About Questions and Answers

Posted: March 14, 2013 in This and That
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That is very interesting how people perceive and assess questions and answers. How do we assess quality of the question? The first and the main criteria is whether topic-starter did his homework searching for the answer himself. That’s why “Do your homework” is the first advise on “how to ask the question” page on every software forum (and there is one on gis.stackexchange). The second criteria is sufficiency of information provided by the topic-starter. No one likes to play clairvoyant and guess what is the actual situation (but with experience the ability to foresight omitted details is being developed) and waste their time asking for more information.

Here is the situation. One guy was concerned about vehicle detection at the space imagery. He decided to do his homework and search the web for the existing approaches. And he succeed: he found a lot of articles on the subject and got several algorithm for himself for different situations.

The other guy was concerned about removing vehicles from the scene he got. (It is obvious that one need to detect vehicles first before removing them). And what did he do? His “homework”? No. He just asked… and didn’t even provide the information on the imagery that he got. What do you think, will such question be up-voted? Oh, you bet.

The first guy occasionally saw the question of the second guy. What would you do in his shoes? Let’s see. He sees a guy who doesn’t know how to ask questions properly and who is too lazy to do “his homework”. But that’s Ok, cause he sees such people everyday. And his normal reaction is to show the lazy guy the way he should have started his quest. He posts the search query that leads to lots of useful articles (on google-scholar). Of course he would provide the link to the article that would suite the lazy guy the most, but… there is no data about imagery that is used. Isn’t such answer adequate for the question?

Now you may be amused that the question surprisingly got a sufficient amount of up-votes (and even bookmarks!), and the answer is down-voted))) That’s hilarious! I wonder if my answer (for that was me who was capable of searching web) even got flagged. I don’t mind though. As long as the topic is hot – people that would seek the answer at that site will have chance to discover those articles even if they will keep down-voting for I didn’t write an essay on the subject for them (as someone suggested in the comments).

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