What is meta? ×
Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 133 Stack Exchange communities.

I've found someone is trying to close this question as off-topic since it concerns Apache HTTPD on Stack Overflow. If it weren't for the fact that a highly-rep'ed user is arguing for it, I wouldn't be asking this question. I frequently see questions concerning Apache and .htaccess on Stack Overflow (over 27,000 are tagged Apache). I consider it a software tool commonly used by web programmers, and therefore on-topic, based on the Help Center.

However, they are defending it based on a small nuance in the close reasons: "Questions about general computing hardware and software are off-topic for Stack Overflow unless they directly involve tools used primarily for programming", saying HTTPD is primarily for web server configuration.

How closely should a tool primarily for programming be enforced and where do we draw the line?

share|improve this question
4  
The fact that it's about Apache is not the core issue IMO. Questions about Apache configuration are fine on SO. the point is more that your question seems to be, "this doesn't work, what should I do?", rather than a specific question about how to configure Apache. –  Pëkka Jul 28 '13 at 14:11
    
I agree that it is a poor question, and can be perhaps be closed under something else, like unclear. –  BLaZuRE Jul 28 '13 at 14:20
    
It appears that Stack Overflow has changed the description of the Off-topic close reason to "This question does not appear to be about programming, within the scope defined in the help center" some time between yesterday and today. What to do with this question now? –  BLaZuRE Jul 29 '13 at 14:58

1 Answer 1

I was not defending by that rule. I was pointing it out to you as - the way I read your previous comment there - went into that line of argumentation. My concrete close reason is the following:

This question appears to be off-topic because it is about a support request configuring a third party software, here namely Apache HTTPD.

It's still totally visible that this question is merely about configuration - not programming. For programming I'd say as of today, the following answer pretty much nails it: http://stackoverflow.com/a/17909379/367456

It's basically pointing out the plain fact that configuration between two systems differ that much, that the server system deals differently with same requests. The solution known in programming is that you should use a configuration that comes as close as possible to the target computer environment.

As the OP has not outlined where exactly the configuration differs and which steps have been done to reproduce the issue on the other system as well, it's merely just asking for some kind of advice in a very specific configuration environment that the person who answers need to guess. I don't think this is a constructive way of asking, regardless if programming tools are involved (and let's include apache to these) or not.

So as @Pekka 웃 commmented, this is more because of how the OP asks and what for the OP asks. Which should be well reflected in the original close reason given.

I apologize if this was not clear from the way I argumented in comments and hopefully this meta Q&A makes it more clear now.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .