I agree mostly with Paŭlo's answer, except on one bit:
homework - argh. I personally am more likely to ask basic questions, when I finally get some free time. However, none of them are homework. I don't study cryptography in an official at-a-place-of-education capacity. So I strongly dislike the homework tag for two reasons:
- It actually adds nothing more to the question than basic or beginner. It might not even be accurate in terms of whether the question is actually homework.
- It creates a culture of "is this homework?" comments, usually three or four at a time. These are not remotely helpful. Nobody cares, because:
The descriminant is whether the question is fundamentally well typed out and shows prior research/a clear problem, not whether it may or may not be an assignment. In fact, if it is an assigment and shows prior research and a well thought out question, the homework is clearly doing its job of getting people to think about the problem space, a process which will take them from being students to researchers in the field.
So, in short, I am not so keen on meta tags like homework. I think taking it case by case, closing blatant no-effort questions and encouraging effort questions, whether homework, basic or whatever, is the way forward. i.e. Paŭlo's "type 2" question.