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There is a certain pattern of closures that has been puzzling me since a while ago.

For example, this question was closed as not a real question:

sorting large files in predifined order

But the question is very specific. The author wanted to know an efficient way to solve a particular task which was well explained.

If you consider that the question was fairly closed. Can you explain that a bit better?

Is there any way to see the reasons that voters gave to vote to close a question?


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up vote 7 down vote accepted

The question is clear and unambiguous. So, it's not "Not a Real Question".

But it does have issues that cause some people to vote to close:

It doesn't show any research effort.

Of course, 'no research effort' isn't a reason to close a question, it's a reason to downvote.

In fact, the hover for the downvote arrow says:

This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful

I've re-opened it, but that doesn't mean the community isn't going to close it again.

My advice to people who have their question closed as 'Not a Real Question' is to make sure to put some research effort into the question (through showing us what they've tried or what algorithms they've looked at, in this case) if they don't want their questions closed or downvoted.

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Thanks for responding. It wasn't actually my question, I had just starting to take SO seriously and this kind of closures confused me. Isn't the 'no research effort' arguable though? The author actually talked about a solution that wasn't efficient enough. – Pedrom Jun 11 '13 at 15:32
The close vote queue once again seems to have played a large role in this: . 4 of the 5 close votes for that question came from there. The 3 Leave Open votes were effective useless here. Once again, it might be nice to have those directly counteract close votes from the queue so that the easiest way to remove a question from the queue isn't to blindly cast close votes for it. – Brad Larson Jun 11 '13 at 16:16
@BradLarson Thanks for pulling up that link, I forgot we could check the review queue. – George Stocker Jun 11 '13 at 16:27
Funny thing... the community closed the question again under the same argument. Isn't there a better reason than "Not a real question" which doesn't seem to apply here? – Pedrom Jun 12 '13 at 16:42

Go back to the first revision.

I have two files...

Now I want to sort "mapping.txt" in the order specified by the integers above like...

Is there some way in c++/c by which I may accomplish this.

It's just a requirement and nothing else. I would vote to close then, too. No sympathy, no mercy, no remorse. The user added more a few minutes later. And it was revised again a few minutes after that. I don't know when the votes to close rolled in individually, but I think the first revision was unresearched junk and I would close it. For all I know, the first four close votes rolled in for this revision and at that point inertia took over. The second revision? Maybe not, it at least shows the user thought about it. Still, I'd like to see a bit more effort.

We get thousands of questions by the day. Make your questions worth our time, and part of that is spending a lot of your own first.

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I'm not sure this is the case, it wasn't closed until more than 2 hours after the latest revision. – George Stocker Jun 11 '13 at 15:30
@GeorgeStocker, my point all I know is when the fifth vote rolled in. The first four? At any rate, I would have certainly voted based on the first revision, and those votes would certainly stick around regardless of subsequent revisions. – Anthony Pegram Jun 11 '13 at 15:31
Without even looking at the revision, it's still no good. – Grant Thomas Jun 11 '13 at 15:32
@GrantThomas It's not a high quality question, and as such could be downvoted (if you felt that was appropriate) due to it's quality, but it shouldn't be closed as its not "not a real question". – Servy Jun 11 '13 at 15:33
@Servy Perhaps you're correct and I not paying enough attention. – Grant Thomas Jun 11 '13 at 15:35
I am agreed with @Servy . It could be written in a better way but the reason of the question is just confusing (at least confusing me) – Pedrom Jun 11 '13 at 15:36
I say anything short of perfection should be nuked. But that's my own personal extreme view. (Actually, that's not my extreme view. My extreme view is questions should be closed by default. Only opened upon review. And bad openings carry harsh consequences [loss of rights, re-earnable] for the voters.) – Anthony Pegram Jun 11 '13 at 15:36
@user414076 That would be interesting for a Q&A online magazine, but that's not what SO is about, or is it? I always looked SO more as a community where you could get answers. – Pedrom Jun 11 '13 at 15:40
@Pedrom, we don't answer every last thing and we do not abide by laziness, localization, or redundancy. At 5,000,000+ questions and hundreds of thousands of users, my assertion is we're seeing a lot of laziness and a whole heck of a lot of redundancy. Small sites are starved for content. SO is not. I say we should be far more restrictive at this point. We would still help users, but by guiding them to where the answer is rather than once again spending the time to write it up, vote on it, etc. It's redundant. And that's for the good questions. The bad ones just have to go. – Anthony Pegram Jun 11 '13 at 15:44
@user414076 Probably you are right (I am agreed that there is a lot of laziness on SO) and this doesn't seem the best place to have a conversation about it, in any case I think the process of closing is taking away good questions though, and with good questions away the good answer are taken away too. Anyway it is just a humble opinion. Thanks. – Pedrom Jun 11 '13 at 16:01

It's a theoretical problem. Unless you have a specific problem, that is to say, if you don't have an immediate issue with the route you've chosen to go down, then it's as good as a hypothetical problem.

Once you make an accountable decision to, say, sort this or that way, and get stuck in doing it, then it's a real problem that requires a question if you can't figure it out yourself or elsewhere.

Generally, these kinds of questions can be boiled down to a "what's best?" question. And best is, in general, subjective. Subjective questions a note allowed. They should be practically, objectively answerable.

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