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Some of the close reason explanations don't cover the reasons why we often use them. I'd like to suggest some changes to these.


Not Constructive

This question is not a good fit to our Q&A format. We expect answers to generally involve facts, references, or specific expertise; this question will likely solicit opinion, debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion.

specifically

this question will likely solicit opinion, debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion.

Opinion and extended discussion is okay, when its drawn out by a good subjective question, and debate and arguments are essentially the same thing.

This description also leaves out a few reasons we encounter all the friggen time. I'd suggest changing the reason to

This question is not a good fit to our Q&A format. We expect answers to generally involve facts, references, or specific expertise; this question will likely result in arguments, polls, shopping lists, low quality answers, or spam.

Not a Real Question

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form.

Lets remove the redundant points and switch them around

This question is difficult to understand, and therefore cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. This question is incomplete or overly broad.

Now lets add in the missing bits, expanding on why it is being closed (as the original was pretty much "we don't understand what the hell you just typed"):

This question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. It may be difficult to tell what is being asked here, and therefore cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. It may also solicit yes/no or link-only answers, be incomplete or overly broad, or require users to visit another website to answer.

Too Localized

This one is harder, as StackOverflow is different (get used to it) than other SE sites.

This question is unlikely to ever help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet.

This is pretty good in general, but leaves out a large majority of questions on SO that are closed as "too localized"--questions that ask users to debug code. There are other issues with the standard version.

I don't recall a question ever being closed as localized geographically on SO. Would you close a question such as "Why does my application break in Turkey?" as Too Localized? That's as geographically localized as you can get--and you'd be wrong. So ditch that noise.

Many questions are just a wall of code, with no effort to debug or at least narrow down where the problem exists. These kinds of questions ask our users to debug code for someone else, which shouldn't be acceptable.

So there should be a localized reason for SO only:

This question is unlikely to ever help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a specific moment in time, involves general code debugging tasks, or is an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet.

I'm not 100% on that bolded phrasing, but something about "show some effort, you slacking bastard, before you drive off good users" should be included.

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Oh, and I say so. So do it. –  Won't Mar 23 '12 at 21:36
    
Ironic coming from a person named "Won't" on meta. But isn't meta all about irony anyway? –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Mar 23 '12 at 21:38
    
Hmmf. No. Your close reasons make me want to close them as too wordy. NARQ and TL are bad enough as it is. –  Gilles Mar 23 '12 at 21:43
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@Gilles: "Too wordy"? Who cares? People read these once and then forever know what they say. I don't re-read the description each time I use the close dialog. They should be long enough to adequately convey the rationale behind closure to new or inexperienced users. A couple of phrases more doesn't make any difference. If we really cared about limiting our word count, we'd remove the descriptions altogether and just use the 1-3 word titles. –  Cody Gray Mar 23 '12 at 21:49
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I don't like your Not a Real Question suggestion (it just feels... a little incorrect) but +1 for the rest. –  minitech Mar 23 '12 at 21:54
    
@CodyGray “People read these once and then forever know what they say”: are we living in the same universe? Or are you forgetting that there are far more people whose questions get closed than people who cast close votes? –  Gilles Mar 23 '12 at 21:55
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I don't like the term "shopping lists" - Can't it be something more general that encompasses what it means? I don't think everyone who reads that will understand what it means. Why not just "lists"? –  animuson Mar 23 '12 at 21:57
    
@animuson: The term of art that you're looking for is "big ol' list" –  Cody Gray Mar 23 '12 at 21:58
    
+1 for Too Localized. As it stands, with reference to programming related sites, it would be nice to have the relationship between "extraordinarily narrow" and codebase-specific issues (typos or other such bugs) spelled out. –  K.G. Mar 23 '12 at 22:04
    
@minitech please suggest an alternate!! –  Won't Mar 23 '12 at 22:59
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+1 is from Will. -1 has no Gnarly. I'm conflicted –  Pëkka Mar 24 '12 at 9:25

1 Answer 1

Yes, and no...

I also don't like some of the wordings... so here comes... a shopping list :-):

Not Constructive

  • shopping lists: I don't really see why this is needed, but if you have to can we use lists instead... sounds better I think.
  • low quality answers: This is completely subjective and can only lead to more meta posts along the lines of "My question wouldn't have resulted in a low quality answer, why was it closed?"

    If you want to remove debates though I wouldn't can we keep extended discussion; leaving us with the following:

    This question is not a good fit to our Q&A format. We expect answers to generally involve facts, references, or specific expertise; this question will likely result in arguments, polls, lists, spam or extended discussion.

Not a Real Question

  • overly broad: Can we please remove this. It's effectively the same as most of the reasons given in Not Constructive both in your version and the current one: solicit opinion, debate, arguments, polling, extended discussion and shopping lists. It makes it difficult to decide which reason to use.
  • solicit yes/no or link-only answers, as with low quality answers, and for the same reason, I don't think this works. I would re-write this as:

    This question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. It is difficult to tell what is being asked here; the question may be incomplete, ambiguous, vague or require users to visit another website to answer and therefore cannot be reasonably answered in its current form.

SO Specific Too Localised

  • involves general code debugging tasks: A lot of this goes on... and not all of them get closed by a long shot. You're opening yourself up to the meta-whine storm. Though, I do think it's very important so I would change it slightly and remove extraordinarily so it is slightly vaguer (less reason to argue):

    This question is unlikely to ever help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a specific moment in time, involves debugging a specific piece of code or is a narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet.

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P.S. I'm designing a database ( the schemas ), which is essentially boring, hence the overly long post. –  ben is uǝq backwards Mar 23 '12 at 22:19
    
+1 thanks for the suggestions. It makes it difficult to decide which reason to use. eh. That debate comes later. They all can lead to debate, unfortunately. Even if we have a massive list of choices there will be debate. –  Won't Mar 23 '12 at 23:06

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