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  1. 1,110 votes
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    • Don't base the reputation on soft, fun questions.

      Reputation is relatively hard to learn by *answering* hard technical questions versus by *asking* soft fun questions.

      I got addicted to Stackoverflow right away and for sure part of the addiction is the challenge of answering technical questions and getting recognition for the answers. But that turns out to be the slow, losers way of gaining reputation points. The fast way to earn reputation is by asking an entertaining question, like "What is the best comment in source code you have ever encountered?" or "What’s the most egregious pop culture perversion of programming?".

      In a weak moment, I posted one…

      705 votes
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        declined  ·  codinghorrorcodinghorror responded

        I think there are multiple audiences, served by different sorts of questions. We instituted automatic wikification (no rep) for any question that hits 30 answers. These questions and all answers no longer generate rep for anyone once the # of answers goes to 30. This goes a long way towards addressing rep from “discussion” questions.

      • Merge Tags, Rename Tags

        Basically, It's the same thing, although implementation would differ if the destination name exists.

        I'd like to be able to do a bulk rename on tags.
        For example right now there are tags "bitmap" and "bitmaps"

        IDEA:
        1) Click on a tag.
        2) On .../questions/tagged/#tag# page, there should be an option to rename the tag.
        3) If there is a collision, then cascade update all tagged questions to the new tag.
        If no collision, then just change the tag name in the database.

        I'm trying my best to clean out redundant tags, but it's a very arduous task.

        445 votes
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          declined  ·  codinghorrorcodinghorror responded

          tabling this for now, as the danger is high. If anything, you might be able to do this by appealing to a moderator

        • Make your software open source

          It's a nice piece of software that I believe would be useful to others as well as improved by community contributions.

          Do you plan to open source it?

          318 votes
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            declined  ·  codinghorrorcodinghorror responded

            declining this for now to free up votes. Not for 6-12 months at least, so revisit later.

          • Notify users when they gain or lose an ability

            I think it would be a good idea to show a yellow notify bar when a user passes a rep threshold (in either direction).

            It could also have a link to a page explaining the new ability and what it is intended to be used for.

            276 votes
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              declined  ·  6 comments  ·  Admin →
            • Force user to comment on downvote

              I've seen a number of answers downvoted for no good (or at least apparent) reason. I think the downvoter should have to give a brief reason for the downvote. It could be anonymous, or even private.

              It seems that the -1 rep just isn't enough to dissuade people from downvoting without any clear reason.

              Just because an answer isn't spectacular isn't reason enough for a downvote (just don't upvote it), so if you can't think of a few words to explain the downvote, surely you shouldn't be downvoting?

              199 votes
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                declined  ·  codinghorrorcodinghorror responded

                if people want to leave comments, they can; forcing them won’t achieve anything except prevent participation IMO

              • Don't require OpenID to register for the site

                I don't have an OpenID account, and right now I have to create one for this site.

                I know you guys had said that the cost of getting an OpenID can be amortized over more websites, but so far this is the only site I frequent that uses it.

                I wouldn't mind having to create an account specifically for this site.

                Vote this up if this is the only site you use OpenID for!!

                166 votes
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                  declined  ·  codinghorrorcodinghorror responded

                  OpenID is awesome. You are awesome. You and OpenID belong together. :)

                • Offer account registration with stackoverflow

                  Add an additional method to open an account that is not dependent on OpenID. Visitors should have the option if they do not support single sign on.

                  165 votes
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                    declined  ·  codinghorrorcodinghorror responded

                    we won’t be adding account registration that is not dependent on OpenID, however we are open to “partnering” or “affiliating” with another OpenID provider to make the signup easier.

                  • Offer OpenID registration directly through stackoverflow

                    Partner with another OpenID provider to make the signup easier so that people who don't really grok OpenID can just make an account *directly on stackoverflow* and get one magically. That way all the OpenID newbies will be using one without even knowing that they should be hatin'.

                    162 votes
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                      declined  ·  codinghorrorcodinghorror responded

                      I believe based on our new one-click login page, and the participation of Google, Yahoo, and (soon) Microsoft, this is now moot.

                    • Badge: Cooperative Questioner

                      Mark Harrison asked how to indicate that he's a "cooperative questioner", meaning that he takes the time to review and upvote good answers. I suggested he request a badge for this, but I cant find it in the search, so I thought I'd open the request.

                      I think ideally we would have two badges here. The first badge would be for selecting an "accepted answer" for, say, 50% of questions asked. The second would be for upvoting at least, say, 15% of answers to your questions (maybe more?).

                      Both of these badges would be best if they were volatile badges,…

                      161 votes
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                        declined  ·  codinghorrorcodinghorror responded

                        unlikely for the moment, as we’d have to code volatile badge support. Like the idea though.

                      • Remove ability for 10k+ users to view self-deleted posts

                        I believe that it violates a user's privacy to have me or anyone else view a deleted post when it has been deleted by the original poster. Such a privilege should be reserved to system admins and then only for use in recovering accidentally deleted questions/answers.

                        150 votes
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                          declined  ·  codinghorrorcodinghorror responded

                          visibility of deletions is here to stay; I am open to suggestion on whether they should be allowed to be undeleted

                          > So, why even allow it?

                          I guess you haven’t seen some of the deleted posts I have. The point is darkness can only hide when it isn’t seen. Yes it is very very rare. But like any version control system, deletions are illusory. Depending on them to somehow be permanent leads to a distorted perception of the system.

                          Also, I hardly think you’re going to see a rash of undeletions just for the sake of undeletion. Trust me, nobody cares.

                        • Create "Off-topic" tab

                          To separate normal programming questions from off-topic/open-ended posts.
                          1) Create "Off-topic" tab
                          2) Questions tagged "off-topic" should only be visible in "Off-topic" tag
                          3) Add button "Move to off-topic section" next to close button. Clicking on button adds "off-topic" tag and moves question to appropriate section

                          133 votes
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                          • Notify Original Poster Of Edits

                            As more people gain permission to be able to edit other's posts, I think a useful feature might be a notification of the original poster when their posts are edited by someone else.

                            I'm sure this goes hand in hand with a number of planned features not yet implemented.
                            - Rollbacks
                            - History
                            - RSS Feeds to monitor tags, posts, etc.

                            (at least they are implied, example Rollbacks are implied by a badge awarded for first 'rollback', for rollbacks you would need post history, etc)

                            100 votes
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                              declined  ·  codinghorrorcodinghorror responded

                              merging this with the other outstanding request for “what happened since I was last here”

                            • Increase the incentive to collaberate on StackOverflow

                              Quite often I see answers which are good, however are not complete.

                              In these cases I sometimes think that the best answer is probably a mixture of a bunch of ideas with some of my own ideas.

                              At that point I seem to have 3 possible actions:

                              1. Post comments on an existing answer, asking the person to expand his/her answer
                              2. Post a new answer referencing all the prior work.
                              3. Post a new answer referencing all the prior work and mark it as a community wiki.

                              Now, option 1 gives me no points and may end up unseen.

                              94 votes
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                                declined  ·  codinghorrorcodinghorror responded

                                “I wish there was some way to contribute to an existing answer without having 3000 points” such as…? reopen with actual suggestions! I do not think forcing people to click through a bunch of “please accept this edit” notifications is sustainible, at all!

                                solution: earn 2000 rep! (not 3000 as you incorrectly note.. see http://stackoverflow.com/faq )

                              • Updates while writing answer

                                One thing that annoys is when people post the same answer to a question because while they were busy writing an answer, someone else posted essentially the same answer to the question. It might be nice if there was some way to update the page while someone is writing an answer so that they see answers added in the time between originally landing on the page and writing out their answer. Perhaps this kind of updating only happens if the user is actively writing an answer (i.e. the answer textbox is not empty) so that it doesn't take up too…

                                93 votes
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                                • Add a dedicated "Quote" link for each comment

                                  Provide a "Quote" link next to each response that embeds the full text of the that response into the edit box with appropriate markdown to make it a quote. Then the user can edit away the portions he doesn't want. (Similar, again, to the MSDN forums).

                                  91 votes
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                                    declined  ·  codinghorrorcodinghorror responded

                                    closing this, as we believe comments is a better and more targetted feature. Now implemented — just click “add comment” below an answer or question.

                                  • Add a <spoiler> tag that makes hidden-until-you-click text

                                    Use cases:

                                    1. Programming puzzles. This way the answer can be posted the same time as the question, eliminating doubt that no answer is possible for hard questions and proving that the question is not a homework exercise (since the author already has the answer)

                                    2. The socratic method. In your answer you can ask a leading question, and then once the reader has a guess they can click to reveal the answer.

                                    83 votes
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                                    • preference for comments expanded

                                      The comments feature is all kinds of awesome!!!
                                      would it be possible to have a user preference for "by default have comments expanded"?

                                      79 votes
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                                        declined  ·  codinghorrorcodinghorror responded

                                        omments (top n) are now promoted to page content (by Monday), this is now irrelevant

                                      • Provide an RSS feed for the Responses view

                                        http://stackoverflow.uservoice.com/pages/general/suggestions/19781

                                        This suggestion is marked completed, and yet there is still no linked RSS feed for it. It would be useful to have an actual feed for those of us who ask/answer/comment and want to reply to responses in a timely manner without having to refresh Stack Overflow every 10 minutes.

                                        If there a link somewhere non-obvious, please point it out in the mean time, and add it to the Responses tab as-well.

                                        66 votes
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                                        • gold badges are virtually never awarded for "real" questions

                                          It seems that almost all the gold badges fall into two categories:
                                          - The per-tag ones
                                          - Participation in for-fun or subjective discussion questions.

                                          Virtually none are awarded for actual programming-related questions or answers.

                                          Taking Jon Skeet as an example (not picking on him, of course. I don't think anyone would dispute that he's a great contributor to SO, which is exactly why he makes a good test case), I'd expect him to have gotten a lot of gold badges for the very good answers he's given to a lot of questions. Instead, it seems that he's got:
                                          - 1…

                                          65 votes
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                                            declined  ·  codinghorrorcodinghorror responded

                                            declining, because we’d have to remove badges from community wiki and this would cause user revolt.

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