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I fixed some of the quality issues with this question, but following this it was closed as "not constructive".

What is not constructive about this topic? The reason states,

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or specific expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, see the FAQ for guidance.

...however, I don't see how this applies in any way to:

I need a tool for generating unit tests in MonoDevelop/.Net. I've tried NUnit, but it doesn't generate the tests. In eclipse, the plug-in randoop does this (except for it targets Java and JUnit)

Is there anything that can do this in MonoDevelop and/or for .Net?

Debate? No, the criteria are pretty straight forward - it needs to generate unit tests in MonoDevelop.

Arguments? How? Either a tool does or it does not!

Polling? Ok, maybe - you could conceivably end up with a list of unit-test generators for MonoDevelop, ranked by popularity.

Extended discussion? HA! If anything, the reverse is more likely - I'd worry more about simple links as answers than lengthy back-and-forth.

So... We got polling as, perhaps, a stretch reason for closing. Since there's no evidence of that in the answers (no answers at all...) I find it hard to be worried about this.

Please, either help me understand what I'm missing here... Or vote to re-open!

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"closed as not constructive by casperOne♦ 6 mins ago" - As much as some of us hate him for being trigger-happy, you have to give it to him for being able take all the BS he gets from us. There isn't a single other moderator that comes even close. –  Mysticial Nov 27 '12 at 19:17
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It's not asking "what unit test framework should I use" It's asking "what can I use to generate unit tests" -- Sorry but I don't understand the distinction you're making. It seems more like a loophole that anyone can use to ask their shopping question by changing the wording slightly. –  Robert Harvey Nov 27 '12 at 19:20
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@Mysticial There's some twisted "badge of honor" takeaway in there. I'll take it (no pun intended) =) –  casperOne Nov 27 '12 at 19:21
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Also, just because other shopping list questions exist and haven't been closed, doesn't mean yours is being targeted. It just means the others have flown under the radar, or were asked at a time when those questions were OK here. The site's guidelines have evolved over time, but that doesn't mean the network sends out a task force to strike all suddenly-not-conforming questions from the record. –  Aaron Bertrand Nov 27 '12 at 19:28
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This blog post is the main rationale behind closing shopping questions as "Not Constructive". While it was initially regarding Super User, it's been adopted almost system-wide by Stack Exchange. It's definitely the default position, unless a community indicates otherwise, and only after showing that they won't let it actively harm their site. Stack Overflow is not one of the (few) communities to have explored the possibility of keeping these. We did allow them at one point, but now realize they are not a good fit for the site. –  casperOne Nov 27 '12 at 19:30
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What I want to know is why a polite and well written question asking for clarification on why something was closed has so many downvotes... I thought SE encourages users to come to meta with questions like this, and I'm fairly sure getting 7 downvotes in less than an hour does just the opposite. –  Rachel Nov 27 '12 at 19:57
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@Rachel on meta this means disagreement, not "your question is crap." As in, all but one voter (presumably you) disagree that the question shouldn't have been closed as not constructive. This is clearly explained in the FAQ, and we can't always protect users who don't know haven't read the FAQ. –  Aaron Bertrand Nov 27 '12 at 20:03
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I'm kind of with @Rachel. Sure, proposals on meta get downvoted to show disagreement. But the post doesn't say, "this was unfair". It's a thoughtful, responsible inquiry that is legitimately asking for information. "I thought my edits fixed this, so I'm asking for a better understanding of how the community views it." –  Jaydles Nov 27 '12 at 20:10
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@AaronBertrand I would agree with that theory if the question said "Do you think this question should be open? Vote up if you agree, down if you disagree", however it instead said "Why was this question closed as not-constructive?", and I voted up because it was a well-written polite question seeking clarification as to why a question was closed, which isn't unreasonable considering the fact "not-constructive" is one of the broadest close reasons we have. –  Rachel Nov 27 '12 at 20:24
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@AaronBertrand I think this is yet another reason why we need a separate Meta.StackOverflow and Meta.StackExchange site. Too many people judge Meta.SO posts based on Meta.SE standards, which I think is quite different than Meta.SO standards based on what I've seen in other SE site metas :) –  Rachel Nov 27 '12 at 20:29
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@Jaydles: I disagree that down-votes on Meta are different from those anywhere else. I down-voted this question because it shows lack of effort - "not constructive" doesn't mean "low quality", and while your edit fixed some of the severe quality issues, it did nothing to address the other problems with the question. The gist of this question is "I disagree that this question is not constructive", and yet there's precious little rationale given for this point of view. –  Shog9 Nov 27 '12 at 20:32
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Far be it from me to disagree with my esteemed colleague, but there are genuine differences in the way voting works here. –  Robert Harvey Nov 27 '12 at 20:41
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To the downvotes on the meta post; most were added right away. The title of the question, when posted, was, "Question closed for no reason?" Clearly it wasn't closed for no reason, it was closed because it's "Not Constructive" with additional text explaining what that means. There is also lots of information on meta/the FAQ detailing what "not constructive" means. –  Servy Nov 27 '12 at 20:42
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@Rachel Shog was saying that downvotes aren't exclusively different on meta, and don't just signify disagreement. Some people voted because they disagreed with the implied assertion that the question shouldn't have been closed, others voted based on the quality and research level of the question itself. –  Servy Nov 27 '12 at 20:57
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@Rachel: see my answers here and here - down-votes are different insofar as the posts are different - but it irritates me to see folks whose crappy posts are down-voted being told to just ignore it because "hey, this is meta". Helping folks learn to improve their work is just as important here as it is on any other site. –  Shog9 Nov 27 '12 at 21:09

2 Answers 2

up vote 11 down vote accepted

It's what StackExchange term as a shopping request where every answer would be equally as valid as the other, which isn't constructive for a Q&A website.

Not only that, but as technology advances and new tools are released all the answers left would become more and more obsolete, providing little benefit to future visitors as time passes.

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This defines "shopping" as much broader than I think it should then. Is "How do I get this data out of SQL server" just a shopping question for all perfectly valid queries? What about "What regular expression can I use for parsing a phone number?" Surely there is more than 1 "valid" answer. This kind of trigger happy closing feels like a step back. –  Earlz Nov 27 '12 at 19:20
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Writing SQL queries and regular expressions is the very essence of programming. Are you honestly conflating that with product recommendations? –  Robert Harvey Nov 27 '12 at 19:22
    
Well, I guess I see the distinction there then. How could this have been made into a valid non-shopping question then? –  Earlz Nov 27 '12 at 19:24
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@Earlz It's not technically a "shopping" question, it's a "product recombination" question, and the two types of questions just happen to be prohibited for almost exactly the same reasons as they both produce the same undesirable behavior for similar or the same reasons. That is why many people refer to both types of questions as "shopping questions". –  Servy Nov 27 '12 at 19:25
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Actually, rethinking my answer, can something actually become more obsolete? –  JonW Nov 27 '12 at 19:35
    
@JonW I understand your angst at using the phrase 'more obsolete', but I think most will understand what you mean; Time will cause more details to be obsolete. –  Andrew Barber Nov 27 '12 at 19:42
    
@JonW Yes. There is often a time where something is outdated, and it's use is not suggested, but it still works. Over times support decreases, and unfixed problems increase. Sometimes there is a fixed line where it moves from not working to working, sometimes the list of bugs/problems just grows to beyond what people are willing to accept (and that won't always be a hard line). –  Servy Nov 27 '12 at 19:42
    
Sure, a Model T Ford is more obsolete than a Yugo, which is more obsolete than an Oldsmobile. Obsolescence can be relative. :-) –  Aaron Bertrand Nov 27 '12 at 23:00

In your own words... -

In its original form, it was very low quality

Regardless of how fixed-up it got, this alone may be a valuable lesson to the OP. Once you submit a question, many people quickly see it, and .. fair-or-not - it gets judged swiftly. If a question appears to have taken 5 minutes to draft, review, and submit to the universe - I'm not so sure I'd feel too sorry for the OP-guy(or gal).

But people can still chime in on teh comments, even post-closure!

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