On questions that look like the OP hasn't attempted any research or to try to figure it out themselves, should comments be left to have them try to google (or bing,etc) or otherwise show they tried to figure out the answer themselves?

There's this discussion on MSO on how the SO community regards such comments, but it seems it can be left to the specific community to decide how to handle it.

So, how should DBA.SE handle 'lmgtfy' comments?

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    Just a note, this is for comments only. 'lmgtfy' answers (with nothing else) should be removed, IMO. – Derek Downey May 25 '12 at 15:56

Personally, I think any comments to try to get the OP to show some research will help the overall quality of questions on our site.

As long as the comment isn't rude, I don't think it's a bad thing to ask them if they've tried to google it.

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    Eh, we generally assume people have tried to google it already and haven't figured out what the problem is, so came here to ask. Asking them to show us what they've discarded however, sounds highly cromulent. – jcolebrand May 25 '12 at 16:13
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    @jcolebrand Meh, I generally don't assume anything, especially with the recent discussions of garbage on SO and not wanting that on our site. Yes, I know there's 'VtC', but that's generally my last tool after comments fail, as a 'close vote' generally has a negative connotation to it. I don't want to negatively impact a user if his only offense was not knowing how to ask a question on stackexchange. – Derek Downey May 25 '12 at 16:36
  • I just meant assume as in "don't ask them to google it, assume they used google first". That prevents comments like "did you google it" – jcolebrand May 25 '12 at 17:06
  • But....that's what we're here to discuss. Feel free to add your own answer. I don't see a problem with 'did you google it' comments, done right. Hence this answer :) – Derek Downey May 25 '12 at 17:10
  • commentary, that's what it does ;-) – jcolebrand May 25 '12 at 17:33

This is not necessarily my personal opinion, just fuel for discussion

What value do those comments add?

The response will either be...

YES...and you have to get more info, clarify still what the OP has tried (if anything), discern what they have found


NO...and you are not better off than you were before. OP has confirmed your suspicion that they did no research.

So what's the next step?

Either the OP goes and does research on their own and we have a dead question, or you ask followup questions to clarify, which is what you would have done in the first place.

Neither one really helps the OP, and doesn't help future users of the site either.

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    In the case of 'yes', hopefully (but I agree not always) they will also provide more details of what they tried by updating the question (or at least by a comment that can be edited into the question) to make it more useable. In the case of 'no', I can VtC if googling did solve their issue. If 'no, but that didn't help', hopefully they've provided a "here's why it didn't help". – Derek Downey May 25 '12 at 17:39
  • @DTest so how is asking them to do research better than just asking "Can you clarify what you have tried"? – JNK May 25 '12 at 17:44
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    Asking if they did is not telling them to, and it should go hand-in-hand with 'could you clarify what you've tried?' – Derek Downey May 25 '12 at 17:58

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