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Seems like StackOverflow is actively training users to become unfriendly gatekeepers by participating in SO's review queues.

  • 2
    Good idea because part of the problem isn't just the lazy assholes asking shit questions, but also users who mistakenly answer to crap and hence need a reminder that SO isn't intended as help desk.
  • 3
    no, stackoverflow is actively training users who want to participate in moderation to actually know _what_ the rules are after which users are supposed to moderate.

    a bad question is a bad question. period.
  • 1
    If they really intend to enforce SO not being a helpdesk, they would have to delete 70% of the existing questions. Their inconsistency makes it even more frustrating to see a question downvoted and deleted even before having a chance to make an appropriate edit to it, when at the same time so many crappy posts that don't seem to meet their standards are still there and getting upvotes.

    Most people do use StackOverflow as a helpdesk and it helps a lot to find useful answers. I still don't get the psuedo-academic elitist stance behind the original guidelines, even more so as they don't seem to be enforced in most cases.

    Anyway, trying to be helpful by participating in their review process only makes me more confused and angry about their site. Maybe I should just stop to care and use StackOverflow as a read-only go-to resource like most other devs seem to do.
  • 2
    The questions being asked do obviously originate from a specific use case. The problem is that this is not the main purpose of SO. Instead, it's the thousands of people with a similar use case who will find that later via a search engine. These are the people who matter.

    Therefore, if a question is asked without any consideration to their needs and just revolves around what the asking person needs right then, it's a bad format and needs to be removed. Likewise if it has already been asked and the OP is just too stupid or too lazy to use a search engine.

    Any complaints about how mean SO is usually stem from not understanding that and thinking SO is a help forum to deal with the thread OP's needs specifically.
  • 2
    @fraktalisman "If they really intend to enforce SO not being a helpdesk, they would have to delete 70% of the existing questions." - yes. and they should. although i'd rather say that the amount of questions that are just terrible (and that's being nice) is closer to 90%.

    "Most people do use StackOverflow as a helpdesk" but that simply is not what it _is_, or what it is _supposed_ to be. period. and if people would take a saw and try to use it as a spoon, that is their fault. not the fault of the people saying "hey, that's a SAW! don't put it in your mouth! look, here's how to use a saw."

    "use StackOverflow as a read-only go-to resource" - that's how it's supposed to be used.

    you should only ask a new question _if there isn't already an answer_. if the new question and new answer can actually _benefit_ the whole collection. and that's why the rules are so strict - and should be, IMHO, enforced even more consistently.
  • 2
    @tosensei The one actual problem with SO that I never quite understood how they want to solve it: tech evolves, and best practices from 10 years ago may be bad practices today, depending on the domain.

    Just letting the questions being asked again is bad because the search results will be polluted with outdated answers. Betting on people updating their answers years afterwards doesn't work that well, either.
  • 3
    @tosensei Just one example: in the old days, you'd give images width and height in the markup so that the browser would reserve space and avoid layout shift when loading.

    Then came responsive needs, and browsers ignored the markup dimensions if maxwidth/autoheight were given (that overwrote the dimensions), so you needed some dirty CSS padding hack.

    That has changed again now because browsers have become smarter and evaluate the native width/height including the maxwidth/autoheight properly so that we're back to the best practice from 20 years ago.

    Capturing that is pretty difficult from a knowledge management POV.
  • 1

    > "use StackOverflow as a read-only go-to resource" - that's how it's supposed to be used.


    > you should only ask a new question _if

    I stopped asking questions on StackOverflow long ago, but I meant I will probably also stop trying to answer, comment, vote, and flag as it's also an effort mostly discouraged by StackOverflow.

    Why bother trying to help, craft and verify a useful answer, edit the original question to fit StackOverflow's rules only to receive comments that it was wrong to answer a bad question in the first place? And that's even "correct behaviour". Don't edit, don't improve, just downvote, close, and delete. They can go and fuck themselves (and their jQuery museum, as if that's valuable content - see @Fast-Nop 's comment above).

    There are other sites like DEV.to for sharing knowledge probably better suited to my own mindset as it used to be called "the practical dev" and not "the elitist academic".
  • 2
    @fraktalisman The solution to outdated answers isn't promoting ducplicate questions. SO is indeed in danger of becoming a museum, I'd agree to that, but letting it derail into a forum would defeat the whole idea of SO.

    Because while it would help the one person asking, how would it help the thousands that use SO via a search engine and are the main audience? That's the challenge here.
  • 0
    The challenge: helping StackOverflow become what it claims to be.

    There are some very old questions where the challenge has been solved to edit the original questions and answers, adding "2017 update", "2020 update" etc. to really make it a worthwhile resource beyond the original problem.

    Meanwhile so many other questions and answers are very narrow-minded and focus on a very specific problem (which is even encouraged by "too broad" questions tend to be closed) or keep spreading outdated advice to be copied into the projects of junior developers.

    StackOverflow's community processes and guidelines _seem_ to encourage editing posts and requesting edits, but in practice the community tends to eradicate content instead of waiting for edits and suggestions. Probably there are some higher level review queues that promote premature deletion? Also I don't see any incentive for downvoting without leaving a comment, still that's common practice.
  • 1
    I get better info from devrant half the time and people aren't assholes here like on SO. The last time I tried to help I got into it with a mod that was sure compilers are perfect and cannot make mistakes. I was astonished about how much a lack of real world exposure they had. I knew at that point it was inmates running the asylum.
  • 0
    @fraktalisman That's for a reason: SO rewarded fast answers, and giving the same answer as an already existing one got downvotes. So in order to earn reps, you had to be the first one.

    People games the system by posting a placeholder answer and then editing it. Other people who took the time to write the actual answer then would appear as second, repeated answer. Which is why this answer squatting got out of hand.

    In that light, it's understandable why bad answers are deleted right away, to disencourage answer squatting.

    As for questions: there is no reason why anyone wouldn't follow the guidelines for how to ask questions and what to supply. If people are too lazy to read the howtos, just delete that crap. There are just too many lazy idiots, and catering to them will only attract more of them.
  • 1
    > There are other sites like DEV.to for sharing knowledge

    Sharing anything at that place is like pissing into a wind of poorly written javascript articles. It could be a good place, but the mods are too incompetent to properly police spam and the staff seem more interested in the SEO cred that a huge article churn brings them than providing a useful site for devs. I've found a few decent articles there, but as for knowledge sharing it's a poor substitute.
  • 0
    So devrant as a last resort, must be the reason why I keep coming here after visiting the other 2
  • 0
    Sometimes GitHub issues and official documentation aren't bad either. But probably it's time some new game changer like like SO used to be when they were new.
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