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Update: Here is a question specifically about the Jargon post: Can we un-delete "New Programming Jargon You Coined"?.

I understand that maintaining a very good signal-to-noise ratio is one of the most defining goals of the SE model. It may be the single most important goal. So I understand that it's important that the community and the moderators actively curate content to make sure it's on topic and of high quality.

That said, I recently found this deleted post: New programming jargon you coined?

Besides being one of the most fun posts on SO, it has 240k views and a ton of community involvement. Sure, there's no way it fits the guidelines for acceptable questions, but shouldn't this be the kind of thing that's left open in spite of that, as an exceptional case? I've seen "left here for historical significance" posts before, and in light of that, I can't imagine why this one wouldn't fall under that umbrella.

In any case, the system won't even let me vote to undelete because "a moderator has deleted this post". (Incidentally, that restriction seems kind of draconian in a bad way, but that's a whole separate can of worms).

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For good or for bad, Stack Overflow is now too big to be house of fun. –  Shadow Wizard Feb 13 '12 at 7:55
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In that case, here's a possible idea for a feature-request: fun.stackoverflow.com. Content like this can be migrated there. It can be in Comic Sans to make the branding obviously different from the serious Q&A site. –  Ben Lee Feb 13 '12 at 7:57
    
(I say that despite my intense dislike of Comic Sans) –  Ben Lee Feb 13 '12 at 7:57
    
See this, this and this as well - many are arguing about those things. –  Shadow Wizard Feb 13 '12 at 8:03
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Believe it or not, but fun.stackexchange.com has been seriously proposed but eventually rejected. See here (direct link to rejected site) –  Shadow Wizard Feb 13 '12 at 8:07
    
@ShaDowWizArd, I was actually being serious about my proposal as well, was just about to actually make a new meta post about it (but will not, as it's already been done). I was kidding about the Comic Sans, but not kidding about making the branding obviously different to make it clear to newcomers that it's not the same site. –  Ben Lee Feb 13 '12 at 8:11
    
We can propose sites in Area51 - guess you didn't know about this? :) –  Shadow Wizard Feb 13 '12 at 8:14
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We don't need an ordinary new site as would be created through the Area 51 process. We just need a read-only archive.stackexchange.com that moderators can migrate posts to. That's all. Migrated posts are eventually deleted on the original site, but anybody following a link to it would be redirected to the archived copy. –  Jeremy Banks Feb 13 '12 at 8:14
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@ShaDowWizArd, no I did not know that until now. Though my idea wouldn't really be it's own SE site. I don't think it would make sense to allow any new content to be posted directly to that site. It would just be a home where awesome but ultimately off-topic posts could be migrated. –  Ben Lee Feb 13 '12 at 8:15
    
@Jeremy Banks: Yes, please. –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Feb 13 '12 at 11:07
    
@JeremyBanksʬʬʬ "We just need a read-only archive.stackexchange.com that moderators can migrate posts to." This has been considered and rejected for a few reasons 1) You are essentially turning SO into a gatekeeper for the "fun" site. People would start posting new questions they know aren't appropriate for SO in the hope that it would be migrated, since that would be the only way to get into the club of the fun site. We would have to limit it to existing questions only. 2) It would grow old and stale with no new content or updates would be no more useful than an old data dump. –  Adam Davis Feb 13 '12 at 11:59

1 Answer 1

up vote 17 down vote accepted

If there's something that is so valuable to Stack Overflow it absolutely must exist on the site, but nevertheless doesn't meet the quality guidelines for the network, then a serious case needs to be made to explain why the quality guidelines need to change to allow it.

Not "oh well a lot of people liked it so it must be good." A lot of people liked Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, too. A serious, cogent argument that demonstrates how these questions clearly make SE, and subsequently the whole of the internet, better.

Because the very existence of a question is enough for hundreds to thousands of other Stack Exchange users to justify the existence of their question, even though you might say "this is just an exception." For if one question is allowed, why not a dozen, a hundred, or even a thousand like it?

Be warned: people have spent a lot of time fretting over such things, and there are a great number of very good reasons why leaving these questions alone is Not a Good Idea™.

But all this is to say nothing about off-site repositories of Stack Overflow's... excess. Stack Printer comes to the rescue: behold!

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Thanks, that rationale makes sense. (Though I can't see why the network would want to offload some of it's best and most popular content to Stack Printer or the like instead of just migrating it to a special section reserved for fun, like fun.stackoverflow.com, but so be it.) –  Ben Lee Feb 13 '12 at 8:14
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@BenLee Because we don't want it. Popularity isn't what Stack Exchange hopes to accomplish, or rather that's not its main goal: it's to house a certain type of content. The rest of the internet is for the fun and silly. Stack Exchange is for learning. –  user149432 Feb 13 '12 at 8:16
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I read that FAQ, and I'm still convinced this question in particular belongs here. The post in question no doubt follows #2, and I think it follows #3 too. It's not just a fun post. That jargon is actually useful. (The top rated answer, for example, must have made it out into the real world somehow, because I heard it used by a colleague before I even knew about the post). Jeff said, "We will sometimes allow fun questions that meet the three broad guidelines I outlined above, but even then, only a limited amount." I think this qualifies for that limited amount. –  Ben Lee Feb 13 '12 at 9:57
    
@BenLee If you think the question truly fits the site's guidelines, make that argument in a new question. Any serious consideration of a wrongly-deleted question is derailed by saying a popular question should not be deleted even if it doesn't follow the guidelines. –  user149432 Feb 13 '12 at 10:01
    
I didn't say that. –  Ben Lee Feb 13 '12 at 10:02
    
I said "contains an abundance of community relevance", not "any". –  Ben Lee Feb 13 '12 at 10:02
    
@BenLee Fixed, but you're splitting hairs: you've made a general point about how the "abundance of community relevance" is determined by the number of views and activity on a question. It's a weak argument, and one that'll always fall on deaf ears: you have a much stronger one for this specific question if you can show it meets the usefulness guidelines talked about in the linked blog post. –  user149432 Feb 13 '12 at 10:07
    
Well, I really did not intend to make the argument that community relevance is determined by popularity. Looking back at my question I'm not sure where you saw that implication. But I will open a new question and make it targeted at this specific question if that's how it has to be. –  Ben Lee Feb 13 '12 at 10:09
    

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