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I am a little confused as to what constitutes a fair question on SO. I posted a question, that some thought to be subjective and was downvoted, followed by 3 votes to close.

Need good source control

I responded with a comment asking people to flag a question as off topic and move it to Programmers SE if they thought it was too subjective. Instead, the post was closed as "subjective and argumentative."

Honestly, I participate pretty heavily in Programmers SE and I do not feel this question would have been closed as a bad-subjective. That's why I made the recommendation in the first place.

But, since they went ahead and closed my question anyways, I asked for the question to be deleted. They refused deleting the question because it had been upvoted.

I had actually asked to delete the question because I felt my question was answered. I also did not want others downvoting my question, especially seeing the question was closed.

This whole ordeal makes me feel as if moderation is still too literal on SO. Too many users do not understand what Programmers is for or the definition of good-subjective questions (as can be seen in the comments).

I feel that more people with the ability to close questions, and just in general need to be more aware of the SE faq's.

Second, moderators should also be aware of not just what the FAQ states, but also how they are interpreted and "play out" for real on Programmers. This will prevent a lot of unecessary downvoting and closing of real questions.


Now people are downvoting my post on SO. Thanks.

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marked as duplicate by gnat, Martijn Pieters, James, hims056, Emrakul Feb 15 '14 at 19:57

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.

Let me ask you the obvious: Why didn't you post it on Programmers then? – juan Apr 22 '11 at 22:38
@Juan Manuel - please click the link I posted and read my comments. – P.Brian.Mackey Apr 22 '11 at 22:40
This feels more like a rant than a question/discussion. Not that there's anything wrong with that, I'm just not sure what you hope to get out of this. – Kyle Trauberman Apr 22 '11 at 22:44
@ktrauberman - something is wrong with moderation. where am I supposed to tell people about that? I am asking for moderators to be more aware of SE sites. I am not asking if I'm wrong or not. I am saying I am right and moderators need to be less snarky and more personalable. – P.Brian.Mackey Apr 22 '11 at 22:46
@Brian: Your post wasn't closed by a moderator, it was closed by a quorum of 5 2k+ rep users. To accuse the moderators of not being aware of other SE sites is kind of asinine, especially given that fact. Dori was right in her comment. Just because you got what you were looking for out of a question, doesn't mean that others won't find it helpful. – Kyle Trauberman Apr 22 '11 at 22:50
@ktrauberman - thats exactly my point, if its helpful why did it get closed? – P.Brian.Mackey Apr 22 '11 at 22:51
@Brian: because it doesn't follow the rules of the site. I get your point, but Closed != not helpful. – Kyle Trauberman Apr 22 '11 at 22:54
@ktrauberman - your still missing my point. Its valid on Programmers and useful. Thats why it should have been migrated. If you all dont care or dont want to listen I cant stop you. Just saying, its certainly a community decision. But, in this case the community is wrong. – P.Brian.Mackey Apr 22 '11 at 23:05
up vote 13 down vote accepted

There are a few issues with migrating this question over to Programmers.SE:

  1. The basic question's already been asked on Programmers.SE. You were linked to an example in the comments. Migrations generally don't occur when it's known there's a duplicate on the destination site.
  2. From the Good Subjective, Bad Subjective post:
    • Great subjective questions inspire answers that explain “why” and “how”.
    • Great subjective questions tend to have long, not short, answers.
    • Great subjective questions invite sharing experiences over opinions.
    • Great subjective questions insist that opinion be backed up with facts and references.

The two answers you received, and the one you accepted, are effectively one liners that don't explain why or how, don't share any experience, and don't have any references to justify the opinions presented.

"Good Subjective, Bad Subjective" also talks about presenting a question in a fair, impartial tone. You use a lot of descriptors like "easy", "good", etc. that indicate preference, making it hard to come up with an answer without reading your mind about what you consider "easy" or "good". What's "easy" to me might be "hard" or "bad" to you. So the only way to answer a question that doesn't define its terms per se is to guess. That's not the makings of a great subjective question.

Sometimes its hard to see what types of answers a question will invite, but it's extremely hard to see how you'd get any other type of answer. People haven't been sold that your question is one that's asking for the type of answers that make a subjective question stand out.

So it makes sense your question was closed on Stack Overflow, and it's likely it would've been closed on Programmers.SE as written. You're always welcome to figure out what you can do to avoid getting the cheap one-line answers you received and reformulate the question.

To your point about wanting to delete the question now that it's closed, that's not how it works. All content you post on Stack Exchange sites is licensed under the Creative Commons BY-SA license, which gives others the ability to freely use your contributions as they see fit as long as they meet the basic preconditions of keeping the license and attributing it to you.

That is, the community, through its moderation process, gets to decide how to deal with the question: whether that's keeping it open, closing it, migrating it, or deleting it. But even though the community has decided to close the question and you want to delete it doesn't mean there's someone out there who, using the rights granted to them under CC BY-SA, found some use, or that someone might come along and improve the question to get it reopened.

But merely because that unknown future person found it useful or potentially improved it for reopening doesn't mean it's a good fit as written now for the Stack Exchange network, and thus, your question was closed.

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I picked an answer because it got closed and wanted to give them points. I would have gotten far higher quality responses on PE than SO, but my wishes to have it migrated were denied. I do not buy the fact that the closing was due to reasons as well thought out as this answer. I do appreciate your answer though for showing you are listening. But, too many others are acting like bullies on SO. This is a major reason I hardly participate in the forum. Others on MS forum have said the same in the past. These people rion SO's rep and my questions feedback has lowered my respect for SE. – P.Brian.Mackey Apr 22 '11 at 23:42
@P.Brian.Mackey I don't think you would've gotten significantly different answers on Programmers largely for the reasons Mark mentioned. To be honest, given that you're fairly active on Programmers and are advocating that the question should've been migrated, I'm surprised you didn't post your question there in the first place. – Adam Lear Apr 23 '11 at 0:58
@Xxxx: These are exactly the reasons I voted to close that question. I attempted to express as much in a comment, even linking to the same "Good Subjective, Bad Subjective" blog post as Mark does in his answer. I'm not an expert on Programmers.SE policies, as I spend 90% of my time on Stack Overflow. But their mods have requested that we not migrate questions that don't meet their guidelines, and I've attempted to comply with that request. You seem extremely angry that your question was closed as off-topic, rather than migrated. Please don't take this personally; it's not meant that way. – Cody Gray Apr 23 '11 at 8:37
It's certainly possible that SO regulars are more apt to dole out close votes than their counterparts on PSE, but you have to consider that's because of the sheer volume of questions we get per day. It's a full-time battle to keep the site as focused & on-topic as possible. It's thankless work, not only because you don't get any rewards from it, but also because it's bound to offend some users. We don't mean it that way, but it has to be done. I contribute lots of helpful answers each day, as evidenced by my accepts. But I also dish out a lot of close votes. I disagree this makes me a bully. – Cody Gray Apr 23 '11 at 8:42
@Anna Lear - As I explained in my comments I did not know that the question was subjective. I provided a list of items I needed and people with knowledge of the domain said all the requirements met my needs and thus the question became personal preference. I am saying that if its difficult for someone like me, who participates in SO/PE regularly and for several years, I can only imagine how difficult it is for people who are not as active. I also remember it was very hard for me to learn how to ask a "good question" on SO when I first started. – P.Brian.Mackey Apr 23 '11 at 14:53
That being said, my point is that SO moderation is driving new people away because of this high difficulty. I realize the site is for enthusiasts. But, it should be for enthusiast programmers not enthusiast SE participants. – P.Brian.Mackey Apr 23 '11 at 14:54

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