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Yes - I agree. But it would take a lot of thinking about how to do it.
I would like to see the ability to merge questions and answers, delete trivial answers and comments, to provide a go-to place for the knowledge about that particular problem - but that would take sensible moderation.
Imagine if SAK was moderating, for example? Any questions about VB would be deleted on the grounds the OP shouldn't be using an outdated language...
I personally don't mind SO, it has helped me out of a conundrum more times than I can remember.
It isn't a friendly place though, if you ask a question and put "thanks in advance" or something similar at the end, sooner or later some ass-hat will come along and edit the "thanks" part out of your question, and if you are new and ask a question that isn't perfect[^] they are bloody brutal.
If you read and follow their rules though, you can actually get a lot of value out of the site, even if it is full of Americans .
I will jump in belatedly on this and say that I have never experienced those problems. The times I've asked a question, I've gotten a decent reply in short order. No insults, no ranting, no down voting. So, I'm not sure what you're talking about.
Same experience here my friend.
I think the thing that a lot of people don't realize is that SO isn't designed to be a place of social interaction - not even close.
Furthermore, many of the site's policies have been adjusted over time to become more newb-friendly.
I think many of those caught out by SO users' militant behaviour have simply failed to read the rules/expectations in the help centre and failed to grasp and appreciate the culture of the site. Failure to do these generally results in an introduction to a wire-brush spinning at 2800 rpm.
To be entirely honest (and perhaps arrogant?) - I think that a lot of users need to not be so precious when they receive a wire-brushing - to take the criticism on-board, learn from it and move on.
I'd say the only time I've seen problems there is if a) someone has posted a question that's already been asked numerous times, or b) the question is written so badly or without enough information for anyone to actually help.
Usually a prod in the right direction (not from me, btw - I don't have any kind of rank there ) resolves both of these issues.
I've got to agree with you; if you ask an intelligent question you'll get a reasonable answer. If you post "Gimmie Teh Codez!!! Its Urgentz!!!" on SO; it will get quickly deleted. On CP it gets linked to on the Lounge for widespread mockery. I suspect obliterating the torrent of crap and only keeping the good content has something to do with that fact that when I Google for how to fix a problem I almost always find multiple hits from SO; I don't think I've *ever* seen QA show up in Google.
Did you ever see history portrayed as an old man with a wise brow and pulseless heart, waging all things in the balance of reason?
Is not rather the genius of history like an eternal, imploring maiden, full of fire, with a burning heart and flaming soul, humanly warm and humanly beautiful?
Training a telescope on one’s own belly button will only reveal lint. You like that? You go right on staring at it. I prefer looking at galaxies.
-- Sarah Hoyt
FWIW, I collected some stats a while back on how much cruft gets deleted for various reasons. One of the things that persistently irritates me about searching for problems on the 'Net is wasting time clicking through to unresolved problems - getting questions that can't be effectively answered out of circulation to make room for those that are is critical, IMHO.
You must be careful in the forest
Broken glass and rusty nails
If you're to bring back something for us
I have bullets for sale...
Solution: do a little work before demanding others hand you the solution on a silver platter. If stupid questions get good answers, SO will overflow (ha!) with stupidity, making it useless for people who ask and answer good questions.
They can be rude, yes, but usually it's the questions that could be easily googled that get them going. If something was answered (maybe even on SO!) and yet it is asked again and again...they GIVE their free time in an attempt to help genuine problems...once SO got reputation they wasted their time answering how to setup arrays in C# or similar (stupid / lazy / unnecessary) questions.
Give the guys a break, use search before you ask and THEN ask the question along with the list of tried things that did not work for you.
And besides, looking for the answers is the way you become an expert (by your own words).