My question What HTML markup is appropriate for the transcription of an interview? was closed as "not constructive" by casperOne.

I would like to ask for a bit of explanation. What makes this question "not constructive"? From my point of view, I was asking a rather technical question about how to mark up certain type of content with HTML5.

Although the set of answers might not end up to represent the one and only canonical way to represent an interview type of content in HTML 5, it certainly contains some of the viable approaches, making it rather constructive.

If the wording of the question or it's title need to be improved before reopening, I welcome any suggestion.

  • 2
    Looks like a mistake to me. I voted to reopen. – Rob W Nov 30 '11 at 20:46
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    The answer to "why was X closed?" is always "ask the people who closed it." In this case, I'd guess that it has to do with the answer being as much a matter of style as a matter of having an objective answer. Also, the fact that you were talking about interviews might have led someone to incorrectly assume that you were asking how to answer a job interview question. – Pops Nov 30 '11 at 20:47
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    Are you asking for the semantic tag or just opinions and advice on how other people might suggest it used? – random Nov 30 '11 at 20:48
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    (As an aside, the title by itself made me think it was about preparing for a job interview. Maybe change it to read "[...] for transcribing an interview"? That said, I agree with Rob, but can't vote to reopen.) – Arjan Nov 30 '11 at 20:51
  • I fixed the title, so this should be okay now – Roland Tepp Nov 30 '11 at 20:56
  • I can see how that question could easily be mistaken as a very opinionated question at first. Needs more rewording. I think the word "should" needs to be avoided. I often catch myself typing that and always reword it to exclude that word. Its a very "not constructive" attention-seeking word. – animuson Nov 30 '11 at 20:58
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    The question is still "What would you use? Discuss" discussion instead of "What is the correct, semantic tag to use in transcribing an interview". – random Nov 30 '11 at 20:58
  • Thanks a bunch - this was quick. It almost feel like realtime chatting :) – Roland Tepp Nov 30 '11 at 21:09

The main reason is because you are asking for advice on the appropriate markup for the particular type of content that you are dealing with.

With that kind of question, there is no "right" answer that can be backed by facts and using "appropriate" is highly subjective (especially with HTML, I might argue one tag/attribute combination is more semantically correct than another).

In this case, you can only be told what you can't do due to limitations due to standards/technology.

Questions of this nature typically have a better fit in Programmers SE as per their FAQ.

It should be noted that after reopening, in its current state, you have one close vote again for it being considered "not constructive". This is in addition to the original close vote/flag that indicated it was "not constructive"; SO is community-run, so this reflects that this is what the community deems is not a good fit for the site.

That said, a better way to phrase your question would be to ask if there are any standardized ways or conventions to best markup your content type. That lends itself to a more constructive set of responses appropriate for SO.

  • 5
    At the same time, it got reopened by five votes from 3k'ers. It should be noted that close flags are cast by users who do not have close privileges, so they should (IMHO) be given way less weight than close/reopen votes. – NullUserException อ_อ Nov 30 '11 at 22:17
  • "your particular type of content". What, and interviews are not commonly performed or documented on the web by anybody else? That being rhetorically said, I think that semantic markup using CSS is a better match. – Michael Paulukonis Dec 1 '11 at 13:56
  • @MichaelPaulukonis: Updated the answer to reflect that the type of content was not exclusive to the OP but rather a specific type of content that the OP is looking for advice on. – casperOne Dec 1 '11 at 14:00
  • @casperOne: I've noticed you closing a lot of questions lately I don't agree with - you seem to have much stricter requirements for what makes a valid question than most of the rest of the community (example, example). I think rather than forcing your unnecessarily strict views onto the rest of the community, you should cast only a single close-vote for questions you're unsure about (if that's even possible), or simply not close it at all and allow the natural community-voting process to take place. – BlueRaja Feb 9 '12 at 22:37
  • But aside from that, thanks for all your hard work and dedication :) – BlueRaja Feb 9 '12 at 22:37
  • @BlueRaja Thanks for appreciating the work. Re: your examples. The first is the same as above "some topic, discuss". The second was closed as a dupe and reopened, so the system works. I'm sorry you disagree but I think you'll find that the system (open votes, meta posts) does work. In regards to casting a single close vote, we can't do that, a moderator's vote is binding (but not irreversible as you've seen). – casperOne Feb 10 '12 at 0:06

Well, c'mon. Does the question really have anything to do with programming?

The OP gives no context as to where the markup is to be used, or what program or programs might use it, or what actual coding is associated with it.

At best, that puts it into the "Not a Real Question" camp.

  • This reminds me there are many Drupal questions on Stack Overflow that are not about programming. Let's migrate them on Drupal Answers! ;-) – kiamlaluno Dec 1 '11 at 14:14
  • Since there are 69,178 questions tagged "HTML" it seems there is some disagreement on whether or not HTML questions relate to programming. Additionally, I would suspect that the markup would be used in some sort of program or programs that render HTML. If I think hard, even I could probably come up with one or two.... – Michael Paulukonis Dec 1 '11 at 14:26
  • @MichaelPaulukonis: HTML is a document format, not a programming language. HTML can certainly relate to programming, and often does, but (for example) questions about putting up a simple web page using Dreamweaver are not on-topic. If the OP had described any sort of programming context, the question would have been on-topic, and it would have made the question much less subjective and easier to answer. – user102937 Dec 1 '11 at 15:05

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