I don't quite understand what was the point of closing https://stackoverflow.com/questions/7516987/computer-specs-for-r

The question was able to get an answer with 4 up-votes! It was favorited and up-voted. It could bring profit to the community. So I don't see why other people intrusively jump in and say "this is off topic." Who should define what is off topic? I think the people interested in that particular question and answer should!

EDIT: The question is about HW, but that's closely related to SW. The reply clearly shows it's not offtopic as it speaks a lot about software and packages - and that's already a good fit for Stack Overflow!

EDIT: The answer there has been particularly useful. Don't tell me that this doesn't belong to SO, when SO is site for programmers!
"... R appears to be able to use the GPU, see the gputools package and this link for an introduction. You would probably need to make sure that this works on whatever system you plan to install R on (which needs special attention if you are running on Linux). NVidia tend to be the best choice, as they are supported with Linux drivers (although they tend to propietary)...."

  • 3
    There were no moderators involved in the closing. Sep 22, 2011 at 20:24
  • 5
    I flagged on stats to unmigrate and close as OT. I deleted the question on SO. This is off topic everywhere, as are all shopping questions.
    – user1228
    Sep 22, 2011 at 21:03
  • 6
    "Well, I would probably max out CPU and RAM, in so far as is possible." ugh. Its times like this I wish I could see who upvoted something.
    – user1228
    Sep 22, 2011 at 21:08
  • 1
    "Well, I would probably get one with a monitor."
    – user7116
    Sep 22, 2011 at 21:11
  • @Won't, your citation is taken out of context. The answer was particularly useful, see my updated post.
    – Tomas
    Sep 23, 2011 at 10:45
  • @TomasT.: No, it is not useful. Requirements for using the GPU in R is useful, I will grant you that. But a dollar bill under a ton of manure isn't worth one that is in your wallet. If the question was completely edited to remove all the shopping content it would be acceptable. In its current form, it is not.
    – user1228
    Sep 23, 2011 at 11:13

3 Answers 3


It wasn't closed by mods. Note no diamonds:

closed as off topic by Dirk Eddelbuettel, joran, Karolis, Roman Luštrik, aix 4 hours ago

It's also not a programming or development question, and thus off-topic purely by definition. It's almost a fit for Super User, but wasn't re-migrated there because shopping recommendations are off-topic there and across almost all SE sites.

It was a bad migration from Stats that never should have occurred.

  • Hi Matthew, thanks for answer, but I believe that if no better matching SE site was found, the active question like this one shouldn't have been closed... The question is about HW, but that's closely related to SW. The reply speaks a lot about software and packages, so I think that's a good fit for SO!
    – Tomas
    Sep 22, 2011 at 20:28
  • BTW I think the migration was fine because SO fits much better than stats.SE.
    – Tomas
    Sep 22, 2011 at 20:31
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    @Tomas When you get to 3000 rep, vote to re-open. But I would expect the community at large to disagree with you.
    – user154510
    Sep 22, 2011 at 20:31
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    There is no guarantee that a question has a proper place on the Stack Exchange network. Sep 22, 2011 at 20:34
  • @dmckee Exactly. For example, you can't ask "Is Ben & Jerry's new Schweddy Balls flavour a pun?" anywhere on the SE netwo... waitaminute! That's on-topic for ELU! heads over to elu... Sep 22, 2011 at 21:42
  • @yoda Except that it's not :P they don't handle the intentions of Ben and Jerry. Remove deliberate and you're good :P
    – user154510
    Sep 22, 2011 at 21:45
  • @MatthewRead What are you smoking? :D Sep 22, 2011 at 21:47
  • @yoda Malboro Lights. The cigarette that Jesus smoked.
    – user154510
    Sep 22, 2011 at 21:49
  • 1
    @MatthewRead No kidding! There's a site where I can confirm that too! Sep 22, 2011 at 21:50

Keep in mind that:

  • The FAQ defines what is off topic
  • "Favorite" is a somewhat misleading term. It's more like "Followed". The favorites feature is often used to keep track of a question in order to come back to it later. It should not be assumed that because a question has been marked as a favorite that this is necessarily good.
  • Votes can be cast by those who are themselves unsure of what is on or off topic
  • Closed questions can be reopened by voting the same (nearly) as they can be closed

The question is not related to a specific programming problem and is thus off-topic for SO.

  • Now this answer deserved 4 up-votes, I won't up vote so I don't break this :)
    – Ken D
    Sep 22, 2011 at 20:53
  • See my updated post - the question is related to software and the reply clearly shows it's not offtopic as it speaks a lot about software and software packages.
    – Tomas
    Sep 22, 2011 at 21:08
  • Well, it's been deleted now. I don't have enough rep to see it anymore, but from what I remember I don't agree that it was a fit. I would have voted to close it as well.
    – squillman
    Sep 22, 2011 at 21:09

You might find this thread (and the stuff it links through to) of interest. In short, it was decided a while ago that 'having something to do with software' is not alone enough to make something on-topic for SO.

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