I recently asked a question about the pros and cons of Python-style printing as opposed to C++-style printing. It seems to be attracting downvotes (not a good thing) and I'm not sure why.

I believe the question is quite clear and should also be on-topic for the site, as there are existing questions about the difference in features between languages.

What have I done wrong with the question, and how can I fix it?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ There's many unfriendly people out there with their finger on the downvote trigger. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 24, 2023 at 23:44
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ It's possible people objected to describing printf as C++-style printing (which I guess would be cout) rather than C-style. $\endgroup$
    – Michael Homer Mod
    Commented Jun 25, 2023 at 0:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @MichaelHomer hopefully people aren't downvoting based on just something like that. It might even be against the new CoC. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 25, 2023 at 0:23

3 Answers 3


It's pretty unclear what you're asking.

Are you asking about "what are the pros vs cons of Python-style print?" (a question)

Or are you asking about "what are the differences between Python-style print and C++-style printf?" (a question)


We can only speculate on what the original three downvotes were about, but the sequence of revisions across the history of the question has highlighted that the heart of the question was unclear even to its asker — they've been contradictory and different parts of the question have seemed to refer to different topics, both between revisions and within the same one.

Is it meant to be about language design? Implementation factors? Tradeoffs? Functional distinctions? C++ printing? C stdio printing? String formatting? Automatic type coercion? Which aspects of Python's print function, or Dart's, are being talked about?

The example is very generic and doesn't elucidate much on its own, so it doesn't really narrow it down much. It's a fairly generic A-vs-B question, but A and B are a bit foggy and it's not certain what the purpose is. The question title can't encompass absolutely every detail, but the body has the opportunity to illuminate more. The tooltip for voting down says

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

Presuming that voters applied that guidance (which isn't a guarantee...), we could imagine that the question was found unclear to the reader, that it was seen to lack research effort, or that it was felt to be trite. I can't say which of those applied to any given vote, but I also can't say that any of them is beyond plausibility either in light of the potential issues above. There could be a number of stronger questions inside this one that might have avoided those votes, although sometimes downvotes do just happen too without much meaning. It's always worth considering what opportunities there are for improvement, but not worth taking them too much to heart.


You've asked about implementation but used rather than .

(From your question: "What are the main differences between implementing a print function")

Which one do you want to ask about?

  • The design of print statements
  • The implementation of print statements

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