How did this question survive becoming closed as off-topic?


It isn't a coding question. It even managed a total score of +14. Am I missing something here?

  • 2
    You missed that it's more than 3 years old. – a cat Jan 30 '12 at 16:56
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    It's old; back in 2008 a lot of questions that were only tangentially related to programming were accepted. It would be shut down in a second if it were posted today, and will be closed shortly thanks to you posting it here. – Jeremy Banks Jan 30 '12 at 16:56
  • 4
    Off topic for Programmers.SE [/proactive] – yannis Jan 30 '12 at 16:57
  • Seeing as almost every other question that is linked to from that question is either closed or deleted... – Zhaph - Ben Duguid Jan 30 '12 at 16:58
  • Migrate to PSE—too late, my joke's ruined by Yannis >:-O – Adam Rackis Jan 30 '12 at 17:03
  • Thanks for pointing it out, though - the health tag is pretty much a cornucopia of close and delete fodder! – JNK Jan 30 '12 at 18:16
  • Unbelievable. I've tried to get rid of that question multiple times in the past and never succeeded (remember this cleanup posse, anyone?). Nice work. – Pops Jan 30 '12 at 20:54

It's now closed, but to answer your question that question has been inactive for 2 years, so not many people have seen it.


Questions that have been inactive for that long won't get closed until someone either flags it or brings it up here on Meta.

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    So what I've done here is OK as an informal maintenance process? I don't plan to get militant and spend hours of my day doing so. Just out of curiosity. – Yuck Jan 30 '12 at 17:02
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    @Yuck Better than okay, it's really the process we use. :) Flagging would be even better, since then only one moderator close vote would be required. – Bill the Lizard Jan 30 '12 at 17:04

Look at the date - a few months after SO was born. Stack Overflow used to be a somewhat different place, that brooked a broader range of "programming-related" questions. Ask a question like this today, and watch it get shot down in a hail of down and close votes.

When I happen on questions like this today, I vote to close it. I don't downvote it, because that feels unnecessarily punitive - this question was considered acceptable a few years ago.

You might also consider flagging it, asking a moderator to mark it up with an "historical significance" banner (as seen here) as a way to warn other users from using that question as an example.

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  • +1 So there is no culling process? No clean-up for things that used to be tolerated but are no longer acceptable? By all rights that should be migrated. IMHO its existence serves to reinforce the (incorrect) notion that it's OK to continue asking questions similar in nature. – Yuck Jan 30 '12 at 16:57
  • @Yuck, see my edit. But where would you migrate it to? – Michael Petrotta Jan 30 '12 at 17:04
  • @Yuck Existence of historical questions is not an acceptable reason why a question should be allowed - See for example the notes on this question: "This question exists because it has historical significance, but it is not considered a good, on-topic question for this site, so please do not use it as evidence that you can ask similar questions here." – Zhaph - Ben Duguid Jan 30 '12 at 17:04
  • @Yuck There is no automated cleaning process (/review helps a little) but some of us do it manually; there are several clean-ups in process here on meta. – Jeremy Banks Jan 30 '12 at 17:08
  • @Cleanupcareer-development Cool, thanks for that info. – Yuck Jan 30 '12 at 17:08

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