Sandbox 100% of your Posts
Sandboxing your posts is the best way to get attention to the flaws of your question, if you don't get a response within 12 hours, try the following:
- Post a link to your sandbox in The Nineteenth Byte, more experienced users often use this as a forum and will be glad to help (this is also where new sandbox posts / meta posts / regular posts appear).
- Make an edit to your sandbox post to bump it back to the top (do not abuse this, abuse The Nineteenth Byte before doing this).
Recovering Outside of the Sandbox
If you happen to make a post that made it through sandbox, to the main site, and it is not well received (E.G. 3 downvotes in 2 minutes):
- Remove the post before it gets answers (once it has answers it is considered rude to remove).
- Or, ask in the comment section what can be done to fix it.
General Guidelines (My Personal Opinion)
- Bullet points: nobody wants to read a paragraph in your challenge.
- Sections: Turn your post into multiple sections, some common ones I use are
- "Background": Tell the user the backstory and link to a Wikipedia or OEIS.
- 1-4 sentences MAXIMUM on the story behind why this challenge is neat.
- "Formal Definition": Tell the user the variables of the challenge, for example if your challenge takes 2 integers and outputs a list...
n is the number of bananas and
m is the number of angry beavers, calculate the list of angry bananas
- "Examples": Give the inputs and their corresponding outputs.
- Hit base cases, hit edge cases and hit weird cases.
- If you have a rule that is odd, make sure that rule is hit by an example.
- "Rules": Define a rules section, I recommend keeping track of the common rules seen around the site.
- "Leading/trailing newlines are allowed."
- "Input may be taken as a list/space delimited string."
- "Related": If you know of a post that is like yours, call it out before someone else does and say how it is different. This will prevent the inevitable argument in the comment section.
- Winning Criterion: If you don't have this, your question gets closed. Add a winning criteria.
- Compete. Competing in challenges and reading challenges will give you ideas for good practice in writing questions, if you compete in challenges your understanding of what is required will increase steadily. Even if the challenge is 2 years old, it could still be gold ;).
- Ask someone to help!!!
If you have more questions view my Question posts by votes, you can see which ones flopped and which ones rocked. Or you can just message me or join us in the nineteenth byte anytime you have questions man.