Requiring to “show homework” is tricky: it doesn't always lead to a better question. A common problem with the insistence to “show what you tried” on some Stack Exchange sites is that it leads to questions where the asker had no idea how to start and so went on a completely wrong path, so
- answerers waste their time explaining what went wrong;
- the question doesn't help anyone else, because the next person with the same problem went on a completely different wrong path.
Another problem is that it may lead the answers. For example, when I asked Offline map browser on Android with offline search, I head already used the application that was suggested by the first answer, but I purposefully refrained from mentioning it because I wasn't fully satisfied with it, and I wanted to see what other people would suggest.
If the question goes “How do I do X? I've used app A, is that good?”, and app A is indeed a good one, what's an answer to say? “Yes, use app A”?
This is not to say that askers should not do some research. In particular, if there are any obvious-but-wrong answers, mention them.
For example, if there's software bundled with your operating system that accomplishes the task, do try it, and say why it wasn't fully satisfactory.
More generally, make sure to point out what disqualifies answers that might seem obvious. For example “X under Linux would be perfect, but I'm looking for something on Windows”. Or “I tried Y, but the interface is too complex and I need an app I can recommend to non-technical people.”
You should definitely run a search before asking. If you find a single application that seems to match, use it. If you see a lot of different applications, this is a sign that your requirements are too broad; you need to make some preselection before asking here, we can't discuss all the apps in the world. The sweet spots of this site are:
- When you find nothing, to help you find something. (Do consider that if you find nothing, it could be that there is nothing — see if you can relax your requirements.)
- When there are several matches, but fully trying them out would be cumbersome, so you look for other people's experiences.