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With the new 'on hold' system replacing the closing of questions, is it now acceptable to vote to put questions 'on hold' if the original questioner has apparently abandoned the question after being asked for more information?

For example:

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/16884538/trying-to-center-text-using-imagettftext

Old PHP GD code no longer working

For both of those questions it is impossible to answer them as the vital information of what correct behaviour the user is expecting to happen vs the error being seen is missing.

That renders the question impossible to answer, and also makes the question useless for future visitors who could be having the same problem, but they can't tell for sure as the problem isn't actually described clearly.

Both of those are apparently legitimate on topic questions and shouldn't be closed under the old close system. However as the new 'on hold' gives users 5 days to update their answers, if they haven't bothered to do so in that time, then presumably the question should be closed, as it's unlikely that it's ever going to be updated, and so never going to be answerable.

IMHO voting to put questions on hold because of a lack of clarity should only be done in the first few days/weeks after the question has been asked, as it's unreasonable to ask people for more details months after a question has been asked.

btw a similar question was asked before but I think the circumstances have changed with the new 'on hold' system, as it should be clearer what action the questioner should take to avoid having their question closed.

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If the question is unanswerable in its current form, sure. That would make it not a real question though. –  Bart Jun 17 '13 at 13:54

1 Answer 1

This is exactly why "not a real question" was changed to "unclear what you're asking". NARQ always meant "not an objectively answerable question" and under the old rules those questions would have been just as closeable as they are today. THe only thing that's really changed is that users used to come storming over to Meta saying

It is so a real question! It has a question mark on the end of it and everything! It's something I wanted to know! These moderators have way too much power, amirite? Abuse!

And now with any luck they read the message and edit the question to make it clear what they're asking. That's the theory, anyway.

They would be closed before. They will be on hold now, and if abandoned will move on to closed seamlessly. The system will work.

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