> Why not simply address the issue raised or simply ignore it _This is a "generic" reply, not specific to the original poster, their question, or Larry's response_. I can think of two reasons for not ignoring certain requests for help, while not _directly_ addressing the question asked: * Just as programming is a skill/art that needs to be learnt, so too is _asking a useful question_. In both cases people can acquire skills themselves; in both cases, a "nudge" from someone to point them in the right direction can be helpful. One common problem is not providing enough detail (_descriptions_ of what was attempted, instead of precise steps; "_it didn't work_" instead of actual/expected output); another is an [X-Y Problem](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XY_problem), where the "real" problem gets hidden behind a perceived problem. * Different message boards, forums, websites have different goals and focuses: some questions (and/or the answers they might spawn) are outside those goals/focus ("_off topic_"). Sometimes, directing a questioner to better places to ask such questions is the right thing to do.