I recently posted this question on Java and Linux:

It was downvoted, which often doesn't mean much, but I took another look at it because I thought it was a good question. I went back and improved some wording and formatting, and figured there wasn't anything left that someone could have a problem with. Seconds later, it got a second downvote.

I tried some more edits and a few minutes after that, a third downvote. None of the downvoters left any comments, but with three downvotes, there is obviously some kind of problem with the question that I'm missing.

I'm hoping someone can give me some feedback on what the potential issues are with the question.

  • 1
    I was very tempted to downvote this question and laugh diabolically, but in the spirit of Winter Bash, I'll vote up :-).
    – dsolimano
    Dec 15, 2014 at 14:41

1 Answer 1


Your post is simply too long and actually covers multiple questions.

A good question should be short and to the point. I understand that some questions are complex and require a lot of background to be properly answered, but those are rarely good questions (in the sense that they apply to a wide audience).

  • I can see your point about it being long and having multiple parts. I still don't know how to fix it. It is a single problem that requires multiple pieces in the answer (not clear how it could be broken up into several questions). In terms of audience, I thought that Verizon, alone, has quite a customer base, so I couldn't be the only one with the same issue, and Verizon can't have the only web site that is particular about Java recency.
    – fixer1234
    Dec 15, 2014 at 18:36
  • @fixer1234: I would recommend structuring your question in the reverse order as it is right now. Put your actual questions at the top, then go into more detail below. The details can be confusing if you read through them first, which might make your question appear to be unclear. Also, you could split a question like that into two: "How can I install the latest Java release on Debian?" and "How do I make sure that [browser] uses a specific Java version?" Dec 15, 2014 at 18:57
  • Thanks. I'll use that advice in the future. I'll let sleeping dogs lie on this one since every time I fix it, it moves to the top of the queue and someone else downvotes it.
    – fixer1234
    Dec 15, 2014 at 19:05

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