26

I agree with the general sentiment, but not with all your recommendations. How does it meet the needs of the asker? Don't just say "it has these features" or "it meets all of your needs" - who cares? Describe the features in more detail. Yes, definitely. Why do you, personally, like the product? What other niche features does it have ...


24

What is expected of an answer on this site? An answer needs to be tailored to the question. Answers that consist solely of a product name or link and generic information copied from the product description or other promotional material may be summarily deleted. Good questions describe a task and list requirements. Good answers: explain how to accomplish ...


23

For the voting system to mean anything, we need to employ the system of using one recommendation per answer. Allowing multiple recommendations in a single answer introduces ambiguity into the voting since it's not obvious which recommendation is being voted for. This use of the Stack Exchange engine is similar to the way the gathering of questions for the Q&...


17

Successfully executing this site's vision will be a matter of raising the bar of quality on this site for both questions and answers. By that I mean, the quality of answers that will be acceptable on this site, in order for it to graduate from beta, will have to exceed the typical level of quality that we have come to expect on other sites. Posts like this ...


16

To give such an answer, either you must be pretty profient in that area to be sure – or the question must be a "little stupid". In both cases, an answer should not be limited to "there is no such program" – but should give proof/reasons why. Depending on the question, such reasons could include technical impossibilities (such a program cannot be written for ...


13

I see the issue two-fold. First, I totally agree simple link-dropping isn't the way it should go. And yes, as allquixotic put it: ideally it should be backed by personal experience. So far, nobody will argue I guess. But as with other SE sites, I think we are after collecting knowledge here. So if I've just heard of a good piece of software matching a ...


13

I think you are totally right. I tend to downvote such answers, I will go over to flag them as well (as VLQ as suggested by Gilles). Usually I care more about questions then answers so I didn't really notice the downward trend there but I promise to take a regular look on that query of yours, or this one that I wrote, it sorts by oldest date and only short ...


11

Reposting, based on a earlier response of mine that can be found here. (Mostly just reusing the annotated screenshot) Should start with a product name, That is a link and a Heading, (use ###) Should have either a List of notable features, or a check off against the Questions Requirements (Must/Should Would). using dotpoint with bold single sentence ...


11

Deletions and not an answer (NAA) Once the discussion that sets the minimum required quality level for answers has been agreed upon, basically any answer below that threshold will be commented upon asking for improvements, and then deleted if it fails to improve. This includes: Link only answers Not an answer Discussions Spam Answers that do not provide ...


11

I think it is perfectly acceptable. If I ask for something and get code that works, then I am really glad I got this answer. Of course, a Github project is even nicer, but it should not be a requirement. Some people might not even have a Github account. If the answer is good enough, someone will gitify it sooner or later. Especially in the case of ...


11

I'm the one that deleted your answer. Here's a screenshot of it for those that can't see it anymore: There are two things wrong with it, which I'll explain here: First, it's link-only. We can't allow link-only answers here. We simply can't. Think about it: If we do, how are we going to identify spam? Spam here (the promotional kind, not the nonsense kind) ...


11

Oftentimes, we can do a better job explaining how and why this site works the way it does, and what specifically can be done to correct these missteps which, frankly, we fully expect users to fall into. Deletions are "soft" on this this site, and this community tends to err towards removing stuff from view that doesn't quite meet the requirements ...


11

In the past, this was done. And I don't see anything wrong with that – after all it's software "available", and in cases like that the user could even skip the download+install part. But in your example, keep in mind whether the user might be happy with it: recommending a CLI software (here: ping) to an Android (or iOS) user might not be a good fit (if ...


10

I don't think we should be deleting such answers on the spot. I believe that this mSO answer applies here. An answer that is not an answer should be deleted (should be a comment, doesn't answer the question etc...). Answers that are answers but are factually wrong or are actively bad (say promote SQL Injection) should get downvoted, but not deleted. The ...


10

It depends how far the answer is from being a good answer. If the answer explains how 4 out of 5 requirements are met but doesn't discuss the fifth, edit it. If all you'd want to add to the answer is a screenshot, add one. These are minor defects, and we are encouraged to edit to “clarify the meaning of the post”, “include additional information only found ...


10

Please do not use comments to answer questions as a means of making recommendations without sufficient detail or knowledge. The purpose of having this site in the first place is to to avoid all the problems of random information posted in forums and chat rooms. The very purpose of Stack Exchange is to assure that every post is actively vetted by a large ...


9

We've seen many low-quality answers on this site, and on questions of the type we accept on other Stack Exchange sites. During the private beta, we've had some limited success at quality control by requesting that people improve their answer or using downvotes and the low quality queue to get rid of the worst answers. We can't hope to maintain this forever; ...


9

Does it, in the end, affect the quality of the answer? If you think so (for a product you've never used yourself), you better should not place the answer. Of course, a product you use daily and know in depth, you can much better decide how it fits the questioner's criteria – and recommend it by heart. But if you're familiar enough with the domain to know ...


9

So far it has been totally allowed and even I would have to say promoted. At least the question with the second highest votes (17) so far has a top answer with 9 votes. That top answer is findable as the second result on a google search for "windows unlock file software". (Also for that matter quite a few other potentially very workable solutions) However ...


9

To me it's OK as long as the OP explicitly stated "if some coding is involved with Python, that would be acceptable" (see: Is it okay to ask for algorithms on this site?). If no coding skills are indicated, one should first seek clarification (see: Asking for software, get libraries in answers).


9

Almost never ideal, but perhaps preferable to no answer at all? As someone who does enjoy writing code I would be sad to see such answers go because I find them empowering, but that is not the primary purpose of this site. In my view this form of answer should always be offered tentatively, and it is essential not to alienate those who do not come here for ...


9

What you don't see is the six other poor quality and sometimes actually spammy answers there. Granted its a video conversion question, and they attract spammers. You're not one. Awesome. We've iterated reiterated and for that matter, even been berated over post quality, and well, its something that's essential considering the unusual scope of the site. As ...


8

This kind of information should be mentioned in the answer, so that readers can make an informed choice. The (approximate) cost of a piece of software needs to be mentioned in an answer, whether this cost is measured in dollars or ads. Given the facts you present here, if you see an answer that mentions Unlocker, you should ensure that it mentions the ads. ...


8

I would say that we probably shouldn't be giving people large blocks of code in the answer (a simple cron job to run another program is probably okay) In regard to throwing it out on GitHub, I say that's a great idea - but we need to remember our audience: they're not programmers. They're users. If we're pointing them to something on GitHub, it had better ...


8

Nothing special. One of the traps that this site can fall into is to become a poll site. Polls on Stack Exchange do not work. The voting reflects who posted first, not which solution is best. A good answer says: “This method has upsides and downsides, that method has upsides and downsides. You should use method 1 under circumstances C and D, method 2 under ...


8

Our answer quality guidelines lead with this text: What is expected of an answer on this site? An answer needs to be tailored to the question. Answers that consist solely of a product name or link and generic information copied from the product description or other promotional material may be summarily deleted. In another meta thread, I proposed a policy ...


8

We've had a somewhat similar question in the past: Are answers which provide a complete script acceptable? As I write, the top two answers are: [+5] I would say that we probably shouldn't be giving people large blocks of code in the answer [+5] I think it is perfectly acceptable. Sorry, no general consensus here. In the specific case of https://...


7

I sort of think that SR.SE is kind of unique here, in that things that would be 'wrong' elsewhere might be necessary to post good answers. If a answer is well documented, and well, it works, personal experience may not matter. However, essentially, a lot of questions here have multiple good answers or at the very least answers that meet the criteria set by ...


7

Here are a few observations with examples. I read all answers of length ≤250 and sampled the range 251–400. First, I note that some of these answers have already been updated in response to comments prompted by participants in this review effort. Let me extend my thanks to both the people who reviewed and commented, and the people who improved their answers:...


7

I'm agreeing with Flyk here, primarily in the light of how we seem to be asking questions at the moment. A good chunk of the better questions have lists of requirements to be met, and the answers tend to be in the form of which requirements have been met, and personal experience. It seems to make more sense, to me, to have one quality answer per ...


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