This question: Latex code for power electronic inverters, is one among many, where the (new) OP asks for code - not how to do it, but do it for me. People write welcome, show some effort yourself and no one will help you.

The problem now, is that someone always do help. I believe that the motivation is to earn reputation and be part of the community. -but it is not really helping the community - it does help the OP with the code and encourage bad behavior.

Can this be solved somehow? Is it acceptable to down-vote the answer - I guess not.

PS. Feel free to down-vote or close this question. -I did not even bother to investigate, if it has been addressed before.

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    I don't think anybody cares about rep here, oh and by the way meta.tex.stackexchange.com/questions/4267/… :)
    – percusse
    Jun 19, 2014 at 14:21
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    @percusse: I do care(mildly) about rep, and I believe that other low rep(<3000) users do too - it is a way to show/be a part of this site. My suggestion is not to treat the OP differently(the welcome text is nice), but to attack(not too violently:o) the answerer. Jun 19, 2014 at 14:55
  • @percusse: I would not say, that reputation is unnecessary, but it is by far not the basic motivation, at least not for me
    – user31729
    Jun 19, 2014 at 15:56
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    @Hans-PeterE.Kristiansen: I have answered such questions too, but in very simple way, showing a possibility of how to do it, and I never get an upvote or even some acception checkmark, but that is ok. I think, one could just ignore such questions, do not upvote neither the OP nor a answer, that is 'punishment' enough, but I would refrain from downvoting at all.
    – user31729
    Jun 19, 2014 at 15:59
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    As an addendum: I want to clearify, that I would refrain from downvoting answers to such questions, except the answer is wrong/bad as such.
    – user31729
    Jun 19, 2014 at 21:41
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    I am novice at tex.stackexchange but I feel this very similar. I wrote about it (tex.sx is used as code generator for many users without thinking) to the stackexchange team. It is a woeful trend in IT in general: solve problem without thinking, without understanding. For example, I wrote detailed description about how TeX works in my answer in tex.stackexchange.com/questions/185682/… but without any additional votes. It means people don't want to know how thigs are operated.
    – wipet
    Jun 21, 2014 at 7:11
  • @wipet I don't think your answer is not appreciated. But you definitely need a MWE to show how things should work. It is also a little advanced for average LaTeX(!) user. So you should by definition expect less upvotes. Also I don't agree with your code generation part. We just like LaTeX programming. If it serves to some so be it. If not I'll find other questions elsewhere anyhow. See the question I linked above in the first comment.
    – percusse
    Jun 22, 2014 at 11:55
  • @wipet: Telling truth, it happened to me several times posting an answer thinking it was a good one and got few upvotes. Several other times I posted "not-that-good-to-me" answers and got lot of upvotes. Few of them are exactly sort of tutorials (for instance, see tex.stackexchange.com/a/110260/13304) explaining step by step the procedure followed. Upon the context, I think people shows a different level of interest. But, as percusse said, reputations is just a number: it does not necessarily reflects actual capabilities of a person. Jul 1, 2014 at 12:43

2 Answers 2


The problem now, is that someone always do help. I believe that the motivation is to earn reputation and be part of the community. -but it is not really helping the community - it does help the OP with the code and encourage bad behavior.

I disagree with the concept of "misguided motivation" and have upvoted the linked answer.

While I generally favor the spirit of not answering "do it for me" questions, this ultimately is (and should be) a personal decision: The motivation to help is what drives this site – a bad question should never devalue a good answer! Even if the question is bad, someone with a similar problem will probably find the answer; hence, it does serve the community.

  • I agree with your statement -- even 'bad' questions (or such that has been asked a hundred times already) should be answered (if possible), regardless of the personal reputation, it is always a possibility to learn too.
    – user31729
    Jun 19, 2014 at 21:09
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    "The motivation to help..." Amen, amen! Jun 26, 2014 at 11:03

I think you have the logic backwards in your reasoning.

Comments telling something like "this question will not get many answers" are not an effort to "educate" the person who asked, but an experience-based estimation of the likelihood of an answer.

So, when the question is answered, all the better; the only consequence is that the comment was effectively wrong ;-)

If there is an answer, obviously someone felt in the mood to provide it. As nobody is pressured into answering, in the end at least two people are happy: The person who asked and the person who answered.

There is no need to upvote a question which does not show effort, but a good answer always deserves upvoting, even if provided for a "bad" question. Maybe the answer even covers a much more general case?

If you feel that question and/or answer could be more general to help others more, feel free to edit.

  • I have come to agree with you. -but then we are back to the fact, that the "this question will not get many answers" is not the best thing to write. meta.tex.stackexchange.com/questions/4267/… Jun 21, 2014 at 15:35
  • @Hans-PeterE.Kristiansen Well "not many answers" is a rather vague concept. It's certainly the case that the likelihood of good answers is less for "do it for me" questions, and in a lot of cases there really won't be any answers; just look at the unanswered questions. Jun 22, 2014 at 17:28
  • @Hans-PeterE.Kristiansen -- how about "this question may not be noticed, since it appears as an answer, not as a question"? Jun 24, 2014 at 19:43

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