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A user comes to ask a question. After several interactions via comments he eventually adds a comment saying it is resolved for some reason.

So the question is not needed anymore (it becomes a non-question). I have found many while looking at unanswered SO questions, but in some way they do not belong to this category as their OPs do not wait for an answer anymore.

There is sometimes a variant : the question has one ore more answers, but none are selected as the OP explains the question does not apply anymore.

Can one think about deleting such question ? Is there a procedure (like by flagging the question for moderators) ? Or is it intended to keep them ?

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"it is resolved for some reason" If the user refuses to elaborate, or the reason is something incredibly trivial, we typically close it as too localized. –  BoltClock's a Unicorn May 10 '12 at 9:26
    
Yes, let me show an exemple on SO : the OP asks why a DeleteFile() call could fail, and it appears that the code is ok, only the file name (extension) was wrong, hence the function call fails. The OP comments "Solved it", the questions stays in the "unanswered" filter stackoverflow.com/questions/5920972/… –  Seki May 10 '12 at 9:30
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1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Standard operating procedure is to delete questions where the answer is unlikely to be helpful to anyone else ever in the future of the Internet.

For example, if someone made a stupid mistake (like a typo in their code), then it's unlikely anyone else who lands here from Google will find that question or the answers to it very helpful. Questions like that should be deleted. If the asker doesn't delete them him/herself, then someone should flag them for moderator attention. Use the "other" option and explain why the question should be deleted in the free-form textbox.

However, for questions where the answers are good and useful, the question should probably be left alone, even if it is sub-par. The goal here is to build up a reference where answers to common programming problems can be found, not just to help one person solve their problem. No matter how silly or stupid, if one person had a problem, it's fairly reasonable to assume that someone else might have that same problem later.

Most of the time these questions will be closed by the community, probably as either "too localized" or "not a real question". Voting to close only requires 3,000 or more reputation, and the agreement of 5 different users. Once a question has been closed, users with at least 20,000 reputation can vote to delete it. It only takes 3 delete votes.

Yes, let me show an exemple on SO : the OP asks why a DeleteFile() call could fail, and it appears that the code is ok, only the file name (extension) was wrong, hence the function call fails. The OP comments "Solved it", the questions stays in the "unanswered" filter: DeleteFile() function always returns error code 2

I was about to suggest that that question should be answered, explaining that error code 2 is defined by the Windows headers as ERROR_FILE_NOT_FOUND and demonstrating where/how to find the documentation that contains the error code information.

But…I see the asker has already accessed the documentation and made that discovery. So there seems to be little to add in the form of an answer. It literally goes without saying that the extension is part of the file name, and if you've got the incorrect file name, Windows will be unable to find and delete the file.

I say delete the question: ERROR_QUESTION_NOT_USEFUL.

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OK, I'll get moderator's attention on such cases. Thanks for the detailed answer. –  Seki May 10 '12 at 11:43
    
@Seki. You could also just downvote it. After 30 days it would likely be deleted anyway –  Some Helpful Commenter May 10 '12 at 14:57
    
@SomeHelpfulCommenter: Thanks for the pointer. I did not know that downvoting may automatically remove questions (I just checked the privileges list) –  Seki May 10 '12 at 15:10
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