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I believe that I am quite well versed on what makes a reasonable answer on Stack Overflow, but I cannot understand the answer deletion at this question: Is there a way to display vertical indent lines in Delphi?

I can see that the question is not ideal, but why should the answer provided by RRUZ be deleted? Since it was deleted by a diamond mod, Andrew Barber, we cannot cast undelete votes should we so desire.

I am aware of the presentational changes to close voting, but to the best of my knowledge nothing has changed in terms of which questions are welcome. And in any case, this was an answer. Has anything changed in the community view of what constitutes an answer? Or has such an answer always been unacceptable?

Leaving aside my personal opinion that this answer was reasonable, the main thrust of my question is to understand why it was deleted.

For those that cannot see the deleted answer, here it is:


You can use the CnPack IDE Wizards, this plugin includes a feature called Code Structure Highlight.

enter image description here

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And a screen shot for those of us who aren't 10k? –  Daedalus Jun 28 '13 at 7:20
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@Daedalus Sorry. I pasted the answer source into the question. –  David Heffernan Jun 28 '13 at 7:25
    
@DavidHeffernan self-promotion perhaps? Can't see user details and such, so just a hunch. –  Bart Jun 28 '13 at 7:46
    
@Bart I know RRUZ very well from the delphi tag on SO and he is for sure not in the self-promotion business. –  David Heffernan Jun 28 '13 at 7:47
    
@DavidHeffernan Hmm, indeed doesn't seem like it. Let's see what the response is. –  Bart Jun 28 '13 at 7:50
    
Has the answer been reinstated? I can easily see it. Anyway, while deletion does seem harsh, the logic seems clear to me: The question is put on hold as OT with the reason that requesting 3rd party tools are OT. The answer essentially only suggests a 3rd party tool. –  user213634 Jun 28 '13 at 8:13
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@AndersUP The question was not put on hold originally. When I asked this meta question, the question had 1 close vote, and a deleted answer. The question has been put on hold by Andrew as a result of this meta question. And Andrew has reinstated the answer. The issue all stems from mods only seeing partial information in the flag queue. In this case Andrew saw the answer but not the question. –  David Heffernan Jun 28 '13 at 8:21
    
I was the one who flagged that answer, in accordance with the guidelines here that say that link-only answers to off-site locations are not appropriate, and also that recommendations for favorite libraries and tools are subjective. Also, the answer does not even address the actual question asked, which was "Is there built-in support in the IDE for this?". I also left a comment for the poster of the answer asking him to repost appropriately (although I commented to the question prior to his answer with an answer to the question and the same third-party reference). –  Ken White Jun 28 '13 at 23:20

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I was the one who deleted it. It was flagged as a "link-only" answer, and that seemed to be obviously correct from viewing the answer in the flag queue.

What I did not see was that the question was sort of asking for a library recommendation. Of course, this sort of question is off-topic, and I've put it on hold as such.

As there is some disagreement about the quality of the question, which relates to the appropriateness of the answer, I've left the answer undeleted now. I had closed the question as off-topic, shopping, but I see I've been overruled by the mob community there. ;)

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Hm... the question doesn't seem to ask for a plugin, the answer just happens to be one. –  Yannis Jun 28 '13 at 8:17
    
@Yannis The original version of the question asked for a plugin, if the raw IDE does not have the functionality. –  David Heffernan Jun 28 '13 at 8:18
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@DavidHeffernan Saw that, but does it matter? The question was edited to be a typical "How can I do this on my IDE" question, and that's the version of the question that was closed... –  Yannis Jun 28 '13 at 8:19
    
@Yannis Yes it does matter. The closing of the question came as a direct result of this meta question. When I asked this meta question the SO question had 1 close vote. And in any case my meta question concerns the answer and not the question. –  David Heffernan Jun 28 '13 at 8:22
    
Whether the question was asking for a plugin or it was a broad "how do I?", it would still be off-topic. I probably should have used a close reason more related to its current wording, in hindsight, but ... well... –  Andrew Barber Jun 28 '13 at 8:25
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Ok, I'm honestly confused and morbidly curious. How's a "how do I do foo on my IDE" question off topic? What the OP asks seems pretty specific to me. –  Yannis Jun 28 '13 at 8:29
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To me this one is borderline, but I'd leave it open. Is it a great question? Nope. But it does not (or no longer) directly request a library. It asks how to do something in an IDE. And if the answer to that happens to be a library recommendation, I don't think it's all that wrong. –  Bart Jun 28 '13 at 8:49
    
Egads! Thanks, @David for fixing my fat-finger typos here! –  Andrew Barber Jun 28 '13 at 9:02
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@AndrewBarber No probs at all. I'm taxing MSO 2 rep points per typo fix so it's all good here!!! ;-) –  David Heffernan Jun 28 '13 at 9:06
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Andrew, please see my comment above. –  Ken White Jun 28 '13 at 23:20
    
IF close voting by consensus gets people annoyed, then WHY flag and delete for minor things like "this seems to me like it is related to an IDE add-ons, and add-ons are third party tools, and third party tools are shopping list questions" and this line of extreme transitive application of the FAQ is ABSURD. An answer with a screenshot showing that the user can have what they want, is NOT a mere link to an external question. The mod acted rationally but I think Kens' flag was out of line. –  Warren in Toronto Jun 29 '13 at 22:19

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