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I've asked a question, C# library for file system manipulation, at first in an emotional way, had a debate with one of the Stack Overflow members and therefore I understand the reasons why the question was downvoted and closed. Then I took a breath and rewrote the question.

While it still remains subjective, I believe it is rather concrete on its subject. However, after I edited the question and flagged it for moderator attention, it got a delete vote.

I believe the topic of the question (file system artifacts) is as important to be handled carefully as any other information store. What should I do to revive the question?

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One delete vote does not a deletion make. We can even undelete, if warranted. – Martijn Pieters Dec 9 '12 at 14:54
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Your question in its current form starts off with:

Is there any library for .NET for recursive Copy and Move file operations that performs in a manner that would lead to as minimal partially completed results as possible?

And there's your problem. You're asking for a library recommendation based on the criteria you list after that. Such questions are regarded to be off-topic for Stack Overflow on the basis that they are not-constructive. We don't do recommendations. They tend to attract poor quality answers.

This has the potential to turn into a list of different libraries recommended by users, one possibly not any more correct than the other. Which is not the kind of answers we want to have. They are of the open-ended form as hinted at in the FAQ.

So in its current form, I would not have voted to reopen it, even though this seems to have happened by now. I would however not be surprised if it gets closed again.

Often questions like these however can be turned around by a rephrasing of your question. Instead of asking "Is there a library that does X?", with you intending to solve a problem, you can ask "How do I solve this particular problem?", the answer to which might well be "Library X will actually do that for you". These are subtle things, but the latter question might be more likely to invite good answers than the former.

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I disagree with your assessment of the question as currently phrased. It's not a shopping recommendation question -- that would be "what is the best .NET library for Copy and Move file operations?" That question can only be answered subjectively; this question, on the other hand, can be answered objectively. Now, I don't disagree that this question has problems; the OP seems to be asking for a magic bullet solution to an intractable problem. A vote to close as NARQ or might be justifiable on that count. But that doesn't make this a shopping recommendation question. – senderle Dec 9 '12 at 17:57
@senderle Hmm, I'm not entirely sure I follow that argument. That would mean that asking "What c++ book can teach me these topics?" is fine, where "What is the best book to teach me c++?" wouldn't be. I see those as equally problematic. I agree that perhaps this isn't the most horrendous of recommendation questions, but it still is one in my view. – Bart Dec 9 '12 at 18:01
I see them as equally problematic too. I also think you're drawing a false analogy. "What library implements algorithm X" is a precisely-defined question. "What book can teach me algorithm X" is not; how can I say whether a particular book can teach you something? The question is too vague. Same for "What book adresses algorithm X...", "What book has information on algorithm X...", and so on. I can't think of a way to write a book request that's well-defined enough to belong on Stack Overflow. By the time you get to a precisely-defined question, it's no longer a book request. – senderle Dec 9 '12 at 18:28
Even if "What library implements X" is a precise question, the problem here is that you will likely get about 42 different answers. Which answer is then the correct one? – Bo Persson Dec 9 '12 at 18:39
@Bart Thank you, you helped me understand this question's problem. The reason that keeps me from rephrasing the question is that I did not get an answer. IMO, if there's no bullet made of any material that was aimed in that direction I've tried to describe then it's definitely worth to know that fact. Of course I made my own copy routine but I know it will fail, and I know when and how. But what I know is not complete it will fail in many ways that are not known to me. And if someone who is more experienced in the question and system mechanics shared his findings. Why not use it? – Mike Dec 9 '12 at 19:50

The question is well formulated, and gives specific criteria a library must have in order to be an answer. It's specific enough to have an actual answer (as opposed to equally viable solutions that are in some other questions) I've edited it and re-opened it, but if it gets closed again, you're on your own.

Your best bet is to likely further edit the question to disclose that you're willing to write the code yourself, and ask if there are any built-in methods to assist you.

However, I'm not sure you're going to get an answer to this question. It doesn't mean it shouldn't be asked, but you're talking about a non-trivial problem in Computer science that has been around for years -- and everyone implements their solution differently.

As the comments to the question have pointed out, it's unlikely you're going to find an answer that suits you without writing your own code.

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Just for my clarification: are you saying "recommendation questions are fine if you're specific enough"? I guess you're going with a bit of a "that's in the hands of the community"-approach here? – Bart Dec 9 '12 at 17:17
@George Thank you for valuable editing and reopening the question! What if I'm going to start with an algorithm I developed so far (it's like 70 LOC), and post it as a question asking a community to criticize the code? Would it be appropraite for Stack Overflow? – Mike Dec 9 '12 at 19:18
@Mike no, but it would be appropriate for Code Review – George Stocker Dec 10 '12 at 2:04

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