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.

Possible Duplicates:
Really good “discussion” questions…
Why is subjective/argumentative a reason to close a question?
Why are Subjective questions not allowed [or] Should discussion be required before closing a question?

This is a series of questions about questions that I would like to ask at Stack Overflow.


From the FAQ:

What kind of questions should I not ask here?

Avoid asking questions that are subjective,
argumentative, or require extended discussion.

For me, I get subjective. However I suspect that some will ask subjective questions that they perceive as objective. Also, some will falsely think that certain objective questions are subjective.

Examples would be useful.

Meta question #1: Is debating permitted?

Regarding "argumentative": there's arguing and debating. Debating is useful; often learning emerges.

Meta question #2: What's wrong with extended discussion?

Certain questions may require extended discussion; without it, they may not be adequately resolved.

Since no one is forced to participate in any discussion, why this restriction?

Meta question #3: Here are some examples of the kinds of questions that I would like to ask. Are they acceptable?

  1. What should I consider in choosing between xUnit.net, NUnit, MbUnit, and MSTest?
  2. Is randomization of unit test methods important?
share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by fretje, perbert, alex, random, Ladybug Killer Jan 16 '10 at 13:18

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

3  
Your formatting is confusing. Is this meta or meta-meta? –  Ladybug Killer Jan 15 '10 at 20:53
    
    
@fretje: do you find a duplicate now, or do I have to wait forever? –  Ladybug Killer Jan 15 '10 at 21:02
    
here's another related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/12373/… No exact duplicates though... he did ask 3 different questions, what do you want ;-) –  fretje Jan 15 '10 at 21:03
    
Ok, we have four questions for five close votes. Should be enough. –  Ladybug Killer Jan 15 '10 at 21:05
2  
@John Smithers: I reformatted and reorganized it a bit to make it more legible and clear. Help any? –  John Rudy Jan 15 '10 at 21:05
1  
@King Kang: Yeah, you could help: pick a question and vote to close. –  Ladybug Killer Jan 15 '10 at 21:08
    
You know, normally I'm really trigger-happy with closures. But I don't really feel that this question in sum toto should be closed because one of its three aspects duplicates 13150. I'm taking a wait-and-see position here, letting others in the community act. BTW, thanks for the tag update; sorry I missed that part. –  John Rudy Jan 15 '10 at 21:13

3 Answers 3

Debating is useful; often learning emerges.

Absolutely! It's also great fun at times. Unfortunately, the SO format works poorly for this; with debating, what you want is a proper forum, with threads and stuff.

certain questions could require extended discussion; without sufficient discussion, they may not be adequately resolved.

Again, the SO format works very poorly for these. AFAIK, this is by design: look at how hard it is to find anything in most forums - even when you find a topic that sounds like it might lead to what you're after, you end up having to dig through big piles of discussion before you even know whether or not there's a solution (to say nothing about whether or not the problem as it eventually hashed out looks anything like your own). SO tries to avoid this by presenting everything as Question -> Answer(s) - this makes it a great resource for finding existing solutions to problems you encounter, but the trade-off is that it is very impractical for discussion.

SO allows for limited discussion in the form of comments: if you can resolve a dispute or tease out the real question in a few short messages, then it usually works... and works better still if you can then update the question/answer to reflect what was agreed upon. But regardless of purpose, long, involved conversations are, by design and by decree, discouraged.

share|improve this answer

I think you are over analysing things a little too much.

If you have a programming question then just ask it. There is a check for subjective questions when you post, so if you don't trigger that you're half way there.

Subjective and argumentative tends to come about when there's obviously no clear "correct" answer to the question. So again, as long as you ask a question that can be answered (e.g. How do I move the turtle in Logo - perhaps a bad example) then you should be OK.

share|improve this answer

Jeff made the point early on that the close reason is

Subjective and argumentative

Meaning that debate questions, or subjective questions may have a place on SO, but questions which are both subjective and require debate have no home here - they cannot be resolved.

share|improve this answer

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