I think we can all agree that just adding a question mark to the end of this (and the post it refers to) does not make it a question:


The tour does not have much in there explicit enough about what is or is not a question: https://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/tour

It seems like it should be basic enough that no one needs to point it out, but...

What clear definition for what is or is not a question (even before deciding whether it's a good question) applies on the bitcoin.stackexchange.com Q&A site?

  • 1
    Could you please refrain from starting each post with "// , "? I fail to see any benefit and find its visual clutter to be disruptive to my reading.
    – Murch Mod
    Sep 6, 2015 at 19:37

2 Answers 2


Good questions:

  • Specify a clear topic that allows other participants to gauge what would constitute an encompassing answer.
  • Show that the asker has spent some minimal effort to try to find an answer himself.
  • If controversial statements are made, they are presented in form of arguments with supportive evidence.
  • Are useful to more than one isolated individual.
  • Are asked openly to allow for a range of answers. Especially, loaded questions or statements asking for support do not fulfill this.

You can find more information in our help center in the category Asking. Or have a look at the distilled version at How to Ask.

You might also find this article by one of Stackoverflow's founders on the dynamics between questions and answers interesting: Optimizing For Pearls, Not Sand.


I think we can all agree that just adding a question mark to the end of this (and the post it refers to) does not make it a question:

It's also possible to have a question that has no question marks:

Asked by $someone

I'm having problems with this code:


When I run it on linux, it produces this error. It works on windows, and I've tried this and this. I've tried googling this, and I tried this, but that didn't help either.

This never explicitly asks a question, but it has a clear problem, a explanation of what they've tried, and talks about what references they've consulted.

There isn't a hard and fast rule; it's an "I know it when I see it," kind of thing. If we made an explicit rule, there would be so many exceptions and so many loopholes that it would be a huge pain to comply with.

Warning signs:

  • (on main site) Uses question to complain about how previous questions have been removed.
  • Asks something vague, then answers own question with a blog post that's linked.
  • The asker expects a particular answer.

You must log in to answer this question.

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