Hot answers tagged

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&...


20

Saying "that software/solution does not exist" is a perfectly acceptable answer to a question asked in good faith — that is assuming you can say so authoritatively. Conversely, it is not reasonable to require a user to know for certain there is a solution to a problem before they ask it. Of course, if you believe a user is intentionally asking ...


17

Absolutely! If you don't, that's almost the very definition of spam. Make sure you reveal your association with the software up front, openly, and clearly. Of course, also make sure that you aren't trying to oversell your product, and fairly state the pros and cons of it. And it's a good idea to make sure your software actually does what's asked for in the ...


17

A question asking how to accomplish a task with some specific software, as opposed to looking for some software to accomplish that task, would be off-topic. Such questions would typically be on-topic for Super User for end-user software and for Stack Overflow for programming questions. It may happen, sometimes, that the asker already has the software that ...


15

I think that would not be a valid answer. Let's split it into 2 parts: The "Unfortunately, no software currently exists that does what you want it to" part could be an answer, even though the policy for this is still undecided. The "can create that software for you if you're interested" part would at best be a comment, and should probably be flagged as ...


15

Sure, if a screen shot removes ambiguity or clarifies an answer to be correct. If the criteria of a question hinges on the usability of software A not being ideal, with hopes that a yet unknown software B that accomplishes the same thing with a better UI can be found, then screen shots are probably the best way to illustrate that. They're also considerate, ...


15

Well, it's pretty normal that testing recommended solutions is not done "ad-hoc". On some SE sites, I've marked questions accepted several months after they've been given: if evaluation takes time, it takes time. So don't feel pushed just because of that. On the other hand, if you think you might have found an answer being the solution, you can also go ...


13

Anti-recommendations are definitely not acceptable answers, and I'm sure people would flag them as such. If someone were to suggest GIMP (which someone now has done) then it would be perfectly acceptable for comments on the answer to provide reasons why this wouldn't be a good choice. If others agree with your recommendations it will be reflected in the ...


13

YES, you need to be transparent. This is a policy that is common to all Stack Exchange sites. Quoting the help center: What kind of behavior is expected of users? (…) Avoid overt self-promotion. The community tends to vote down overt self-promotion and flag it as spam. Post good, relevant answers, and if some (but not all) happen to be about your product or ...


13

Try to avoid that as much as possible. You're still just putting an answer in the wrong place, even if your intent is to try to give a bit of useful information presented in a less valuable way. Because the comments are useful, they tend to get up-voted and not flagged, therefore not removed, and become a self replicating problem. People see them and follow ...


13

Robert and Flyk have it right, together. Robert is quite correct in his concerns surrounding spam, guerrilla marketing and the like. However, our worst possibility is also our best when it comes to that, there will be times when people paid to market software outright nail a question with a good, comprehensive and quality answer. Moderating this site is ...


13

There's nothing wrong with using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. However, if there's an answer that involves a simpler, more elegant tool, say a nutcracker, its more likely to be selected as correct. Posting an answer which meets all the requirements, even if thats a subset of what the product does should be fine, where you clearly show how to use the product,...


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

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

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

When it's not explicitly specified, you must assume a "simple user" asking the question. For him, that would be a clear No-Go: you cannot expect any truck driver being able to code (just an example, no offense to truck drivers!). If unsure, you can always use a comment on the question to ask for clarification. The OP then can update the question accordingly,...


11

An answer that meets our quality requirements while not completely satisfying the requirements stated in the question are still answers. I say this for a number of reasons: Sometimes an asker may have been too specific, there may be simply be no software that fully meets their requirements, as stated in the question After some period of time, the asker may ...


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 ...


9

As I wrote in the guidance we laid out prior to launch: Answers that do not even come close to meeting the constraints described in the question should be flagged as not an answer, and will be removed quickly. And: Answers that contain little more than a link will be deleted without question, comment or other ceremony. It's a little early to ...


9

This should be easy — if the answer is well-written, accept the software you actually chose! The "accepted answer" function simply indicates which answer best helped the original author specifically. I've not been a big fan of this feature for a long time — essentially giving the author the ability to override top-most answer despite the vote &...


9

I would say that it's certainly okay to answer a question with a webapp, as long as They don't say it needs to work offline (yeah, some do, but you still have to load them) The question doesn't explicitly ask for native software Then a webapp is fair game.


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

I think it depends on the answer. (a) If the answer is (nearly) a copy or a subset (e.g., a link and some facts that are also mentioned in the previous answer), flag it. It should probably be deleted. (b) If the answer is nearly the same and only adds trivial information or facts, flag it. It should probably be an edit to the previous answer. (c) If the ...


9

It depends on the context. If you can authoritatively say that the problem statement is implicitly a "bad idea", than saying so might actually be a perfectly acceptable 'answer'. It's really just a variation on Impossible/Impractical Requests. But… It is not okay to inject commentary posing as an 'answer' just to make a point. For example: Q: I'm ...


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