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I just learned that Books for learning Standard ML was closed last year. It's a question I'm occasionally asked in meatspace, so I would prefer it remain around. Since closure seems to be a prelude for deletion, I have tried to improve the question (including both the text and the title) and my own answer.

My understanding of how things work is that it is therefore appropriate for me to float the issue here of whether Books for learning Standard ML should be reopened. I'm hardly ever on Meta, so if I've misunderstood the procedure, I apologize.

Oh, and I think the question improves the Internet by its very existence. At least that fraction of the Internet that wants to learn ML, which one hopes might be increasing :)

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"closure seems to be a prelude for deletion"... that's not necessarily true. There are various such questions on the site which are closed but not deleted. – Bart Aug 16 '12 at 16:52
That question is basically a poster child for the "not constructive" close reason. Book recommendations aren't just lists; they're entirely subjective. It should remain closed. If it's informative and valuable, perhaps it should also get the "this exists for historical reasons" blurb, which is usually an effective defense against deletion. – Charles Aug 16 '12 at 16:53
@Charles With 603 views in two years? No, that won't get a historical lock... – casperOne Aug 16 '12 at 17:11
@casperOne, fair enough. If the ML community deemed the information in the question useful and wished to preserve it, where would be best then? The tag wiki? – Charles Aug 16 '12 at 17:14
@Charles That would be a useful place to put it, but some people have reservations about that sort of thing. However, in the end, there's no voting in a tag wiki, and is better suited to tell people where they can find additional resources about a particular topic, like books. – casperOne Aug 16 '12 at 17:15
OK, thanks everybody; I'm still getting the hang of the whole close/delete thing. – Norman Ramsey Aug 17 '12 at 3:08
@casperOne thanks for the tag edit – Norman Ramsey Aug 17 '12 at 3:09

Why does it need to be reopened? The question is not a good fit for the Stack Exchange model.

It's not deleted so it's still visible on the site.

The question could still be edited to improve it and answers can be edited to remove old obsolete information and add new more relevant information. However, given the nature of the question it's unlikely to improved sufficiently to be reopened.

With 3 answers and 7 upvotes it's not a candidate for automatic deletion. It would take several users (or a moderator) to delete it.

If you really want to preserve the content, then take a copy (which you are allowed to do) and post it somewhere else - with correct attribution of course. Your blog (if you have one) would be a good place. This is the ideal solution. It preserves the content - which I'd be the first to agree has value - and allows it to be removed from Stack Overflow where it's not a good fit.

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Hmm... Are you sure? If the question is not a good fit, the end game should be to either (1) fix it or (2) have it heading towards deletion. Questions should not remain closed with the intention of preserving them ("remove obsolete information ... add new information"). That sounds too much like the fallacy of "Let's just make it community wiki and it's okay." – Robert Cartaino Aug 16 '12 at 17:03
@RobertCartaino: Hence the notion: leave it on the site in its closed state, and let it take its chances. If it never gets the requisite number of delete votes, it could stay on the site indefinitely in its closed state. The close banner is there as a warning to would-be future posters who might try to use the question as evidence they can ask their own "can I haz books" question. – Robert Harvey Aug 16 '12 at 17:05
I like the last suggestion. Everyone should take their favorite "List of X" question and make a blog post out of it. It's exceedingly rare for people to take proper care of these things on SO. – Bill the Lizard Aug 16 '12 at 17:45
From where I sit, moderators look quite happy to delete closed questions. I'm kind of with Robert here---if the community doesn't value this question, it shouldn't sit indefinitely as closed but undeleted. – Norman Ramsey Aug 17 '12 at 3:09
@NormanRamsey - in that case copy the content. – ChrisF Aug 17 '12 at 7:38
@RobertCartaino - I see your point and that wasn't my intention. – ChrisF Aug 17 '12 at 7:38

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