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7:03 PM
I'm considering a post like this on MSU:
Q: Too many upvotes for poor quality answers

Ivo FlipseI was looking through the Stack Exchange hottests questions and stumbled on one of the Programmers questions: When do you start documenting the code? Because I'm reading Code Complete and I hoped to find another insightful post to help me decide when I should be doing this. Only to find an answ...

Every time I check the Hottest SU question linked from StackExchange.com I get these answers that 'answer' the question in a couple of lines and that's it. Which honestly is pretty disappointing, especially when the question get's a disproportionate amount of attention
@IvoFlipse Why did you post it on meta.programmers in the first place? I think this is a general problem..
Considering hopefully we'll have a large group of motivated people editing stuff next week, I'd like to make a case for making sure our hot questions meet a higher standard
@slhck Because Programmers is like an upvote hell, they mistake it for Hacker News meets Reddit
Oh. Haven't really been on the site at all.
I think one problem is that you can't see whether an answer is disputed.
@slhck disputed?
You can only see individual vote counts at a particular rep level, which makes it hard to find out if a question got a lot of downvotes.
7:07 PM
@IvoFlipse: I have the exact same feeling.
This was 128 hotness yesterday:
@TomWijsman Well, it does exactly answer the question.
@TomWijsman I know, it adds a lot of value
but that doesn't mean the answer doesn't deserve a vote
if you know what I mean :)
anyway, what I wanted to point out is
@slhck well I think my point is it should
7:09 PM
let's imagine I'm a "just passing by" user.. and I see a hot question with an answer (that you consider disputable as said in your meta.programmers post)
It doesn't deserve a downvote perhaps, but its not enough info to be meaningful/useful to someone who doesn't already know the answer is true
if there was some kind of indicator that showed me that this particular answer gets a lot of up/down, I'd think twice before voting
It's just, I've been going through a lot of low quality edits (as I see that's way more useful than my recent CHAOS-like floods) and I can tell you safely that a lot of people don't really care explaining there answers.
I know, it's a common problem
Ignacio's probably a good example.
(nothing personal, it's just a matter of fact)
General Stack Exchange guideline: If your answer fits in a tweet, its not a real answer!
7:12 PM
I'd love to have a visualization of average answer lengths
there's a query for that, just can't find it
crappy search on data.SE
@slhck what did you need checked?
oh can any of you guys get to slhck.dyndns.org:3000 and see a website?
@slhck: Yes.
@slhck SELECT AVG(LEN(Body)) FROM Posts WHERE PostTypeId = 2
nice maps
7:15 PM
perfect, makes testing a bit easier
returns 530.
@slhck Seems like rant on the "practical, answerable questions based on real actual problems" rule.
@TomWijsman Yeah but I kinda.. didn't get it. At least without a real practical example.
7:19 PM
He's searching for exception for the rule, none of those where actually asked.
@TomWijsman After reading it five times, I guess I understood.. but then again he shouldn't have written "these 8 known questions that appeared:"
@IvoFlipse Heh, that one's ... revealing
well I gave some examples in my Meta.P question
like when should you start documenting
> If you don't comment the code as you write it chances are minimal that you will come back and do it later (let alone do it properly).`
That was the entire answer
@IvoFlipse interestingly though, the longer answers tend to get more rep, but there's a skew for the short ones too data.stackexchange.com/superuser/s/1427/…
@slhck the buckets are max body length / 10? then we get a histogram of their frequency and their scores right?
the scores should be normalized, that would be useful
7:27 PM
shouldn't be that hard to adapt the query and have a more detailed histogram
oh wait, is that second column the frequency? that would be weird, it would mean we have more longer posts, isn't it simply the average length or something?
that's when using 20 buckets
x is the post length and y the score if I understood the data correctly
(for SU, that is)
there's quite a significant difference on Programmers
@IvoFlipse what are the x labels?
ie. what's their length
@slhck Did an attempt to answer it though, didn't like the already given answer because it explains nothing.
A: Could you have accepted any of these questions?

Tom WijsmanI don't entirely stand what you are saying, but let's have a look... Could you have accepted any of these questions? "Is this a question?" (Not to be confused by a non-question and then we know? It's not even an answer to answer this. I don't understand this question about a question or even...

7:40 PM
@slhck I just took the buckets, not their length
@IvoFlipse nevertheless, that's quite a difference!
I'm not sure if I calculated it the right way, but its clear there's a trend and SU and Programmers are clearly different
@IvoFlipse what do the x and y labels represent?
Just not sure in what form to put it yet, though it would be a nice way to make use of the competition
I 'believe' the X are 10 buckets, taking the longest post and dividing all posts into portions of that or something of the kind. The Y axis I believe is the relative amount of upvotes each of those buckets got. Clearly Programmers overvalues short answers
it's not relative, it's the cumulative score
SELECT bucket,
@slhck I made them relative, they're all divided by the sum :)
oooh nice @IvoFlipse
else I couldn't compare them between sites
7:48 PM
this was just my excel-fu :P
@TomWijsman does that take synonyms into account?
Wait, it might, sorry...
anyway, does anyone feel like transforming my rant into a meta question?
@IvoFlipse: Didn't Jeff do that in the past?
Posted by Jeff Atwood on June 13th, 2011

In March 2010, we rebalanced our reputation system to favor answers.

While we value good questions (and asking a great question is absolutely an art), we want to explicitly encourage people to provide the best possible answers. Without people interested in providing good answers, the questions are moot. We know that answers have more intrinsic value than questions, and the reputation balance should reflect that.

The question asker already enjoys a substantial benefit beyond reputation gain from upvotes on their question — namely, they get great answers to their question! Thus, the asker shouldn’t need as much reputation gain.  …

@IvoFlipse I would but I have the imagination we've already been there
@TomWijsman Right
@TomWijsman well its not working :P
you'd be surprised how few people read the blog
that's what you get for putting it at the bottom :P
7:54 PM
(and the top)
Well, at least if there's a new post, else it's indeed just blog.SU.
Hmm, short answers should somehow be discouraged.
However, downvotes are only for serious things.
Perhaps free downvotes on answers is an option, but I bet there are reasons against it...
@TomWijsman No, people should stop rewarding short answers. That's all
And it feels kinda weird to downvote an answer that works.
45 mins ago, by Ivo Flipse
General Stack Exchange guideline: If your answer fits in a tweet, its not a real answer!
You can't tell people to do so...
They won't read, they won't listen.
I think that's the main problem
Because at the same time we want to encourage people to vote
To be honest though I think downvoting shouldn't cost the voter rep
7:57 PM
Well at least with the competition we can get people in the habit of making answers more awesome
And the rep lost through a downvote should be more
@IvoFlipse A great way to do that is working the low quality list away.
@slhck well if downvotes were free, you simply need more downvotes, rather than more per downvote
@slhck Yeah, I wanted to suggest changes to decrease the amount of low quality questions; been there, done that... :(
@TomWijsman Indeed, though you have to take into account what quality the question is too
7:58 PM
Q: Can the Ask Question page be changed to obtain better quality questions?

Tom WijsmanTL;DR: See the below screenshot and read the boldness in yoda's answer. If you want more detail, feel free to read both posts. Though this TL;DR itself shows that this solution could simply work... Edit: Based on a discussion in chat, click here is a shorter and less verbose version: Edit 2: My...

@IvoFlipse I'd favor having both, but imho the free downvotes on questions did a lot
focus on the popular content first, the rest later
@slhck propose it on Meta, with some supporting data ;)
@IvoFlipse This is more hypothetical, but I imagine a Stack site where you'd be able to downvote anything without a cost and lost at least 5 rep from a downvote
people refrain from downvoting because it costs
@slhck I almost never down vote; it feels wrong to spent my own reputation on faults of others...
it's like those people who don't want to pay .79 cents for a smartphone app
8:00 PM
@slhck duhuh, why should I pay for somebody's else poor quality
@TomWijsman exactly
@slhck that's because I don't have a credit card :P
and at the same time, for a Q it takes one upvote and three downs to take you to -1
where is that fair?
people should worry more about their answers getting downvoted so they can write better ones
@slhck Put it on Meta
I'd have to work on this one though
If I put it on our meta, it'll vanish soon – if I put it on meta.SO, it'll probably be closed as a duplicate or declined
but maybe I can collect some stats, you guys seem to know your way around data.SE :P
8:07 PM
@slhck Why would it vanish on our Meta?
@IvoFlipse Simply because it doesn't get as much attention
I think there's two options, we should get free downvotes AND people should edit things to make them better or call each other out when its not good enough
@slhck the team reads the [feature-requests]
I know, but what's a feature request without enough upvotes? :)
currently looking for possible duplicates on meta.SO
so far only found this one which proposes one free downvote per day
I'm asking in the modroom, just to get some ammo
@slhck I agree, people come to Super User to get there problems solved and read interesting things; not to read boring things about the site itself.
8:13 PM
@TomWijsman that just means you should require 80 upvotes on Meta to have a sensible suggestion
wow, that question is very popular and one of the least helpful ones
@slhck It always amazes me which questions get the most votes and views
and closed, ironically :P
ugh, and please delete that one right away superuser.com/questions/14944/…
So many questions get bumped that need closing
8:25 PM
@slhck why actually?
"Should I get 1366x768 or 1280x800 for my laptop?"
with 12.000 views
I don't think that's very representative of SU, is it?
Q: Why my question was closed?

Diogo_RochaWhy processors still didn't evoluted from 64 to 128 bits? Why this question was closed? I don't agree with not constructive... It had 2 answers on 15 minutes and a lot of constructive comments. It is a authentic discussion, it is a truly and old doubt for me, should I consider to rewrite on ...

he seems very angered :/
Deleted :o
@SimonSheehan Nailed it.
@slhck Oh?
What happened?
8:30 PM
Deleted by owner, the comment seems to have been enough.
@SimonSheehan Well you seemed to make a good point :P
Ah okay :)
I'd have linked to superuser.com/faq#dontask
I really hate it when questions get locked/closed/deleted in the midst of typing...
oh, that's interesting, here's the least helpful answer on SU judged by anonymous feedback
@TomWijsman Actually the dupe came later, it was closed before
8:33 PM
@slhck That's the most verbose form of "Have you tried turning it on and off again?" I've seen so far.
@slhck Probably, but was going to explain the not constructive part under that.
oh well
it is hard though not to feel a little bit disappointed when a question of yours is closed
In terms of an example; A said X and B said Y, we won't know if it's X or Y...
I closed my own question once ;)
@SimonSheehan I know, that was funny :D
Q: Why are so few applications 64-bit?

Simon Sheehan Possible Duplicate: 32-bit vs. 64-bit systems I've come to realize nearly every application I use is for 32-bit processors. Why are most programs still like this, considering almost all PC's on the market now seem to be 64-bit. Is there any real advantage to using 64-bit programs?

closed as exact duplicate by ChrisF, Nifle, slhck, Simon Sheehan, sblair Jun 9 at 22:32
8:35 PM
@slhck Only exception where I'm not angry is at Programmers.SE, got a lot of closed ones there from the beginning where they didn't have the subjectivity rules.
here's my only closed one on a main SE site so far serverfault.com/questions/296233/…
I managed to get a downvote on it, actually
Funny enough
@slhck has been the one to close all my questions :p
All 3 of them are @slhck ;)
whoops :(
sorry! don't take it personally!
@IvoFlipse Not always! :P
Haha, its not a problem, we know your a ninja on these things @slhck ;)
8:37 PM
@WilliamHilsum always, use the rest of the chars to tell something interesting, even if the OP didn't ask for it
@SimonSheehan I am a ninja? 8D
1 minute - question posted. 15 seconds later - @slhck finds a duplicate ;)
I think we should have a query for who finds the most duplicates.. I guess it's @Sathya or @techie007
If you know how to make a query, do it :P
@slhck If I had to properly answer that... A Ninja is defined as [definition of Ninja]. You are only a ninja in the following conditions: X, Y or Z. Please note that you will no longer be a ninja if you do A, B or C. According to these rules, you are(n't) a Ninja.
8:39 PM
nah, my SQL knowledge is ... never mind
Imagine such verbosity in a real life conversation...
@IvoFlipse New answer then, 141 characters! "No,............................................................................‌​.............................................. you are a idiot" (Not talking about you!)
nah seriously, I think there have been a few times when there is nothing to really expand upon, but, I understand what you are saying
Why do people love to ignore their return keys? :/
Wanted to try and answer that with a joke that was all in one paragraph... but... I am too lazy, and couldn't think of anything funny/long to write
8:46 PM
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.
something like that would do
A good idea for 1 April.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet?

(5 lorem paragraphs)

lorem ipsum dolor sit amet
Then add an image and a link.
And see how people would respond.
you know what
we could post a question that entirely consists of that
by some random unregistered user
and file a bug on meta.SO
8:49 PM
I liked my one last year.. Got to think of something to top it :/
what was it @WilliamHilsum?
@slhck: Perhaps, if we do it with enough people together, from our hidden chat room; we could trick into telling them that the ask question button is generating test content.
@TomWijsman Sounds like a plan!
But of course keep track of the questions so we can quickly remove them after the joke is done.
But, on 1 April, really no point in doing it today...
8:53 PM
Not sure what the requirements are for viewing deleted posts, if anyone else wanted to see it...
user image
Taking dogs out now... brb
@TomWijsman of course! If I don't miss it... because I always miss Apri 1st
Oh, my answer, nostalgic... xD
wow... Himem.sys. Never thought I'd see that again!
This was the other one. :D
hahaha... how did I miss these?
should've been more active back then
okay I think I'll spend the rest of the day not being on the computer
see you guys
9:02 PM
see you
nice talking to you
9:12 PM
Posted by Grace Note on August 19th, 2011

When you mark a post community wiki on a Stack Exchange site, that means …

this post can be edited by anyone with 100 reputation

this post does not generate any reputation for anyone when upvoted or downvoted

The main advantage of community wiki — more editing — was nerfed when we introduced suggested edits. With suggested edits, anyone, even an anonymous user, can edit anything — so long as another experienced user reviews and approves their edit.

This leaves many wondering — what’s the point of Community Wiki? …

9:26 PM
@TomWijsman To be honest, Your one could be serious and isn't a bad question!... The first one with the BBQ was though!!
10:00 PM
A: How to analyze a link to figure out the actual link

soandosIt might not be possible. The sites could feed you through a hundred redirects before you get to the file. In addition, javascript can be used to give out links based on the URL that was given to the server.

Case in point: how does this get 11 upvotes?
Good answer - Let me upvote it...
First gun...? shrug
It seems to be the second answer posted on that question, and has two paragraphs compared to the first answer's initial revision's one.
Therefore: better answer! upvotes like mad
well what annoys me that it get's tweeted by the SU account
Great answer: How to analyze a link to figure out the actual link http://t.co/UyBJ8RX #internet
Great answer? My ass!
there goes my last hope for getting some work done, I'm taking this to teh metaz!
10:05 PM
Maybe you should uh change the bot to not do that. I wouldn't trust any bot for any SE site to accurately tweet good answers based on votes alone.
heh, that would be especially amusing with . Great answer: "Dwarf Fortress."
@IvoFlipse He has been a good user/seen some good answers, can only assume he didn't read question fully or has other accounts and votes for himself! It really isn't a good answer/or an answer at all, so I don't get the votes
can you tweak it to show with a score of more than something?
perhaps we should sent people flagging these answers
I'm really not an expert... just edited another script to my whim! Give me a second...
10:24 PM
thanks @WilliamHilsum
A: What are some options for transfering large files without using the Internet?

afrazier Get reimbursed for the gas, or report the mileage on your taxes. OR Are any "consumer" level internet connections available? They tend to be highly asymmetric in terms of transfer rates, so it might be worthwhile to have an inexpensive line for downloads.

Another answer that annoys me
You are a mod... destroy!
Too tired to try and photoshop your face! :P
10:49 PM
I have decided 320kbps audio sounds awesome, and all other stuff just isn't the same anymore :/
@SimonSheehan is it? do you notice a difference even with regular hardware?
@IvoFlipse I actually significantly notice it, now that I have better speakers. It sounds smoother and more defined
A lot of my stuff is only 192kbps
for the average person, it may not sound like much, but I REALLY listen closely
11:03 PM
Q: Too many upvotes for poor quality answers

Ivo FlipseI recently complained over at Meta.Programmers that they were upvoting poor quality and often times very short answers. But I also keep an eye out for SU's hottest questions and I see exactly the same problem. Answers being upvoted that aren't worth their length in rep. At the bottom you can see ...

I was at a Brandon Flowers concert 2 months ago, the sound quality was so much better than the mp3s at home
even though it was almost too loud at times
The top one on the magnetic screwdriver one is pretty funny though! Funny ones should be ok as long as they answer the question!!! I am guilty for something similar on the hard drive encryption question
@WilliamHilsum They shouldn't have to be deleted, but you could have had a massively upvoted comment instead
Some of these answers get like 5% of all my rep in one answer. That's not funny
Looking at my top answer, which is the same one I said above, I understand your pain... it would be better to explain a lot more rather than just the funny answer... it is on my to do list, I will expand a bit more
@IvoFlipse I'm in complete agreement with you on those posts
Its actually bothersome when really good questions get say, 10 votes, and some one line thing gets hundreds
I'm not pointing out anyone specifically for giving short answers, its the mass hysteria that follows to upvote them into heaven
@SimonSheehan you should put that in a comment or answer, because that's exactly the sentiment we don't want
11:13 PM
@IvoFlipse i shall
@IvoFlipse I'm actually putting out a full answer, it bothers me that much
That's why we had the discussion earlier that we should have free downvotes
I bet you that if they knew they could get downvotes, even on those +60 ones, they'll think twice before posting crap
11:28 PM
@SimonSheehan be nice. :P he hasn't passed me for long
5 hours ago, by Simon Sheehan
He's surpassed studiohack
@studiohack Haha, got a little work to do i think ;)
@IvoFlipse Indeed. Because its costing us as much just to give them a downvote, as we are taking away from them. I'm more worried about people abusing it than anything, but I think our community is mature enough. Maybe you need 100 rep or something to start down voting.
@SimonSheehan I know... ;P but we are literally neck and neck here: superuser.com/users?tab=editors&filter=all
@studiohack Yeah i saw :P But still, quite the race.
@SimonSheehan Abuse would probably be clearly different from the norm
I want to be the first to 5K edits :P
11:31 PM
Haha, then get going!
it would still trigger algorithms if its a target fire against one user, as would going on a downvote spree
@IvoFlipse Oh okay, thats good, wasn't sure about the spree part, I only knew about it for users
Downvoting stuff on Meta doesn't affect me, right?
nope @SimonSheehan, nor does it affect the user, that's true on every site except MSO
@SimonSheehan nope, so go ahead and disagree with Matthew
@IvoFlipse haha, you knew exactly what i was going for :P
11:32 PM
He would have a point if 80% of our viewers were Super Users
@IvoFlipse I left a comment regarding that on his answer
@IvoFlipse what does it mean if his answer is now greyed a bit?
@SimonSheehan it means we all disagree :P
Haha, okay.
@SimonSheehan can you find 9 more flags? :P
@studiohack what for? :p
11:36 PM
@SimonSheehan so I can hit a milestone in flags dealt with :)
@studiohack sure, I'll see what I can dig up ;)
You're wrong!
I love it :P
@IvoFlipse wrong? :P
@studiohack wrong, wrong, wrong
11:37 PM
@IvoFlipse did i do something?
@studiohack you're wrong, you're wrong
@IvoFlipse thanks!
@SimonSheehan I have to use that somewhere on SU!
Guys, seriously though, seeing that guy get 173 upvotes for writing cd -, just ticks me off :(
Goodnight everyone... Today has been a programming nightmare for me... Trying to implement tags for a MVC web project and failing big time with Entity Framework... Really wish I could see the source code of any of these sites... Don't even need half the complexities, just want tag and the ability to click on and do a search... that's it.
11:40 PM
cya later @WilliamHilsum!
@SimonSheehan I am still having a hard time understanding the problem if it answers the question exactly/does what the person wants... if someone else wants to write the same thing with an explanation, let them - then, if people vote for the first one over that one, I think community needs educating, not the end user... That is my view anyway... fell free to disagree!
@WilliamHilsum Interesting, i shall think that one over.
@WilliamHilsum The thing is @WilliamHilsum, you're not just answering for that one user and we don't always know why they ask the question in a certain way
like with the data transferring question, off course its obvious to add another connection, but he may not be authorized to come up with such solutions or they have a nasty IT manager who doesn't want to update their switch/router stuff
either way, he's asking a question in a way that he thinks he'll get the best answer, based on his knowledge of the situation.
@IvoFlipse Well, I agree with that, but, based on the bad feedback I got about accepting answers for other people, it is clear that the design of the site / Jeff's opinion is that you only answer for the question asker and it is solely their opinion if it is correct - along with the community showing good quality answers... and clearly, they are not good quality i.e. if it answers, should get a tick, but, community shouldn't tick as it isn't high quality :/
You are far more experienced and perhaps even have direct experience with the same situation, so you already know the ins and outs.
If you only answered his question, he might have to come back and ask: is it possible to have 2 connections at the same time?
@WilliamHilsum well exactly, its all fine if people just answer the question, but for that live of me don't reward them with tons of rep
11:50 PM
Well for me
I'm a user with relatively low rep
And i struggle to find questions I can answer, and when I do, i try to put as much information into it as possible
and often, no one sees my answer, its skipped by
And then I have to sit here and watch some guy just write 'cd -" and earn 600 rep in 3 days
@SimonSheehan it used to be that you could only get very high rep by sheer volume, just look at Wil
2777 answers...
Indeed, he's earned it.
@IvoFlipse Well... it is hard to have debates on things when people are so set/passionate on both sides... IMHO, I still feel what I wrote above is true - but happy for people to disagree... at the end of the day, I have written some answers that answer a question (and possibly a bit of feedback), then someone gives a full history on something - I would, by far, expect them to get upvoted more than me... but... it does say "Image in a sec...." so, I think it is just as much the communities
@IvoFlipse I think Matthew downvoted me for downvoting him :/
fault for upvoting than the person who did it...
11:52 PM
Wish people would write WHY they downvoted me
@SimonSheehan I will never disagree with that one! :P
@WilliamHilsum Indeed, its a big frustration :P
@IvoFlipse Its definitely changed, but overall, to me, its a frustration. :/
What troubles me most is that indeed a lot of people think its a legitimate use of the site, which means that without drastic changes this problem won't go away
Yeah, we can't slide it under the rug, its just too frequent now
as indicated in your post
yeah and it happens across the network as well
whats odd, I think this happens on Gaming for example a lot less than on other sites
11:56 PM
Just want to be clear/restate my point in case I am not coming across... I do think it is a problem, I just think community are at fault as well... no idea on best solution.
@WilliamHilsum I'm not blaming you personally @WilliamHilsum, its a mob thing. Monkey see, monkey do
Well everything is community drive. Moderators are here to just give us a little prod and keep things in line, and direct the site in a positive direction.
@SimonSheehan I've actually become more lenient since we got more sites, I used to be more trigger happy with deleting answers that didn't meet my personal standard and that got flagged :P
oh the joy of being a mod

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