I've been meaning to ask this for a while, and this meta question prompted me to finally write something. I've read the answers to that question and the ones to which it links, and the impression I get is that, other than the hard limit of 65K characters, there's nothing wrong with longer questions per se.
At the time of this writing, I have asked seven questions, three of which have received no answers:
- Printing binary trees (~8 KB, ~150 LOC)
- Tracking the bounding box of a map (~6 KB, ~70 LOC)
- Filling a Boot with CIDER (~9 KB, ~90 LOC)
I compared my questions against Simon's Guide for posting a good question:
Is your question on-topic?
The binary tree and bounding box questions both do exactly what they're supposed to do, so they're definitely on-topic. For the workflow question, I went back and forth between posting it on Stack Overflow and Code Review, and I'm still not quite sure where it belongs.
The bounding box and workflow questions are both real problems that I've run into and would really appreciate insight on possible better solutions. The binary tree question was just a little project that I thought was kind of cool.
Usage code, example inputs and outputs
I think I had a pretty good number of example inputs and outputs in the binary tree question. I suppose I didn't have so many for the bounding box and workflow questions, though.
Describe the details and your approach
I wrote a lot of description of my code and the reasoning behind it in each of these three questions. Probably way too much description, actually.
Don't assume that everyone knows what you are talking about
I'd like to think that I did a good job on this one, but I think someone else would really have to be the judge of that.
Does your code do anything useful or interesting?
The binary tree printer is kind of cool, I guess. I think the bounding box tracker illustrates a more general question of how to extend data structures and handle coordinated (nonconcurrent) change in a functional way. The workflow question is something that I would consider to be essential for programming in Clojure (for me, anyway), but again, someone else would have to be the judge of that.
Doesn't apply; the only question that involves a GUI is the workflow one, and the GUI is not the focus there.
Take your time, don't be lazy
All the specific questions I have about each of these pieces of code are things that I cannot figure out how to solve, not things that I would solve myself but am too lazy to do so.
Possible things you cannot use
Doesn't apply; if there's already a way to solve any of the problems I've posed, I would love to hear about it.
What should I do?
There are a few possibilities I can imagine that would explain the lack of answers:
- My questions are in a relatively unpopular tag
- My questions have too much code
- My questions have too much description
- My questions are uninteresting
I simply don't know which of these are correct, if any. What's particularly interesting to me is the fact that, while the binary tree and workflow questions both have zero upvotes, the bounding box question has five. What's special about that question? Is it the tags? The giant headers that I used to break it up into four sections? The specific problem that I'm trying to solve?
In addition, my four other questions, which are all considerably shorter than these three, have each received at least one answer. To me, that says that the problem with my longer questions is almost certainly the fact that they're, well, long.
Anyway, I'm fairly confused and frustrated with myself about this. What should I be doing differently in my questions in order to receive answers?