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Hello, recently there has been a disagreement with me and another user over if This Thread should be closed. Put simply, someone gave a big chunk of code with a (disguised) comment stating what the actual problem is inside the 50 so lines of code.

I downvoted it and voted to close. @Jaxidian thought that the question should be downvoted and left open however because it is a real question. So basically, what are your opinions? Should very poorly made questions(that can be answerable with some careful thought and consideration) be closed or left open?

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Why do our opinions matter? If you think it deserved to be closed, vote to close. – nb69307 Apr 15 '10 at 19:34
up vote 6 down vote accepted

How about option C?

Edit the question to make it better!

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I edit questions a lot, but that question would have been too hard for me to make better really. So I didn't. The OP literally put no effort into the question. Should we really let people just rely on us editors to make there code dump into an actual question? – Earlz Apr 15 '10 at 19:40
I'm not sure it's the case, but perhaps he attempted to put his question in the code to help make it better? Kinda like people who do inline replies to email - they THINK they're making the email conversation easier to follow? Yeah, I HATE it when people do that, but the intention is, indeed, to make it easier to understand. – Jaxidian Apr 15 '10 at 19:46
@Earlz: Yes. They might not be english speakers, they might be terrified of letters, or they might be disabled and have to input letters by heating up water with a mirror to reflect the sun held in between their toes. You are not faced with those setbacks. (Maybe just make it a little better? If we all do our bit...!) – Phoshi Apr 15 '10 at 21:26
Accepting this answer because it wins the poll. But I like Jon's answer better still :P – Earlz Apr 15 '10 at 22:43
@Earlz: Accept it, then! I don't mind, honest :) – Phoshi Apr 15 '10 at 23:11
@Pho that kinda defeats the purpose of a poll. – Earlz Apr 16 '10 at 0:14
@Earlz: Only a little :P – Phoshi Apr 16 '10 at 9:39

I saw the question in the code before I voted to close.

Without any explanation of the problem outside the code block, if I have to scroll down in the code more than 2 mousewheel pages, there's far too little explanation of the problem going on (the original title was no help).

Yeah, maybe it was a bit of laziness on my part, but IMO, paring down the code by editing was not an option, because who knows if what I remove is part of the problem or not. What has the OP tried or not tried? There was barely any indication.

I don't have a problem with the question itself, but as "not a real question" says, "It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form."

If it's cleaned up, I'll be happy to vote to reopen.

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At risk of sounding like an ass, I have to read your response here as saying "If I have to read the entire thing to understand what is being asked". If it was a HUGE chunk of code, perhaps... I would definitely attribute this to laziness on your part. Now, don't take THAT as an insult because I'm also lazy a lot. But if you're acting lazy, don't start moderating things while you are enacting your laziness. If you want to moderate things, do so in a non-lazy way. If you want to be lazy, that's fine, just let the non-lazy people moderate at that moment. – Jaxidian Apr 15 '10 at 20:01
@Jax: Fair point. As people around here know, I'm not adverse to doing work, it's just in this instance... what do I do with the question, you know? If it takes me that long to figure out what needs fixing, what's being asked, etc., then it's not a really well-put question. As I said, if the OP cleans it up (hopefully to isolate the problem), I'll vote to reopen. – Jon Seigel Apr 15 '10 at 20:23

Iv'e seen many worse questions left open.

I think that in this case it should have been left open and edited into something a bit more coherent. There was a clear programming related problem that was hiding in that mess.

I voted to reopen.

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I just think it's unfair that a person can give us a huge dump of code and a few nice users come and form it into a real question, and then the code dumper gets an extra 50 reputation from putting 0 effort into a question. I mean, the guy has over 700 rep. Surely he can try a bit harder. – Earlz Apr 15 '10 at 19:32
@Earlz: the point of Stack Overflow is to help people. Rather like Experts Exchange, except without all the brainless spam. If an edit of the question could help somebody else researching a similar issue, I say edit away. Who cares about the guy's rep? – Randolpho Apr 15 '10 at 19:34
@Randol well I see your point there. I guess it comes down to the whole should-rep-be-given-for-questions and all the ethics stuff that entails. – Earlz Apr 15 '10 at 19:37
@Earlz: rep is worth nothing. There are no ethical issues. – Randolpho Apr 15 '10 at 20:04
@Rand so why don't we let people have access to moderation tools at 1 rep then? – Earlz Apr 15 '10 at 20:07
@Earlz: Ok, so rep has some value; it indicates how willing you are to participate in the website. A person who doesn't write good questions or answers is highly unlikely to make enough rep to be a mod. Allowing him a few rep for an edit does not advance the user significantly toward a moderator status, while provding the user an example how to correctly formulate a question. – Randolpho Apr 15 '10 at 21:40

Hmm... in that case, there is a real question, but it's extremely poorly made. I would suggest editing the question rather than closing outright.

Edit: although on second read, it's almost entirely about Visual Studio rather than programming... SuperUser, perhaps?

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Visual Studio debugging is absolutely programming related and not super user domain. This question would never get answered on super user. – waffles Apr 15 '10 at 19:36

I think it should have been downvoted, not closed.

The question was obviously dealing with a specific problem and would have a real answer; it doesn't fit the "not a real question" criteria at all. It's not really fair to the person asking the question to close it and not give him a chance to improve it.

On the other hand, it was very poorly written, and that's what question downvotes are supposed to signify. If a question is is written so badly that you can't even figure out a way to edit it and make it better, then downvote it.

Yeah yeah, I know, sympathy upvotes and all that. Who cares? Downvote and leave a comment; your objective is to help them, not to worry about their rep.

I voted to reopen.

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Good discussion.

My primary argument is that it was PROBABLY voted to be closed because people didn't realize there was even a "question" in the code comments. Yeah, that's a very poor way to do it but it does, nonetheless, infer a question, which is usually good enough for SO. But if people voted to close because they didn't realize there was a question in there at all, then it was closed for the wrong reason, and THAT is why I think it should have been edited to be made clearer rather than being closed.

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If the question is so crappy that it's not easily salvagable, I would vote to close and let the OP edit the question himself and request it to be opened.

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