On the Ask a Question page, users are currently faced with this:

Title hint

state the purpose of your code, and mention any major concerns.

I have recently started commenting on many questions with this comment:

As we all want to make our code more efficient or improve it in one way or another, try to write a title that summarizes what your code does, not what you want to get out of a review.

I suggest removing the "mention any major concerns" from that hint (possibly replacing it with something else) as I believe we want to prevent question titles to be more unique and not in the form of:

All questions on Code Review are about this code, we should consider banning 'this' from question titles.

My suggestion:

  1. Remove the 'mention any major concerns' from the title hint
  2. Consider banning the word 'this' from question titles
  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ Good noticing (I need to ask more questions). Also, this matches the suggestion here: How to get the best value out of Code Review - Asking Questions which should probably be edited to recommend ignoring the advice on the ask-a-question page. \$\endgroup\$
    – rolfl
    Commented Sep 7, 2014 at 13:53
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Wouldn't it be better to change it to say "state the purpose of your code, tell us what it does, and note why you think it could be better" or something to that effect? I really like to avoid word-filtering in titles because it's .. jarring, easy to get around (no pr0blem, really) and a bit backwards in the context of trying to be as intuitive as possible. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tim Post
    Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 4:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related: meta.codereview.stackexchange.com/q/896/23788 \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 14:30
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @TimPost - to be clear here, the real issue is the ... and note why you think it could be better part. We want to drop that from the hint. The title is not the place to be listing what you think is wrong with the code (because there are very few different things that worry people, so the titles all end up being similar to a small set of things). \$\endgroup\$
    – rolfl
    Commented Sep 9, 2014 at 10:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ You have two very different concerns, probably two questions here not one. Example of why barring this would be not good: codereview.stackexchange.com/questions/49872/… \$\endgroup\$
    – neuronet
    Commented Apr 27, 2015 at 19:09

2 Answers 2


It seemed like a good idea at the time (Prompt for more meaningful question titles). However, it seems like either

  1. People have a hard time trying to satisfy both requirements, and/or
  2. Some people just won't read instructions no matter what.

I propose that we try a new prompt:

State the task that your code accomplishes. Make your title distinctive.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ To the point. I like that. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 18:10

I like the first idea about changing the hint (I don't think you can sum the concerns in the title - it will usually get longer), but not the one to prohibit this, because this is a keyword in C++.

I believe that the intent of the hint was to make the author write important things first. This seems to be crucial part when writing anything on StackExchange. Many people are just scanning and won't even read the rest, or worse, would write an answer without trully reading the whole question (or simply downvote for not finding the clue in first few lines or what attracts the eye).

Some automatic popup-hint could be used instead of strictly prohibiting this or any title that does not qualify for good title, but I really don't know how to code that.

  • \$\begingroup\$ this is a keyword in other languages as well, but when used in titles it's not used as a keyword. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 9, 2014 at 8:43
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Well, it could be used e.g. like this->method(). Although I cannot think about good title actually using it right now. Just wanted to point that out, to think about it, that it could be a problem. \$\endgroup\$
    – user52292
    Commented Sep 9, 2014 at 8:57
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ codereview.stackexchange.com/questions/49872/… \$\endgroup\$
    – neuronet
    Commented Apr 27, 2015 at 19:09

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