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Why StackOverflow SUCKS

StackOverflow is a monster Q&A machine. If you have a programming question, StackOverflow is probably the best place to ask – you have a better chance to get an answer on SO than anywhere else. The paradox is that SO is not interested in users getting answers to their questions. Usually Q&A sites want their questioners to be happy, but not SO. SO wants great questions and great answers. Hence the reputation system and an army of Nazi retards moderating everything they can see. If a question is considered poor by the user with moderating privileges, it will be downvoted, closed and finally deleted. But that is not all – SO has an automatic ban system. Users providing questions & answers that received low marks can be banned by robots. One of the first questions I answered on SO more that 2 years ago was:

Here is a task: “3 brothers have to transfer 9 boxes from one place to another. These boxes weigh 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 14 kilos. Every brother takes 3 boxes. So, how to make a program that would count the most optimal way to take boxes? The difference between one brother’s carrying boxes weight and other’s has to be as small as it can be.” Can you just give me an idea or write a code with any programming language you want ( php or pascal if possible? ). Thanks.

I thought the question was interesting and after spending some time found a solution based on checking all permutations of 9 weight numbers, it appeared to be blazingly fast. I posted an answer, and my answer was accepted by the questioner. Sure that was not a great question. Also the question was not properly tagged – with ‘php’ and ‘pascal’. I guess ‘php’ tag was a mistake; the questioner got a whole army of moderating idiots attacking his question. The question received 17 downvotes. The question got the comment Smells like homework to me and the comment got 14 upvotes; the presumption of innocence does not work on SO, and a guy with the editing privileges tagged the question as ‘homework’. Later on it was closed by the moderator called Bill the Lizard with the following resolution:

It’s difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form.

Strange resolution, isn’t it? The question was answered… The strange guy Bill the Lizard did not stop after closing the question. More than 1.5 year (!) after the question was answered he returned to it and deleted both the question and my answer (my answer probably because it contradicted his resolution). If you think your post was not well accepted on SO, just think of the whole picture.

~ Serg

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