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I have asked this question which I don't honestly think is a duplicate of the question linked as motivation for closing. They are both about java, but one is about the language and the other one about its applications in the real world. They are sure related but not exact duplicates by any means. Yet it took just a few minutes to find 5 people willing to close it.

Why is it so? Do similar questions really pollute SO so much? Is closing a question like that so urgent that you can't leave it open for a while and see if it meets interest in the community? Do people just do it because they have the power to do so and they like to use it?

SO should be a community site about programming, not about who's the quickest sheriff.

EDIT: edited subject as I meant "close" instead of "delete"

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See: blog.stackoverflow.com/2009/04/… –  XMLbog Dec 31 '09 at 14:57
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To add, for some reason developers are sometimes very egotistical and too sensitive. I think this may apply in this case. –  staticx Dec 31 '09 at 15:08
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Your question wasn't well written, which may have led to it being closed as a duplicate. –  George Stocker Dec 31 '09 at 15:21
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/me wants this question to be closed as duplicate just for the irony. :) –  Noldorin Dec 31 '09 at 15:24
    
Looks like your question has been re-opened and looking at it again, I probably would have voted to close as well since the 'possible dup' question is strikingly similar –  staticx Dec 31 '09 at 15:32
    
I voted to re-open after edit. Since it is not an exact duplicate; however I've got issues with the question that I've lined out below. –  George Stocker Dec 31 '09 at 15:40
    
@George: Should be CW? –  staticx Dec 31 '09 at 15:45
    
@Roboto: Yes. I flagged the post so a moderator could switch it over. –  George Stocker Dec 31 '09 at 15:46
    
I marked it CW myself, I'm not interested in rep I was sincerely curious about the subject. Although I think it was a pretty straightforward question. –  Matteo Riva Dec 31 '09 at 15:53

4 Answers 4

Some questions are generic enough that it doesn't make sense to have two versions of the same question on the site. In some respects it would be better if questions that get closed as duplicates are automatically reviewed by moderators as candidates for merging or reopening -- with the moderator decision being binding. The current system of including links to the possible duplicates is a reasonable compromise, but I'm not sure that it's a viable permanent state to leave the question in.

Consider, if you will, Wikipedia. In some ways SO functions like Wikipedia for generic questions. How many Wikipedia articles would you be willing to tolerate on a particular subject? Is it reasonable that some searches would end up at one article and others at a different article? Especially in the case where the content (answers, in our case) may be divergent simply because one question didn't get enough attention for the best answers to bubble up.

I think a better case, for true duplicates or near duplicates, would be for the answers to be combined if possible. If not possible, then I would say they aren't close enough to be closed as a duplicate.

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Very true in theory, in practice if you "merge into" an already running question you won't have many chances of new answers if it already has a green check mark. –  Matteo Riva Dec 31 '09 at 18:19
    
On generic questions, where there isn't really a right answer, I've found that people will keep adding answers. Most of mine with that bent are now migrated to meta, but I know that I kept getting answers well after I thought the question's life had expired. –  tvanfosson Dec 31 '09 at 18:45

Part of the original text of your question was the following:

What are the fields were [sic] Java shines so much? Are there many desktop applications or is it more used in web and mobile applets?

Your question is hard to follow, and generally with such a hard to follow question it's quite easy to grab similar questions and show it as a duplicate of them.

If you don't want your question closed, do the following:

  • Word your question well
  • Don't rant about closing politics in the question, leave that for comments under the question
  • Make sure you link to other questions that are similar and include those in your narrative so people know you at least researched the subject on Stack Overflow before asking this question

I have a problem with your question that has nothing to do with whether or not it's a duplicate.

It requires extended discussion; and there's no one 'right' answer. Simply put, Java is used just about everywhere (and that's not really a useful answer, but it's the most technically correct one).

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Fair enough. I was just arguing it wasn't an exact duplicate. –  Matteo Riva Dec 31 '09 at 15:55

Closing duplicates (and in doing so, linking to the original) is part of what makes SO such a great site. As such, people with the ability to vote to close are eager to help keep the site organized and useful.

In the case of your question, I agree it was not a dupe, and I voted to reopen.

Sometimes people are a little too eager to help out - as was the case here. Fortunately, we have the "vote to reopen" feature.

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Thanks. Unfortunately "vote to reopen" often has little luck, as a closed question doesn't float to the top ever again. –  Matteo Riva Dec 31 '09 at 15:19
    
@kemp: If you make any edits, it will float back up. –  staticx Dec 31 '09 at 15:20
    
Even if it is closed? Don't want to exploit the edit system just to bump. –  Matteo Riva Dec 31 '09 at 15:22
    
@kemp: once you vote to reopen, others will see that it needs votes to reopen.. making subsequent edits over time will keep it on the front page every once and while. Most people don't go past the front page unless they filter by tags which in your case is likely to be seen since it is a java question –  staticx Dec 31 '09 at 15:29

Deleting and Closing are two totally different things. Deleting removes forever, closing is just closing. You can vote to re-open and if you get enough votes to re-open (5 total), then it will re-open. Mark it community wiki or add a bounty, make some improvements, etc and it will probably survive again. The community strives for quality over quantity so you can try my suggestions or creating a new totally different question that won't get it closed. It's all a learning process. Good luck.

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