# What should our FAQ contain?

Just to break the ice with one from the great seven: what should our FAQ contain?

• perhaps we should stipulate 1 FAQ per answer? – LRE Jan 19 '11 at 20:58
• Sounds like a great initiative, I'll modify. – Zolomon Jan 19 '11 at 20:59
• How should we compile/summarize this FAQ to a complete list? – Zolomon Jan 19 '11 at 22:20

• We really need to get an answer to this in the FAQ. There are a bunch of posts already with links to other sites/source repositories. If its too big to be posted in a question, its probably too big for someone visiting this site to actually be able to review in a timely fashion. – Mark Loeser Jan 27 '11 at 22:14
• @Mark: If its too big to be posted in a question, its probably too big for someone visiting this site to actually be able to review in a timely fashion. If that's the case then CR will be reduced to reviewing short code snippets. Is that what we want? Is it even useful? – Herbert Sep 1 '11 at 7:15

What belongs here vs what belongs on StackOverflow

• And maybe Programmers.SE. I think we should try to collaborate with them. – TryPyPy Jan 21 '11 at 20:20
• Well SE is all one big family after all – LRE Jan 22 '11 at 4:32

What is the purpose of this site?

How much code should I provide in my questions?

• If whole projects (> 100 LOC) are to be reviewed, a link to a permanent pastebin post will suffice otherwise it's OK to insert as a code block? – Zolomon Jan 19 '11 at 21:14
• Possible answer to FAQ: meta.codereview.stackexchange.com/questions/10/… – Zolomon Jan 19 '11 at 22:18

Some examples of on-topic and off-topic questions (maybe from the Area 51 page)

• Off topic: "my code is broken, why? can you... review it?" meta.codereview.stackexchange.com/q/44/90 (that's low, preying on geeks eager to review stuff to fix code for you :D) – TryPyPy Jan 19 '11 at 23:54

When should an answer be accepted?

This feels very ambiguous to me at the moment, even though the site has only been up and running for a few hours, we have several questions without answers. It seems like it'll be difficult to know when to accept an answer. Do we leave it to the satisfaction of the user to decide when enough review has been committed?

• I think this would be the same as SO, where when the user feels comfortable with using the new approach and it has several up votes, then he would accept that as his personally answer. – RobertPitt Jan 19 '11 at 23:49
• I would upvote this more than once if I could. We need to establish etiquette around it because there won't always be a single correct answer. Maybe we could encourage people to make compilation answers of all relevant points from other answers? – Inaimathi Jan 20 '11 at 14:54
• I'm pretty much against "accepting" an answer in most cases on this sub site. These are by nature discussion questions accepting an answer infers a "correct" answer. Though I'd take it on a case by case basis. – Athas May 4 '11 at 10:46

It might be useful to outline some tips on how to "shorten" your code so that only the relevant parts are put on display. Along with that, some guidelines about how much code is too much code.

# How to format code samples

The code should be properly indented and adhere to the language's coding conventions. It should have a maximum line length of 80 characters (which is especially important when not using a pastebin, since longer lines will cause a horizontal scrollbar).

Should code postings be anonymized?

• I feel like there is already some anonymity in making an account -- but this is an interesting idea for people that have lots of information linked to their accounts. How do we do this feasibly? It seems like we'd have to change some basic mechanics of how the site works (but it might be a cool thing to change and not hard on the back-end .. just a checkbox that says "I'm anonymous for this question") ... naturally you can still get rep and stuff? Maybe only half of what you'd get otherwise? – sova Jan 19 '11 at 21:11
• well actually I was referring to making sure we don't leak anything pertaining to our employers or clients – LRE Jan 19 '11 at 21:12
• I would hope that wouldn't need to be specified in the FAQ – Joe Phillips Jan 19 '11 at 21:15

How we define duplicates, and how to search for possible answers before posting.

(Until you accept one?)

Suggestions on how to format your review. Stole the idea from TryPyPy. The conclusion to this question:

Poor man's inline comments: Should we suggest using these?

• How is this site different from programmers.se

And clarification on:

If you are looking for specific feedback about…

• Best practices and design pattern usage in your code

• Tools, best practices, improving, or conducting code reviews

Best practices is both encouraged and discouraged?!?!?!?

The conclusion to this question:

If my code contains errors, should I also provide the error codes that appear during compile/runtime?

• I wonder if error-ed code is what this site is for. I suspect such code should go on StackOverflow. This site (IMO) is about improving code quality. – LRE Jan 19 '11 at 22:03
• That would be Stackoverflow, Benchmarks are different and should be posted (if available). – RobertPitt Jan 19 '11 at 23:50

Code should be formatted to a certain standard.

If I am helping someone improve there programming the last thing I want to do is format it myself.

class MyClass
{
public function somemethodwithnameconvention(){
while(;;){
if(true){break
}
}
}
}


And what i would want to expect is:

class MyClass
{
public function somemethodwithnameconvention()
{
while(;;)
{
if(true)
{
break;
}
}
}
}

• Your brace style is ungodly you heathen! – LRE Jan 20 '11 at 7:03
• please explain what you mean by your comment? – RobertPitt Jan 20 '11 at 8:15
• @Robert - I was using a tongue-in-cheek reference to various "holy wars" among programmers regarding the placement of opening and closing braces to point out that the standards you refer to can't be too specific. – LRE Jan 20 '11 at 18:43
• That was just example, what the main point is that code should be indented to a certain extent, I do not mean to be to specific but the there should be a reference in the FAQ to make sure all most at least have some requirements to indentation. – RobertPitt Jan 20 '11 at 20:34
• I do agree @Robert that users should be expected to at least try to make code readable. Quite where the boundaries lie might be the subject of a question in it's own right. – LRE Jan 21 '11 at 4:04