The question under consideration is:
- http://stackoverflow.com/questions/12555228/i-would-like-to-know-how-the-following-code-works (10k users)
It is a routine question about mixing increments and decrements on the same variable in a single function call in C or C++ — a very commonly asked question about undefined behaviour. As such, there is no doubt that it needed closing and deleting. It was closed within 2 minutes and deleted within 10 minutes.
Approximate time line: asked 2012-09-23 18:49:25, closed 18:52, deleted 18:59.
The trouble is that there is no way I can see to provide constructive feedback to the user about what happened and why. From their perspective, they probably asked the question and it went into the bit bucket if they went to make a cup of tea and got waylaid by a phone call before they could see what happened.
I don't think that's all that welcoming; indeed, it is at least confusing and probably alienating.
Is there a way to get user1692773 any feedback?
There are a couple of themes in the comments below that I'd like to address:
This class of question is very frequent in the C and C++ tags; at this time of year (early autumn), daily is probably not an exaggeration. As such, they do need to be closed. For 1 point users, down votes are silly, but the question should be closed and (eventually) deleted.
From my perspective, the user asking the question needs to be given enough time to see the feedback, and it needs to be possible (for those motivated to do so) to give constructive feedback.
On this specific question, a number of the comments were outright hostile.
In most respects, what I'd like to see is a 'marked for deletion' status when the question gets closed and deleted in the first 24 hours. While it is marked for deletion, the user who asked the question (and 10k users) could see it, and still make comments, and flag comments. The full deleted status would not take effect for the user who asked until the question is 24 hours old, or the user has looked at it again. Older questions marked for deletion are likely to have had activity that indicates there's a problem.
We need to get the question 'out of the system'.
But we also need to give the user a chance to learn why.
I can see that if we asked people to classify whether it is 'delete as spam' vs 'delete as bad question', then the 'delete as spam' would be chosen, even though the question is not spam.
I guess this proposal would give 'spam' 24 hours of life for those motivated to look for it. I am not convinced that would be a big problem, but I've not looked hard at the statistics.
The question was temporarily undeleted, so I've left what I hope is a constructive comment:
Welcome to Stack Overflow. If you're interested, there's a discussion about how this question was handled on Meta Stack Overflow. Your question got closed very quickly because it is a minor variation on a very frequently asked question (at this time of year, it is asked daily). However, it would be hard for you as a newcomer to know that. Please read the answers to the duplicate question, and also read the [FAQ]. Also, your output has spaces between the numbers but the format string does not!