First, let me say that I am a huge fan of Stack Overflow. Ever since it came on the scene it has really helped me with some challenging programming problems. It is awesome the way that question answerers donate their time, and how moderators chip in to keep things on track.
Having said that every now and then I feel that moderators are overzealous in closing off questions (for various reasons). It just happened to me overnight. Yesterday I posted a question about installing node.js with NPM on a Raspberry Pi. You can see the discussion here:
From my point of view, the question was appropriate for Stack Overflow because it is about setting up some development tools on a Linux machine. I even state that I want to pull down packages to use in applications. I tagged it with the following tags:
These were the tags I used because:
- NPM is related directly to node.js development.
- NPM installation via apt-get was what I was trying to solve.
- Raspberry Pi is the specific hardware that has the issue (ARM-device).
- Raspbian is the operating system which is specific to the Raspberry Pi hardware.
After reviewing the FAQ I feel that my question was very much on topic (link to FAQ I read):
... yet it was closed by five different people. Am I wrong? Are they wrong? Does it matter because I got my answer (just in the knick of time).
So finally, with all that background I have two questions:
- How can we as a community ensure that Stack Overflow remains a friendly place and that people aren't put off when a question is shutdown, even when it is valid (according to the FAQ).
- If I have a question that is closed, but I have an answer that works, should I bother to re-open because I disagree with the reason it was closed?
With the second question, the reason I am inclined to re-open is that in a few months time I am sure that someone might chime in and say "this is fixed", you can just do
npm install nodejs npm.