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Does anyone have any thoughts on why people having been voting to close this question? This seems like a legitimate question, and there's a nice variety of answers there. Overall, the question and answers seem to have been well-received; there are a fair number of upvotes and "stars," and not many downvotes.

I flagged it for reopening, thinking the people who closed it had misunderstood the question or something, but a moderator declined the flag. Can anyone explain why this question is "not constructive?"

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closed as off-topic by Roombatron5000, Martijn Pieters, Doorknob, Famous Blue Raincoat, mmyers Jan 22 at 17:00

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question pertains only to a specific site in the Stack Exchange Network. Questions on Meta Stack Exchange should pertain to our network or software that drives it as a whole, within the guidelines defined in the help center. You should ask this question on the meta site where your concern originated." – Roombatron5000, Martijn Pieters, Doorknob, Famous Blue Raincoat, mmyers
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

It is a vague question. No specifics. Could be phrased better. –  Oded Jan 20 '13 at 22:18
Oded, what more specifics do you need? He wants to detect mobile handsets, and he wants to do it with JavaScript. That seems like enough to go on, doesn't it? –  The Community Jan 20 '13 at 22:19
I would actually NARQ it. The OP shows no research or any attempt at solving the problem. Call it the wrong close reason, but in my mind the question deserves to be closed. –  Oded Jan 20 '13 at 22:20
A NARQ resolution I could see, but it's been closed as "not constructive" twice, which I'm just not seeing at all. –  The Community Jan 20 '13 at 22:21
That's a fair point. But the community has many people who can close, many of which will not select the right reason - and majority rule... –  Oded Jan 20 '13 at 22:22
But, shouldn't the flag to reopen have been honored in that case, and the question reopened, and if people want to CV as NARQ afterwards, let them? –  The Community Jan 20 '13 at 22:23
Are you advocating reopening a question that should be closed because the close reason was wrong? –  Oded Jan 20 '13 at 22:29
I'm advocating reopening it because the core question is useful, and the answers are useful, even if the OP was a bit lazy. Should I just edit the question to be more verbose or specific or have code examples or something so it can be reopened? –  The Community Jan 20 '13 at 22:32
Then vote to re-open. The question has not been deleted yet. –  Oded Jan 20 '13 at 22:34
Already did, and it was reopened, and then closed again. Then I flagged it, the flag was declined. Now I'm here. –  The Community Jan 20 '13 at 22:34
Just leave it closed I'd say. The content is still there, so no harm done. And the correct close reason at this point doesn't really matter any more anyway. –  Bart Jan 20 '13 at 22:36
Maybe what I'm missing here is the overall point of these questions. I'm assuming that if the question is useful, and the answers are useful, then even if the OP made no original research attempt or whatever, the question should be left alone, as it will benefit a large audience. Maybe that's not the case? –  The Community Jan 20 '13 at 22:37
The question gets closed based on the question. If the question is bad, but there are brilliant answers, the question can still get closed. This does not really change. It might mean however that the question is unlikely to be deleted, to preserve the valuable content contained within the answers. –  Bart Jan 20 '13 at 22:39
Alright, so what is the next step in the process of trying to get it reopened, since the close reason is pretty clearly invalid? Is there an appeal process for flags or something? I think I'd like to just keep reopening this as long as it keeps getting improperly resolved. –  The Community Jan 20 '13 at 22:41
Why? What's the point? It is closed, it should be closed. If you don't plan on putting in a significant effort to make this a good question, why reopen it? Only to select a "good reason"? I'd say you better spend your effort on something more constructive. –  Bart Jan 20 '13 at 22:43

1 Answer 1

The question to me does not read as a non-constructive question. It would have not been my vote. I would have however voted to close it as "Not a real question".

It's vague, skimpy on the details, no clear prior research besides some vague statement, no real attempt at a solution.

[...] and there's a nice variety of answers there.

That doesn't really matter for closure. Closure mostly relates to the question asked. A poor question with a brilliant answer can still be closed because it's a poor question. The answer does not influence that a whole lot.

Overall, the question and answers seem to have been well-received; there are a fair number of upvotes and "stars," and not many downvotes.

Keep in mind that in internet-years this question is quite old. And the site was quite different then. Some questions that were quite appropriate then would no longer be appropriate now. And even now, popularity of a question does not necessarily imply appropriateness for the site.

So in summary, I do understand the closure of this question. My reason would have been a different one though. But that by now is a moot point.

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Maybe I'm going about this the wrong way... if I opened a new question with very similar title, but put more effort into it, do you think it would be likely to be closed as a duplicate of the question I linked here? I'm really just hoping the answers can be improved on, although I don't have a better answer myself. +1 BTW, thanks. –  The Community Jan 20 '13 at 23:17
@TheCommunity: Actually the question could be edited to reflect the additional effort you speak of. This would be the preferred approach given the existing answers that you say are valuable. –  hardmath Jan 20 '13 at 23:41
Hardmath, yes, but without being sure that people will be allowed to provide more answers, there's a good chance I'd just be wasting (more of) my time. –  The Community Jan 21 '13 at 0:25
To be honest, many people here seem to be rather skeptical of statements like "I'll improve it if it gets reopened." If you think you can improve the question, I'd suggest just doing it -- it'll significantly increase the chances of it being reopened, and even if it does stay closed, you'll still at least have made it better. (That said, I did vote to reopen it based on your promise to improve it; if it does get reopened, I hope you'll keep that promise.) –  Ilmari Karonen Jan 21 '13 at 12:16
@IlmariKaronen I'd say it even more strongly: there is no point in reopening a question if it is not significantly improved beforehand. –  Bart Jan 21 '13 at 12:27
And there is no point in improving a question if it's not going to be reopened. So it seems the thing to do if I want the best chance of collecting some answers with minimum delay is actually to leave it alone and make a better question, and hope it gets answered before it gets marked as a dupe. –  The Community Jan 21 '13 at 21:08
I'd say that's the wrong approach, but suit yourself. –  Bart Jan 21 '13 at 21:11

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