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Is a “List of X” without “best” still inappropriate?

I come across many questions which got closed because of this reason "closed as not constructive". I find it an annoying choice to close a question when the question seems beneficial, specially when the question gets a lot of upvotes and the accepted answer gets also several upvotes.

Today I was looking for any useful visualizers for Visual Studio. I Googled, searched CodePlex, GitHub, CodeProject, Visual Studio Gallery and came across this one on SO. A 2009 question which got closed 3 months ago. So after about 3 years, I don't see any debates, I don't see any arguments, I don't see any polling and I don't see and extended discussion!

So what is the problem exactly? It's annoying to see the same people (I am familiar with some names because I came across them many times in the past) who can't leave something which can be useful in peace.

And if someone knows and used some tools (visualizers in this case), can they be considered to have a specific expertise.

Even if I spend hours searching the web, SO could be a place where one can find a hidden gem which is unknown to most people.

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marked as duplicate by random Dec 31 '12 at 3:53

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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The question says "Are there any other useful visualizers out there?" There's no right answer, which means it textbook "not constructive" –  simchona Dec 31 '12 at 3:44
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The question is what is commonly known as a "shopping question". There is no right or best answer that can truly be given for questions like this as it depends highly on the circumstances. –  Josh Mein Dec 31 '12 at 3:45
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1 Answer

Quoting the FAQ:

You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page.

Your questions should be reasonably scoped. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much.

If your motivation for asking the question is “I would like to participate in a discussion about _”, then you should not be asking here. However, if your motivation is “I would like others to explain _ to me”, then you are probably OK. (Discussions are of course welcome in our real time web chat.)

See this blog post as well.

The issues with recommendation qs are:

  • They are generally localized in time -- they become invalid after a few months or so
  • They end up with a lot of equally valid answers

Btw, there is an "or" in the solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. By "polling", we mean that you get a lot of answers that then basically are chosen via voting.

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I don't agree with everything in the FAQ, hence the rant. So quoting the faq doesn't help me. Answers are localized in time if they are good only for a few days or weeks. That's not the case with many questions. For example no one ever claims a .NET 1.1 specific question too localized, yet most people don't use it anymore. I have many more examples. Your second point gives me an idea for another rant which I will post soon. –  Tony_Henrich Dec 31 '12 at 21:47
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@Tony_Henrich - Whether or not you agree with the FAQ is irrelevant. If you want shopping-type recommendations, then go elsewhere. It's that simple. –  Jack Maney Dec 31 '12 at 22:08
    
@Manishearth Yes there's an "or" and the answers didn't create ANY of those concerns... even after 3 years. –  Tony_Henrich Jan 1 '13 at 3:47
    
@Jack Not shopping. –  Tony_Henrich Jan 1 '13 at 3:49
    
@Tony_Henrich - Yes, shopping. Again, if you don't like it, leave. It really is that simple. –  Jack Maney Jan 1 '13 at 3:49
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@tony it was closed. Of course the q didn't get many answers. It can't. But the type of question was asking for("solicits") equally valid recommendations ("polling"). That is considered as NC here. That's it. Nitpicking the in-short close reason won't help. –  Manishearth Jan 1 '13 at 3:54
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