6

Now that we don't have many unanswered questions left, maybe it is time to look at the ones that have been answered but not accepted. Search for:

hasaccepted:0

eliminate the closed ones:

hasaccepted:0 closed:0

there are currently 347 of these. I guess there are two reasons why they are not accepted:

  1. the answers were no good.
  2. the person who asked, couldn't care less about accepting it.

let's add another search parameter:

hasaccepted:0 closed:0 votes:10

these are open, not accepted questions with at least 10 up-votes, enough people are interested in these 84 questions.

So if you have a minute or two to spare, please look at these.

  • 4
    people may well be like me - every few weeks I'll go through mine and either accept some, or if I still don't like the answers, chuck a bounty on them. – Mark Mayo Feb 1 '12 at 20:02
  • Where did you find those hasaccepted parameter? I searched a long time for something like this.- – RoflcoptrException Feb 1 '12 at 21:18
  • @Roflcoptr - SO Blog, I didn't know about this either. Very helpful! – Peter Hahndorf Feb 1 '12 at 21:59
  • Cool! Finally I can made queries like 'answers:1' – RoflcoptrException Feb 1 '12 at 22:03
3

There is no actual question to answer here but as one of my 'pet peeves' I repeat:

Habitual non-Acceptance

As hopefully almost all users are aware, almost all those who answer on TSE main site are trying to (and usually succeeding in!) providing a service that is free, quick and for which many alternatives are not free, or are free but of lower quality. Those kind enough to offer answers are sacrificing at least their time to help others, for nothing of value in exchange. Even a Comment such as "Thank you, just what I wanted!" is rare (and likely to be deleted, at least on some SE sites).

So I consider it very bad manners to fail on a large scale to accept answers. (I excuse occasional users unfamiliar with the conventions here.) Acceptance of a bad answer is worse (IMO) but when a user knows about the green tick and makes a habit of withholding it without even explaining why a suggested answer does not suit, I am as peeved as I am by all bad manners.

hasaccepted:0 closed:0 presently stands at 7,394

better though may be hasaccepted:0 closed:0 answers:1 at 7,283 (to exclude lack of Acceptance due to want of any Answer). That is over 45% of the total of all Open questions (cf SO 33%).

I don't swallow any of @hippietrail's attempted excuses. In turn:

  • OP hasn't been able to put the answers to the test yet. They may look good but only trying them out will tell whether they were the right way to go or not.

Then explain that a tick awaits confirmation. OPs do not do so in 99%+ of posts (my guess). In many cases we know the timescale for testing and in almost all of the 7,283 instances where we do know it is long past. At the moment TSE is receiving 18 questions/day and for the past few weeks I have seen almost all of these (so say 126/week ~57 of which are never Accepted) and also most of the questions that have been modified. Yes, of course some OPs do revert, but it is at a rate nearer 1/week (my guess).

  • You got less concrete/technical answers than you were hoping for.
  • "No good" is a bit subjective. "Unsatisfying" seems to apply more to the questions that I haven't accepted an answer for yet.

Then provide feedback on the enhancement required if you do want a better Answer - otherwise we won't know you find it deficient, rather than you have 'overlooked' the matter.

  • The answers on offer seem like guesses, opinions, hunches etc, possibly even the result of one of our "get rid of unanswered questions" drives.

Then ask for sources if you are not satisfied. Anyway, for those not 'hit and run' (ie for users of long-standing) for most non-hypothetical questions you have presumably found a solution to questions asked a year or more ago. Post your own Answer if different and Accept that instead.

Voting is used to indicate the quality of an Answer as assessed by those able to vote and inclined to do so. The tick is SE's way of saying "thank you" without adding superfluous Comments. Accepting an answer is not meant to be a definitive and final statement indicating that the question has now been answered perfectly. In particular, the tick can be reassigned in the light of further events - such as a better answer or OP's own experience.

Reputation score does not bother me, if every single one of the 7,283 were Accepted tomorrow it would make very little difference to my rep. Even if it doubled everybody's rep that is not significant. What does concern me is the demotivating effect on the Community of so little appreciation. Is rep the only reason you answer questions? After the novelty has worn off, how much longer will you continue to bother to provide answers to OPs who do not say "thank you" even for comprehensive, informative, expert Answers, many who never revisit the site even to provide critical information as requested, about half of whom ask off topic or duplicate questions and many who do not even bother to look at site guidance?

There are probably very many more viewers (eg via Google) than question posters, and credit to those that do post for the effort they (sometimes) put in to asking, but if those that do post are representative of the general appreciation for TSE's 'product' then the signs are those who are answering could easily find a much better outlet for their time, trouble and expertise.

2

Besides the reasons you listed there are other reasons for not accepting answers:

  • OP hasn't been able to put the answers to the test yet. They may look good but only trying them out will tell whether they were the right way to go or not.
  • You got less concrete/technical answers than you were hoping for.
  • "No good" is a bit subjective. "Unsatisfying" seems to apply more to the questions that I haven't accepted an answer for yet.
  • The answers on offer seem like guesses, opinions, hunches etc, possibly even the result of one of our "get rid of unanswered questions" drives.

It shouldn't matter much anyway. Stack Exchange always says it's not about the OP but about the lasting value of the Question and its answers that are important. In isolation, "acceptance" is just a statistic with more relevance to reputation than usefulness of the QA as a whole.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .