After answering a post today, OP said to me:

Actually, my real code is not as short as it looks in this demo code. I am not allowed to post the real code for some privacy reasons of the company I work for.

That's after I taking the trouble of actually testing his sketch and timing his execution. I ended working in a posted problem that it is not the real problem. Total waste of time, IMHO.

What must be this site politics with question that involved secret components?

2 Answers 2


As long as the OP posts a SSCCE that demonstrates the actual problem then I see no problem with it not being their "live" (NDA) code. However if they post an SSCCE that itself works flawlessly (or is broken in some other way than they state, as is often the case) or a snippet of code that can't itself be verified, then yes they are wasting everyone's time (even their own). They should have seen that the SSCCE they posted didn't exhibit the stated problem, which would have given them some more pointers to where the actual problem is (that's one of the points of doing an SSCCE - it helps to track down the problem to a specific cause before asking for help).

Of course, if they don't understand the concept of the SSCCE then they should first be educated by directing them to http://sscce.org/

  • 1
    Should I flag it? Should I vote for closing it? Should you have closed it?
    – user31481
    Oct 5, 2017 at 14:49
  • Step 1 is to request better code that demonstrates the problem. If that isn't forthcoming (as is often the case) then vote to close it as "unclear what you're asking". I'll probably come along and close it anyway with my question closing hammer. ;)
    – Majenko
    Oct 5, 2017 at 14:51

You answered the question in good faith, and if you can reproduce a problem in the posted code, and post a solution, then that may help someone some day.

If the OP comes back and says "actually that isn't the real code" then you can request the real code, or say "pffft, in that case I can't help you".

This sort of thing isn't that uncommon. For example, people reduce their sketch size to make it small enough to post, and that frees up enough RAM that the sketch no longer fails due to running out of RAM.

  • I particularly like the phrasing of "pffft, in that case I can't help you". I may have to get it printed on a T-shirt. :) Oct 8, 2017 at 0:12

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