I recently asked this question that was closed as "too localized." I'm trying to understand what would cause it to fit that criterion. The closest justification would seem to be if it affects merely "a moment in time," but Joel's 3rd bullet seems to indicate that questions like mine are fine.

Am I really not grasping something in the definition of "too localized"? Is there some legitimate reason that the question deserves to be closed that is not covered? That's certainly possible, and I'd like to hear the arguments if that's the case. It was suggested that perhaps the title was "inflammatory"; I disagree but I have since changed the title anyway. Or perhaps should the question be reopened?

This is a related non-duplicate.

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It's not. It might be not constructive, but in any event, it's almost re-opened. –  Adam Rackis Jan 23 '12 at 22:27
@AdamRackis - It is in fact now reopened. –  Oded Jan 23 '12 at 22:34
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1 Answer

Java's updated constantly, and version 6 spanned 5 years. If version 7 is anything like it, your question and its answers will also need to be updated regularly and for a long time in order to remain accurate.

In other words, it's pretty localized in time because the answer can change at any time. I understand your point that it may not be as vanishingly small as Joel says, but the community seems to have a slightly different definition.

Beyond that, I would personally have voted to close it as not constructive. "Stability" is entirely subjective unless you provide exacting criteria. It's easy to measure the uptime of Amazon's cloud services, for example. It's impossible to provide any meaningful indication of whether Java is "reliable" in general because reliability means different things to different people, and there's no obvious concept like "uptime" to connect it to.

Stability is sort of meaningless here, to be honest. It's not like your increment operations will fail 1% of the time or whatever. Bad optimizations are bugs, and code that is optimized that way may or may not be unstable depending on what it's doing.

Perhaps you should ask how buggy Java 7 is, perhaps asking for good references such as number of bugs tracked by the Java team at Oracle for Java 7 vs the number tracked by Sun for Java 6. Just a suggestion.

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"Stability" is not entirely subjective. Significant, known bugs would be prima facie evidence of instability. There is at least the potential for non-subjective measures. For instance, if there happens to be an independent, 3rd party test suite that has passed for all prior versions. Another example would be if some part of it has been proven correct. –  Michael McGowan Jan 23 '12 at 22:58
@MichaelMcGowan No, you still have to define instability. Significant, known bugs tend to be easy to work around or even take advantage of and thus may not impact the stability of a given app. The Java runtime crashing at random would be instability, but that doesn't seem to be what you're talking about here. If you really are talking about bugs, tests and provable correctness, then make that explicit and don't use words people can argue over. –  Matthew Read Jan 23 '12 at 23:02
To use words people can't argue over would require me to stop using English. –  Michael McGowan Jan 23 '12 at 23:07
Stability seems entirely subjective to me. Java 7 might contain severe bugs that I never encountered, and Java 6 might contain bugs that nobody else considers severe but me.... So which one is more stable? Counting bugs in a bug tracker for measuring and comparing stability is just random and meaningless comparison. –  Warren in Toronto Jan 24 '12 at 3:42
@MichaelMcGowan: Any chance you can edit the question to add subjective criteria which can be provided within answers that prove it is as least as stable? –  Won't Jan 24 '12 at 12:20
@MichaelMcGowan You could pretend to try. It's needlessly vague especially if you're actually interested in bugs, tests and provable correctness (as already noted). –  Matthew Read Jan 24 '12 at 14:14
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