How to answer a question.
CodeLongAndPros (1564)

I’d not be writing this if I did not see good reason, and I’ve plenty.

Repl ask, from my epoch (March 15), has been crumbling.

People have been cycle-framingfarming on ask, for one.

How is this even possible, you say?

I shall explain.

I asked a question, "Is repl open source", and explained that I was referring to the backend of Talk, and I got this answer

Well technically yes, is an open source. You can fork another person's post or repl where you can modify or change the code (but you have to credit the source!) Please mark this as correct if it answered your question!

In reply to this:

Is repl open source?
I don’t mean the tools, or the polyglots image, but moreover, the actual website, IE the markdown transcoder, the CSS…
All the stuff that makes Repls UI/UX tick along.
I was thinking of making a project, but it requires the replit css/htaml.
I know I can get the source with C-C, but that’s not in an easy to consume format

Since, in my opinion, I was clear and concise in what I was asking, it was an attempt to get 5 cycles for a correct answer.
This is but one of the many spam-like answers on repl ask. We’re not at Stackoverflow levels yet, but we’re getting close.

It’s honestly a little ironic.

Now that the preface is done, I’ll start my guide to good answers.

What’s a good answer anyways?

Rule number 0:
Let it be.

If you don’t know how to answer, don’t

Rule number 1:
It’s one that is on the asker’s level.

This means no technical jargon, to an extent.

An bad example is:

You’ve de-sodomized the bi-inductive subatomic field generator? Reverse the polarity of the strong neutron flow to correct for the neutrino leak!

There’s a gem called the Simplewriter.
It limits you to the 1000 most common words. ‘Bad’ words are red. Try to have less than 5 bad words.

Well, that’s number one: keep it on their level.

Rule number 10:

Explain why it works, not how.

I got a question asking about type.

One answer had a lot of code, and some jargon.

I made an analogy, relating types to a house. I’m not sure, since I don’t have real life bash to su to the reader, but I though I made it a bit clearer.

If your code is self explanatory, just explain the theory behind it.

Rule number 11:

Don’t spoon feed.

If someone asks “how do I make an encryption program”, instead of giving source code, give puesdocode.

This will help them learn, and you’ll still supply them with the answer.

They can learn how to translate ideas from, well, an idea, to code.

How to apply these rules.

  • Always follow rule 0
  • Follow rule number 1, unless doing so conflicts with rule 0
  • Follow rule 2, unless you can’t follow 1/0.
  • Follow 3 unless you’ll break 2, 1, or 0
  • Do not cause harm to a human, or though inaction allow a human to come to harm.

These are not official rules, but you can do good by following them.

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CodeLongAndPros (1564)

@Highwayman *edits every comment ever made *