Over on Stack Overflow, I frequently see exchanges like the following:

Questioner: I have to do [algorithmically complex task]. I've written [unworkably naive algorithm that will need to be scrapped], but it's too slow and I [got bored/got a "time limit exceeded" message]. Can you help?

Commenter: Working code belongs on Code Review. Voting to close.

Is this actually the kind of thing that should be moved to Code Review?

  • The existing code is irrelevant. It does not need to be improved; it needs to be replaced entirely. Frequently, the questioner explicitly says that they think the code is useless or that they're only posting it to show that they tried.
  • Anything like style cleanup, consistent variable names, or avoiding deprecated APIs is completely tangential to the question.
  • Code that fails to meet its performance requirements, especially by such a huge margin as these algorithms usually do, can hardly be considered "working".
  • If you submitted code like this for code review in your actual job, you would be told to stop wasting other engineers' time with code you know isn't ready.

It really seems like these questions are a better fit for Stack Overflow, not Code Review. Should such questions actually be moved here, or should they stay on Stack Overflow?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Short answer: we have a time-limit-exceeded tag for that. \$\endgroup\$ – 200_success Jun 7 '16 at 21:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ There is some overlap for Stack Overflow and Code Review. Key note here is that time-limit-exceeded is not off-topic on Code Review and therefore it should not be sent back once it is sent here. Additionally, while it's not always off-topic on Stack Overflow, it's often too broad there and is therefore often sent here. \$\endgroup\$ – Simon Forsberg Jun 8 '16 at 10:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ If we would suddenly change our mind about welcoming these questions and that we should send them back, without Stack Overflow having completely agreed with this, that would create chaos. \$\endgroup\$ – Simon Forsberg Jun 8 '16 at 10:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ There seem to be two questions here. One is already answered. We'll take these questions. We may review things other than what the question asks. The other is whether Stack Overflow should keep these questions. Perhaps that would be better asked at Stack Overflow than here? \$\endgroup\$ – mdfst13 Jun 9 '16 at 1:58

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