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I know several people that ran into the following issue but it was closed for some reason that I can't understand.

Error installing RMySQL on OS X

It's about a common software tool, it's about installing the tool, and the question was answerable. What about it caused it to be closed?

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It appears the closers are not familiar with the R language and thought it's not programming. Not familiar with R either but as it's programming language and the question appears to be valid voted to reopen it. – Shadow Wizard May 10 '13 at 23:07
Looks good to me. Voted to reopen. – djechlin May 10 '13 at 23:11
Maybe users with less than X score on specific tag shouldn't be allowed to close questions with that tag. – Shadow Wizard May 10 '13 at 23:49
That would cause a lot of cruft to build up, @ShaWizDowArd. Doesn't take a background in R (or Ruby or Razor or REST) to smell a bad question in that tag. – Michael Petrotta May 11 '13 at 0:07
If this happens to you again in the future, feel free to drop by chat and ask the R folks specifically. (Just like asking on Meta, we might disagree, but at least you'll be asking people who know R, if that makes you feel better.) – joran May 11 '13 at 0:19
@MichaelPetrotta I agree, but knowledge in the tag area does make identifying bad questions easier. I'm always much more cautious about voting to close on questions outside R. – joran May 11 '13 at 0:22
I'm with you, @joran, and do the same. Coincidentally, I stay further away from R than I do other tags that I'm not familiar with. Like Magento, I've found that R questions that appear too high-level and broad, often end up being just fine. – Michael Petrotta May 11 '13 at 0:24
@MichaelPetrotta Stack Exchange did a fantastic job promoting Win8 on programmers. Products like R that are gaining popularity I think we should give the benefit of the doubt. Thanks everyone for reopening this one. – Jeremy Thompson May 11 '13 at 3:57
Thanks for the discussion, everyone. – Erik Shilts May 11 '13 at 16:18

2 Answers 2

up vote 9 down vote accepted

In many cases that I've seen in my time on SO/SE, questions are sometimes closed through obscurity rather than knowledge - In this case, by obscurity, I mean a lack of understanding or appreciation around a particular programming language and environment rather than it's direct usage.

Despite the merits of reputation and the privileges that come with it on SO, some developers with experience in a particular language comment, downvote and close questions readily and largely because such questions:

  • Can't be answered with ease
  • Are considered an edge-case
  • They feel it's off-topic because it's to do with installation
  • It's using a platform/OS that they don't know
  • They're burning their way through the queue for badges

Sometimes, when people see the word installation, they often think it's more applicable on superuser (or different) and close it as off-topic. When in fact, there are SO users who will perhaps have direct experience of what you're looking for and an ability to provide you with a great answer and one which can be relied upon by others in the future.

Often, those with more in-depth experience of particular languages know, by default, that the use of a language isn't just how it's used - but it's installation, linkage, dependencies and more; Something that in this case is directly evidenced by the answer that was provided and that you accepted - It came from a high-rep user who has answered more than 2,000 questions on ...

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No one really knows. Possibly the closers thought it looked more like a superuser installation question. In any case, the question has been re-opened, probably thanks to the publicity from this meta question.

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Not sure why the downvote. I think the user was implicitly asking "should it have been?" and I could easily see this hovering around forever without any answers. I think other answer is better but this question needed to look resolved. – djechlin May 11 '13 at 1:05

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