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I recently got this question in an audit: How to work with big databases (more GB) on android?

I can understand how it might be closed as Not Constructive -- opinions will differ as to whether one should even attempt a 10GB database on a typical Android device, and the right answer depends in part on exactly what device we're talking about. But it also seems possible to come up with a constructive answer even without changing the question. For example:

SQLite can handle databases of that size given the right hardware, but Android runs on a variety of devices, not all of which are really up to the task. You'll need to do some testing with a similar database on your target device to determine if you can get acceptable performance. You can get an idea of whether it makes sense to pursue this app by loading your database file into SomeDatabaseApp, available in the Android Market. If that works out, write a little test app of your own to help you collect some metrics and give you a baseline for your apps performance. This will give you some hard data upon which to base your answer to your client. Some techniques for dealing with the small cursor problem are...

I'm not necessarily trying to make a case for reopening the question, but I'm not convinced that its so obviously Not Constructive that it makes a good audit question. Am I missing something?

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It starts off with a yes or no question (already unsuitable) and tacks on a "if yes, then how?", which is open ended. It really is not a good question for Stack Overflow, one way or another. – Oded May 19 '13 at 12:10
In other words, as an audit question it is a good one - one should vote to close it. – Oded May 19 '13 at 12:43
The posts that are used for the audits are the ones for which the community has already taken action: closed questions, deleted posts, posts with suggested edits that have been rejected. The idea is that if you don't take the same (or similar) action, you are doing something that the community already considered wrong. I assume that closed questions are used as audit after X day they have been closed, to avoid to use questions are re-opened right after being used as audits. – kiamlaluno May 19 '13 at 14:14
this question currently has 57 views - not sufficient for review audit (audit picking code probably has been fooled by 0 / -3 vote split, expecting this makes it bad enough for audit item). IIRC @Shog9 recently mentioned that they set higher number (100?) views as prerequisite for audits – gnat May 19 '13 at 16:48
@gnat: that only applies to the known-good cases. Closed, heavily down-voted questions often get fewer views. – Shog9 May 19 '13 at 16:49
@Shog9 as far as I can tell, Caleb's example shows you better tweak current code deciding on heavily down-voted (-3 is heavy, give me a break) – gnat May 19 '13 at 16:51
@Oded Since when are yes/no questions unsuitable? I don't think we want questions where the answer is just yes or no, but if we want to avoid "chatty, open-ended questions" and we want to encourage questions with definite answers, prohibiting yes/no questions seems like a poor policy. – Caleb May 19 '13 at 17:06
@kiamlaluno Lots of questions get closed, and many of those that are closed for questionable reasons never get reopened. The reason I'm asking the question is that I want to make sure that I'm not out of step with community standards, but I'm not sure that the linked question is a great example of 'Not Constructive'. – Caleb May 19 '13 at 17:08
I understood what you meant; I was saying that the process just compares your action with the action already taken on the post. Maybe there are other users who think, like you, that the question should have not been closed. – kiamlaluno May 19 '13 at 17:21
@kiamlaluno That's exactly why I brought it up here. – Caleb May 19 '13 at 17:22

It's pretty obviously not constructive. The OP is not asking anything more specific than "is it possible to work with big databases, and if yes then how?" There is a book called High Performance MySQL that answers this question. It is about 1500 pages long. Your sample "good answer" is about a paragraph. If there are 3 paragraphs per page, that means there are about 4500 other good answers to this question (assuming MySQL), all distinct. That's a pretty sure sign the question is not constructive.

Just because you have something useful to say or help doesn't mean a question was constructive. There needs to be a unique best answer, maybe a few, but not dozens of takes on how one might approach a question. And the proposed answer is more "here's how I would start researching this." Not really an answer, just some advice. Furthermore you have no idea whether it's even germane to the OP's problem - because the OP didn't say anything about his problem, other than it involve working with big databases and should work offline.

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I think I just read the question a different way. I don't see it as asking for a full explanation of how to use SQLite, but rather how specifically to work around the small cursor issue mentioned a little later in the question. If you just read the first line or two, sure, it's Not Constructive. But if you read the whole question you see that the OP gets more specific. My main problem with the question is that the OP should really have tried using his/her large database first, and then posted later if/when problems arose. – Caleb May 19 '13 at 16:16
I don't think the OP gets nearly specific enough. If the question were reworded "How can I get around the cursor limit", it might be okay, since it's specifically asking about one element. That's not really what the OP is asking, though; he's asking for general advice as to how to approach his problem, which is not on topic. – Joe May 19 '13 at 19:13

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