The X-Y Problem, as it is sometimes called, is a mental block which leads to
enormous amounts of wasted time and energy, both on the part of people asking
for help, and on the part of those providing help. It often goes something like
User wants to do X.
User doesn't know how to do X, but thinks they can fumble their way to a
solution if they can just ...
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Meme: Parsing HTML with RegEx
Cultural Height: Untl̕L H̸̡̪̯ͨ͊̽̅̾̎Ȩ̬̩̾͛ͪ̈́̀́͘ ̶̧̨̱̹̭̯ͧ̾ͬC̷̙̲̝͖ͭ̏ͥͮ͟Oͮ͏̮̪̝͍M̲̖͊̒ͪͩͬ̚̚͜Ȇ̴̟̟͙̞ͩ͌͝S̨̥̫͎̭ͯ̿̔̀ͅ
Background: This meme began as bobince has unofficially become the Assistant Don't Parse HTML With Regex Officer. He has described the terrible maw of horrors that will uproar if HTML is ever parsed ...
Meme: Twitter-driven development (also occasionally called Twittergate)
Origin: Meta Stack Exchange on revisiting the Hot Network Questions feature Twitter
Cultural height: Whenever a feature is proposed or a bug is reported
Background: In April 2018, a Medium post detailing issues with Stack Overflow's issues with welcoming new users was shared on ...
2014-12-18: Release of Beta Testing version of Android Tablet App
2014-12-10: Status of suggested edits is now displayed in your activity history as either of pending, approved, rejected.
2014-12-06: Very Low Quality flags are not available for questions under close and triage review.
2014-12-04: Triage review introduced for testing at ...
What is the XY problem?
An XY problem seems to be a subset of the Einstellung effect, where a problem-solver gets stuck on a particular solution and is unable to backtrack mentally to see potentially superior solutions. This psychological phenomenon affects everyone, novices and experts alike.
"Why Your First Idea Can Blind You to a Better One" ...
What tools are available to room owners?
Room owners are users that have some elevated permissions in a chat room. Typically, they will be the first line of defense when it comes to inappropriate content or behavior in a room. Users will look to the room owners to guide the room. The room owners are also able to perform moderation tasks without the need to ...
But what about...? The edge cases.
This section is designed to address specific circumstances that apply to a subset of users.
1. Am I forbidden to express my opinion about this?
In most contexts, your opinions about gender are off-topic. Some of our sites may have topics where gender is part of the subject and may be a valid question for the experts on ...
2015-12-23: Question timeline (not moderator timeline) got a new design and features, e.g. showing who voted to close or reopen, and more.
2015-12-09: Users with 10k reputation can now use the deleted:1 advanced search operator to search their own deleted posts.
2015-11-09: Comments auto-added from review queues now indicate ...
2016-12-08: Migrated questions are deleted automatically 30 days after being rejected.
2016-11-28: Questions that have been "randomly poked by the Community user" to the front page are now indicated to have been bumped via a banner.
2016-11-24: Manual and automatic review bans can escalate beyond 30 days.
What's this all about? - Implementation
This section focuses on guiding you on how to use these pronouns correctly.
1. Does this mean that I will be in trouble if I ever get someone's pronouns wrong?
No. It's fine to make an honest mistake - but once you are directly informed of what someone wants, please act accordingly.
2. May I use they/them by ...
One problem is the wide disparity in attention levels at different sites. Is 39 moves the longest a chess game can go moving only pawns? was posted to Math. I think it is a much better fit for Puzzling, but the activity level at Puzzling is so much lower. Cross-posting would help in cases like this.
The proliferation of sites (particularly betas) ...
What tools are available to regular chat users?
You, as a member of the community, have the ability help keep chat a place that is welcoming for everyone. There might be a variety of other users, including moderators and room owners, in chat with you. Users can be distinguished by the way their names appear — moderator names appear in blue, italics and ...
2019-12-22: Protected question notices are no longer shown to users who have enough reputation to answer, but not enough reputation to unprotect the question.
2019-12-20: The period of time for closed questions to enter the reopen queue in response to an edit was increased from 5 days to 70 days.
2019-12-19: "Migrated from" notices ...
What's this all about? - The Basics
This section is an explanation of singular third-person pronouns.
1. What's this business about "pronouns"?
It would be rude to refer to a man as "she" or a woman as "he". Some people are neither men nor women and might, for instance, ask to be referred to as "they". When someone indicates what pronouns should be used ...
The Missing square puzzle problem is a good illustration. It illustrates a simple and universal problem/question/solution process, where "some illusion" causes complications.
There are a self-evident problem — the 1×1 hole in that arises on the second figure —, but the solution is evident only after we know (like an Egg of Columbus)... All ...
Meme: Puns in the titles of tag-related requests
Cultural Height: 2015
Background: With first appearances in 2013 (All the [movement] has ceased
| Hack at the hacking tag), it has become customary that burnination requests have catchy titles that pun on the name of the tag. Highlights (by vote count) include:
I want to delete the [...
Avoiding the XY problem
I argue that you can't avoid it. Not without simply throwing your program requirements at SO and asking them to do your design for you (not recommended).
I argue this because the design process for all software is based on a starting set of requirements "A". From there you say "I can achieve A if I do B and C". From there you ...
During the initial days, there are a lot of issues to be worked out. The most important questions, vary from site to site, and from private to public status. The answers to these will have a lasting effect on how your site operates for a very long time. This post attempts to aggregate the most common and important issues that should be addressed depending on ...
So, as a curator or moderator, what's my role?
This section covers some moderator and curator FAQs.
As a moderator
M1. I'm a moderator. What should I do if I see these rules being broken?
If someone makes an honest mistake, you could point it out gently. (Or let the person in question do it. If it seems likely that they would prefer that.) But if someone ...
Meme: Too Many Shogs
First Heard: A bug report posted by JAL where when Shog closed a question as multiple duplicates, the iOS Stack Exchange App would show that the question was closed by multiple Shogs.
Status: no longer reproducible. Now we have Too Few Shogs.
Cultural Height: Shortly after the bug report was opened.
What tools are available to moderators?
Moderators are our human exception handlers and will get involved when users and room owners can’t handle a situation on their own. If flags are raised or they are notified of something, then a moderator will step in to investigate and resolve the problem.
The tools for moderators are very similar to those for room ...
N-Z (0-9, A-M)
Not an answer, NAA
One of the items in the flag dialog for an answer on a Stack Exchange site.
See: Not a real Question
New Answers To Old questions more than 30 days old. 10K Reputation moderation tool primary used to find NAA
See: Not Constructive
Not a real Question, NARQ
Formerly one of the items in the close dialog ...
Meme: Getting Shogged
Origin: Unknown (possibly the Tavern)
Cultural Height: unfortunately, somewhere in the past
Usage: whenever somebody, having posted an (often unfounded) complaint about Stack Exchange, gets corrected by either a convincing data-analysis or a rhetoric masterpiece by Shog9, that person is said to have been shogged.
2017-11-16: The new top bar is now live on stackexchange.com
2017-11-13: All Website fields and links in the "About Me" network profile sections are now unlinked on stackexchange.com. (For all users regardless of their reputation on any site)
2017-10-28: Controversial Post notice is now live on The Workplace and Interpersonal ...
TL;DR: Unfortunately, you can't.
Thank you for taking the time to improve the Stack Exchange platform. Sadly, the mobile apps are no longer in development. To quote one of the Stack Exchange developers:
We are not providing any further support for the mobile apps. There will not be any more builds made for either the Android or the iOS app (even for ...
2020-12-16: In chat, moderators now have a diamond next to their name on chat messages, and their name is now italicized, whereas previously, their name was merely written in blue with no formatting.
2020-12-07: All sites across Stack Exchange are now able to use tables.
2020-12-02: Moderators on any Stack Exchange site must be at least 18 ...
Meme: Caching (“caching, it's always caching”)
Originator: Jonathan Sampson (here)
Cultural height: just now
Background: Many "bugs" turn out to be a caching issue (client-side, or server-side, or in between) resolving itself later due to a cache refresh. Currently there are over 1150 comments on Meta mentioning caching.
Taken to new heights while ...
Copying and pasting the same answer to multiple questions can cause different reactions depending on what answer you're pasting. The acceptableness of this behavior ranges from "highly frowned upon" to "completely unacceptable". (Note that it never reaches the "acceptable" end of that spectrum.) If you catch yourself or someone ...