Forum: Can we have some helpful advice for posting questions near the question form?
gravatar for Saulius Lukauskas
3.9 years ago by
London, UK
Saulius Lukauskas530 wrote:

I currently follow the tag python in this website. More often than not I get a notification about the question, click on it, just to find something among the lines 'this is not the right place to post this, try stack overflow instead' and similar. This wastes time of both the posters and the moderators. Now a quick solution to this problem is to have a couple of helpful hints near the "enter your post below" textarea I am typing into.

Namely, I am thinking among the lines of: Are you asking a question about programming? Does it need bioinformatics-specific experience to answer? No? Try StackOverflow instead -- it has a larger user base meaning your question will be looked at quicker.

These tips could (and probably should) be tag-specific, presumably selected by the moderators.

For instance, a couple of other things that immediately come to mind for programming-related tags:

Have you ensured the readers of your question can easily reproduce your error? Can others run the code you posted simply by copy-and-pasting it to a file and running appropriate interpreter? Ensure it does not depend on some specific files the reader is not aware of.

Have you noticed you can apply formatting to your code by highlighting the code snippet you pasted, clicking at the drop-down in the top-left corner and selecting `Code` from it?

In my opinion this would help everybody in the community: the users will get better answers, this will stop the long chains in the comments asking for more information to some degree, the moderators will have less work to do, and the people who answer questions will need to spend less time per question, potentially encouraging more people to participate.

What do you guys think?

forum biostars • 1.7k views
ADD COMMENTlink modified 3.9 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 79k • written 3.9 years ago by Saulius Lukauskas530
gravatar for Istvan Albert
3.9 years ago by
Istvan Albert ♦♦ 79k
University Park, USA
Istvan Albert ♦♦ 79k wrote:

We could add sticky posts that will appear on top for new users. I am thinking that regular users would not want the real estate to be used up by these posts - so it would be good to have a mechanism in place to turn them off.

ADD COMMENTlink written 3.9 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 79k

No, that's not what I am suggesting. This would require the new users to spend the extra effort to find them, read them, etc. In the end this would be as read as the 'Terms and Conditions' you accept before installing something. This should be organic to the input area, and succint. Here's a quick sketch of what I am suggesting [don't mind the typo]:


ADD REPLYlink modified 3.9 years ago • written 3.9 years ago by Saulius Lukauskas530

I see, yes that sounds like a sensible approach. I will add that.

ADD REPLYlink written 3.9 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 79k

If you go to

there is something similar on the post page though focuses more on formatting help. If you want to suggest exact wording you can edit this page and create a pull request:


ADD REPLYlink modified 3.9 years ago • written 3.9 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 79k
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