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Edit: @percusse asked a similar/the same question here, and there seems to be a bit more uptake on that version of the question, so perhaps this question should be closed as a duplciate of that one.


Currently, the text for the "'Just do it for me' graphics questions" in Text building blocks is:

Welcome to TeX.SX. Questions about how to draw specific graphics that just post an image of the desired result are really not reasonable questions to ask on the site. Please post a minimal compilable document showing that you've tried to produce the image and then people will be happy to help you with any specific problems you may have. See minimal working example (MWE) for what needs to go into such a document.

Does it make sense to change this? It seems to me that on TeX.SX, we have users who go ahead and answer these questions anyway (myself included). Thus, to say that "[such q]uestions [...] are really not reasonable questions to ask on this site" seems false and/or misleading.

A recent variant of this stock comment that I just posted on a question is:

Welcome to TeX.SX! Questions about how to draw specific graphics that just post an image of the desired result would be greatly improved by adding a MWE. Please post a minimal compilable document showing that you've tried to produce the image and then people will be more disposed to help you with any specific problems you may have. See minimal working example (MWE) for what needs to go into such a document.

I'm not saying that this is necessarily what we ought to change the stock comment to, but would it be worth changing it to something that reflects the fact that, while the OP will likely get an answer to the question as is (due to the nature of the users on TeX.SX), it would be much preferable if the OP showed some effort of her own? Or do you think doing this would just encourage people to put less effort into their questions? Thoughts?


(Sort of related: "Just do it for me" text building block)

(Edit: Indeed, it seems someone answered that question before the OP eventually provided an MWE. :-))

marked as duplicate by Werner, Andrew Swann, Stephen, Heiko Oberdiek, barbara beeton Feb 27 '14 at 13:43

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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    I think that anything which encourages posting these kinds of questions (or answering them, probably) is likely a bad idea. I don't know if this would be such a case. One suspicion I have is that you will start getting homework questions from courses on LaTeX. It does nobody any favours to simply post solutions in such cases (whereas helping somebody who's made an effort to move past a block is helpful regardless of the reason the OP wants a solution). Some questions I see, I have my suspicions about... – cfr Dec 26 '13 at 2:49
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    I think that from time to time answering even "Just do it for me" questions is very valuable. See tex.stackexchange.com/questions/139733/…. Of course, in general some OP's effort is expected. – Przemysław Scherwentke Dec 26 '13 at 5:48
  • @cfr Personally, I haven't come across any questions that look like homework questions, but I agree that were we to get a lot of such questions, that would be bad. Nonetheless, it seems like such questions would be (at least relatively) readily identifiable, and we could avoid answering them without more effort from the OP. On the other hand, if the question really isn't a homework question, I see no harm in answering them. And it seems a good number of other TeX.SX members feel the same way. [...continued] – Adam Liter Jan 10 '14 at 23:35
  • [...continued] (I personally find it a fun way to procrastinate and a good way to improve my LaTeX/TikZ skills.) Ultimately, I think the stock comment should reflect what actually happens in the community, and I see no point in posting a comment that is false/misleading. Were users on TeX.SX to stop answering these questions, we could change the comment back. Similarly, were it to actually cause an increase in the number of these questions, we could also consider changing it back. However, I suspect changing this comment won't significantly change the number of questions like this that we get. – Adam Liter Jan 10 '14 at 23:38

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