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After I started to vote for closing questions, it seems I need more clarification on which ones must be closed as "too localized". I want to have this separate from appellation - style discussions of "why my question has been closed".

The common situations I see are similar to the following artificial examples (the problem itself is intentionally minor):

case A: Here are my two pages of crappy code to draw a blue circle. The code that do not work, the circle is black (default color)

The author states the goal to get the given piece of code running - very localized. However it may be that the author makes some wrong assumption about Graphics2D, and a developer who implements drawing red triangle might also make the same or very comparable wrong assumption. However this second developer may search for Graphics2D or maybe for red rectangles so may not find an existing solution and will probably post a duplicate.

case B: Please help me to draw a pink border for my blue circle (I do not know how to switch the colors).

This may appear equally localized but the author states the goal (switch color) that he cannot achieve without SO help. Hence the topic may be viewed as localized (just about a blue circle with a pink border) but with some work the solution can be reworked, applying it for switching into other colors for a wide group of drawing tasks. In the source code it is seen that the author uses Graphics2D that is not mentioned in the question header, and needs help on this object. This is a rather typical case about that I am not sure.

case C: How to the set pink color on Graphics2D?

or, golden dream:

case C+: How to switch colors in Graphics2D?

This form of question, and possible answers, seem good for reuse as the question directly mentions the relevant function/class/data structure/the like. However this requires more effort from the asking developer, as he needs to isolate the part of task that does not work for him and is actually already two steps from finding the answer himself.

The question is, are only the type C questions acceptable or also type B questions are acceptable? If you think case A could be acceptable in some cases, please clarify that is surely not acceptable.

There is no secret that asking a good question requires to know half of the answer.

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well looks like a and b are completely too localized –  NullPoiиteя Feb 4 '13 at 9:02
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Asking a good question requires knowing what you're actually asking about, which is why so much is downvoted as "too little research" and such. –  J. Steen Feb 4 '13 at 9:06

1 Answer 1

If the answer is something that will only work for the person posting the question, it's too localized. If it would possibly help more than just that person, it's not too localized.

For example, if the answer to Case A was "you have a typo in line 167 that is causing the error", its too localized.

But if the answer is "The error abc means xyz is missing, so you need to add the following line of code" then I would not consider it too-localized as that answer will help anyone who comes across the specific error, regardless if they're trying to draw a blue circle, a red triangle, or a rainbow pentagram.

(As a side note, some of your examples have other quality issues that would likely result in them getting closed as something other than too-localized) :)

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Maybe. Lets only discuss "too localized" so far. –  Audrius Meškauskas Feb 4 '13 at 17:30

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