Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

I asked about the experience that other programmers had about a specific programming language, a question that really makes sense. But I was immediately downvoted with no explanation. Is this a correct behavior for Stack Overflow? It is certainly not very useful. Could you explain why?

share|improve this question
If this happened on a specific question, could you provide a link? Generally, asking people to discuss their experiences is not what we do on SO, but if you want an answer more specific to you, we'll need context. – Pops Jun 8 '12 at 21:07
1) could you link here this question to be more specific? 2) it is bad to not explain why you downvote question, but it is still correct in most cases – om-nom-nom Jun 8 '12 at 21:07
Useful or not, it sounds to me to be off topic. You should read the FAQ to see what kinds of questions should and should not be asked. Questions asking about experiences are what we call "poll type" questions, those asking for multiple answers - not a good fit for our format. – Oded Jun 8 '12 at 21:08
@Oded My question was about the impression that other programmers have had of F#. Stop. Is this off topic for SO? – gliderkite Jun 8 '12 at 21:18
Yes, in as far as that it pretty much falls under the header "Not Constructive". The description of that contains the following line: "This question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion." And that is something which we generally avoid on SO. – Bart Jun 8 '12 at 21:19
@gliderkite: it is not off topic, but it isn't constructive. A valid answer to that question is, "I don't like F# because the developers stole my lunch money." – user7116 Jun 8 '12 at 21:20
@sixlettervariables A valid answer or a stupid answer? And this question is also not constructive (-2)? – gliderkite Jun 8 '12 at 21:22
Down-voting on meta doesn't work like down-voting on regular SE sites. Down-voting here just means the person disagrees with you (e.g. they don't think your question was on-topic on SO and agree that it was justifiably closed). – Aaron Bertrand Jun 8 '12 at 21:23
Voting here works differently. The downvotes probably mean "I don't agree with you that the question should not have been closed". – Bart Jun 8 '12 at 21:23
@AaronBertrand Ok thanks. – gliderkite Jun 8 '12 at 21:24
@Oded How many questions?… is this a good question for SO?. Well, 11 people who disagree with a question who have never read, so curious. – gliderkite Jun 9 '12 at 9:42
That is a very different kind of question, asking for specifics. It is also 2 years old, when rules were much more relaxed. – Oded Jun 9 '12 at 10:54
Can I down-vote again? @gliderkite why do you think the answer is going to change and all StackOverflow mods are going to change the FAQ, the policy and their opinions going forward every time you dredge up some old question that you think is similar to yours (but isn't)? – Aaron Bertrand Jun 9 '12 at 21:40
@AaronBertrand you can't; please read the faq. – gliderkite Jun 10 '12 at 9:06
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Because it is off topic.

From the faq:

What kind of questions can I ask here?

Stack Overflow is for professional and enthusiast programmers, people who write code because they love it. We feel the best Stack Overflow questions have a bit of source code in them, but if your question generally covers …

  • a specific programming problem
  • a software algorithm
  • software tools commonly used by programmers
  • practical, answerable problems that are unique to the programming profession

… then you’re in the right place to ask your question!

What kind of questions should I not ask here?

You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page.

share|improve this answer
My question was not off-topic, but at most not-constructive, like this closed even if its answer helped a large number of people. – gliderkite Jun 8 '12 at 21:32
@gliderkite Every "not constructive" question is off topic in some way. That's really splitting hairs. – slhck Jun 8 '12 at 21:33
@gliderkite: "What kind of questions can I ask here" = "what is on topic?" "What kind of questions should I not ask here" = "what is not on topic?" If you still don't understand, please read up about boad programming. – Won't Jun 10 '12 at 15:18

The question in question is way too open-ended and is asking for a discussion. There is no clear way to select a "best answer" and it is going to be begging for an argument about pros and cons of F# vs. whatever other language anyone who stumbles across it may have used. StackOverflow is for specific programming questions, not generic "tell me what you like about it" type questions. Maybe that's more on-topic at, I'm not sure, but you should read the FAQ for both sites to be clear on where to ask what type of question... though the Programmers FAQ clearly states that questions involving "what language you should learn next, including which technology is better" are not welcome, and the StackOverflow FAQ says something similar about open-ended Qs.

EDIT as requested by OP, after asking if a question is likely to be closed if it can't have objective answers:

That's probably a major part of it, yes, but moderators are of course free to implement rulings based on their individual interpretation of both the FAQ and your question.

share|improve this answer
The best answer is the best answer for me or for SO? – gliderkite Jun 8 '12 at 21:33
The best answer is the best answer for you, however in order to ask a question and get any answers, the question has to be on-topic for SO. – Aaron Bertrand Jun 8 '12 at 21:34
So i CAN choose what is the best answer. – gliderkite Jun 8 '12 at 21:35
Only if you can ask your question. This one, I'm afraid, you can't. So how can you pick an answer if no answers are forthcoming? And if all the answers lead to protracted discussions about why F# uses this kind of curly-brace here or that kind of statement terminator there, it's going to be tough for anyone to maintain any cogency about the question or its answers. How are you so confident that you will like the answers you get? – Aaron Bertrand Jun 8 '12 at 21:37
Your response makes me believe that you don't understand all the feedback you're getting right now. Did you see dumb and dumber? "1 in a million." "So you're saying there's a chance!" – Aaron Bertrand Jun 8 '12 at 21:37
If i don't like answer i can downvote.. Anyway +1 for your help – gliderkite Jun 8 '12 at 21:38
So you think it should be ok to ask a question like "What's your favorite thing about PowerShell?" and down-vote all the open-ended questions you'll get? The part you're not getting is that the site is for a community, not just for you. The kind of answers you're seeking belong in a chat room. – Aaron Bertrand Jun 8 '12 at 21:38
@Aron What to do with my question? My question about F# experience has a lot of sense, your own not. And see this question. – gliderkite Jun 8 '12 at 21:41
That question was closed as not constructive, similar to yours. The fact that it got answers before it was closed says nothing about the quality of the question or whether it is on-topic - only that at that time, moderators were not as quick to close questions, or did not come to the same consensus as they would have if the question were asked today. – Aaron Bertrand Jun 8 '12 at 21:44
@Aron so the answer is: if there may not to be an objective response the question will be closed? Right? – gliderkite Jun 8 '12 at 21:48
That's probably a major part of it, yes, but moderators are of course free to implement rulings based on their individual interpretation of both the FAQ and your question. – Aaron Bertrand Jun 8 '12 at 21:51
+1 because I love it when people say "the question in question"! – Ryan O'Hara Jun 8 '12 at 22:46

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .