At Stackoverflow and other coding-related sides, it is kept a best practice to avoid asking and/or answering questions which simply ask to get the code for a particular (often oddly specific) scenario. Should we practice this at TeX.SE?


Here are some examples:

  • Customizable Timeline. This one is better than most others since the original asker has very clearly tried writing a substantial part of the code himself. Maybe we should give credit since ultimately his customizations required TikZ, but he wrote most of the code in another package himself.
  • How to create a timeline without integer numbers for events? This one is worse since it doesn't really demonstrate whether the asker has put any effort at all into the question. The asker also asks for specific requirements in the accepted answer's comments which the answerer has to edit his question to fit. Granted they are not substantial but still.
  • Turn off caption prefix WITHOUT using caption package. This is one of my own. Yes, I'm guilty of this myself. I didn't write any code to even try to figure it out, I just asked. As you can see this question's comments pan out similarly to the comments in the one above, with me continuously demanding requirements from egreg (the answerer) to fit my specific needs. I didn't need to put any effort into it except copy-pasting his code into my document. And this time, the edits to fit the requirements are substantial and require (a lot of) thought.

I'm sure there are plenty more.

So, what do you think about this? If you agree that such questions should be discouraged, why? How exactly should we word it and implement it? If you disagree, why?




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