(Link per word) There are many questions on gaming.SE where someone just didn't reduce the command's complexity to see what's wrong with it, but instead dumped it into this site, hoping that someone else would do the work for them.

Would it be a good idea to make a "my long Minecraft command doesn't work" FAQ and mark all of these questions as duplicates of it?

The FAQ would give tips and examples on how to reduce the complexity of commands to test them properly and how to then add more complexity back in once it's working, it would link to tools like tellraw generators, it would say why these questions are not wanted here (only useful for one user, not enough research) and so on. Basically it would tell users how to debug and fix errors in their commands.

Just closing these questions without an answer wouldn't be the right action, because they are technically on-topic, just very low quality and not the main focus of this site. Also this Q&A shows that there won't be a "do research" close reason.
But the tag is the biggest tag on this site, it has a significant portion of questions that also have the tag and that tag is about 70% filled with questions like these. So it's a noticeable portion of this site that has pretty low quality and could all get caught with this FAQ. It would not mean "f*** you, do research", but instead show actual help for this use case.

There's already something similar to this, but it's limited to unbalanced brackets: How can I fix "unbalanced brackets" in my data tag?

This is not asking for other people creating this FAQ, but only about if there should be one and questions should be marked as duplicate of it. I would start creating it myself.

  • Look at the markdown of the first paragraph, it looks great (not). Dec 12, 2017 at 17:35
  • 2
    As someone who works with these questions on a fairly regular basis, a broader FAQ like this would be counterproductive to generating a positive outcome for users. Such an FAQ question would be so absurdly broad that it would be useless except as a tool for us to just throw our hands up like "I don't want to deal with this", which is antithetical to the goals of this site.
    – Unionhawk Mod
    Dec 12, 2017 at 19:09
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    To extend what @Unionhawk said, in most instances there is a definitive solution to the asker's particular problem, they often show that their question is part of a larger problem or project, and they're often doing their best with what they're given in game, which are sometimes vague error messages, or no error messages at all. By many measures, these are good questions, even if someone experienced can come along and instantly see the root cause of their issue.
    – MBraedley
    Dec 12, 2017 at 19:18
  • If they are good questions, why are they downvoted? That wasn't a real question, because they are not good. SE expects users to do research, but there's nothing that happens if they don't research at all. This FAQ would basically do the research for them, linking to the relevant wiki pages, giving tips, etc. Also, it's not absurdly broad, these questions are all the same and 90% share very few causes. The only reason why they aren't already closed as duplicates of each other is that the commands aren't the same. But that also means that the question is not useful for anyone in the future, ... Dec 12, 2017 at 20:00
  • ... because nobody will ever have the exact same problem again. Dec 12, 2017 at 20:01
  • Additional evidence supporting that such an FAQ would help: The same exists for common error messages: gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/96496/… Jan 15, 2018 at 14:36
  • Even though nobody will have the exact same problem, doesn't mean that another user's question won't provide value. If parts are the same, or even if it's the same type of issue, then the process of debugging/troubleshooting should be the same. That process just has to be encouraged to the posters who "dump a long command" as a question. Coaxing them (thus educating them on how to ask a good question too) will help them (and others) to break down the command into debuggable chunks that might end up helping lots of users. I operate in the same way with work code in code reviews I perform.
    – Tim S.
    Jun 4, 2019 at 21:06
  • Some more stuff over a year later: 1. I'm not talking about good questions, I'm talking about bad questions where someone comes along and just says "THIS NO WORK" and pastes a 1000 character command. I'm also not talking about questions where experienced users can instantly see the problem, I'm talking about commands where it's impossible to see the problem because they are so long. It's like the modded MC tech support: There could be a million reasons why it doesn't work. And those are closed as well, for that reason. The FAQ would also not be a "I don't want to deal with this", but … Jun 5, 2019 at 12:55
  • … instead give them tools to reduce their problem to the bits that matters. Either they already solve it with that or they can come back and ask a new question, a better one. The FAQ would also say which pieces of information are needed for that. Jun 5, 2019 at 13:00
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    See this question
    – pppery
    Jul 13, 2019 at 21:34
  • Given that my linked question has now been tagged faq by a moderator, this is resolved.
    – pppery
    Jul 17, 2019 at 15:50
  • No, it's not. Yours covers the basics for people who program things themselves, mine would be for people who used command generators or copy-pasted stuff and it doesn't work. None of your tips would help those people and none of those would help the ones that you targeted. Jul 17, 2019 at 19:52


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