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Why was this question about functional reactive programming closed? What is (functional) reactive programming?

I found it because it's the number 3 hit on Google for its topic. Sure, it's a niche topic, but that makes its nearly 36,000 views even more impressive. There are two highly rated answers from high-reputation users.

This isn't my question, nor are any of the answers. I just think there's no reason to close useful content based on a narrow interpretation of what's on or off topic.

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I'd settle for it to be closed (since it is indeed, "Not constructive", or "Not a real question (too broad)", but it shouldn't be deleted. Locked perhaps. –  George Stocker Sep 14 '12 at 15:33
    
Why do we need new answers on a three year old question that's been beaten to death? –  George Stocker Sep 14 '12 at 15:33
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I agree. The idea that the question is closed to further answers doesn't bug me as it already has several good ones. I was more worried that "closed" meant that it would eventually be deleted, which would be a shame. –  cbare Sep 14 '12 at 15:45
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3 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

If the right answer had been “look it up on Wikipedia”, the question would be useless.

But the question is “I looked it up on Wikipedia and didn't get it”. That's different. Furthermore, the question focuses on FRP (which has a very terse Wikipedia article), not on RP in general. The question is broad, but not so broad that it can't get a decent answer. It's a worthy question.

The closure as “off-topic” makes no sense. The question is about programming.

Closing as “not a real question” could be warranted if the question was too broad. But it's not: having a good answer pretty much proves that the question wasn't too broad.

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The off-topic close reason is often abused IMO anyway. It's this easy goto closure reason if one can't really motivate why it should be closed. –  Bart Sep 14 '12 at 15:18
    
@Gilles That's a red-herring. Bad questions can often have good answers. –  George Stocker Sep 14 '12 at 17:06
    
@GeorgeStocker In that case the proper response is to edit the question. I agree that the question is mediocre, but it's not so bad that it absolutely needs closing. I've edited the question a bit so that it looks less like a throwaway one-liner, but really, what needed to be there was already there. –  Gilles Sep 14 '12 at 17:25
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I would guess (knowing nothing about the subject myself) that it's too much of a "You could have Googled for this or looked on Wikipedia for the answer"-type of a question to the liking of some users. There's no real practical problem to solve.

Besides that, it is very broadly scoped it seems. A book could be written about the question. The accepted (already fairly extensive) answer seems to illustrates that.

All things considered, should the problem above be the case, then the question and its answers might be of value, but they do not really illustrate what most consider a good or on-topic question for Stack Overflow.

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Is not one of the main goals of SE to be at or near the top of Google results for popular topics? –  smcg Sep 14 '12 at 14:50
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That would certainly be a nice thing, but not at the cost of content we don't necessarily want to have. Now, this is certainly not the worst of examples, but not everything which is good Google-ranking material is on-topic. –  Bart Sep 14 '12 at 15:12
    
Thanks, Bart. I'm guessing this does explain the reasoning. –  cbare Sep 14 '12 at 15:42
    
No problem. Just my guess and gut-feeling when reading the question. –  Bart Sep 14 '12 at 15:49
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The question is useful.

However, it's not an example of a good question on Stack Overflow today, for the following reasons:

  • Not Constructive
  • Not a Real Question (it's too broad).

That being the case, it should be closed (why do we need new answers on it?) but not deleted. It should either stay closed or have a 'historical lock' applied to it, or even better, that information moved to the tag wiki, and hopefully tag wikis have as good 'googleabilitiy' as our questions do.

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The question is not “not constructive”. While having a lot of votes often signals a non-constructive question, it is not always the case. “Not constructive” does not mean “is not a debug-this-code question”: as the close dialog says, it means “will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion”, none of which are likely (and none of which happened). If someone is willing to write a good, detailed answer (which two people did), it proves in hindsight that the question isn't too broad; there are other subcases of NaRQ aren't invalidated by good answers but none applies here. –  Gilles Sep 14 '12 at 17:29
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