9

I'm bringing this up because of this answer and because I don't recall how we've handled them in the past.

IMO, it is a valid answer and might also help some adventurous users. I also don't see it encouraging any more developer questions, or overwhelming end-user answers. What do you think?

9

One factor nobody has mentioned yet: an answer that says, "you have to modify the ROM to do it" could well lead someone (the questioner, or someone else who sees the answer) who has never tried making ROMs to start doing it. Or it could lead to a ROM developer adding that feature to their ROM. Or, in this particular case, someone might see it and realise that a particular ROM already has that feature.

I think those all sound like good outcomes. ROM developers don't just spring into existence fully formed: they're just users with problems who try to learn something to solve them. I'm generally quite happy with an answer that leads people into a non-end-user solution, as long as we don't start scaring people off.

  • Good point! That's what I wanted to include in my answer but didn't know how to phrase it. +1 from me :) – Izzy May 20 '16 at 9:27
  • 1
    And don't forget that if you think an answer is "not useful", that's what the downvote button is for. – Dan Hulme May 20 '16 at 9:30
  • Definitely. "Not useful" is something else than "NAA" (and not a reason mods delete a post ;) – Izzy May 20 '16 at 10:04
6

I'm not an Android programmer and thus cannot evaluate whether it's solving the issue. But if it does, I agree: it might not address our "main target group", but that doesn't make it invalid. Specifically:

  • it solves the issue
  • it is an answer (not a comment, not "NAA")
  • it's not "offensive" or spam

So I see no reason for action – as long as we don't get flooded with such approaches in a way it affects our audience negatively.

A hint to the answerer (as placed by beeshyams in this case) I feel justified, though: we shouldn't encourage "purely programming solutions" on an end-user site, and those should be exceptions.

6

That particular answer has my vote (and the only vote as of now). The reason I voted (in past I successfully sought moderator attention for deletion of similar posts) is because it doesn't serve what we consider an end-user here by any metric. In any general post, I do not find it objectionable if its author explains how some code is the cause of the problem, but I believe an answer should not limit us to that. The author should strive to find other means to solve the problem instead of asking us to modify the code (because modification of source code is off-topic here so there is no reason we should be suggesting something as an answer which we do not welcome at first place as a question). If the author fails to find other means or comes to a conclusion that only the modification of source code would solve the problem then they should bother to stress that in their answer.

I do not see any need to treat that post as an exception. If the author believes that their time and efforts have not been compensated with review from competent peers and their upvotes then I recommend they frame up an appropriate question on SO or on a forum of programming questions and then post their answer. That would be best for everyone with no harm done to anyone.

I'm sure that those adventurous users in our community must be active on SO or in other programming questions forum given the nature of their interest so their interests won't be hurt either if my recommendation is followed.

  • Correct me if I'm misunderstanding -- you're saying such answers are poor, but not harmful? – Matthew Read May 19 '16 at 6:36
  • I'm simply saying that we should not be keeping those posts as answers the follow-ups to which we are not going to welcome as a question. (This should not be construed with just anything but to posts pertaining to modification or creation of code.) – Firelord May 19 '16 at 6:46
  • You have your point here, @Firelord – and I'd upvote this if it includes a single exception: answers with code are OK if OP indicates they'd be acceptable (think of a "nasty issue" to be solved in "any way possible"). But I surely agree such answers are "unwanted" if that condition is not met – especially if from the question it seems clear OP is non-tech-savvy. That'd definitely deserves downvotes then. If a mod should delete it is something else, as is whether the answerer wants to go for peer pressure :) – Izzy May 20 '16 at 9:23
3

There is a precedent here, a programmatic answer to one of my questions that guided me to flag this answer as NAA ( flag history reveals this as disputed)

Simply put, the point here is usefulness of answer Vs Site Guidelines. Making exceptions based on utility of answer invites setting up a precedent.

Hypothetically, if one knew a better way to code and post alternative answer highlighting that, what should one do? Or, if the OP/ another visitor who also knows coding seeks a clarification? (Agreed, I am stretching possibilities)

IMO, it would be more prudent to adhere to site guidelines and I fully support Firelord's view. He has pointed out successful moderator intervention in past, for deletion of such answers

There can and should be a discussion on border line cases but not in cases like this where it is clear cut (= it does not belong here)

Edit: Another possible instance where non adherence to site guidelines wouldn't help. There are accepted ( commercially implemented ) solutions pertaining to charging, which are in the nature of shorting some pins or connecting a resistor across some pins to achieve results

These work, are useful but do they belong here ? (on this site, as an answer)

  • Regarding your edit -- why would such posts not be acceptable here if they answer the question? Hardware solutions that might apply to another device without Android are fine if they solve a problem with an Android device, much like ones on the software side that might be useful on devices running Linux and yet solve an Android problem (which I mention specifically because they are very well received here). – Matthew Read May 19 '16 at 6:35
  • @Mathew Read: I think I didn't articulate clearly. Proven commercial hardwaresolutions are surely welcome. What I was implying (and should have clarified ) is that if one suggests an electrical tweak and encloses a schematic for it. In that sense it wouldn't be welcome ( and as off topic as coding IMO. Thanks for raising this concern as also the main question – beeshyams May 19 '16 at 8:27
  • Ah, that makes sense and I see your point. – Matthew Read May 19 '16 at 18:31
1

Why hasn't anyone suggested this till now?

Mod-Lock the post with the message that this post is important for historical reasons but it is not a good fit for the site (I guess that can be done for answers too?) - SO does this for questions which are popular/informative but technically off-topic.

  • That is generally only applied to posts that are well-received but off-topic. So far this one has had little attention, and it's mostly negative. – Matthew Read May 19 '16 at 18:32
  • Besides, @MatthewRead: can we "lock" answers? I might have missed that (due to the fact I never felt the need), but AFAIK only "the entire page" can be locked. – Izzy May 20 '16 at 9:28
  • @Izzy, answers can most definitely be locked separately. – Tamoghna Chowdhury May 20 '16 at 13:50
  • @TamoghnaChowdhury Check, you're correct. – Izzy May 20 '16 at 14:05

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