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I've noticed that there is a reasonable number of questions that are posed in the format "Does doing X this way perform faster than doing X that way?". Sometimes these questions are popular, and sometimes these questions attract some inflammatory comments or are even closed.

My understanding of the FAQ is that these questions are perfectly acceptable, especially if the question can be answered objectively with comparative references. But I've seen a few questions like this deleted or closed recently. So how should these questions be dealt with?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Well after a bit of of hunting around, I came across this blog post: http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/09/good-subjective-bad-subjective/

The gist of it is this:

Questions that are not answerable — discussions, debates, opinions — should be closed as subjective. It seems simple enough: Fact good; opinion and discussion bad.

But why?

… eventually the experts (i.e. people who are teaching you stuff) get drowned out and you are left with an experience that looks more like the magazine rack at a grocery store than a book shelf at Harvard. — Robert Scoble

It finishes with:

We never claimed that subjective questions were horrible abominations that should never be asked. We simply choose to forego those subjective discussions, as there were dozens upon dozens of forums which already catered to them. Our fellow programmers created a sister site specifically for their pent up subjective questions.

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If it could have been answered by the user performing a speed test of some kind, it's probably a bad question. There are exceptions to this, however.

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