Example (now deleted):


  • \$\begingroup\$ I already voted for it to be closed, and would appreciate if others did too :) \$\endgroup\$ Feb 7, 2011 at 3:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree with what's been said here so I've voted for it to be closed as well. \$\endgroup\$
    – greatwolf
    Feb 7, 2011 at 4:31

3 Answers 3


I'm going to say no. The point of a code review is to identify things about the code that can be improved and discuss possible improvements. It is not for the reviewers to explain the reviewed code to the person who came in with the code.

In the linked question the OP does not want to know what can be improved about the code nor does he want help improving it. He wants to understand what it does.


No, I think allowing them here would be a slippery slope. I think these questions would get answered on StackOverflow.

  • \$\begingroup\$ It's off-topic on StackOverflow. I closed it there. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 7, 2011 at 3:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Robert: Definitely not for here either. They don't fit the "does this code make my ass look fat" criteria (as Jeff as so eloquently put it :) ) \$\endgroup\$ Feb 7, 2011 at 3:43
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @Robert: You closed it as a "Not a real question" though, not "Off topic". So I assumed you closed it because one can't just post a wall of code without any indication what he doesn't understand about it and then expect people to explain the code to him line-by-line. If the question were phrased properly, explaining exactly which part the OP didn't understand and why, I'd say the question would be perfectly on topic on SO. \$\endgroup\$
    – sepp2k
    Feb 7, 2011 at 3:48
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @sepp: Exactly right. The OP had already posted the same question with different code an hour ago, so we were in for a string of these questions from this user, all with the same title. :\ \$\endgroup\$ Feb 7, 2011 at 3:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Robert: I assumed since "write this code" questions like this one are apparently ok that "explain this code" questions would be too. \$\endgroup\$
    – BenV
    Feb 7, 2011 at 5:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BenV: At least the question you linked has some context. The "what does this code do" question has no context whatsoever. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 7, 2011 at 5:47
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Robert: And at least this one has a question :) But you're the mod; I'll be quiet now. \$\endgroup\$
    – BenV
    Feb 7, 2011 at 6:01

No. Pasting a code snippet and asking a question about it is a major SO activity. It belongs there for sure.


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