If a user posts a fiddle as their block of code, will this code be permanent enough in that we should allow that as the only code on the question? I am sure that this has happened a couple of times.

Are other similar sites permanent as well?


3 Answers 3


Those questions would be off topic. We cannot depend on external sites to make a question useful.

From the help topic on asking:(emphasis added)

To be on-topic the answer must be yes to all questions:

  1. Does my question contain code? (Please include the code in the question, not a link to it)

JSFiddle is useful for demoing and testing code, but links cannot make a question on topic. The question must be able to stand on its own.

  • \$\begingroup\$ so you are saying that the post should be on topic and Make Sense without the Fiddle, Correct? \$\endgroup\$
    – Malachi Mod
    Nov 8, 2013 at 14:59
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Yes. We cannot depend on external sites to make a question useful. The question must be able to stand on its own. \$\endgroup\$
    – Daniel
    Nov 8, 2013 at 15:00
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ would you please add that to your answer? I think that is a big part of the answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Malachi Mod
    Nov 8, 2013 at 15:01
  1. We can't generalize about all fiddles, since they are not all run by the same entity.
  2. Nothing lasts forever.
  3. Despite the best intentions, situations change. A fiddle site could go dead due to cash flow reasons, or for a stupid mistake such as accidentally letting a domain registration lapse.

However, permanence of the link is not the only consideration. A bigger issue is that Stack Exchange aims to build a Creative Commons-licensed body of knowledge, similar to Wikipedia. By submitting content to this site, you automatically contribute to the data dump.

Why is the data dump important? It's the community's insurance against Stack Exchange going dead or going rogue. Should Stack Exchange decide to put our good-faith contributions behind a paywall, for example, someone could theoretically clone the site based on the data dump.


I think that the General consensus is that,

if the Question doesn't make sense without the Fiddle then we should

  • Ask the OP to post the relevant code

(screenshots can supplement relevant code to show visually what the code does.)


  • Vote to close

so a Fiddle should be treated just like any other link (other than SE Site Links)

there is already a design in place that keeps someone from posting a JSFiddle link without code to go with it.

I think we need to be on alert about this issue though, to keep it consistent.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Pretty please, no code screenshots. \$\endgroup\$
    – svick
    Nov 8, 2013 at 18:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ I added a little bit to that portion of my answer \$\endgroup\$
    – Malachi Mod
    Nov 8, 2013 at 18:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think the word "or" is appropriate there -- screenshots of the output are no substitute for the code. They may be useful in addition to the code. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben Voigt
    Nov 11, 2013 at 16:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BenVoigt I changed the verbage on the answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Malachi Mod
    Nov 12, 2013 at 2:58

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