During yesterday's Physics Chat we had an, erm, lively discussion about the evergreen subject of homework questions, and I think we reached as near a consensus as a motley crew of physics nerds is ever likely to achieve. I thought it would be worth posting (what I think is) the consensus view here in case anyone who missed that chat wants to comment.
For anyone who just wants to get on with their lives the tl;dr version is "no change".
The key concern everyone has is that once students get the idea they can post homework here and get answers we'll be swamped by homework questions. All the interesting questions will be lost in the flood and all the most active answerers will get bored and leave. And that will be the end of the site as a useful and authoritative source for physics. We all agree this is a bad thing.
On the flip side, many (not all) of us feel that where a student is showing some effort it would be nice to post an answer giving hints and discussing the concepts involved.
The problem is that if a homework question is not closed immediately someone will give the sort of explicit answer we want to discourage. Once this happens it doesn't matter if the question is subsequently closed, because the student will have the answer they want and we'll have exactly the problem we started with.
So there really isn't any alternative to closing homework questions ASAP. This doesn't mean we're being nasty and unhelpful, it's just the only way to avoid us turning into yet another homework help site.
Several of us have an unofficial strategy of voting to close homework questions then providing hints as comments. This doesn't seem an ideal solution to me, but it's probably the best solution.
If anyone has views on the above I'd like to hear them, but please bear in mind the subject has been discussed to death, so please only post if you have a point that hasn't been raised in any of the previous discussions of the issue.