Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

This question on SO was inexplicably migrated by Will, which prompted the user to re-ask it, at which point it was migrated again.

Obviously, the question is lacking in detail, which is why I commented on the second one that it needed more detail, and also voted to close as NARQ. But migration wasn't appropriate here. This was a question about file I/O in MATLAB, specifically reading the data in as a .mat file, and writing it out as a text file.

This wasn't just someone asking for a piece of software that does the conversion, it was someone asking how to do the conversion in MATLAB, so SU wasn't really the place for it. While I would agree with closure until the user clarifies the problem appropriately, it should stay on SO.

I wanted to bring this up both to correct this particular instance, and also to ask the new mods to go easy on their new-found powers. ;)

share|improve this question

closed as too localized by Robert Harvey Jan 4 '12 at 22:02

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

@Will: Is it ethical for me to edit your comment because you left out the apostrophe? – mmyers Jul 16 '10 at 3:55
@mmyers screw ethics, we're mods. – Won't Jul 16 '10 at 18:33
@mmyers btw why isn't gnovice a mod? He could probably take care of SO single-handedly. – Won't Jul 16 '10 at 18:34
Yes I fully agree. gnoice has been very helpful and appears very knowledgable he should be moderator. – Paul Jul 16 '10 at 19:06

I have almost no experience with MATLAB, which makes it easier for me to see where he was coming from. I read:

Is there a good way to convert a .mat file to a .txt file?

and it makes me think he's looking for a File -> Export option in MATLAB, which to me clearly falls under the category of "how do I use this program". If he's asking how to code something in MATLAB it's an SO question, but if he's just asking how to do something in the program it's that fuzzy gray area between SO and SU. A lot of times questions about how to use IDEs stay on SO, but now you're getting into deciding what type of program you classify MATLAB as

share|improve this answer
Well, even if he wasn't familiar with MATLAB (which is a high-level language and programming environment), I would have hoped that Will would have been a bit more cautious, especially considering there are nearly 1700 MATLAB questions on SO now. He probably should have given other users more time to get the OP to clarify their question. – gnostradamus Jul 15 '10 at 5:14
"How do I do X in Eclipse?" questions more often than not are answered on SO and arguably have far less chance of actually being programming related. "How do I do X in Java?" questions are in fact programming questions. Most novice MATLAB users refer to the programming language itself as MATLAB, so the question was ambiguous, but in both cases applicable to be answered on SO. – Mark Elliot Jul 16 '10 at 11:39

Yes, I know MATLAB is a programming environment. Yes, the question is very borderline. I was responding to the users that flagged the question. C'est le modde. I can sympathize; I've had borderline questions closed and moved as well. I know it isn't a happy feeling...

share|improve this answer
I also realized soon after this that I've been shuffling questions off to buff... uh, SuperUser that aren't exactly on-topic there. I hate being a noob. – Won't Jul 16 '10 at 18:35

I am sorry, but I still do not understand what was so wrong in the question. Maybe the question was worthless for all the programing gods here, as it's too easy for them. Except for one user, everyone mocked me.

All I asked was how to convert structure data to .txt in MATLAB, as it was in .mat file format, and I am not sure of the exact format as it was sent to me by a different user.

I also do not understand how another question has ratings of 7+ and my question was dumped to garbage.

share|improve this answer
I can't speak for anyone else, but it may not be just the content of your questions, but the style of your questions as well. Some of your questions are too rambling, for example "I had a similar question. but what i am trying now is to ...", and they also have bad grammar (eg not capitalizing "i" and missing periods). – Andrew Grimm Jul 16 '10 at 3:30
Ok I did not know I was asking to literature majors. I will be careful in future if I ever use stack overflow. – Paul Jul 16 '10 at 3:48
@Paul: I'm sorry about the repeated migrations and the people making snarky comments, but you have to understand that we aren't mind readers. It took quite a bit of effort just to get you to give us any details about the file contents. Compare what you wrote with this example question: "I have a .mat file containing 2 variables: a 200-by-20 matrix A of numeric values and a 1-by-20 cell array B containing a character string for each column in A. How can I read the contents from the .mat file and save them in a text file?" That's generally the amount of detail we really need to help you. – gnostradamus Jul 16 '10 at 4:46
@Paul, if you do not care about the language you use (which is the vehicle to transport your problem description to us), then we cannot help, because we cannot understand you. Or the other way around: if you do not care about a clear, readable and concise problem description, why should we care about your problem? – Ladybug Killer Jul 16 '10 at 11:49
@ LAdy bug killer and @ ganoice : Ofcourse I care about the language, what I refered above was silly like using capitalizing 'I' , spaces ect. I am sorry I am not a program bigwig and do not speak 'programer' language.Except for Amro everyone only mocked, Hope they felt better about themselves. – Paul Jul 16 '10 at 13:52
@Paul If you can't take the time to format your question appropriately for the site you should find a different one that doesn't care about that sort of thing; we do. And there's far more snarky comments from you in this thread than there is on both of your questions combined; the comments on your question were actually helpful, but you were too busy getting mad at people for voting to close to actually benefit from them – Michael Mrozek Jul 16 '10 at 14:22
@ Micheal : I was not mad at people trying to close , I was mad at them trying to mock my question. – Paul Jul 16 '10 at 19:05
@Paul: capitalizing "I", spaces, etc. are not "silly". They're how the language works. If you're not following those conventions, then you're not actually writing English. – John Saunders Jul 16 '10 at 19:37
@ John : ok teacher, I guess U R old school or just old and never have texted – Paul Jul 16 '10 at 20:10
@Paul: TXT-speak is not English! What's appropriate in text messages or I Can Has Cheezburger is different to what's appropriate in Stack Overflow. – Andrew Grimm Jul 16 '10 at 23:04
@ all users I do not intend to make any one upset. I just mentioned how I was treated. Maybe that is how some guys are here. Anyway now I am stopping as this is going no where.Jerks will be jerks no matter where you interact with them. – Paul Jul 17 '10 at 5:10

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