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Example: Do Oracle intend to continue work on Java?

The question has been edited; the original text was:

Do Oracle intend to continue work on Java? Will there be future versions of Java after SDK 7?

This suggested close reason might get used more than the rare "too localized" one.

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I'd be tempted to respond with "ask the Oracle". :P –  Noldorin Sep 7 '09 at 8:23
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This came up again today: stackoverflow.com/questions/2088885/… sigh –  Ether Jan 18 '10 at 21:18
    
Possibly relevant: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/64070/… –  Piskvor Mar 5 '11 at 10:03

3 Answers 3

My feeling on this is "not a real question," as it is in fact unanswerable by the S[OFU] guidelines:

Avoid asking questions that are subjective, argumentative, or require extended discussion. This is not a discussion board, this is a place for questions that can be answered!

I'd rather not clutter up the close list with a zillion options, myself.

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maybe adjusting the text from "not a real question" to "this question has no definitive answer"? Ok, that sucks, but a slight wording change might make it more flexible. –  Rob Allen Sep 7 '09 at 10:55
    
I don't mind changing that text a bit to make it less ambiguous, but I think that's been discussed and nixed before? –  John Rudy Sep 7 '09 at 13:17
    
I disagree that this is not a real question meta.stackexchange.com/questions/20668/… –  MarkJ Jul 16 '10 at 13:23

Too localized to the not yet here and guessing about what a company or tech will come to do or might be sounds like not a real question. Possibly no longer relevant in a future tense.

It's kind of blatantly offensive for those without a bottle of cristal and partially not programming related. More business really. It's a bit subjective and argumentative as well don't you think? Long is the LOST series over Fate versus Destiny.

Probaby also an exact duplicate of an existing question.

Flag it as spam from a time traveller or inside stock trader.

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+1 just for "spam from a time traveller or inside stock trader." :) –  John Rudy Sep 7 '09 at 0:28
    
Are you saying technology choice isn't a programming question? These issues are important when choosing technologies. –  MarkJ Jul 16 '10 at 13:24
    
Choosing a technology is the same as shopping. Not a programming question. @mar –  random Jul 17 '10 at 0:53
    
Wouldn't a time traveler have just posted the question when the answer would be known? –  SamB Feb 18 '11 at 0:29

I disagree that this is "not a real question". Programmers have a responsibility to contribute to technology choice and issues like this matter.

Companies make statements on these issues, sometimes they even make legal commitments, for instance guaranteeing to support a technology until a certain date, or making an escrow agreement so that the code would become available to customers if the company became bankrupt.

So it is possible to provide informed, useful, and objective answers to these questions (although it is unlikely to be a straight "yes" or "no"). Don't close the questions. "Subjective", ill-informed, ranting answers should be closed, same as any other question.

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Those downvotes came fast. Anyone care to leave a comment? –  MarkJ Jul 16 '10 at 13:29
    
You disagree with something people agree with. Their downvotes indicate this. Usually, the only way to garner an upvote would be to change your opinion. –  devinb Jul 16 '10 at 13:49
    
Though it wasn't my downvote, you may be missing the context. Questions of this type are overwhelmingly asking for wild speculation and those should definitely be closed. If you have found a question that you feel has been unfairly closed, please post a link. –  Gnome Jul 16 '10 at 13:50
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I can't see the question "do oracle intend to continue work on Java" because it's been closed, but I think it's a good example. It's an important question if you're a Java programmer or if you own code written in Java. As it happens, I'm not very well informed, but I think the answer is "yes it appears they will", because Oracle have made some public commitments, they own a lot of code written in Java, and they've kept on some senior staff from Sun to maintain Java. Those are all objective facts and it's the most informed objective issue. –  MarkJ Jul 16 '10 at 13:52
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@MarkJ: but the "past Java 7" part is unanswerable until Oracle either produces a "Java 8" or, well, fails to do so. –  SamB Feb 18 '11 at 0:31
    
@SamB True, you can't make a 100% yes or no answer until after the event. But that's true of any statement about the future. Here's another example. Suppose your customer wants to get a new server. Do you say (A) "we won't know whether our code works until after you've bought it, I can't predict the future, that's logically impossible". Or do you say (B) "Well, we'll have to do some testing, but I've read the technical documentation carefully and I don't foresee any problems at this stage". Because, let me tell you, if you say B, your customer is going to look for another developer. –  MarkJ Feb 18 '11 at 9:16
    
@MarkJ: yeah, well, I'm kinda hoping Oracle is left with little more than the trade dress of Java before Java 8 comes around... I really don't like how they run things! (Also, they messed up the color scheme of the logo!) –  SamB Feb 19 '11 at 20:44
    
@SamB I have wondered whether some folks are angry at this "do Oracle intend to continue work on Java" question because they're angry with Oracle. –  MarkJ Feb 21 '11 at 9:54

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