125

When someone wants to close your question as a duplicate even when it's not, you should immediately edit the question to clarify that it is not. Here's how not to do it: EDIT: This is NOT a duplicate of the other question. Stop flagging this! Instead, go back through your question and reword it a little. Maybe add a sentence or even just a few more ...


100

what's the best way to prevent these "helpful" flaggings in the future? Although you put this word into ironic quotes, it is helpful indeed, and instead of preventing, you better learn to use these flaggings to your advantage. Just think of it: someone invested their effort, did some research and let you know that they believe your question has an answer ...


67

To find out the genuine value of a question like this, march down the close reasons, and see how many fit: Questions asking for code must demonstrate a minimal understanding of the problem being solved. Include attempted solutions, why they didn't work, and the expected results. Well, it doesn't ask for code, but the principle is the same. Why are you ...


65

When I was a teacher's assistant at the university I learned some important lessons about teaching people effectively. One of the most important things I learned was that sometimes it took multiple tries of telling a student the exact same thing in slightly different ways before they would grasp the concept. I don't think duplicate information gets in the ...


64

It's these kinds of problems that are the reason that I vote to close questions without comment nowadays. The new close reasons are clear, specific, polite, and tell the OP exactly what they need to do to improve their question so that it can get reopened. They are standardized; everyone gets the same message. Additional narrative beyond that is simply ...


64

but in many ways, the post was an above-average StackOverflow post. That's kinda sad. Not to dump on this question - I'm sure the asker was trying his best - but as it stood when it was closed, this was not a good question. Let's start with the title: Can someone figure this thing out for me? That is a title that does not describe the problem. It's ...


50

I wasn't going to go out on a limb but since a follow up question has been asked... More importantly, why is it any of your business? ...I would like to address that. I for one am concerned about answers rather than the question. What I see in "Croissants", look painfully familiar to an issue that does so much damage at Programmers: Answers quality in ...


47

Oh my. Disclaimer: I'm the OP of the question. Firstly, anyone looking at this thread from outside is scared. Really. So much hate in there... Please, don't bite me. I bite back. And I have a pet velociraptor. So, when I wrote the question, did I think it was on-topic? Yes. Did it lack effort in research? Definitely. Here is the story: it's a real issue ...


46

I admit, my answer was obviously a lot more over the top than I had intended. I should have simply voted to close and left a comment instead. However, at the most fundamental level, we're not talking about RTFM for that guy, because the fact that he didn't memorize a specific flag or function isn't the problem. The problem is that he does not have a minimal ...


42

Given the (high) degree to which almost all programming depends upon books (online resources are rarely a complete substitute), what should probably be done is every tag wiki should have a tab (or some other convenient way to access a section) devoted to the book list for that subject. I should probably add, however, that it would probably be perfectly fine/...


41

I'll chip in with my 2 cents here since I feel somewhat responsible for the whole bruaha. When you read the rest of this answer, bear in mind that this is just my opinion. It is by no means solid policy. This question, while arguable might not be a poll, is still of a poll-y style. If you're asking this: What animals exists Then it is not a poll, ...


39

I think there are a general set of guidelines for question maintenance that should apply to any extremely popular question: There should be multiple "correct" answers; all of them deserve editing and improvement. Favoring only the accepted answer in editing over all the other answers is deeply wrong; that is like saying "of all my children, this one is my ...


36

If a question can be answered by just a link then it's most likely symptomatic of a low quality question with little research beforehand. Stack Overflow should not become just a collection of links and awarding reputation from what's basically just a Google search seems a little perverse. In the general case there's always scope to elaborate on a link, even ...


36

Why are you being so insistent about this? No one here cares about your little feud (if you can even call it that). If you find a comment rude, flag it and let it be deleted. If you're offended in a way that makes you want to withdraw your answer from that question, all the power to you. Let it go and move on. Harassing users to apologize for a comment by ...


35

We now use a form of sliding expiration, so as long as close/reopen votes keep arriving at the rate of at least one every 4 days, they will not expire. Once the votes do expire, vote aging happens every 24 hours, so you can expect the remaining very old close/reopen votes to expire at the rate of 1 per day after that, unless of course someone casts another ...


35

The problem with a question like this is that it's not an actual problem you face. "Now hold on" I hear you say, "This is a problem I'm facing, because I don't know how to solve it". Well, the way I see it, that's not exactly what that line means. In your question, you posted (ad verbatim) the full problem. You did not attempt to solve it. Or at least you ...


35

That question received five moderator flags on four link-only answers that moderators subsequently deleted. I imagine that contributed to the decision to close it as Not Constructive. We can't babysit these things forever, you know. As to the justification for the closure, the OP is asking for examples, automatically making the question "List All the ...


35

What's happening here? It feels like much of this dialogue is in one of two camps: This is but one example of how the pervasive nastiness here is detroying our repution, or I'd rather hear the raw, straight blunt truth than some lovely lies; the answers the OP got were perfectly fine. Both of those are at least partially wrong. While we are attracting a ...


34

I can think of two reasons that the post was probably converted to a comment. As stated in the FAQ: barely more than a link to an external site Yes, the post also said that "you need regular expressions for this task," but that's essentially an introduction for the link to the regex package. Also in the FAQ (emphasis mine). Answers that do not ...


34

I agree that we need to be nicer to users. However, Stack Overflow is for professional and enthusiast programmers, people who write code because they love it. We generally expect someone to have the basic knowledge needed to write code. In fact, we have a close reason that specifically addresses that: Questions asking for code must demonstrate a ...


33

I'm not here to get the question closed and even hesitated to ask this question here. I would readily accept that my interpretation of "not constructive" is too strict. But is it? Yes. In my opinion a very interesting question based on its subject matter and well written as well. Primarily because he didn't just post the title and that last section, he ...


33

Zero effort While I do think the question is on-topic for SO, I think it shows zero effort. To demonstrate, let's take a part of the original question and reword it, just a little bit. I have replaced "algorithm" with "c# code": So, how is this related to Stack Overflow? I want an algorithmc# code to decide who's going to buy the croissants next week. ...


32

Your question was flagged as offensive. You sounded incredibly pissed off (especially in the original title, before it was edited). That didn't really help matters — while your irate tone didn't contain anything offensive by the usual definition of the word, on the surface, from the mod queue it probably looked like you didn't have a serious question to ask ...


30

Asking a question which states "are there any libraries that..." implies either you're looking for yes or no (which is stupid), or you are looking for the name and/or link to this library. Questions which request links are routinely closed as not constructive. I closed yours as not constructive. I explained why. I, and a couple other users, edited your ...


30

Here's the original question for everyone. What does for i=0 or whatever it is mean? Please explain how this works, when to use it, what it means, and why it helps. I know nothing about it and I figure I should know if I want to be a good programmer. I think 15 is old enough to know that this is just a plain lazy post. The OP apparently gets that, ...


30

Reading just the comments on your answer I see no hostility. The other user is giving you fairly constructive feedback. He doesn't agree with your approach and explains why he disagrees. In other words, he is just stating his opinion, in a calm and reasoned manner. He's entirely entitled to that opinion. If you disagree with that opinion, then that's more ...


29

For those who cannot see the deleted question, here it is for reference purposes: Firefox addon (or other tool) for event monitoring [closed] I'm looking for a Firefox Addin or any other tool (can also be commercial, if it doesn't cost the world) that shows me what handled events are fired. I need to debug a webpage with heavy Javascript (jQuery). ...


28

Your question starts with: I don't have time to learn regex's at the momement The community has little patience with people who ask for help but don't have the time to learn the basics. I expect that is why your question ended up being closed and deleted.


28

I think there are two different questions of note: 1. Is this question, or more pointedly, its answers, helping or hurting users of the internet? And it's pretty clearly helping. It contains both, "if you HAD to do it the way you asked, here's how," and "actually, you shouldn't do it that way at all. You should just do this". 2. Does this question ...


27

A follow up to Kate's answer, which seems to merit its own answer Use Kate's suggestion, but preemptively. If you've done your research properly, it is highly likely you will have already found the supposed duplicate. When you are posting your question for the first time, you can say something like: I've found a similar question [link to it] but it ...


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