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I had recently asked this question: Why java chose type erasure?. This was the text:

I would like to know why java chose to do generics with "Type Erasure". If it is backward compatibility, please explain in detail.

It was closed only a few moments after I posted it and as I was commenting, it got deleted as well. I couldn't even enter my comment.

I have some questions in this regard:

  1. Why did the community close? Here are my thoughts on the question.

    There are not useful sites explaining what I have asked and I believe it is not an open ended question like -- "what is your favorite feature in Java". Rather I am asking what is the rational behind some historical decisions which were made several years ago and are still affecting the Java community. Had I found some links explaining it, I wouldn't have asked in the first place.

  2. Shouldn't we have some conversation before we delete questions? I feel like I am left out of my own question. I think it sets some bad taste if you just delete with out any discussion.

  3. One user suggested -- "Do more research before come to ask". Is this kind of language appropriate?

share|improve this question
seems legitimate..., he has got a point. – ABC May 24 '13 at 16:35
just to address point 3: yes it is. There is nothing insulting or demeaning about it, just bluntness. Personally, I try to be a bit more friendly when I say it but its both common and important to tell people to do their own work – Daniel May 24 '13 at 16:42
It was a bad question, showing no effort on your side and you are disapointed because others didn't show some effort too? – juergen d May 24 '13 at 16:43
Please explain, why do you think it is a bad question? and why do you think I didn't do any effort before asking? – iraSenthil May 24 '13 at 16:45
@iraSenthil You didn't demonstrate that you did any effort before asking. If you did effort but don't demonstrate it in the question we can't assume that you've done it. The primary reason people were even more inclined to think you didn't do any is because there is a lot of information that is easily found on the subject. They know that if the answer can be found by simply googling your question title you must not have even googled your question title. – Servy May 24 '13 at 16:47
@Daniel May be I should have stated that I looked around and couldn't find any answers? – iraSenthil May 24 '13 at 16:48
@iraSenthil I entered part of your question in Google: why java chose to do generics with "Type Erasure". If it is backward compatibility and got a full page of great resources explaining this, including Stack Exchange questions and answers. As a bonus I also got a suggestion for spelling correction "chose"->"choose". Did you do that? if no, why? if yes, what were your findings? – gnat May 24 '13 at 16:49
@iraSenthil No, you shouldn't. Don't tell is that you did research. That in no way actually proves that you did, or helps anyone even if you really did. You need to demonstrate that you've put in effort. What information did you find? We know that there's a lot out there, so you must have found something in doing your research. What did you find? Why didn't that help you answer your question? Of what you found, did it appear wrong, did you not understand it, if so, what about it did you not understand and what did you understand? – Servy May 24 '13 at 16:51
@iraSenthil, Servy has a good point, the responsibility is on the poster to prove they deserve an answer. When I can't find info, in the question I post, I link some of the sites I looked at and why they don't work for me. That seems to show people I've done my homework. Here's an example:… – Daniel May 24 '13 at 17:02
It's just that kind of questions as Why this was written in A+B when GorillaPro would be better – Danubian Sailor May 24 '13 at 17:02
@gnat most of the links explain what is type erasure? but not why type erasure? – iraSenthil May 24 '13 at 17:07
@Servy I see your point. I should have explained what I found and why it doesn't make sense for me. Thank you. – iraSenthil May 24 '13 at 17:09
up vote 18 down vote accepted

Mine was one of the close votes. In this case, I offered no comment because I felt that the close reason was sufficient:

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or specific expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, see the FAQ for guidance.

In my opinion, the question was not constructive for two reasons.

  • You asked for an explanation of "why" relating to a language decision. This is beyond our domain. Only the language creators could adequately answer that question for you. As it happens, someone was able to provide a link to the documentation where the the Java devs provided just that information. There is little value that we could add in elaboration.

  • You answered your question in your post. The Q/A format is not a good fit when you are just looking for confirmation of what you already know.

In retrospect, perhaps some explanation should have been given, and I will endeavor to do that more thoroughly in the future.

After a bit of discussion here, I agree that a deletion should have been delayed in this case in order to give you a chance to improve the question. I cannot speak authoritatively to the motives of those that voted for deletion. However, given the number of bad questions that flow through the system on a regular basis, perhaps they acted zealously (overzealously?) in an effort to keep the signal-to-noise ration as high as possible.

share|improve this answer
This only partially answers the question, and doesn't address why it was deleted so quickly. – LittleBobbyTables May 24 '13 at 16:40
As stated elsewhere, closures are not final. They simply give the OP a chance to improve the question. It can always be reopened when the reason for closure is resolved. Leaving bad questions open for extended periods of time is not productive when we have provided a way to fix and recover them. – George Cummins May 24 '13 at 16:41
I'm aware of how the closed system works, and what it's intentions are; believe me, I close and delete stuff all the time. However, you've completely ignored the title of the question, and two of the three bullet points. I was admittedly surprised by how swiftly it was deleted, and I have very few qualms about deleting questions. – LittleBobbyTables May 24 '13 at 16:43
Exactly,Thank you LBT. – iraSenthil May 24 '13 at 16:44
I answered the title and question two in my first sentence. I answered question one with the remainder of my post. Question three is out of my domain, but is answered by the fact that documentation links were provided (as I noted in my post). – George Cummins May 24 '13 at 16:44
@GeorgeCummins -- you talk about closing the question, not deleting the question. Maybe we're just not explaining ourselves properly to each other... – LittleBobbyTables May 24 '13 at 16:46
@LBT Good point. I was overlooking that part. Thank you for clarifying. I will see if I can address it in the answer, but perhaps one of the deleters will be able to speak more thoroughly to that point. – George Cummins May 24 '13 at 16:47
@LBT Nothing wrong with a partial answer that explains the closure (the question wouldn't have been deleted if it hadn't been closed first). I get that the quick deletion might seem the more important issue to you, but it's not for the OP. What's more important for them is to understand our quality standards, and what they need to do to avoid getting close votes. The speedy deletion is more of a side discussion, really. – Yannis May 24 '13 at 16:52
@Yannis - I was simply pointing out that the user's original question was "Why did they delete my question without even a conversation?", and prior to the edit, the answer was "This is why it was closed." While certainly helpful, it didn't address the question. Nothing more. Anyways, this has dragged out waaaaay too long... lunch calls. – LittleBobbyTables May 24 '13 at 16:57

Your question shows no effort. It is basically a one-liner with a question asking to explain in detail.

  • Did you do any research before asking?
  • What did you find out?
  • Where do you need further explanation?

It looks to me that you were just too lazy to search on your own and thought you ask for a in-deep explanation here.

Your question has other issues too:

  • As the close reason states it is not constructive: Why some decision was made is not very helpful to others. That is not a programming question but only asking for a discussion which is off-topic here
  • And you are asking a little vage. If your question can be answered with a whole book about it then it is too broad which is the case here IMO.

To sum it all up - if a question has many likely unsalvagable problems I see no reason why keeping it here:
Close and delete it.

share|improve this answer
As I replied to @Daniel, I should have stated what did I look and what did I find and why am I not convinced. That is wrong in my part. Lets move on to the vague part of the question? Why do you think it's not programming related question? If you would have asked it how would you have framed it? or Are you saying this question doesn't belong in SO? – iraSenthil May 24 '13 at 17:01
Yes, discussion questions don't belong here as the close reason states. – juergen d May 24 '13 at 17:12
  1. Why did they close?

Because the thought that the question is off-topic or not constructive. And it is both, because SO is not the site for open-end discussions about why someone has made something.

  1. Shouldn't we have some conversation before we delete some questions?

It depends, if the question is clearly off-topic, there's nothing to discuss about. The moderators are independent persons and if they do what they think is appropriate. You are always allowed to start a discussion here, and you've made use of that right.

  1. One user suggested, "Do more research before come to ask." Is this kind of language appropriate?

There's nothing offensive in that language, it's just an expressing of opinion that the question wasn't appropriate. Well, that particular comment wasn't adequate in that case, because there's no good technical explanation why it was done so (except it was simply easier). And no research would made that question constructive, since it seems for me that you were simply looking for people saying that Sun's programmers weren't smart enough (or someone saying that it's perfectly logical to do type erasure, just to argue with him).

share|improve this answer
'it seems for me that you were simply looking for people saying that Sun's programmers weren't smart enough' Where did you get this? – iraSenthil May 24 '13 at 17:32

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