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Check this question: How to compile code for the Arduino Due?

Now look closely at the referenced pastebin documents:

Attributed as "too big for the question".

This renders the question useless for new visitors in 6 days. What can we do to prevent valuable content rotting away within a week?

For me it is reason enough to not look into the details of the question, I don't want to go through the effort of figuring out what is going on / how to solve it if the question is rendered useless for new visitors.

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For me it is reason enough to not look into the details of the question

I agree. It's the responsibility of the OP to give only as much information as necessary to explain the issue. This question is a little different than most that we see like this, but still full output may not be necessary. In this example, there are a lot of duplicate lines that can be removed.

  • I am especially concerned about the fact that the majority of the question content will disappear in little under a week, rendering it useless to others. If the expiration was unlimited or the content was available on a platform SE can control, then the issue would be entirely different. – jippie Apr 19 '14 at 19:39
  • I think both issues are related: if the OP has made a minimal investigation, then he should be able to limit the amount of input to put into the question, thus he should not need pastebin. – jfpoilpret Apr 20 '14 at 7:30
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I would suggest we set up a policy regarding use of pastebin or equivalents:

  1. comment to the OP requiring to reduce code/output size to a correct amount and edit his question accordingly (within some early deadline, e.g. 2 days)
  2. [optional] if someone can help with the question then he could edit and paste back the necessary code into the question
  3. if after the deadline, nothing has changed, request to close the question (with maybe an additional comment to clarify why)
  4. after the pastebin code is not available anymore, delete the question (moderator)
  • How have the people at stackoverflow solved this? – jippie Apr 20 '14 at 7:53
  • @jippie - StackOverflow requires example code in the question itself; not at PasteBin, JSFiddle or some other site. There are programmatic checks and close reasons for questions which don't contain their own example. – KatieK May 6 '14 at 18:10
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First of all, we as a community should guide our beginners. The past few weeks I've been wondering if a guide to formatting and asking good questions. The help center only goes so far. We should be able to post this whenever a new user doesn't follow these "standards."

One thing that we should teach is how to use coding conventions. White space helps out reading if done correctly. We should teach how to use the site formatting tools and enable syntax highlighting. We can help them along the way with most of this with edits. How this relates the the question is: we should add a section to it explaining to post code inside the question.

If a question that has too much code, we should add a close reason to the system for no prior effort for not locating the part of the code that isn't working. This close reason would apply to the question you mentioned. It is not acceptable to post one thousand lines of code and then expect us to fix it.

However, I do not believe we should delete these questions with lots of code. We should first move the code to the question, and only delete if it expires and we don't have code. The OP could still debug the code and go through the process of reopening if they wanted to. Deleting will just scare away new users. We can create guides to help them, but we shouldn't scare them away, nor shoold they make us do all the work.

  • "One thing that we should teach is how to ..." I'm so happy that for once it is not myself who sounds like the grumpy old man ;o) I do think you have a good point though. – jippie Apr 20 '14 at 16:15
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The OP has improved their own question by putting the PasteBin content directly in the question - this is exactly what should be done. The internet will be a better place with code examples and explanatory text in the same place.

StackOverflow requires example code in the question itself; not at PasteBin, JSFiddle or some other site. There are programmatic checks and close reasons for questions which don't contain their own example code.

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