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I saw a question whose answer could have been found by a simple Google search.

In that case, Can I use the comments to tell the person that they should have done proper research before asking a question with simple answer like that?

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Leaving a comment just to say the OP should have first looked on Google is discouraged, and not something I would suggest. The reasons are simply the following:

  • Google returns different links, or links in different order, depending from different factors, including your location and your previous researches

  • There are people who don't speak English as first language, and for whom an article written in English could not be 100% clear; even in the case the OP understands English well enough to follow the article, there could be something that is not clear

  • Such comments are not constructive, especially when they come out as "Why didn't you search on Google?"

If you want to point out that googling would give the OP what they are looking for, I would rather use one of these comments:

  • Have you seen this article [link to the article]? Is there anything you don't understand in that article?

    This would be a request for more information. If the OP read that article, but what suggested there didn't work, that is extra information that can help who answers; at least, users would avoid suggesting that article, or they would add more information to what that article says.

  • What did you find googling?

    Also this comment would be a request for more information. In some cases, the problem is not having found any resource that explain something, but understanding an existing resource.

  • Your request is too broad; may you restrict it by first googling, and then trying to understand what being suggested?

    This would be an invite for giving more details in the question, which are obtained by first searching on Internet, and then asking about something that is not clear. At least, it doesn't come out as "You idiot had the answer right under your eyes, and you didn't find it." which, as I previously said, could not be the case.

I would also assume good faith until there isn't prove the OP didn't try to first resolve the problem. If the OP doesn't show any research and says he didn't look on Internet, then the question could deserve a down-vote, but in any case, there should not be any comment that says to the OP "You are a lazy dog who didn't even find the solution on Internet when it was under your eyes."

When a link to a resource is necessary to be given in a comment, I would also suggest to give a link to the resource page, not a link to a generic search page, or to a LMGTFY page. The first would not work for the reason I have said before; the second would be just a way of saying to the OP how silly was not thinking of first googling.

To make it clear

Drupal Answers should not be the site where users ask Drupal-related questions without first looking for a solution themselves. We need high quality questions for which the answers are relevant and useful for future users too, not just the user who asked the question. Showing the done research is fundamental for the users who answer the question who, otherwise would say something the OP already knows or already tried, with the result of seeing comments like "I know this, but […]" given from the OP; it is fundamental also for future readers who can better understand why the OP is asking the question, and why the users who answered provided those answers.

The comments written for a question that doesn't show any research should point out there is missing information. For example, if a question is about using a Drupal function, it is legitimate to ask what in the official documentation was not clear to the OP, since we are not here to duplicate the Drupal.org documentation; what I would avoiding saying in a comment is "you didn't look at the official documentation," since that could be not true, even if the OP didn't say anything about reading the official documentation.

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    I think you need to be careful here. A comment like "it would be quicker to find this information on Google" is nowhere near to being synonymous with phrases containing "you idiot" or "You are a lazy dog". No-one has suggested that there's any level of insulting language involved in what the OP is asking, so to make a connection like that in response to this particular question is a bad idea in my opinion. – Clive Nov 6 '13 at 12:59
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    One of my recent comments was like "Have you tried to Google it? It appears you haven't, so could you please tell what you found and why it is not working for you?". I can' really see how it's insulting, certainly didn't meant it to be. And I've got comments like this, too, twice or thrice as far as I remember. I added what I've found, got pointed out to the results commenter have seen and I did not, and everyone went home happy. – Mołot Nov 6 '13 at 13:04
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    @Clive I have never said those comments were equivalent, but rather than pointing that using Google were faster, I would point out that the question is missing some information. It's fine to ask a question for which the answer is googleable, as long as the question says the OP tried to find a solution and (1) didn't find anything or (2) found something he didn't understand. Google doesn't return the same result for everybody; what somebody finds as first link when googling could be the 100th link for somebody else. – kiamlaluno Nov 6 '13 at 13:10
  • @Mołot It is more relevant what the OP said in the question, and what information is missing in the question. That is true for every question. If somebody is looking for a module, but doesn't say which modules he tried, the question is not good the same, even if the answer cannot be easily googled. Not saying which modules the OP already tried causes the users to write answers for which the OP then comments with "tried it, but didn't like it" or "tried it, but doesn't work." – kiamlaluno Nov 6 '13 at 13:14
  • Yeah I understand your answer, but I don't understand what the phrases containing insults have got to do with anything here? It seems you're suggesting that any comment telling someone to search on Google could be taken in that way, so don't do it, which I don't think is correct (or reasonable on behalf of an OP) – Clive Nov 6 '13 at 13:16
  • @Clive It's just a way to paraphrase what users could read from comments left about googling before asking. Those LTGTFY links are not welcome on Stack Exchange for the fact they are telling the OP "you are so lazy that you don't want to google the answer," instead of telling the OP "your question is missing some information." – kiamlaluno Nov 6 '13 at 13:21
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    If someone wants to take a perfectly innocent comment regarding doing some research on Google as an insult, and interpret it as the commenter calling them an "idiot" or a "lazy dog", that's the OP's problem. It's not a reflection on the intent of the commenter, just the OP being over-sensitive. If a comment is overtly insulting then yes, that a problem. But someone interpreting an un-insulting comment as an insulting one, is not. This is the usual problem that pops up when one tries to apply a blanket rule over something which is based mainly on nuance – Clive Nov 6 '13 at 13:24
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    @Clive We are going a little out of tracks, here. The point is simply one: The comments should point out the question is missing information, not assuming that the OP didn't search before asking without any proof. As a matter of fact, Google doesn't return the same result for all the users in the world; what I find googling from Italy is not what my American friend could find, since the result I get depends from my past searches too. Plus, there are users with different knowledge of English; not everybody chatted for more than 10 years with an American friend. – kiamlaluno Nov 6 '13 at 13:33
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    Sorry but I disagree with you there. In my opinion it's a pre-requisite that you show research effort when posting a question. We use "Google" as the go-to service simply because it's the most popular. Really that phrase could be "what research have you done through the popular methods to do so?". I also disagree that nationality plays any part here - the site is in English, so users need to be able to speak English, and understand what the words mean. They don't need to be fluent, but they should certainly be able to distinguish between a friendly request for information, and an insult. – Clive Nov 6 '13 at 13:41
  • I should point out that my only objection to your answer is the suggestion that someone taking an un-insulting comment as an insulting one could possibly be the fault of the person making the comment. Everything else I agree with fully – Clive Nov 6 '13 at 13:44
  • @Clive Please re-read what I wrote: I didn't say somebody wrote "You are a lazy dog who didn't even find the solution on Internet when it was under your eyes." in a comment. I just said there should not be any comment saying "You are a lazy dog who didn't even find the solution on Internet when it was under your eyes." Furthermore, I am not referring to any specific case. I don't even know why the OP is asking this question, but I am giving an answer that is equally valid in every case. That's all. – kiamlaluno Nov 6 '13 at 13:46
  • @kiamlaluno I'm probably just not getting what you mean - it was my little town's night of insanity last night and I'm still recovering ;) – Clive Nov 6 '13 at 14:13
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    @Clive Don't worry: We Italians are colorful, when speaking. Even if it was an exaggeration, I stand correct: Nobody should write a comment like that. I didn't say a comment like that was really given, but it is still true it should never be written, if not as example of a comment nobody should write. ;) – kiamlaluno Nov 6 '13 at 14:20
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From my point of view, no need to comment, Instead if you know the answer, you can post the answer or if that question is inappropriate you can flag it to moderator, they will handle it.

You should submit a comment if you want to:

  • Request clarification from the author;
  • Leave constructive criticism that guides the author in improving the post;
  • Add relevant but minor or transient information to a post (e.g. a link to a related question, or an alert to the author that the question has been updated).
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    I disagree with this somewhat - we're looking for high quality questions here, not just any question that can be answered. Requesting that someone perform basic research before posting a problem here falls under the "Leave constructive criticism" part of what you've quoted there in my opinion. I see no reason to flag for a moderator's involvement when you can simply leave a comment to ask what research has been undertaken already, or to suggest that some basic research on the part of the OP is required. It must be done in a friendly way, of course – Clive Nov 6 '13 at 11:21
  • @Clive: This may be a little awkward. I asked this question because of your comment on my post :P. It would have been even more awkward if I had to flag your comment to yourself as suggested by Bala. – kmdhrm Nov 6 '13 at 12:48
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    @DipakYadav Yeah I guessed that, that's why I haven't added an answer here ;) I was responding to this part of the question: I could not find the declaration of either the user_profile_form form id or the form anywhere in the Drupal system, I just wanted to point out that you'd find that particular information a lot quicker through Google. Wasn't meant in a hostile way or anything, but as it turns out its irrelevant because you were asking a more complex question anyway. Oh and don't worry, if we see a flag against our own posts we let another mod handle it – Clive Nov 6 '13 at 12:53
  • @Clive: In that case I might as well edit that part of the question. :) – kmdhrm Nov 6 '13 at 12:58
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    If I google looking for the result, I find a link that is relevant, and I ask to the OP if he read the linked page, that is fine and it falls under the "request clarification from the author"; saying "you could have googled" without saying anything else is not constructive at all. – kiamlaluno Nov 6 '13 at 13:39
  • @kiamlaluno agreed with your point, without saying anything else is not constructive at all – Bala Nov 6 '13 at 13:54

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