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I've read this: Should marginal, off-topic questions be closed instead of migrated?

However, I've seen several questions get closed as off-topic lately, where I don't believe their quality alone warranted the close; perhaps migration to Programmers would have been more appropriate.


I'll admit none of them are really great questions, but they're from relatively new users.

I feel that closing instead of migrating will discourage them from becoming more active / productive on stackoverflow. Should these have been migrated instead?

If not, why is closing more appropriate?

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Because folks on Programmers.SE won't like those questions and they'll get closed anyways. See: Please stop using Programmers.SE as your toilet bowl – NullUserException อ_อ Dec 4 '11 at 18:48
@NullUserExceptionอ_อ Well, at least the the first one seems to pass all of the criteria for a valid, non-subjective question... even though it may be a bit of a run-on. – robjb Dec 4 '11 at 18:53
@robjb - nope. It's too open ended. Where's the problem to be solved? – ChrisF Dec 4 '11 at 18:55
@ChrisF He explicitly asks if one set of syntax / grammar can be designed to encompass the logic of / "compile" down to any given language. I think the difficulties in doing so are obvious, but how is the question unclear? – robjb Dec 4 '11 at 18:59
Why do you think migrating campfire questions is more appropriate than closing them? Hurt feelings? – random Dec 4 '11 at 19:53
@random: I think not-so-great questions can generate good answers, and I didn't feel they were explicitly outside the scope of the FAQ. (I didn't realize resume help was outlawed by the FAQ, so I've removed that example.) – robjb Dec 4 '11 at 20:30
(+1 as I think this very question is legit and I don't understand its downvotes; not because I feel migration would be better than closing.) – Arjan Dec 4 '11 at 20:33
@robjb - it's a very open ended question. Is it a real problem or an academic exercise? – ChrisF Dec 4 '11 at 22:09
@Arjan Nothing wrong with upvoting; but on Meta, down votes are different than the main site; they often indicate disagreement with what is being stated. That's the reason for mine, for example. From FAQ – Andrew Barber Dec 5 '11 at 12:45
I know, @Andrew, but the question did not take any position to vote against, I'd say... (To me, it's a question, not a statement.) – Arjan Dec 5 '11 at 12:47
@Arjan The question headline did not take a position, true, but the question body did: "I don't believe their quality alone warranted the close; perhaps migration to Programmers would have been more appropriate." – Andrew Barber Dec 5 '11 at 12:49

In general it takes at least 4 votes to migrate a question rather than a simple majority of 3.

This is because there have been a series of bad migrations, not just to Programmers, but to Super User and Server Fault as well.

People need to take the time to check out the current FAQ of the target site before voting to migrate. There's a link right there on the close dialog.

Migrating isn't a right. If the question is off topic on Stack Overflow and you have any doubt over whether it's on topic elsewhere just vote to close as off topic. You can flag the question for a moderator to check and the question can be migrated after it's closed so it's not the end of the world if it's closed as off topic for a while.

As for the specifics:

I'll admit none of them are really great questions, but they're from relatively new users

You've summed it up quite nicely here. Above all the one golden rule of question migration is:

Don't migrate crap

None of the three questions you link to are suitable for Programmers. We have a specific line in the FAQ that states that questions about:

what language you should learn next, including which technology is better

are off topic.

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Perhaps that bold Don't Migrate Crap could be put on the close->migration dialog. Excellent summary. :) – sarnold Dec 5 '11 at 1:43

People would rather you fail to migrate legitimate questions than that you migrate a non-legitimate question. See my meta question I don't care if a question is closed or migrated. What should I do? for example.

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