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So I posted a question about a complex but that I'm dealing with in my application, and got some good advice in comments. Shortly thereafter the question was closed due to down votes by a number of users. Here's the question:

Why does Hibernate insert a parent row with a foreign key without inserting the child row?

Writing up that question took a lot of work on my part, and I responded to commenters with the additional detail they requested. Even so, some users decided to vote it out of existence anyway.

Here's what it says below the question closing:

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form.

The question is not ambiguous or vague -- it describes a specific problem. It's not incomplete, and it's certainly not broad. Obviously it's not rhetorical and it can be answered.

So what's the deal, do people just vote down questions that are too long or take too much work to answer? And why would you vote on it at all either way if you're not a Hibernate expert since it's specifically about Hibernate?


Given the perfectly valid criticism here, I rewrote the question so that it hopefully makes more sense.

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10  
I've read your question twice, and I still cannot follow it. To me, it seems like you have not included all of the information needed to understand or address the problem. If you reformatted the question to make it more readable (short paragraphs, bullets for describing Query, DataProviderTransaction, and DataProviderTransactionReference, etc), then you may get people willing to read through this and try to answer. I realize the question does not seem vague to you, but you have access to more information than that post. The rest of us do not. –  PengOne Jun 28 '11 at 17:23
2  
To expand on @PengOne's comment, you have a lot of state and context in your head, and it is very easy (especially after wrestling with the problem for a while) to mistakenly presume that your audience has a similar degree of context. Step back, take a deep breath, maybe have a coffee then re-examine the problem statement. –  dmckee Jun 28 '11 at 18:02
    
Fair point. There's a ton of background and I had trouble distilling it down to something that could easily be digested. I will give it another shot. –  rafeco Jun 28 '11 at 18:37
    
From an editing standpoint, I'll just point out that it's good to cut non-essentials. The first sentence--for instance--is superfluous: "I'm hoping someone has run into this problem before and can help me out." The closer one's question is to TL;DR then the more important it is to reinvest any words into making the issue clearer... –  HostileFork Nov 8 '11 at 21:46

1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I have trouble understanding what is going on, but you do have a real question buried in the wall of text (it took me a few reads to get it). Your first paragraph and text from the exception are great.

The rest needs paring down to be digestible.

I've voted to reopen, and if you could edit the question down some it would help garner additional ones.

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+1: Agreed - most questions are very short. Some questions are more difficult to comprehend because of the complexities involved and require a lot of explaining. As @PengOne says, shorter paragraphs and bullets will make a big difference. –  IAbstract Jun 28 '11 at 17:36

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