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Earlier today I asked the question, "Why don't all modern languages support first-class functions?". It was promptly closed. As I explained in the comments, I think it's a good question for someone with language design experience to answer. It's fine if Stack Overflow is not the correct place for it, but if that's the case, where should I ask it?

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In addition to the subjectivity/discussion problems with the question, it's a pretty terribly asked. Your title is unnecessarily inflammatory, you don't define what you mean by "first-class functions", and you don't define what a "modern language" is. This deserves to be closed and deleted. –  Cody Gray May 26 '12 at 7:44
@TheEstablishment I'm sorry that the question was so terribly asked. I actually tried very hard to make it both clear and concise. I did not mean to be inflammatory at all, but rather sought the reasons (surely good) why a language designer would omit first-class functions, because I am not experienced enough to think of them on my own. I certainly don't mind having a question closed, but the rudeness of these communities has truly shocked me. Some users have been kind, but many have not. Such a shame. –  mybuddymichael May 26 '12 at 15:39
Concise isn't as important a goal as providing all necessary information. The title is the place where you should be concise and summarize your question. The body is where you explain, providing as much detail as necessary for people who want to help solve your problem. You really shouldn't think of having a question closed as "rude". That's not what it means. It's like "freezing" a question temporarily so that it can be improved before it starts gathering answers. We've talked a lot about that here on Meta, and I hear rumors the team is working on improving the UX around closing questions. –  Cody Gray May 27 '12 at 4:30
Oh and also, in case no one has pointed it out to you before, downvotes on Meta mean something different. Unlike on the main site, where they mean something like "this is a bad question, you shouldn't have asked it like this", here they just mean "we disagree". In this case, people are saying they disagree that your question was "wrongfully closed"—that it should have been closed. Not an insult to you, and it shouldn't be taken that way. –  Cody Gray May 27 '12 at 4:32
As I said above, I didn't take my question being closed as someone being rude. I understand that downvotes on Meta are different than other Stack Exchange sites and I didn't take those as being rude, either. Rather, it's the general tone of many of the comments that is disturbing. –  mybuddymichael May 27 '12 at 16:24

2 Answers 2

up vote 15 down vote accepted

It's a discussion question, not a Q/A question. Just to dissect a bit:

  1. There would have to be agreement on what a "modern language" is. That'd never happen.
  2. The question implicitly presumes that having first class functions is a good thing; not sure everyone would agree.
  3. Then, you're asking people to speculate on the intent of the implementors of various languages, and the motivations of various standards committees.

Note that there are no facts that could come up in response to any of those -- only opinions. There's really no right or wrong answer. Therefore, it's not a Stack Exchange question. Simple as that.

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+1 for "modern language". I wrote a rant about that before realizing I was rambling, and removed it. –  Makoto May 26 '12 at 5:05
Okay, thank you. –  mybuddymichael May 26 '12 at 15:40

It's a broad and subjective question.

This question can't be tied down to a specific use case or a specific reason - each language designer decided on their own whether or not they'd support first-class functions. The majority users of SO, who are not language designers, can only guess at the reason why more languages (or better yet, why most languages) don't have first-class functions, so it wouldn't work on SO.

I can't think of a site in-network offhand that would allow this question though; I genuinely do feel that you would be better served asking the language designers directly instead.

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Thank you. Perhaps I will try to do just that. –  mybuddymichael May 26 '12 at 15:40

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