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Not long ago I cam across this question.

Naturally, my first reaction was to simply vote to close it. Not sure why everyone else did not do it and even a moderator did not do it but rather just commented on it.

In any way that is not a question that professionals would ask. Is this site still for professionals or not? If that is the kind of users that this site has, no wonder that there are only a handful of people replying and a huge amount of people only asking (a huge number of non-professional questions).

My actual question is: what can we do more about this kind of things in order to improve the quality of the website? It does not look like voting and trying to close questions is enough but rather maybe we need that the actual real users are more educated in regards to what they have to do?

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    OK, clue for you: someone can be a professional and not yet understand the full stack they're dealing with. Yes, in an ideal world, we'd all be born pre-infused with all knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. That's not the case, though. Your ranting in the comments of that question was more un-productive and damaging to the site than the question itself. If you don't agree a question should be on the site, vote and move on. You may consider, though, that you'd make this person's day by helping them out instead of beating them over the head. – EEAA Mar 23 '16 at 13:25
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    While I totally agree with you about MY attitude, which was not the best one, I don't about making that persons day. If he copy/pastes the solution from here (which he did and not well anyway), he will not be able to do it the second time either. he does not LEARN and most of all he does not learn how to learn. It is clear that the OP in that question did not try to understand how things work there, neither read any documentation or anything. If you want to help someone, teach them how to fish and don't serve them the fish, so send them to read documentation. – Florin Asăvoaie Mar 23 '16 at 14:00
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    There are plenty of ways to answer a question without giving the user a copypasta solution. I do this all of the time. Guide them in the right direction, give them clues for what they need to change, then encourage them to do just that. – EEAA Mar 23 '16 at 14:45
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    Trouble is @EEAA the people we attract don't want to be educated they want copy/pasta because that's the modern way. Most of the people who ask questions here are from SO where the copy+paste paradigm is rife. – Iain Mar 23 '16 at 20:38
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No, Server Fault is no longer for professionals it is for professional quality questions.

That many, if not most people asking questions fail even, to make that standard is regrettable.

It is though easy to deal with. Downvote, vote to close and move on as you see fit.

The good news is that with all the fail ending up on SE, Yahoo! Answers is improving.


My actual question is: what can we do more about this kind of things in order to improve the quality of the website?

Very little. Fewer and fewer 'senior' members play the game any more. New members with skills arrive and frequently leave long before attaining the privileges to be helpful in managing quality. Voting on SF is absolutely appalling, some people, even quite senior and moderators almost never bother.

Server Fault is no longer a Q&A site it has become tech support for the clueless of the internet.

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    Finally someone that sees the wood for the trees. Thank you! Follow up question: may I use your profile text on mine too? :) – Florin Asăvoaie Mar 23 '16 at 17:30
  • Use the text any way you like, I stole it from @yoonix. – Iain Mar 23 '16 at 20:30
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As the moderator concerned, on occasion I let the community do their part too...

You, and everybody else with sufficient reputation in the community, can cast close votes and should do so when you feel there's a need. The moderator vote is absolute and should only be used sparingly (at least that's the theory).

So unless a question immediately makes my eyes bleed a reasonably well formatted, more-or-less on-topic question but from a PFY might "slip by" and might occasionally even get a helpful comment too.

A comment from a moderator like me, or anybody else for that matter is, is not an up vote nor an endorsement of any question.

  • I never said anything else, yet, if you read the comments, that is exactly how it gets interpreted. – Florin Asăvoaie Mar 23 '16 at 12:09
  • @FlorinAsăvoaie My intent was not to imply the mod comment was an up vote but that it wasn't a down vote. I could of handled that better – Drifter104 Mar 23 '16 at 15:51
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Not again, please. This has been discussed ad nauseam and really will lead nowhere. There are different views of what SF should be and what the target audience should be, most importantly between a sizeable part of our most active users and StackExchange as the company that owns and run this site and frankly, unless we convince SE to adopt this view, we can't do anything about the situation and I doubt even then anything could be done anyway.

Oh, and I agree with HBruijn - a mod not closing a question isn't an endorsement.

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My actual question is: what can we do more about this kind of things in order to improve the quality of the website? It does not look like voting and trying to close questions is enough but rather maybe we need that the actual real users are more educated in regards to what they have to do?

Iain and Sven have pointed out the big picture problems and why there might not be anything we can do about the non-professional questions.

However, if you want to try to do something, voting and closing are the best tools you have available... and you could use them more. (Please don't take the following too seriously or personally, I've made it about you and exaggerated a bit for effect only.)

Voting

Crappy questions that are downvoted and have no answers will get automatically deleted. And questions that are at -2 (or worse) are a much better indication that crappy questions aren't wanted than ones that sit at 0. You've only voted 81 times in total - less than I've voted in the last 3 days! Get out there, click the down arrow on every crappy question you see and move then move on.

Closing and reviewing

Although downvoted questions don't have to be closed to be automatically deleted, closing them prevents answers from being posted and makes it even clearer that they're crappy. I can't see how many times you've voted to close, but I only see 5 close-vote reviews in your profile. Everyone else who's posted on this thread has done a fair amount of closing and reviewing, it's your turn! (For bonus marks, do what I do and click through to the actual question when you're reviewing close-votes, downvote the ones that deserve it, then go back and finish the review.)

As for the rest of you...

Feel free to downvote more often, too.

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