When should we up vote questions?

I've seen questions with something like 10 answers, but 1 only one up vote. Usually, on the other SE sites, I see questions with more or the same amount of up votes as answers.

Are the rules here not entirely unlike the ones on the other SE sites? Should we only up vote if we see an "extraordinary" question?


4 Answers 4


On codegolf.se, I am very likely to uptick anything I answer, but that certainly isn't a general condition.


I tend to upvote questions when I consider them interesting or fun to golf. Usually I tend to upvote only after I answered and in some cases it's quite surprising what you can find even in simple-sounding questions (e.g. Kaprekar).


I upvote every question where I partition in the challenge, because I think a good question is a question which attracts my interest. The only exception is, when I like the challenge very much, but the question is poorly worked out:

  • unclear from the language
  • ambiguous
  • no examples provided
  • questions about border cases don't get answered
  • poor layout

In the above cases, I even might downvote the question.

In contrast, I upvote a question even if I don't take part in the challenge, if it is worked out very good:

  • test cases, examples
  • clear language, border cases catched
  • maybe: images to illustrate something
  • proper layout
  • interesting challenge, but maybe too hard, too exotic for me

The language problem and border-cases can be solved by asking for assistance in chat or in the preparation-thread on meta - nobody will steal your question; I guess that is the common sense of fairness here.

It is annoying to start in a challenge, and, because of an unclear question, to restart from scratch, to solve the changing puzzle.


No idea, I hardly ever upvote questions, so I guess they have to be extraordinary for me :)

I've also upticked questions that I don't have time to answer right then, but intend to come back to.

To the asker, the upvote may mean "I like this question and appreciate your effort, please ask more similar questions in the future"

It seems to go both ways though, here are a couple of my questions

koch-snowflake has 9 votes and 3 answers
detect-rotated-strings has 1 vote and 13 answers

  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe because "koch-snowflake" is interesting (+1) but difficult (less answers) and "detect-rotated-strings" is interesting but easy (answer, but no +1)? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 11, 2011 at 5:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @muntoo, interestingly most answers for detecting-rotated-string were initially wrong since there weren't testing that the length of the strings were equal, so it was (slightly) harder than most people thought at first glance which is why I thought it was an interesting question. \$\endgroup\$
    – gnibbler
    Commented Mar 11, 2011 at 8:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Another data point is Robot Finds Kitten with many more upvotes than answers. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 11, 2011 at 16:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @dmckee, Perhaps the correlation has something to do with being ascii art \$\endgroup\$
    – gnibbler
    Commented Mar 11, 2011 at 19:23

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