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I've decided that there are a sufficient number of bad questions here in Quick Answers that I'm going to write an article so that answerers can link to it rather than have to re-explain themselves each time a questioner asks a bad question. I'm going to create several sections, and I'm going to make each section linkable (so answerers can link directly to the reason the question is bad). The tentative title of this article is "How Not to Ask a Question".



Here are the sections I have so far. Feel free to add to them (either by editing this question or by adding an answer below).

  • Not a Question
  • Too Much Code
  • Poorly Formatted Code
  • Poorly Worded Title
  • Homework Question
  • Interview Question
  • Lacks Research
  • Not Enough Detail
  • Too Much Detail
  • Too Many Questions
  • Work Request
  • Indecipherable
  • Too Ignorant
  • Repost


CG: I would remove 'too ignorant'. If someone is too ignorant and that is all, what is 'too ignorant' ? 'Indecipherable' posts should be deal with with some politeness, too, because we have people posting from all over the world. I would add:

Question not in English - we accept bad english with grace, but this is an English speaking forum
No code/no error message provided - if there's an error in your code, we need to see it, and if there's an error, we need the actual text, not a weird paraphrase, as well as the line that generates the error
Too broad - the answer for this question could never fit in a forum reply, forums are for people writing code with a specific question, articles are there to explain new concepts to beginners.

I'd also remove repost, I just delete those, then go back to the original and post to say I've deleted their repost as a community service. I'd also add something to explain that people should edit their post to ask more questions, or post in the forum below, the answers section is just for answers. Also something about tagging properly, I've had several recently where they never mention ASP.NET, but are using it.


By the way, I realize this is not really a question. I'm just using Quick Answers like a wiki to generate some ideas, much like the Current Bug List and Suggestions and TODOs questions.
Posted
Updated 13-Feb-10 22:25pm
v3
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Solution 1

One more

  • Code demand

I think this is a great idea but I feel that whatever we do; whatever type of response, be it a lmgtfy link, link to Chris' post on how to ask question, insult, request; we give to them. These kind of questions will always come and will come in a ever increasing quantity. Still very nice of you to make such a great effort.

AspDotNetDev's Response: Seems like this would fit under the category of "Work Request". Or, did you mean something else by "code demand"? A "Work Request", to me, is when somebody asks for you to do their work for them, which necessarily will require you to create code for them (except for those who want you to make diagrams or functional requirements documents and such).

HimanshuJoshi's Response:Yes that's what I meant by "code demand". But "request" is a humble word you are using here, since all those "requests" are of "demand" type only; Like "provide me code/code snippets for X".

Richard MacCutchan's Response:I can't believe I did that. I just clicked the 1 vote on this answer by mistake. Sorry guys :(

HimanshuJoshi's Rant: ow god, my reputation :(( . BTW, that's okay Richard

   
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Solution 3

Like anyone you're talking about would even read the article. Sorry, but it won't solve anything, b/c the people we're talking about, don't check anything or read anything. The most you could hope to do, is link people to it, like I used to link to my article on using google.

AspDotNetDev's Response: There are 2 possibilities:

  1. The asker really is willing to do the work required and posting a link to exactly the problem they have will help them improve their post.
  2. The asker has no interest in putting more work into getting their question asked, so telling them anything will will be a lost cause.

Since I plan on making each section of the article linkable and I plan on making it very easy to link to each section (I'm going to make a table of contents and tell the reader to "right click and select 'Copy Shortcut'"), the asker will be given a link to the specific section that applies to them. This will reduce confusion on their part. I'm also going to have each section give a little introduction ("so, you were sent here and nobody is answering your question..."). If they then ask "why have I been sent to this link" people can reply with more detail. If the asker is a lost cause, then posting the link in the very least gets the question out of the unanswered list and saves the person answering the question the hassle of writing out a full-blown response.
   
v2
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Solution 2

I'm not keen on the "Too Ignorant" category. There are different types of ignorant posters here: the ones who are ignorant by virtue of their laziness, and the ones who are ignorant by virtue of their lack of experience. In many case the latter type are trying to learn and may just need a little assistance.

Other than that you get my 5.

AspDotNetDev's Response: Yeah, I haven't decided I'm going to call that one that yet, as some people may take offense to being called ignorant. I'm thinking about something like "Out Of Asker's League" or something like that. It is really to indicate that the asker is ignorant of so many basic topics that them asking how to, for example, build a satellite synchronization system is above their capibilities and so answering their question without the exact code they request would be futile. I see this sometimes when students ask how to do something advanced, you tell them to use an array, then they say "but I haven't learned how to use arrays yet and my teacher told me he won't tell me". Oh, and FYI, I don't consider lazy people ignorant... they usually fall into one of the other categories, such as "lacks research" or "not enough detail".
   
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Solution 4

Another major issue

...is Enquirer asking a question(but not fit for his issue) once he gets the answer then only he can able to understand that he is not asked the proper/complete question. So the enquirer editing the question without any [EDIT][/EDIT] note(I mean question is now totally different from previous & current revisions). So now the answers are wrong by the above revision.

Example Question:
1st revision : Hi Could you please tell me how the textbox accepts only Positive numbers
2nd revision : Could you please tell me how the textbox accepts only Positive numbers
I don't want to show an Error Message..
whenever we enter negative value the textbox not accepting.
How we write textBox1_KeyPress event.
FYI Clickety[^]


Actually It was happened many times here before & this one is recent one so I put this here.
BTW I have seen some enquirers made JSOP, DD mad :mad: by this same issue.
   

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