8

Some questions are gathering no and not currently possible answers. I don't quite feel well about them given that they don't solve the problem the OP is experiencing, and are actually the most cheap answer you can give. They often don't come without any reasoning and don't look whether there are other possibilities (like if it was asked Microsoft or if it can be done through rooting).

So, it is making me wonder if we should not answer in that way as to be more constructive to solve the problem the OP is posing. They actually just tell what the OP already knows (assuming that they have a look at it), so I don't see what the answers add.

The low-quality /review tab seems to agree with me...

Now consider the following answers one could give, respectively:

  • There is a request for this on X.
    This is currently only possible through rooting the phone and doing Y, voiding warranty.

  • There are two options (voiding warranty) for doing this,
    do a hardware hack or root your phone and do Y.

  • You can do this using app X on a developer unlocked phone, you can get it unlocked by Y.

These types of answers instead do ...

  1. show effort rather than stating a quick no.

  2. show that it is possible and that there thus is a solution available.

So, should we ...

  • flag these kind of "no" answers?

  • comment on them asking them to improve?

  • ...?

3

These answers should at the very least state the version of the software the No answer relates to.

The problem I have found with these kind of answers on other stack exchange sites is that Microsoft at a future point in time release a new version of the software that does do what the OP wanted.

8

tl;dr

Let's see if the question can be improved first (or closed if needed). If the question is fine then we start weeding out the short answers by down voting or converting to a comment.


Although I agree with the premise, I want us to really think through this before a decision is made. Personally, I try to make my "No" answers include some kind of information that says where to request the feature, or a workaround that might help the OP. But I don't know how to encourage that.

Just saying as long as you include some kind of other information doesn't really help. For example, I can see this becoming the standard "No" answer.

Unfortunately, at this time you can't do it. Maybe if you look around on the XDA forums you can find a homebrew solution.

That doesn't really solve the problem, all you did was take your answer and apply some extra words to it to make it feel like you gave an effort.

I think the only thing we can do is take these as a case by case basis right now. Maybe the problem lies in the question, not the answer. Perhaps we can flag these as "You didn't do the research", and close them if the question isn't modified to be useful.

I know that won't always work, but sometimes the person is asking the wrong question, and the only answer is a flat out no. We can't forget that the way this site works is by voting the answers up.

If there are two answers on a question - the first is "No you can't", and the second actually put the effort into providing some kind of solution, which one will get voted up? I would wager my rep on the second one :)

Anyway, once we get some official moderators in place we can always have such answers converted to comments if that is what is best.

  • windowsphone.stackexchange.com/questions/247/… is a GREAT example of the type of question I am talking about – Joe Apr 29 '12 at 2:29
  • And this one windowsphone.stackexchange.com/questions/248/… it sounds like a gripe, not a question. These two examples really can only solicits simple NO reponses. – Joe Apr 29 '12 at 3:10
  • My question to you is: is answering with "No" in a comment better than just typing that in an answer? I'd say for those kind of questions just answer with No, add some comments on why it is not possible and if there are some homebrew solutions is better than just not answering the question and commenting "no not possible" – GeertvdC Apr 29 '12 at 8:33
  • 3
    @GeertvdC I'm of the opinion that a "no" answer is more useful than no answer (or a "no" comment) - at least then there is something for the asker to accept, and add to the bank of questions that have been answered. Closing a question because the only possible answer is "no" seems aggressive to me. – Rowland Shaw May 1 '12 at 8:01
6

If there is a homebrew solution you can add that to the answer but some things are just not possible in any way.

No isn't a wrong answer imo. maybe we could add the reason or philosophy from microsoft for not supporting this feature if there is a good reason.

4

As an author of all "low quality posts" listed on the screen in question here, I must say that my intention when asking these questions was to make knowledge base of things WP7 can't do.

I found myself many times searching the internet for something from these questions and sometimes it was very hard... I wanted these things to be in WP stack exchange knowledge base.

I confess I knew that the answer for most of my questions. But also I want to know whether there is something new I didn't find or have missed. This exactly happened when I asked for 3G traffic counting solution - I knew that WP7 api can't do this, but experts here knew about app that CAN actually solve the problem (many of us actually facing).

Same with the question about the forward button in internet explorer... (awesome solution if you ask me)

In this light I agree with @GeertvdC. I would even copy his answer to mine, but that wouldn't do any good, so just one thing:

No isn't a wrong answer imo...

  • 1
    If you can, making it a bit longer / detailed can help increase its quality and let the reader know why it can't be done. My concern is that no takes away the chance of possible yes answers, because just because the API can't doesn't mean that there is not some way to get it done. Just saying, coming from Super User where no answers are extremely rare it's quite odd to see many questions here facing them. I don't care anymore, but would be glad if they were slightly improved to state the effort done to reach that answer as well as the reason. – Tamara Wijsman May 2 '12 at 10:05
  • Didn't mean to pick anyone out. These answers seem to not gain much reputation so they stay at the bottom anyway, I also see that Geert has severely improved his so he deserves a +1. :) – Tamara Wijsman May 2 '12 at 10:06
  • Well, I totally agree with you, also. I just had feeling from answers here, that if 'no' is only possible answer, question should be deleted/closed (Joe wrote something like that). I don't agree with that and I was mainly advocating my questions - there was an expectation that answer will be NO when I asked them. BUT I agree that anyone should write everything he knows about concrete topic into his answer. – jumbo May 2 '12 at 12:44
  • @jumbo sorry if I confused you. I am not saying to close all "no" questions, but that sometimes if the only response possible is a flat out no then we need see if we can improve the question. IMO, we need to build a knowledge base of what you can do, and how to do it. not what can't be done. – Joe May 2 '12 at 13:25
  • I guess you're right. Building knowledge base of things that can't be done is not the best formulation (or idea). I will do my best to improve my questions when there is just "no" answer. – jumbo May 2 '12 at 14:00
1

No, this is currently not possible on Windows Phone a good idea on SE sites.


I seriously wish I could just leave that as an answer here for the irony, but I have some points to make.

This case is pretty interesting. Usually (on other SE sites), when the only answer a question can get is a low quality one, it is the question that is bad (and such questions ought to be closed).

But here, you can get perfectly reasonable answer if it is "yes", and a bad one if it is "no". So the question isn't at fault{*}

I guess you can make a small exception to the usual SE policies.

  • If it is possible, try to explain possible (partial OK as well) workarounds in the answer. Also, rooting usually changes no's into yes' . Such "no" answers are pretty useful (make a warranty disclaimer mandatory, though)
  • If it is not possible, either answer in comments, or (this is the exception part) allow such one-liner "no" answers to be posted as CW (so that nobody gets reps for the little effort involved in writing these). On second thoughts, maybe not CW--finding out that something doesn't exists can entail a significant amount of work. In this case, though, one can write a bit about the "significant amount of work" in the answer, beefing it up.

*Or is it? Maybe...maybe disallowing such questions would be an option. But that takes out a major chunk of the questions that can be asked here. As a non-WP community member, I really can't comment on this.

  • I reeeealy am uneasy about the CW thing. But it's a possible solution, throwing it out there... – Manishearth Jun 15 '12 at 16:00
  • 1
    I find it a very complicated problem here. in a few cases, the answer is just a "no, it can't be done yet". You can try to word that better, but then you just end up with an answer that is trying to make itself look good. Leaving it as a comment doesn't help as it can't be marked as an answer. – Joe Jun 15 '12 at 17:04
  • 1
    On the other side, we don't want to encourage people to just type two letters, and except that to be accepted. I think this is going to take a while to really nail down what is/not an acceptable "no" answer – Joe Jun 15 '12 at 17:05
  • @joe yeah, I think so as well. These were just my thoughts looking at this question from an external POV(as a non-WP member). I really can't comment on "what is acceptable" more, that is something for active members to hash out. – Manishearth Jun 15 '12 at 17:13
  • I agree with @Joe. Sometimes the answer is only "no". There isn't so much to do. And I read in some place that is not a good idea to have so many CW. You as a non-WP member could buy a Lumia 900 hum? ;) – Vitor Canova Jun 16 '12 at 1:36

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