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Questions tagged [faq]

These posts are your quick guide to the what, how, where, and when of the Stack Exchange network.

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FAQ for Stack Exchange sites

Community FAQ For sites in the Stack Exchange 2.0 network To see a list of commonly used words and phrases, see the glossary. For official guidance from Stack Exchange, visit the Help Center. ...
1506
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7answers
372k 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
986
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1answer
403k views

How does accepting an answer work?

How does accepting an answer work? When should I do it? Why can't I accept my own answers right away? Which answer should I accept? For more information, see "What should I do when someone answers ...
877
votes
1answer
85k 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 ...
800
votes
1answer
18k views

What does “user was removed” mean and why did my reputation change because of it?

Message appearing when a user was removed. It seems I lost 1765 reputation points on Stack Overflow yesterday. The reason given in my history is "removed", with the description of "User was removed (...
771
votes
71answers
147k 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"). As ...
733
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9answers
38k views

What are the badges I can earn on each site, and what are the exact criteria for earning each badge?

Formerly List of all badges with full descriptions. What are badge name's requirements? Why didn't I get badge name (right now)? Which badges can I earn multiple times? Jump to: Question ...
715
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11answers
61k views

Recent feature changes to Stack Exchange

This is an unofficial list/changelog of new features and various changes to Stack Overflow and the Stack Exchange network. It is maintained by the community, while a Stack Exchange employee changes ...
671
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1answer
113k 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
659
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1answer
38k views

How do I get attention for one of my own questions without a good answer?

I asked a question almost as soon as I got my account. I got a few decent answers, but none of them helped solve my problem. The question has long since become buried by newer questions, and there's ...
564
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14answers
285k 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 ...
564
votes
1answer
101k 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 when ...
543
votes
1answer
23k views

What is serial voting and how does it affect me?

I just noticed that I lost a bunch of points from my reputation score, and I used the "reputation" tab on my user profile page to try and track down the cause. During my investigation, I noticed ...
537
votes
1answer
72k 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? ...
525
votes
1answer
56k views

How does the bounty system work?

What is a bounty? What is the "Featured" tab on the homepage? How can I search for questions that have a bounty attached? How do I start a bounty? When can I start a bounty? What is the minimum amount ...
460
votes
1answer
248k views

What HTML tags are allowed on Stack Exchange sites?

The Stack Overflow site engine, as you know, uses Markdown for questions and answers. Per the Markdown specification, you are allowed to freely intermix HTML and Markdown tags. Not all HTML tags are ...
442
votes
1answer
67k views

What is syntax highlighting and how does it work?

I noticed that sometimes my code gets highlighted in different colors when rendered. What is syntax highlighting? How does it work? Why isn't my code being highlighted correctly? How do I report a ...
415
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1answer
70k views

How does deleting work? What can cause a post to be deleted, and what does that actually mean? What are the criteria for deletion?

What circumstances can cause a question or answer to be deleted, and what does that actually mean? How can a post be deleted? When can't I delete my own post? Can I still see my post even after it's ...
413
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1answer
20k views

What is the association bonus?

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. Return to FAQ index
381
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5answers
14k views

What is a 'rollback'?

What is a 'rollback' on Stack Exchange sites? I have seen this mentioned but I do not understand the term. Please note: This post is not a sandbox for performing rollbacks. Please do not perform ...
380
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5answers
26k views

Is cross-posting a question on multiple Stack Exchange sites permitted if the question is on-topic for each site?

It is possible to migrate a question from one Stack Exchange site to another by closing, but if I have a question that I think is on-topic for multiple Stack Exchange sites, is it OK to post it on ...
373
votes
1answer
15k views

A site (or scraper) is copying content from Stack Exchange. What should I do?

Since day one of Stack Overflow, all content posted on Stack Exchange sites by their users (i.e. you wonderful people) has been provided to the whole universe under the CC BY-SA license. For my fellow ...
352
votes
1answer
7k views

What is a disputed flag?

In my flagging summary under the statistics, there is 1 flag listed as "disputed". This is the first time I've ever seen a disputed flag in my summary, so I'm just curious, what is a disputed flag? ...
327
votes
1answer
21k views

Which computer science / programming Stack Exchange sites do I post on?

There seems to be more than a few computer science/programming Stack Exchange networks (is that the correct term?). Stack Overflow, being the first, has by far the most users, questions, and answers. ...
326
votes
1answer
10k views

What are review tests (audits) and how do they work?

I recently received this rather amusing message while reviewing a user's first post: Congratulations! This was only a test, designed to make sure you were paying attention. This post has ...
323
votes
1answer
234k 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 ...
306
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5answers
141k 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
292
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2answers
58k views

Database schema documentation for the public data dump and SEDE

Stack Exchange releases "data dumps" of all its publicly available content roughly every three months via archive.org, and also makes that information queryable over the Internet at the Stack Exchange ...
276
votes
1answer
45k 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 ...
270
votes
1answer
11k views

The Complete Rate-Limiting Guide

I noticed that I can only perform certain actions such as commenting a finite number of times in a given period of time. Obviously, rate limiting is in place to prevent accidental misuse or ...
269
votes
2answers
27k views

What are the “spam” and “rude or abusive” (offensive) flags, and how do they work?

When flagging, there are two special case options: spam and rude or abusive. What is spam, and when should I flag content as such? What is considered offensive, rude or abusive content? How does the ...
268
votes
1answer
31k views

Should questions include “tags” in their titles?

I've seen questions edited to remove the language name from the title. Won't search engines - and folks using search engines - have an easier time finding them if these "tags" are kept as part of the ...
267
votes
3answers
43k views

Can I answer my own questions, even if I knew the answer before asking?

I might want to answer my own question because: I arrived at a solution before there were any other correct answers or I like mine better, can I still answer my own question? I have a folder with ...
267
votes
1answer
34k views

How do suggested edits work?

When clicking "edit" I see: You do not have edit privileges. Your edit will be placed in a queue until it is peer reviewed. We welcome all constructive edits, but please make them substantial. ...
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5answers
14k views

How do I audit my reputation?

If I am concerned that my reputation score is incorrect, how can I audit it, or get a report of a detailed breakdown of my reputation? Return to FAQ index
256
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2answers
12k views

Stack Exchange Glossary - Dictionary of Commonly-Used Terms

What are the common phrases, words, abbreviations that are used on Stack Overflow, Server Fault, Super User, Meta Stack Overflow, and the other Stack Exchange sites? This is meant to be a very quick ...
245
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6answers
64k views

Do I have to worry about copyright issues for code posted on Stack Overflow?

I was wondering about the copyright of code snippets from answers. Let's say you ask a question and the solution consists of ten lines of code, which are given in an answer. Are there any restrictions ...
243
votes
1answer
18k views

Do posts have to be in English on Stack Exchange?

Otherwise known as 必须用英语吗?(is English required?) Do I have to use English when posting a question, an answer or a comment on a Stack Exchange site? Return to FAQ Index
241
votes
1answer
23k views

How should duplicate questions be handled?

What should I do when I see a question that is a duplicate of another one? Should I answer it? Should I downvote it? Should I comment? Should I edit the question to indicate it's a duplicate? If I ...
239
votes
1answer
68k views

How can I delete my account?

How can I delete my Stack Exchange account(s)? Also, What happens to my content? Can I request it be deleted as well? What if I'm suspended, rate-limited, or banned from posting questions or answers? ...
234
votes
5answers
80k views

How to nest code within a list using Markdown

Oftentimes, I want to include code samples in a list, for example: Item One Item Two, for example: private bool ItemTwo() { return this.IFeelLucky; } Item Three The problem is that there isn't a ...
231
votes
1answer
33k views

How do favorite questions work?

How do you mark a question as a favorite? Do users get updates on their favorite questions? How do you see your own favorite questions? How do you see other users' favorite questions? How do you see ...
221
votes
13answers
26k views

Embrace the non-Googlers

There seems to be a knee-jerk reaction to "easy" questions that involve quickly answering by copy/pasting embarrassing links to lmgtfy.com (or similar responses in comments, which aren't downvotable) ...
220
votes
1answer
63k views

Is Stack Exchange / Stack Overflow available for private or internal use?

Is the Stack Exchange engine that powers Stack Overflow available to download or install internally for an enterprise or company? I think Stack Exchange's engine is very great and could be very cool ...
215
votes
1answer
10k views

What are the limits on how I can cast, change, and retract votes?

What limits are there on how I can vote? How often can I vote? How do my votes become locked/unlocked? Return to FAQ index
210
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4answers
40k views

How do I contact other users?

How can I contact another user, if that user has not specified any contact details in their profile? Return to FAQ index
209
votes
1answer
111k views

What can I do when getting “We are no longer accepting questions/answers from this account”?

Do not repost the question you were about to ask until you have READ EVERYTHING WE ARE ABOUT TO TELL YOU. While trying to ask a question, one could get: We are no longer accepting questions from ...
204
votes
1answer
16k views

What are the review queues, and how do they work?

I see a "review" link on the top of the page, which takes me to a few "review queues". What is a "review queue"? What are the various queues for? What can I do in each queue? Return to FAQ index
201
votes
4answers
64k views

How is the default user avatar generated?

Is there a name for the default avatars that are generated for users who do not assign one themselves? Not the avatar of the blank user, but the one made up of shards, shapes, and colours: ...
199
votes
1answer
43k views

Which browsers are officially supported, and what else do I need?

Which browsers are officially supported by Stack Exchange? Also, what else is needed in order to use every feature of the site? Return to FAQ index