoid posting (writing questions or answers) unless I am willing (and able) to put forth the exorbitant effort required to produce "exceptional content". **Will ...
abmays's user avatar
  • 521
22 votes
25 answers
3k views

There are no stupid questions - or are there?

I just saw a first post from a user asking about a C# stack trace. It was a valid programming question for someone with little experience, yet it was marked down twice. I've always believed that ...
ewalshe's user avatar
  • 337
21 votes
2 answers
430 views

Stack Overflow efficiency shown by simple but vivid example

Recently I posted here an article with some numbers, showing that amount of non-answered questions is growing. But what are these non-answered questions? Let's take one tag, which is not overly ...
Your Common Sense's user avatar
21 votes
1 answer
703 views

Feeders, not help vampires, are the problem [duplicate]

It's all too easy to blame Help Vampires for problems in Stack Overflow. But it's not them, it's us. The people who feed them. If the question is an exact duplicate, let them know it's an exact ...
Andrew Grimm's user avatar
  • 21.1k
19 votes
1 answer
251 views

Auto Comment for Off Topic -> Minimal Understanding

When someone votes to close an issue as... Questions asking for code must demonstrate a minimal understanding of the problem being solved. Include attempted solutions, why they didn't work, and the ...
Brigand's user avatar
  • 520
18 votes
4 answers
1k views

Do not lock old questions

So I was doing a bit of cleanup on Stack Overflow. Going through the polls tag and voting to delete the worst offenders, the ones that asked for “one item per answer”, and got it, and ended up with a ...
Gilles 'SO- stop being evil''s user avatar
18 votes
3 answers
187 views

How do we help people with bad questions?

This is a pretty general topic, so before I get started, I want to explain a couple things: For context, I primarily use Stack Overflow, so a lot of my opinions, examples, or rationalizations may be ...
snickers10m's user avatar
18 votes
1 answer
490 views

What should we really ask on Stack Overflow? [closed]

I've been a user for a year now and have decent reputation. But sometimes, I really wonder what questions we should ask and how. Most of the time, questions are downvoted because of sheep voting ...
Mr. Alien's user avatar
  • 2,800
17 votes
3 answers
612 views

Am I supposed to be an expert? [duplicate]

On Stack Overflow, as well as other Stack Exchange sites, I wonder what is the level of expertise required to participate? Does the Stack Exchange community prefer more questions with average quality, ...
Benjamin Crouzier's user avatar
16 votes
2 answers
632 views

Please just close garbage questions, instead of moving them to Programmers SE

https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/72304/what-is-architectural-infracture Googling does not helped. I haved heared about it in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyNPeTn8fpo&...
Nicole's user avatar
  • 10k
15 votes
7 answers
3k views

Stack Overflow for the lazy (newbie) developer? [closed]

Would it be reasonable if I intend to learn a new language, to ask programming questions that are just "TOO SIMPLE" for anyone who has 6 months or so with the language but are not so obvious at the ...
OscarRyz's user avatar
  • 4,693
15 votes
8 answers
876 views

Is it harder to write a good question or a good answer?

I was wondering whether there's any evidence to be had as to whether it's harder to write good questions or good answers. For example, from the data available in SEDE or previous surveys. I suppose "...
OrangeDog's user avatar
  • 4,396
15 votes
5 answers
360 views

Common wrong questions on SO

I'm relatively new to SO, but I've noticed a trend - certain categories of questions to which the answer is "change the question." soulmerge posted the quintessential reply to one of these questions ...
TrueWill's user avatar
  • 850
15 votes
1 answer
470 views

Why is this question good?

After a week of absence I went to last week hot questions, and found Cannot find symbol hasNextInt for a java.util.Scanner? with 37 upvotes. How come 37 people decided that the question shows ...
Dariusz's user avatar
  • 993
14 votes
4 answers
318 views

Very bad questions with multiple answers [duplicate]

This question is very low-quality. As the comments state, the code provided does not compile. Furthermore, it fails to ask (in my opinion) a specific question, show any additional attempted code (...
Trojan's user avatar
  • 1,286
14 votes
1 answer
92 views

Identify tags that tend to be associated with off-topic/problematic questions?

Anecdotally, I've noticed that a few tags on a site I frequently visit tend to be associated with questions that are off-topic (e.g., > 70% of questions with that tag have been closed). Is there a ...
D.W.'s user avatar
  • 12.7k
13 votes
0 answers
94 views

Are multi-point questions bad style? [duplicate]

I frequently notice questions which are actually multiple questions circling around a specific problem in one. These usually appear as an introductory-paragraph followed by a numbered list of ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 449
12 votes
3 answers
347 views

Is there a demonstrable correlation between question length and question quality?

This is just an idea I've been toying with , really. I'm curious about the correlation between question length and question quality. "Quality" here would be translated into "likelihood of not being ...
Caffeinated's user avatar
  • 1,802
12 votes
1 answer
917 views

Are list questions off topic?

This old question asked for "the opinion about list questions". The answers are from three years ago. In current (July 2012) Stack Exchange, are list questions considered off topic? By list question ...
ripper234's user avatar
  • 4,858
12 votes
2 answers
625 views

Is Stack Exchange a place to get help? Or a resource for answers?

The more I use Stack Overflow the more I see people telling others to delete their questions afterwards for debugging help. A (recent) example of this, and what caused me to ask this question on meta,...
Ryan Leach's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
165 views

How to deal with a question that seems to be too brief and an OP that seems argumentative?

With regards to this question. can jsoup implement compareDocumentPosition? As in org.w3c.dom Node... Is there any way of simulating this in Jsoup that anyone knows of? For some reason ...
Basic's user avatar
  • 2,070
12 votes
2 answers
114 views

How many characters will tip the post?

I hear that abnormally long posts get automatic flags, but I can't find anything on the exact number of characters that will make it flag-worthy. What is the number?
Frank's user avatar
  • 2,716
11 votes
3 answers
253 views

Explicitly say that Stack Overflow IS NOT for us to write your code

I think that when a user goes to ask his first question, that they should see something like this popup. We are here to help solve problems. If your question is asking someone to write your code, ...
user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
144 views

Social following based on tag badges as a low-effort alternative to social-network style following

I pose this question only as an alternative to Pekka's suggestion for user following. I like the idea of providing more value for users with expertise. As mentioned in my answer to his question, I ...
Verbeia's user avatar
  • 1,411
11 votes
1 answer
133 views

"Fix your own question" badge

As a design engineer, when I see major design changes that I don't understand, the question I usually ask of a team is "what problem are you trying to fix?" or "what user need are you trying to better ...
Scott Seidman's user avatar
11 votes
0 answers
85 views

Default text with instructions in post-editor for new questions

As we know, there's a lot of issues with low quality posts, and questions about code without any code where potential answerers are just expected to guess what the asker's code is. There might be a ...
MPelletier's user avatar
  • 6,231