We’re rewarding the question askers & reputations are being recalculated! Read more.
43

Many aspects to this. I agree to a great extent with the points raised in the other answers. Yes, there are XY problems. Yes, the question is not here just for the benefit of the asker, and this shows in our expectations and also in the answers. I want to emphasize one aspect not present in the other answers. The actual mathematical problem underlying ...


24

Disclaimer: I hadn't seen your question before following the link in this meta question. I'm basing this answer on the first revision of the question. The title is the title, not the first sentence of the body. The question appeared to start (and still does) with a parenthentical sentence which is lacking context, and that's a bad first impression. This is ...


22

"Missing context" is a bit of a catch-all term, but basically it's a request for you to motivate the question (why do you want to solve this? Why is it interesting for you, and for people who might help you with it?) and to show some effort (there's a $\sqrt{2}$ there that suggests there's a substitution that might work -- what have you tried? Where did it ...


18

Not the exact answer to your situation, but it might give some idea, so in that sense, this answer is also an alternative answer to the question that you are asking. We are not your tutor in here, nor this is a website you are getting personalised service; even though you are owner of your own question, the main purpose of that question is to both help you, ...


16

There are quite a lot of XY problems so that people may sometimes have difficulties understanding what OP is really asking and directly answer the mathematical problem highlighted in the post. There were cases that one asked what went wrong in one's attempt while what one really cared was the solution itself. On the other hand, if one wants to avoid ...


16

You ask: What should I do when I think that I understand and/or have an answer to an on-hold or closed - and, more specifically, "unclear" - question? You should help to make the question more clear, so that it can be reopened. To do so you can propose changes and improvements in comments. You can even propose edits directly. For larger changes this ...


15

Actually, apart from the fact that you don't make the question clear in the title, it's well phrased and I disagree with the commentor. According to the question's edit history the context has been there from the start, and the major issue was with the MathJax. But: "range of $y=f(x)$" is not a question. I think you mean "What is the range of $y=f(x)$?", ...


14

Before asking the question you should have been shown a page that starts after some greeting: To improve the chances of your question getting an answer, make sure that it: Uses MathJax formatting for math formulas Has an interesting, specific title that summarizes the question Describes what you know and what you don't understand (don't just ...


12

I have answered or commented on some of the questions of the OP, which are very much in my area. I can propose a possible reason why "most questions are unsolved yet, some of them up to a month old". Of course, many people on this site are willing to try to answer technical questions, and at least in logic there are a number of experts active here and also ...


12

I suspect that one reason for downvotes on the original question is that it is very far from being coherent. For example, the notation $A = \{ x : x \land \lnot x\}$ might well be viewed as nonsensical, the way it is written. The expression does not make sense in elementary set theory, predicate logic, or second-order logic, which are all tags on the ...


11

I see it like this: either OP can present a geometric problem and ask for an algorithm for it, in which case the legal problem goes away, or they cannot, in which case the question is off-topic and the point is moot. I put the question "on hold" until OP clarifies for what specific problem they seek an algorithm. Regarding the "off topic": there may not ...


11

Your Question has been placed on-hold as too broad. As one of those voting to close as "too broad", my main suggestion for improvement is to narrow the problem statement substantially. Before going into that in more detail, though, here is a more basic advice: 1. Do more research The title and tag locally-compact-groups can be taken as indicating this as ...


11

You simultaneously cross-posted the same question on both Math.SE and Math Educators.SE. That is not appropriate: cross-posting is generally considered not suitable on Stack Exchange. See Is cross-posting a question on multiple Stack Exchange sites permitted if the question is on-topic for each site?. This site is not intended for blog posts. You write ...


9

As Asaf alludes to in his comments, the question is closed because enough users have voted to close it. It's rather like trial-by-jury: if a sufficient number of people are convinced, a verdict is pronounced. You might not like that, but it is a way of approaching things that at least attempts to be democratic. Also, similarly to trial-by-jury, you can ...


9

You were not "robbed" of any reputation. More than just that, reputation is not the main point of the site. If you only ask questions on the site so you can earn points, might as well not ask questions at all. Your question about how to pronounce 5/2 is ultimately subjective. Moreover, people are not going to vote one answer over the other because it's more ...


8

I have awarded the bounty on the Question at issue, wishing that I could have done more than just upvote other Answers provided. One thing that in hindsight would have been helpful is an Edit to that Question that pins down where in Pugh's book that proof is found. There seem to have been more than one editions/revisions, so a more complete citation (e.g. ...


7

The "off-topic" menu contains some sub-points most notably this: This question is missing context or other details: Please provide additional context, which ideally explains why the question is relevant to you and our community. Some forms of context include: background and motivation, relevant definitions, source, possible strategies, your current ...


6

Please don't be "infuriated" by having a Question placed on hold. It is an invitation to improve the problem statement, not a personal criticism. While I did not review your Question, I can sympathize both with those who voted to close it and with you for having a genuine curiosity about the rules for order of precedence. Perhaps you can find a better way ...


6

Are my questions too difficult for SE? No. But more importantly, it's not the perceived difficulty of a question that determines whether it's a good fit for MSE or MO. Any math question that's self-contained, isn't too broad, is well-written (and more generally is a well-asked question) is welcome. Sometimes people ask questions that end up not being ...


5

Someone is likely downvoting answers to low-quality questions. Often, even if the answer is well-written, people will downvote to discourage answering questions that should be closed instead of answered. As an example, your second linked question contains no signs of any effort by the poster. This should be closed for lack of context. By answering questions ...


5

I didn't vote on either of these questions, nor had I seen them until I saw this question. However, I can give my feedback and suggest possible reasons why the what went wrong question was received more poorly. I'll ignore the more general question of whether what went wrong questions are poorly received on this site, since I lack data, and this question is ...


5

I think you made your question clear enough in the initial posting, and I think everyone contributing to the discussion here would have endeavoured to answer the question you asked, not solved the problem you were working on (as well they should). As I said, I don't think this is the case for this particular question, but sometimes answering questions like ...


4

The Question here might be considered a discussion of a specific -question, but it is usual to go ahead and ask on the main site, not first ask if one can ask here on meta. I don't doubt that you have done some research before asking, but it is less of an asking and more of a chatty sharing of ideas. If you do ask something on the main site, take pains to ...


4

(I am capturing some notes from a chat into a basic answer so that it doesn't get lost). I personally try to answer what went wrong either as a comment or as a part of my answer. I also upvote the same way. The reasoning is this: a lot of younger students who don't have enough mathematical maturity think of Maths as a bag of tricks with the right trick to ...


4

The bold parts are what make this on-topic: I have encountered the term derivate standing in for derivative many times in posts. I usually edit the post to say derivative instead. But I am wondering, are their regions of the world where the term derivate is used instead? Although the question could be phrased to make its on-topic-ness clearer. It's ...


3

Our guidelines are to ask only one question per post. That question is asking two questions: please recommend a good linear algebra text; please recommend a good calculus text. When a single post asks multiple questions, it may be closed as "too broad". It'd be better for the poster to split them into two separate posts. The text under the closure ...


3

Sometimes it is simply the case that you see something the close voters didn't, and were able to understand the OP's meaning more easily. For example, clarity problems can often arise from language barriers, which some find easier to deal with than others. The primary concern here is the possibility of your edit going against the author's intent. There are ...


3

Think of it that way - if somebody were to know the answer to your question, they would give it. If they don't say it - well, they just don't know it. I also find it extremely annoying because analysing the solution and why it worked out is important and beneficial to get a sense what is going on and why it goes that way. But giving an alternative solution ...


3

I posted about this bug on Meta Stack Exchange as well: Deleted posts still show up in search results (sometimes), since I encountered it on another site as well. A few days later, I got a response from one of the Community Managers, Shog9: As you suspected, undeleting and re-deleting the question removed it from the index. With the original deletion so ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible