I've been trying to ask a question on here and the question keeps on getting a ton of downvotes, but nobody bothers to tell me what's wrong with the question. Nor does it get any votes to close.



migrated from serverfault.com Nov 7 '12 at 19:25

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

It doesn't help that you keep deleting it before anyone has a chance to respond. –  Michael Hampton Nov 7 '12 at 19:26
Actually, I twice tried to supply constructive feedback. By the time I was tried to click 'Add Comment', it was gone. –  Magellan Nov 7 '12 at 19:28
@Omnifarious "So that you can get feedback" seems like the obvious answer to that question. –  MDMarra Nov 7 '12 at 19:28

3 Answers 3

up vote 12 down vote accepted

The question that you asked, and deleted, and then asked again, and then deleted again, is off-topic. It doesn't fit within the scope of the faq.

Perhaps, if you'd have left your question alone for more than a minute without deleting it, someone would have been able to respond with constructive criticism.

For anyone with enough rep to see deleted questions, this is one of the permutations of the question at hand:


I consider it a matter of politeness to leave a comment before downvoting something. Especially if it doesn't have any downvotes. –  Omnifarious Nov 7 '12 at 19:27
I downvoted it and immediately began leaving a comment. I couldn't post it, because you had already deleted the question by the time I was done typing. This is squarely your fault. –  MDMarra Nov 7 '12 at 19:29
Leaving a comment is not required for a reason. It would be polite however to check if a question is topical before posting it. –  Sven Nov 7 '12 at 19:29
@Omnifarious There is no requirement for users to explain downvotes. It has been discussed extensively and the general consensus is it would just lead to rude comments because people are forced to say something. That said, if you leave your question up the reason for downvotes will be clear when someone has the time to leave a comment, or the question is closed (the closure reason usually aligns well with why a question got downvoted). –  voretaq7 Nov 7 '12 at 19:29
@Omnifarious Your actual question is "Can any of you recommend anything more to do? Is there anything I'm planning that you consider sub-optimal?" - That's way too broad. By a lot. Like, a real lot. We expect questions that are reasonably scoped with a proper amount of detail. If you want to know about disk performance on this, calculate how many IOPS you need, how much throughput, etc. Once you have that and you have some hardware you're considering, you can ask about that specific hardware in specific RAID levels - for example. –  MDMarra Nov 7 '12 at 19:34
@MDMarra: Ahh. Well, that means this is a completely useless place to ask my question as I will likely never know the answers to those questions. It's actually been a huge pain to measure performance for the VirtualBox builds. They take approximately 7 times longer than native builds and there doesn't seem to be any obvious reason for them to. Though that's on different hardware, and we don't have the resources to compare the builds on the same hardware. But yes, I can see how that would be really open-ended. –  Omnifarious Nov 7 '12 at 19:39
It's because of problems like that, that many of us avoid VirtualBox in production environments. It's fine for toying around, but it's not really used for anything serious. –  MDMarra Nov 7 '12 at 19:41
@MDMarra: I've been wondering about that. My experience with VirtualBox with loads requiring heavy disk IO has been very poor in general. I should try VMWare I suppose. Anyway, thanks for the answer to both of my questions. I do read FAQs and am quite familiar with this site. It just bothers me immensely to have all kinds of nebulous negativity I don't understand surrounding a question that seems like a perfectly valid and on-topic question. The explanation of what's wrong with it makes perfect sense though. –  Omnifarious Nov 7 '12 at 19:45
@Omnifarious It's definitely a different environment than many other SEs, since this site is aimed solely at professionals. Many of us spend large amount of time profiling our requirements, so when we see questions that don't contain at least basic profiling and aren't reasonably scoped, sometimes it comes off as "Do my job for me." I know that wasn't your intention, but we're much more receptive to specific technical questions rather than broad "How should I architect this" questions. –  MDMarra Nov 7 '12 at 19:48
@Omnifarious, on the subject of who SF is for, perhaps you should consider that based on what you have written in your rather insulting and incorrect bio you don't even qualify to participate on SF. Please consider SU for future questions. –  John Gardeniers Nov 8 '12 at 7:36
@JohnGardeniers: What's insulting or incorrect about it? –  Omnifarious Nov 8 '12 at 17:45
Regarding, what I assume, is the "insulting" part - I've noticed that this site tends to have a slight bias for existing members. Members with a higher reputation tend to be voted up more even if their answer is very similar to someone else's with a lower reputation. - This is really by design. The more quality answers you give, the more reputable you are. This means that users can quickly identify that your answers are usually of a decent quality, which attracts upvotes. I don't really see this as a problem, and most of the high rep users that I know vote for whoever is right regardless. –  MDMarra Nov 8 '12 at 17:47
@JohnGardeniers: Additionally, your supposition that some people simply aren't qualified to participate on SF is both contrary to the propaganda about the stack exchange sites generally but completely confirms my suspicions and thoughts about the casual and 'well-meaning' elitism present here. –  Omnifarious Nov 8 '12 at 17:48
From our faq: Server Fault is for Information Technology Professionals needing expert answers related to managing computer systems in a professional capacity." - If you are a developer, you almost never fall into this category. Now, we don't usually discriminate based on job title if your question is topical and well thought out, but this is exactly why questions about dev systems are off-topic here. We're not like most other SE sites. Those sites are all aimed at pros and amateurs alike. Server Fault is not. –  MDMarra Nov 8 '12 at 17:51
@MDMarra: It's sometimes a problem. I have noticed sometimes particular users developing a 'fan' following of people who upvote them even when there are clearly better answers showing that don't receive upvotes. But this isn't a common occurrence. With regards to the FAQ, well, I suppose that makes sense. I know more about systems administration than most programmers, but I would by no means call myself a professional sysadmin. I can play one in a pinch, and the systems I administrate will not end up a total mess, but it's not where I belong. And in that sense I guess I agree. –  Omnifarious Nov 8 '12 at 18:02

Well one obvious answer to this is that the reason suggested by the tool-tip is what the down-voter means, and they don't want to add a pointless comment that simply restates what is obvious by how the site works.

  • This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful
  • This answer is not useful

I've said it before and I'll keep saying it as long as people keep asking this nonsense.

I feel absolutely no need to post a reason for a downvote as long as none is required for an upvote.

Have you ever asked anyone to explain an upvote? I would have thought that understanding upvotes would be more valuable than understanding downvotes. After all, they are worth a lot more.

No, downvotes are significantly more valuable than upvotes. They actually cost people rep to make. You learn the most from people who disagree with you, not from people who agree with you. –  Omnifarious Nov 8 '12 at 17:44

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