As new versions or specifications of new technologies come up, especially Web technologies, questions start arising about the amount of general support for those technologies. Sometimes these questions can come up long before the technologies are finalized or released, and often these questions can come up repeatedly.
I'm doubting the usefulness of these questions, considering they're about the general support for pre-release technologies and they may very well become obsolete as the technologies get closer to release.
Case in point
The FPWD (first public working draft) of Selectors level 4 appeared about a year ago as of this question, being the first CSS level 4 draft to do so. As it's a FPWD, there are almost no implementations. Any existing implementations are likely either features that were first proposed by vendors then implemented prefix-less before being added to the spec, or features that were going to be in previous specs and partially implemented — before being deferred to a future spec.
Anyway, since the Selectors 4 FPWD showed up, it has been updated twice (it was just updated over a week ago). But also, the following questions about browser support started popping up:
- Browser that support CSS level 4 selector draft specification? asked Nov 9 '11
- When will the first CSS4-compatible browsers start showing up? asked Jul 26 '12
- Do any browsers support CSS4 language/direction selectors yet? RTL TTB asked Aug 29 '12
- Which browsers support CSS4 Selectors asked Sep 2 '12
(Some of these were deleted, you may need 10k rep to see them all.)
(Oh and this question, apparently about an upcoming CSS feature that was added to the editor's draft very early in writing, was asked on Aug 28 '11 before the first working draft was even published)
Are these questions ever constructive at all? I remember flagging the first one as too localized and Bill the Lizard came over to help close it. Now as to which close reason is more fitting for questions like these is up for debate, and I do know that deleting them will only cause them to pop up again and again as evident above, but is there any usefulness to letting them stay open at all? There is nothing subjective or argumentative about these questions, but they're incredibly time-sensitive.
Of course, I'm not really a deletionist myself; I'm all for finding a way to write such a question that would be useful for the community and for readers, while at the same time being appropriate for the Stack Exchange format. However, I'm pretty sure a question that basically asks "Does X support Y yet?" and follow-up questions that are basically "How about now?" aren't very good for the Stack Exchange format.
What do you think?
OK, this question has just come up again:
- Is there currently any support for CSS parent selectors asked Oct 20 '12
So, I've closed this question, but without deleting it, as I think having a question visibly closed serves as an indicator to users that such a question has already been asked, and decided to be unsuitable for our format, and so shouldn't be asked again. Immediately deleting this question every time it comes up is only going to send future askers — the ones who bother to search first, anyway — the message that it somehow hasn't been asked before, since they won't be able to see deleted questions. Those who proceed to ask anyway can simply be redirected to this via exact-duplicate close votes.