How to set folder icons of multiple folders automatically?

In the question above I asked for a little improvement to the answer on an existing question:

How to set the first picture of every folder as its folder icon?

The newly asked question (or at least newly edited, it was asked a month ago) doesn't have any formatting problems that I can think of, It's clearly understandable, and uses a moderately correct English as far as I know. it still got one down-vote which makes me think that there might be a better way to ask for improvements to answers.

I just wanna know if I'm doing something wrong or how I could have asked it in a better way.

  • 1
    I'd never downvote an answer for English inaccuracies - I think that would be a terrible thing to do. I am curious as to why you have not responded to Jacob Vljim's last comment on your question. Did you test that version?
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented May 22, 2017 at 6:41
  • @Zanna At the time of writing, that paste appears to be dead.
    – Kaz Wolfe
    Commented May 22, 2017 at 6:43
  • @KazWolfe that's by the by - I'd like to know why the conversation trailed off
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented May 22, 2017 at 6:47
  • 1
    @Zanna see old edits on my question, I nearly changed everything now, we also had a chat, which seems to be deleted now, we talked about the script. and it didn't work Commented May 22, 2017 at 7:00
  • @Zanna thanks (again) for editing my question Commented May 22, 2017 at 7:06
  • 1
    always a pleasure :)
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented May 22, 2017 at 7:55

2 Answers 2


To put simply, it's complicated.

I'll start with your specific case. Your question is different enough from the original question that they both can peacefully coexist on the site without being marked as duplicate. If you're more curious as to why you were downvoted, there are quite a few reasons why a question receives a -1. In your particular case, I can only guess that the downvote refers to this:

This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful.

Here on Ask Ubuntu, we expect a minimal amount of effort put into any question. While I can not speak for the downvoter, my guess is that the script you linked already exists, and can easily be adapted with a little bit of research effort or work. Thereby, the downvote would reflect this. In other words, your question isn't bad, it just shows a lack at an attempt to do it yourself.

Now, on to a broader note. Typically, the general rule of thumb is to not ask a duplicate question. If you want clarification for an answer, comment first. If you need a lot of information, go ahead and ask a new question. If you want a tweak made to the behavior of an answer, you probably want a new question. If you want an existing (and relatively recent) answer improved or more/better answers, post a bounty. If you're feeling cheap with reputation, just edit the post to bump it to the front page and hope you get lucky.

With both of those out of the way, we can see (at least from my POV) that your question is technically fine. It's not duplicating anything that immediately exists as it's requesting something similar but not the same. The only reason I could see you getting a downvote is because of a lack of a do-it-yourself attempt using what you already had first. You were perfectly in the green to ask a new question in this case.

  • I've already put bounty on original question , because it has helped me a lot, and the script is written in python and my knowledge about python (or any other programming lang) is Zero so how should I proceed from here? down voter should've left a comment (I guess) Commented May 22, 2017 at 7:04

As Kaz Wolfe points out in his answer it's possible your question was downvoted for exhibiting a "lack of research", but I have some words to say about that.

Downvoting, in my view, is not personal, and should never be punitive. Voting should be about the post in its current state or the state it will be in after I've improved it by editing if it is salvageable. Likewise, upvoting is not a reward.

Taking this view of voting as impersonal, why should we downvote a question for "lack of research"?

I take issue with the highly subjective concept of "lack of research". When you know nothing about a topic, research is extremely difficult as you don't have existing knowledge in which to integrate new knowledge. Moreover, some "reseach" is unhelpful: we have countless questions that say "I scoured the internet and didn't find anything" "I read existing answers and nothing worked" - Depending on the case I remove these statements because they are useless to answerers. If the asker does not tell us exactly what they have tried and exactly how it failed, the fact that they wasted some time searching is irrelevant to the question.

Yes, "research" (which could be so many things) might be irrelevant to the question! And we don't vote on irrelevant stuff, we just edit it out.

A good question, in my opinion, is three things: on-topic, answerable in our format, and useful to others. It doesn't matter if the question is simple, if the answer is obvious to everyone who's read the first 10 pages of The Linux Command Line.

As far as I know we have inherited the downvote message from Stack Overflow, and it's less relevant to us because we're helping end users, who may often be quite reasonably clueless. That's not the case for developers.

It's my belief that downvoting for "lack of research" is proposed (by the developers of Stack Exchange) for these reasons:

  • To avoid excessive duplication of content
  • To prevent people ("help vampires") from exploiting others by asking to be spoonfed every little thing instead of trying to learn some basics themselves (more relevant to developers than to end users)

I upvote questions that add value to the site by making it more useful to visitors present and future; I don't worry about how much effort the asker seems to have put into it. I downvote questions that I think are not useful and/or not answerable.

Of course, people vote as they like. But I don't think it would make much difference to the usefulness of your question if you documented at great length your own attempts to find a solution. I don't know why your question was downvoted, but at first glance I felt it was rather similar to other posts and unlikely to be widely applicable. On closer inspection I think your question is a useful one. I am going to upvote it and ask for clarification.

  • that was one of the best answers I've read, I can understand the down vote that happened before I edited the question but down vote after editing is not explainable IMHO Commented May 22, 2017 at 8:00
  • 1
    @SumeetDeshmukh your question may have been downvoted because Tim Post lost his keys, or by someone trying to use the roomba to delete unanswered questions indiscriminately, or by someone who doesn't like it for some mysterious reason of their own. I personally don't think downvoting is justified.
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented May 22, 2017 at 8:03
  • 1
    my god, he lost em again? that guy is reckless :P Commented May 22, 2017 at 8:10

You must log in to answer this question.

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