- Did I write that code myself?
This is one of the six questions the help center recommends users should be able to answer "Yes" to before posting their question.
I'm not sure I quite understand it though.
Two possible reasons for this requirement were suggested in chat this morning when I was thinking out loud about the question.
- Assures the asker is invested in the question.
- Licensing, etc.
I think point one isn't a good reason at all. Why would someone post a question to which they're not interested in the answer? Moreover, other Stack Exchange sites don't seem to think the situation being asked about has to apply directly to the person asking or come from a personal experience of the asker. Several SO questions are asked about code snippets from programming books or websites. Questions on other Stack Exchange sites might be about something one saw on TV, heard a rumor about, etc. And ultimately, I think we should be more concerned with the question's value to the community at large than the question's value to the asker.
As for point two... there's plenty of code that I've not written myself, but I might own at least a part of a license too--any code I've written as part of a group, etc. Moreover, there's plenty of code that is protected by a license that would make it perfectly legal for posting on CodeReview--for example: anything already posted on StackOverflow or CodeReview as a question or answer. Though if it's a StackOverflow question it's probably off-topic as non-working, and if it's a CodeReview question, it's probably a duplicate--but answers should still be fair game.
So, for reiteration:
- Rather than worrying about a question's value to the asker, we should be more concerned with questions & answers that provide value to the community at large.
- We can & should worry about licensing and rights in the same way StackOverflow does. If someone posts code they didn't have the rights to, it is the responsibility of the party that owns the rights to get in touch with CodeReview/StackExchange to request the code be removed.
Is there any thing I'm missing in these two points? Are there any other reasons why we should keep the "Did I write that code myself?" rule that I've missed?
As an example of where this rule seems a little silly to me, there's this question which was bumped this morning with a new answer then closed since the asker clearly is not the original writer of the code--he linked back to the SO question he copied it from.