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How much research effort is expected from the asker by the community?

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Simply, there are search engines which you can find answers to your questions. Although there is Stack Overflow which answers many questions. Additionally that there is documentation and there are online tutorials and courses on YouTube and many other platforms that may solve your problem. So, simply I am thinking about:

How much research effort is expected from the asker by the community? Should someone be warned when their question lacks for effort? Is there an action that should be taken when you see a question that lacks research effort?

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leak (2 comments)

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There are multiple questions/aspects in your posts, so I will go one by one:

Stack Overflow which answers many questions

While this is true, for many questions SO has an important drawback. If the question is old enough it might have a lot of outdated answers. By outdated I mean anything that makes the answer suboptimal (more code, slower or containing anti-patterns) or even broken (the framework evolved enough to have breaking changes for the example).

Even if one asks the exact same question here, Codidact might provide a better answer simply because one does not have to scroll a lot to get to the most appropriate answer.

there are online tutorials and courses on YouTube and many other platforms that may solve your problem

Q&A sites like StackOverflow had an immense success because online tutorials typically do not expose information in an easy to find way. Tutorials might very good at providing in depth information about a topic, but fail to help one with a specific programming issue which can be related to many aspects such as using multiple technologies together, the setup etc.

How much research effort is expected from the asker by the community?

Personally, I expect the asker to provide anything that shows at least some personal effort regardless of its nature. Examples:

  • relevant code along with a focused question about why something fails with a clear error message
  • implementation attempt using some online resource, but asking about why some aspect was implemented in a certain way

Let us not forget that asking good questions is quite hard. If the asker takes the time to provide most of the meaningful details for a programming problem to be answerable, this is already an important effort.

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Should someone be warned when their question lacks for effort?

Actually, we don't know about their effort. Nor do we actually need effort, itself. What we need are particular results of effort, and for these to be clearly communicated through the question.

Thus, we should never write something to the tone of "I am hereby warning you to put in more effort (or face the wrath of our downvotes!)", because:

  • we may be mistaken about the effort (they might just not have communicated it)
  • it doesn't clarify the kind of effort required, nor what this effort should achieve

Instead, we should inquire after the outcome of the expected effort. For instance:

  • What did the manual say?
  • What did the error message say?
  • What happened when you stepped through this in a debugger?

This should take care of the innocent mistakes.

If that doesn't work, a moderator should state site policy:

On Codidact, we expect that ...

and enforce it by closing the question.

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How much research effort is expected from the asker by the community?

The kinds of research I expect varies with the question type. Before asking us ...

  • about concepts or the meaning of words, askers should spend some time (say, an hour) with Wikipedia and Google.
  • to write code, askers should first attempt to write it themselves, and show us where they are stuck.
  • to debug code, askers should have attempted to debug it themselves. In particular, they should have attempted to narrow it down, so they only communicate the parts of the code that are actually relevant to the bug.
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