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In my opinion closing questions is a bad feature, some closed questions have a very high rank and many people had like to read the discussion about it, even if there are conflicts there..

If the question is bad the question rank will probably be bad as well...

Ranking question is a great feature, closing a question misses the point..

I agree that offensive questions or irrelevant(e.g. "will we ever be able to live on mars?" ) questions should get closed...that's all...

edit: Thanks for all the votes down guys, that's really inspiring ;-) on a serious note I am glad that you didn't "close" this question..

The question was a bit more general than what I meant, in my opinion you should disable the subjective and argumentative close reason... I understand that this system was invented as a Q&A system, but so what? it's now super popular, the goal can be extended....

Also, the democratic method isn't that great for closing as some of the "subjective and argumentative" questions are still open just because.. here is an example http://stackoverflow.com/questions/76364/what-is-the-single-most-effective-thing-you-did-to-improve-your-programming-skill/ - can u honestly say that this question is not subjective? (btw I love this question..)

I have a suggestions to make: open a new channel discussion.stackoverflow.com

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You'll need to propose a way to close offensive or irrelevant questions without having a "close feature". –  Uphill Luge Aug 23 '10 at 21:28
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closing a question misses the point that sentence misses the point of closing a question –  perbert Aug 23 '10 at 21:49
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BTW: a guy named Mike Stone made pretty much the same argument a couple years back. Only better. With examples. And in spite of all that, he was still dead wrong. –  Shog9 Aug 23 '10 at 21:59
    
If you rephrase the question "Will we ever be able to live on Mars?" to "As a developer, will you ever be to telecommute from Mars?" the question would generate a lot of buzz... –  Michael Kniskern Aug 23 '10 at 22:11
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It's getting to the point where one could amass quite a bit of reputation on meta just explaining to people the reason closing exists –  Michael Mrozek Aug 23 '10 at 23:19
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getting to the point @Michael? ;-p –  Shog9 Aug 24 '10 at 1:19
    
@Michael: Too bad Evan is in the sin bin for a year. Explaining the obvious to him was a great source of Rep. –  gnostradamus Aug 24 '10 at 2:44
    
would love to hear your opinion on the "edit" part of the question –  MrOhad Aug 24 '10 at 4:47
    
possible duplicate of Why is subjective/argumentative a reason to close a question? –  waiwai933 Aug 24 '10 at 5:31
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@MrOhad Downvotes on meta indicate disagreement. This comes up on subjective questions, no matter how well written. People are downvoting your feature request to indicate that they do not want the feature implemented. It isn't personal. –  devinb Aug 24 '10 at 11:59
    
@devinb mouseover the down arrow indicates that the question is unclear and not useful –  MrOhad Aug 24 '10 at 18:41
    
@MrOhad As he said, on meta they tend to be used differently, as meta is fundamentally different from the normal trilogy sites. Voting on a feature request is very often used to indicate agreement or disagreement with the request itself –  Michael Mrozek Aug 25 '10 at 3:03
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3 Answers

If the question is bad the question rank will probably be bad as well...

So what? Lots of bad, low-ranked questions that are still programming-related and answerable. Closing has little or nothing to do with getting rid of bad questions - in fact, closing doesn't get rid of anything.

Same with offensive questions. They get flagged and deleted. No closing.

Closing is for questions that can't be answered, or shouldn't be answered on this site. Questions that have already been asked and answered. Perfectly good questions that have little or no connection to the site's topic. Questions that aren't really questions at all, but an open invitation for users to chew the fat and get to know each other. Flame-bait. And so on. Closing stops these from being answered, forcing users to find the appropriate venue for their interests. It provides a staging area where the question itself can be discussed prior to deletion. And that is all it does.

I've up-voted and voted to close, when a question is well-asked, interesting, and still off-topic. And I've certainly down-voted and still voted to re-open a question that, while poorly-asked, did belong on the site.

Don't confuse voting with closing.

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Even though I don't like this answer, I seem to can't find the close button for it. –  devinb Aug 23 '10 at 22:29
    
would love to hear your opinion on the "edit" part of the question –  MrOhad Aug 24 '10 at 4:51
    
@MrOhad, regarding your edit: I like SO. I like being able to find good answers to programming questions. There's no need for it to expand into Slashdot or Reddit, those sites are far better at handling heated discussion than SO will ever be... but both suck for getting answers to your programming questions, so let's let SO stick to what it's good at, and leave the soapboxing elsewhere. –  Shog9 Aug 24 '10 at 5:01
    
I love SO, in my opinion both Slashdot and Reddit suck! the UX here is great and can be amazing for discussions, as I metion above this questions stackoverflow.com/questions/76364/… is great , but it's subjective.. –  MrOhad Aug 24 '10 at 5:16
    
@MrOhad: it's a "Getting to know you" question. It's fun, you get a feel for who your peers are, sorta. But it's not a programming question - strictly-speaking, it's just noise. They're working on rolling out a "chat" service to absorb some of the more social aspects - hopefully you can see how that would work better... –  Shog9 Aug 24 '10 at 19:11
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The sites are about Q&A. Not chewing the cud about best practices or how's your father type questions.

Thinking that these sites are all about the discussion around the topic misses the point entirely.

A car crash is fantastic to watch as the bodies crawl out, limbs and blood everywhere, sirens of fat curdling screams ripping the air and broken glass shredding soft human flesh as they drag themselves away from a wreckage.

Popularity doesn't equate to quality or being on-focus.

And that's why there are close reasons.

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Questions should not be closed because they're simply "bad". Instead, a close reason is provided1 which explains why that particular question was closed.

Let's take a look at each of the close reasons in turn and why they're necessary:

exact duplicate

Well, if they're exact duplicates, they there's no reason for the duplicate to be closed and merged with the original. It's better to have one set of answers than two.

off-topic

Hopefully self-evident

subjective and argumentative

The Stack Exchange network is a Question and Answer service. The platform is not designed for Subjective and Argumentative questions, fails miserably when these questions appear, and generally diminishes the quality of the site as a whole.

too localized

Here, it's important to not confuse closing with deletion. Once the question is answered, it's answered and in all likelihood, no one else can benefit in any way, shape, or form from the answers.

noise or pointless

Hopefully self-evident

belongs on [insert site here]

In this case, the question isn't even really closed, but just moved. Clicking on the site name will take you to the new question.


If you have any questions about these close reasons or why a specific question was closed, please feel free to ask.

1There are exceptions, but they're few and far between.

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