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Mighty admins of Blender Meta,

Would it be possible to add a short text, suggesting to include a .blend file in a new question?
It could make answers more relevant and specific.

Just something simple like
enter image description here

Many questions are way easier to answer when a .blend file is provided. But only a small percentage of users actually does it.

So.
Would it be possible to add such a suggestion, or is it going against SE purpose?

Thank you

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    $\begingroup$ This is mostly a duplicate of this. My opinion is that ideally I would rather answer a well-worded, illustrated question without having to download a file, save for the cases where they really are required. Suggesting a user should upload a file may encourage them to be lazy in their question writing. This would make it harder for other users to tell whether this question is the same as theirs and whether the answers are therefore relevant to their own problem. $\endgroup$ – Ray Mairlot Nov 19 '19 at 17:54
  • $\begingroup$ @RayMairlot Thanks for the link, I missed it. And also thanks for your opinion, I didn't think of that. Well I guess I'll just stick to asking for .blends on each question individually :). $\endgroup$ – Jachym Michal Nov 19 '19 at 18:04
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    $\begingroup$ I'd even dare say that if a question requires a file to be answered it is most likely a bad sign. It is either too localized or a "do it for me" job that is unlikely to be helpful to anyone else in the future. $\endgroup$ – Duarte Farrajota Ramos Nov 19 '19 at 20:10
  • $\begingroup$ @DuarteFarrajotaRamos You make a good point, sir. I still think it's a good idea to have a .blend available, but I can see the possible problems. Thanks everyone for sharing your experience :). $\endgroup$ – Jachym Michal Nov 19 '19 at 20:39
  • $\begingroup$ @RayMairlot Please, consider posting your comment as an answer, like `@Leander suggested. The comment section is a bit hard to navigate :). $\endgroup$ – Jachym Michal Nov 23 '19 at 16:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Leander Done. You're right, I should have done this. $\endgroup$ – Ray Mairlot Nov 23 '19 at 19:49
  • $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of Should all "Ask A Question" pages encourage the poster to upload their blend? $\endgroup$ – Luciano Nov 29 '19 at 13:21
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We do, as much as we can anyway. Unfortunately as far as I know we don't have any way to edit the ask a question page.

I disagree with some of the opinions expressed in the comments, I'd say a .blend is nearly always better than no .blend (there are of course times where it's not necessary, but it doesn't really hurt either). To mitigate "here's my project pls fix it" questions, ideally we want to encourage users to upload a stripped-down "minimal example" of their problem. Doing that

  • helps them, as often the process of isolating the problem leads to the solution (or at least helps with writing a clearer question)
  • helps us, as we don't need to dig through large .blends and try and reverse-engineer what the OP is attempting to do
  • helps blend-exchange by saving bytes
  • plus it alleviates some concerns users occasionally have over IP rights.

Unfortunately the only way we have to consistently communicate this to new users is by commenting and linking meta where relevant.

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  • $\begingroup$ Good points over the pros of, especially the part about narrowing down the issue. My concern is that it all relies on actually getting users to strip the file down, which most newcomers never actually do. $\endgroup$ – Duarte Farrajota Ramos Nov 19 '19 at 23:42
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your thoughts, I couldn't agree more. This seems to be a situation where the Blender SE community can really shine :). $\endgroup$ – Jachym Michal Nov 20 '19 at 8:34
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My opinion is that ideally I would rather answer a well-worded, illustrated question without having to download a file, save for the cases where they really are required.

Suggesting a user should upload a file may encourage them to be lazy in their question writing. This would make it harder for other users to tell whether this question is the same as theirs and whether the answers are therefore relevant to their own problem.

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Creating a totally Useless build up

Further to answer of @RayMairlot, another thing to consider is the hosting provider.

Policy for linking to blend files

Should all "Ask A Question" pages encourage the poster to upload their blend?

Often see a comment request to add a blend file to a question. The suggested host is often http://blend-exchange.giantcowfilms.com ie permanent blend file hosting for bse provided by user @GiantCowFilms. Similarly with those attached to answers.

Often the answer is change this setting, or plug this node in here, not here ,, As far as the Q&A is concerned there is no need for anyone else to DL the blend. From this point in time the blend file does nothing more than take up space. As we are aware from our download, pictures, desktop and other folders that grow and grow and grow some maintenance is required, or provide more and more storage space. (HD's have grown from Mega to Terra in 20 years, doesn't take 20yrs to fill them)

IMO In many cases using a temporary service like https://pasteall.org/blend/ would be much more suitable. The blend file is kept for around 5 months. Generally if the question is answerable and someone has requested the blend it is answered in less time than 5 months.

Could add a zillion links to questions / answers where I feel a permanently hosted blend file is totally unnecessary. (Sure you have seen plenty) Does it matter if the link to blend is broken. How many answers over 5mths old even get looked at?

To sum up, consider requesting user upload blend to a temporary hosting site

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