The Stack Overflow podcast is back! Listen to an interview with our new CEO.

Hot answers tagged

61

Here are some general rules that should be followed. Follow this general outline: BOLD items are required. Title of the product with a link to the download/main page. Quote the site's product summary. Add any pictures that are relevant to the question. If it's not installed using a normal installation file, or package manager, then give instructions on ...


51

Some things are simply impossible - however, it's useful to say why not (or better yet, how it could be done, but how incredibly difficult it is). If we had a question like I need to alter my turbo enfrobulator using the degobulation widget on frobster 2.0 - how do I do this? You can say Or you can explain that you can't enfrobulate from the ...


32

Optimally, voting is how the correct answer is recognized. In practice, though, sometimes people vote up answers that are long just because they look thorough. I notice that, in this case, neither answer has even a single link. The information might be true, but at the moment it's not backed up by credible sources. In many cases, links aren't necessary ...


29

As pointed out in a comment to this answer, a software license is a contract, as opposed to a law. The contract is, or isn't, enforceable, depending on the law(s) that apply where the user who asked the question is located. While it is technically feasible to determine where a connection from a user to this website originated from, it is impossible to be ...


29

I skimmed through your answering history, and I noticed that many of your answers that still have zero votes are in response to questions that are either already answered or posted by very-low-rep users. Sometimes owners of already-solved questions will only upvote new answers that significantly help them in their situations. If the situation has long been ...


27

Link-only answers are never fine. If you need to link to a SuperUser question or answer in order to answer a question, vote or flag to close the question as a duplicate of that question. If linking to the other question does not provide enough information, but you want to provide the same type of answer to express that it's one possible way of doing that, ...


26

If what the OP asked for is clearly impossible, it is acceptable to state so in a full answer, as long as a reasonable explanation is provided. If you just want to say that it's impossible, it's not worthy of an answer as it is little more than noise. At Stack Exchange, we want to keep the quality of answers high, so an answer that states that the desired ...


23

Without context, you could interpret the response like you did. But let's be clear: moderators are not exempt from any rules we have here—whether it's about quality or behavior in general. Feel free to flag a post when you see something wrong. We occasionally have to delete (older) posts of other moderators for quality problems or other issues. And we try ...


23

I've occasionally noticed, and commented on and downvoted lower quality, link-only answers, and you've definitely got a lot of rep - and well, if I thought one of your answers wasn't good, I'd consider downvoting and commenting. Not everyone might do the latter. In your case these would be link-only answers, with some older, bountied questions if I recall ...


21

There is always the chance (as, possibly, with the referenced question) that the question is so far off in asking for technology advice, that the only sensible answer is It's not the kind of problem you can or want to solve using technology. In my opinion, this is a proper, useful answer, especially if solid advice on what to actually do follows. On ...


20

If you don't want your government to be run by people you hate, go vote. If you don't want that only 1% of all members get to decide who looks credible and who doesn't, go vote. But it's not that simple with Stack Exchange, is it? We need voting to make people see what is quality content and what isn't. So if people don't vote, contributions become less ...


20

Some spammers are getting into the habit of posting almost useful answers in order to disguise their spam. This is a difficult call though. 99% of the time these types of answer are spam but occasionally it is someone just trying to be helpful while getting a little exposure. The difference between the two is that a spammer tends to almost hide the link ...


19

Answers should be quality. Things like references, proper formatting, etc. should be included to aim for quality (goes for Questions too IMO). Sometimes I'm not inclined to leave a quality answer, so I just leave (what has turned out to be) an answer in the comments alone. I helped, the user likes it. If someone else wants to come along and write a ...


19

Leave a comment under the answer That would be enough to inform future reader who is interested in the tool that it is no longer available. That would be enough to inform the community to downvote the answer as in current state the answer is wrong That would be enough to inform the answerer that the link gone broken, and whether they want to fix it or not ...


18

I am very strongly against this. The whole point of a Q/A site is to generate useful questions and answers. Where would we be if we didn't allow answers to perfectly valid questions anymore? If you don't need any more answers, ignore it, but there might always be a better answer that is not only useful to you, but all the others reading. Don't forget that ...


18

Almost all the time the correct answer is, one answer per person per question -- and make it awesome. However, like all rules, there are valid exceptions. If you are proposing two radically different solutions, sometimes they belong in different answers so that they can be voted on independently.


18

Well, there is no general "policy". Jeff once said: In general there should be one answer per person per question; if you need to amplify your answer, edit it! The reasons why I think there should be one comprehensive answer on Super User: The question asks for a solution to one problem, so your answer should contain everything the user needs. You can ...


18

The new ransomware answer I just hammered out the above answer, which overviews how ransomware works, what to do, and how to avoid it in the future. Most importantly, I linked to this Google Doc (from this Reddit thread), which is a list of ransomware variants, their characteristics, and (when available) links to the decryptors. Feel free to suggest ...


17

This has been discussed/requested many times on Meta Stack Overflow. The canonical response is here: Would it be possible to have a "community accepted" feature? The request is marked status-declined, under the premise that the question with the most upvotes is effectively the community-accepted answer. Actually marking an accepted answer is the ...


16

Here's my take. It's how I interpret the flags here as a mod and how I use them elsewhere on the network as a user. In which cases should we flag "not an answer" answers? The not an answer flag does not mean "this answer is not an answer to the question posed". It means "the post isn't an answer at all" (see the "It should possibly be..." bit of the ...


16

I'd try commenting first, and editing - in situations like this I'd try to fix up one or two of them, and commenting politely about the fixes I've made, and why that is. If they're truely horrible, I'd spend the reputation to downvote or well.. just comment on how the answer could be better. If it gets to the point where its really too much to bear, hop on ...


15

This question could have been slightly rewritten to be more constructive and a little less open-ended. I think the question is definitely salvageable, and would suggest editing it rather than closing it. The answer wasn't mean-spirited, but portions of it are certainly off-topic. It was funny, though, and also contained a serious answer near the end. In ...


15

To make this as precise as possible: YES, please. If you have the time to check the linked site and distill the most essential parts, then post them here, you've done us a big favor. First of all, you're making the answer more useful, and you can show others how it's done – leading by example. In the long run, people will see these edits and know how to ...


15

The general rule is that you should flag for moderator attention only if there is something that you can't handle yourself. So ideally, with your new privileges, you shouldn't need to flag anymore. Downvote and vote to delete.* But: We have to remember that we're still a very small site compared to Stack Overflow in terms of reputation. On SO, the number ...


14

I would say post better answers, but I honestly can't find any answers that I'd take offense with. I just guess you answered questions which are low visibility, and where the user hasn't bothered to test the answers.


14

It depends. If the answer is nothing but personal experience, but results in it completely solving the original problem then it is definitely an answer. I've seen this before. When I last used FlugelBinder3000 software I had to ratchet the wurzle and everything just worked. Is definitely an answer. It solves the problem. What more could you want? It ...


14

No. Moderators get no reputation bonus for their actions in any way. The only way moderators get rep is the same ways that normal users get rep, by getting upvotes on questions and answers, deleting answers is not one of those ways.


13

Two solutions come to mind: If the question is crap, deal with it like we would do with any other. Vote to close or delete right away. If there really are high rep users who repeatedly answer bad questions with their one line of code, then let the deletion be a sign for them — don't answer crap questions! If you want to conserve your reputation and have ...


12

The existing wiki answer has great discussion and comments, but I believe the embedded example conflicts with current site standards. The example would be a response to a request for a software list, which would be off-topic (it is a long general description of features and benefits that is not specific to the question and does not provide an actual ...


12

Its definitely fine if you know it gets migrated. As for against the FAQ, I usually tend to hint at an answer when I comment to why I am close voting a post. Some questions are actually interesting enough that I post an answer, then ask, and occasionally when I really KNOW I ought to comment, but it's too long, I've been guilty of posting it as a community ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible