123 votes

What is the XY problem?

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 ...
69 votes

What is the XY problem?

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 ...
66 votes

What is the XY problem?

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 ...
32 votes

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

Thanks for the interesting discussion. You discussed how (or whether) to factor answers into the evaluation of a question as good/neutral/bad and the hazards of edge cases there. Perhaps what you're ...
user avatar
30 votes

Quality ban warning

It's a warning that we show to folks who are near a quality block, or would be near a quality block if they were enabled on the site. As we could (in theory) enable them at any point where we and the ...
user avatar
  • 178k
29 votes

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

Yes, I think a gradual rate-limiting, with safeguards for recidivism, will be a much better solution in the long run than our current question bans. After observing the absolute worst trash coming in ...
user avatar
  • 60.1k
24 votes

Not evaluating the quality of the question, rather evaluate the question per answers it provided

There is no such thing as a dumb question Agreed. But that's not what the downvote button tooltip says: This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful Questions aren't ...
user avatar
  • 221k
20 votes

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

At the risk of over-simplifying the problem again, only in a different way, it seems like there are two kinds of users getting blocked: help vampires Others (people who can improve with a little ...
user avatar
20 votes

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

The answer to this typically depends on who would ask the question, and the overall quality of their posts. So I had a look at your profile (actually the active account - BTW you can ask to merge them)...
user avatar
  • 3,147
19 votes

Please block questions with "help!" and variants

Believe it or not, but the word "help" can be used as part of valid programming question title. Some examples I found by quick search: How does password salt help against a rainbow table attack? ...
user avatar
19 votes

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

Well, for starters, Good Answer is awarded 7285 times but Good Question only 5710 times (on Meta Stack Exchange). On Stack Overflow, there are about twice as many Good Answer as Good Question badges. ...
user avatar
  • 221k
19 votes

Not evaluating the quality of the question, rather evaluate the question per answers it provided

What could be possible pros and cons if we stopped evaluating the questions, but rather evaluate answers only? One big con: We'd be flooded with a sea of questions that, as the downvote tooltip ...
user avatar
  • 21.6k
17 votes

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

It seems that duplicates count the same as other closure reasons for this system. The asker of the question I linked there has gotten the "Some of your recent questions were not well-received&...
user avatar
  • 22.4k
15 votes

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

Sounds very good and very much needed, but something appears to be missing. I would also take into account answers and other helpful actions (flagging, reviewing etc) in the calculation. For example ...
user avatar
15 votes

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

The community isn't your enemy A lot of people anecdotally think Stack Overflow/Stack Exchange is just like this (source): That's more a meme (the first panel's question is Too Broad/ Needs more ...
user avatar
  • 19.9k
15 votes

I suggest to consider adding a unified structure for asking questions to all STEM network sites

This is a radical change, which will affect almost all of Stack Exchange (think about which sites are STEM sites; the largest non-STEM site seems to be English Language Learners), i.e., it would ...
user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

Should I repost a question if the first edition was bad, has been fixed, and is still open?

I asked a bad question. After many comments from other users and many edits on my part, it is now a good question. That is awesome! That is exactly what comments are for and is exactly why anyone, ...
13 votes

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

I think you are really overthinking the whole process. People on these sites aren't looking to downvote/close stuff out of spite. My experiences have been that if you put forward a good faith attempt,...
user avatar
  • 14.3k
13 votes

Not evaluating the quality of the question, rather evaluate the question per answers it provided

What could be possible pros and cons if we stopped evaluating the questions, but rather evaluate answers only? NO Stack Exchange sites aren't ad hoc help forae, or personal helpdesks. As we need to ...
user avatar
12 votes

How do we help people with bad questions?

The point of Stack Exchange is to help not just the person with the problem, but the thousands of people with a somewhat similar problem who would benefit from a better question and better answers. ...
user avatar
  • 5,898
12 votes

Instructions in downvoted answer are unhelpful, encourages counter-productive behaviour

Say I am a bit lazy and use the heavily downvoted suggestion Why would you go and use the advice in a downvoted suggestion? When it is greyed out and there is an answer with upvotes just above it? ...
user avatar
  • 153k
12 votes

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

Aside from there potentially being more answers than questions, as well as people more likely to vote on answers, answers seem to be easier. Case in point, extremely well-read questions like this ...
user avatar
  • 1,848
12 votes

I suggest to consider adding a unified structure for asking questions to all STEM network sites

1. When I asked a question recently on graphicdesign.se I saw there a feature of SE software which I hadn't seen before (screenshot below). It isn't exactly what you suggested but it's better than ...
user avatar
  • 9,239
10 votes

How do we help people with bad questions?

This is just my personal opinion, of course, I don't know whether other people will agree. In general, I take the "philosophy of the Stack Exchange network" to be as you said: help people. The ...
user avatar
10 votes

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

Stack Exchange is a resource for answers. That is the tagline you should remember. It contains sufficient information to guide us in creating questions that are: well researched well formatted well ...
user avatar
9 votes

Discouraging deliberately asking bad questions

There are actually a number of measures already in place. (First, let me address a misconception: if your question is closed, that won't stop anyone from seeing answers to it. It just stops new ...
user avatar
  • 74.2k
9 votes

Stack Exchange appears to be less suitable for inexperienced coders than it used to be before

If you conisder yourself as a less experienced programmer or coder, chances very likely are, your questions have been asked many times and you don't need to ask one more. All you need to do is to ...
user avatar
9 votes

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

We can look at the distribution of scores for questions and answers. The image below shows the results for the websites StackOverflow and CrossValidated (statistics). Note both the axis The y-...
user avatar
9 votes

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

It’s a bit hard to generalize (SE sites can have a somewhat different “vibe” and some communities are a bit more “trigger happy” with downvotes while others upvote almost everything), but the odds are ...
user avatar
  • 1,575

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible