I recently had a small problem to solve, googled and found a solution. Since the question was out of Stack websites, I thought I would post it already with an answer, and so I did it:

Replace any number of spaces using regular expressions

However I got a downvote. I can only guess, but it wasn't for lack of clarity or quality, it must have been for lack of research. But I did post an answer so the research was there. So, I assume, the downvoter saw the question, thought it was trivial or that I was asking people's help without doing any effort, and downvoted it.

So my question is: Shouldn't question posted together with an answer somehow protected from downvotes, at least by putting a clear marker like

This question was intended for documentation purpose. The author has already provided an answer to the problem. Read about self-answered questions. You are welcome to submit alternative answers!

  • heh, I never came across that myself, even when the solution ended up being facepalmingly simple. Maybe that's why, but that feels like overkill.
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 0:25
  • @JourneymanGeek The reputation score might play a role in that. It was my second question on this particular stack website.
    – Antonio
    Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 0:27
  • I found pretty hilarious that this question got downvoted :) +1 to the downvoter.
    – Antonio
    Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 11:15
  • @Antonio - You need to stop worrying about downvotes. A downvote on this website means we don't agree with you. I don't agree that any question should be protected from being downvoted if the author didn't effort in the question before asking it. A question that isn't researched to the best of the author's ability isn't helpful to the community.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 11:22
  • 1
    @Ramhound What about marking with a disclaimer?
    – Antonio
    Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 11:33
  • 1
    @Antonio - A good question doesn't need a disclaimer and there is no place for a bad question. A small group of people could rewrite every question asked so they are all excellent questions ( and this is already done to a certain degree ). What this site needs is excellent answers those are in short supply.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 11:43
  • What I find funny is you know what is expected. You have more then enough experience on Stackoverflow to understand what a good question and a good answer is. If you don't, know the difference, then not enough people have asked the best of you which is a shame.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 11:52

2 Answers 2


I don't know why the particular person downvoted you, but the post was confusing. It was unclear whether you wanted to remove 1+ spaces, or 2+ spaces. First you answered for 2+ then you decided 1+. You have also mixed up whitespace and space in your question, stating space in the title, then whitespace in the first sentence. You should include what you have tried in the question itself, thus showing where you are stuck. If you'd done that, you might not have even clicked the post button and you'd have solved it before even posting the question.

Furthermore, a question it's so easily googlable.. e.g. google how to match 1 or more of a character or 2 or more of a character. And google how to match space.. Or google how to match >=1 or >=2 space characters

And when you posted your answer and realized you wanted {1,} rather than {2,} then you should've clarified by editing your question but you didn't. And even if your question had been clear, it's not that useful for anybodys documentation if it's so easily googleable.

You write

"This question was intended for documentation purpose. "

I don't know who is going to look at a question that mixes up space and whitespace, and say "ah great for my documentation"

And you write in comment "I don't think a question should be downvoted, supposedly, for lack of research when also an answer is provided" <-- Actually that's why the Question and Answer are separate. A Question can be downvoted and an answer upvoted.

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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Mokubai Mod
    Commented Mar 30, 2015 at 8:17

Your original question wasn't clear. You also admit "I had not read carefully" which is an indication you did not prepare to ask the best question possible. So lets put the fact you didn't prepare to ask the best question possible, a question should be helpful today and tomorrow to any reader with the same question as you.

You indicated that a question showing a "A lack of research" isn't a valid reason to downvote a question. You might want to hover over the down arrow on any question to understand why your viewpoint does NOT match the communities.

The fact you self-answer isn't relevant to the reason your question was downvoted. The community still expects a well researched clear question even if you are going to self-answer. Other people might also have an answer to the question, perhaps even a better answer, so the question has to be clear in order to do that.

If you want your questions and answers to be well received by the community you need to work on their quality and the clarity of the content itself.

  • 1) There's a difference between a question that you self answer at a later stage, and a question that you publish together with the answer. 2) The did not read carefully part was a good reason to downvote the answer, not the question.
    – Antonio
    Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 11:31
  • @Antonio - I don't see a difference. Every question you asked should be well researched and clear. You can write a question in a single sentence but that single sentence better be clear. The original revision of your question wasn't clear. You are right in this context the answer should have also been downvoted.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 11:39
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    @Antonio You write 1) There's a difference between a question that you self answer at a later stage, and a question that you publish together with the answer. Well, you could still include the research you did prior to finding the solution, that failed to find the solution.. that evidence that there is even a notable problem, is evidence that the question is worthwhile. Though your question was quite easily googlable. Seriously.. Space then a plus symbol. How do you delete multiple of char x, answer is x+ It's more of a mystery how you managed to fail in your googling than to succeed in it.
    – barlop
    Commented Mar 28, 2015 at 13:35

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