I'm sorry but... what the hell?

This question was recently closed as not constructive: Migrating vb6 to .net. I don't understand why.

How is that not constructive? I get the feeling that the moderator who closed it just didn't like the question and because there wasn't a legitimate reason to close it, he just chose a random reason.

Does every question asked on SO have to benefit more than a thousand people in order to be worthy? I thought that was just a benefit, but that SO was a place where you were encouraged to ask questions specific to your situation.

And for crying out loud there is a tag specifically for VB 6 migration. If I can't ask this question, then that tag should definitely be deleted.

  • 1
    No idea why it was closed. I think [good] answers to that question will definitely involve "specific expertise", and with luck, "references". Two of the stated criteria for answers. I've cast my vote to re-open. Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 8:09
  • update currently question is reopened. Timeline URL: stackoverflow.com/posts/9370841/timeline
    – gnat
    Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 10:40
  • 2
    This is one of those cases where I wish I could opt to cast a non-binding vote to (re)close.
    – casperOne
    Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 13:37
  • @gnat: And now it's closed again. Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 15:53
  • @Bobby well, comparing closevoter's activity in relevant tags against that of the guy who protested against closing (Matt) somehow makes me doubt if closing is the way to go
    – gnat
    Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 16:18
  • @gnat: Well, looking at the question and the answer I stick to my closevote. Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 21:00
  • @Bobby fair enough
    – gnat
    Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 4:28
  • 1
    That's because I didn't get a chance to post an answer... grumble You can't judge the quality of a question by its answers. Some people just post crap answers, even on good questions. Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 7:10

3 Answers 3


It was closed because "Yes/No" questions are frowned upon in Stack Overflow.

Answer like "first approach" or "second approach" is not very constructive, same like a poll.

You did add "I'd like to know if there are any pros/cons I should be aware of doing it either way" which should encourage answers with some information, but still - not enough.

If you can edit the question to contain some sample code of each approach and make it more obvious you're looking for more than just "first approach/second approach" answer it will be less likely to get closed again, assuming it's going to get reopened.

  • Have you read the FAQ for what kind of questions can be asked on SO??? I have, and I'm pretty sure you're making stuff up right now. Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 8:23
  • 5
    @Brandon the only bullet from the faq that might fit is "practical, answerable problems that are unique to the programming profession" but then - what is answerable? You ask more for opinions, not for real answers. On the other hand, your question currently fits more the the definition of "there is no actual problem to be solved" under What kind of questions should I not ask here? section. Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 8:32
  • I understand everyone has a natural desire to defend their position but can you not resort to being entirely illogical please? The specific problem is whether approach A or B is best when migrating from vb6 to .net. I asked this question with the belief that experience will show one approach IS clearly better than the other and I'm looking for people who have the experience to tell me which one is better and why. Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 8:38
  • If you can tell me from your experience that both approaches are equally good and any answers will be opinionated and unfactual then feel free to answer my question as such. Otherwise, please don't tell me your opinions of my question based on ignorance. Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 8:41
  • 9
    I'm just trying to explain how the community works and why your question got closed, call me whatever you want. I didn't vote to close, and I won't vote to reopen. Another thing - even if 5 members will reopen the question, if you won't change it then it's likely to get closed again and this time deleted by a moderator - such thing can't be overruled by the community. Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 8:45
  • Okay, so it sounds like you're saying that the community likes to arbitrarily close certain kinds of questions even though they are not out of the scope of the SO guidelines for asking a question. That being the case, I will simply ask the question again if that happens since, according to SO documentation, I am the one in the right here. Problem solved. Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 9:03
  • 5
    @Brandon with so many questions asked there's not always "right" and "wrong". I'm sure that many questions that don't really belong slip through, and on the other hand great questions get closed because of different opinions of high rep members. This is all part of being so big - anyway, now you're "on the radar" after drawing attention here so if you intend to post the same question again please don't - coming here and fighting for what you think is right is the correct approach, but one sided move like asking again is wrong. Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 9:29
  • Shadowface, it's not any less wrong than my question being closed because of some arbitrary opinions that don't coincide with the documented guidelines. Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 9:52
  • 2
    @BrandonMoore: The FAQ is very lacking, which is why we have Meta. Also keep in mind that StackOverflow isn't a perfected system. We're all still learning, things are constantly changing, so our standards will constantly be changing as well. I notice a lot of "just go with it" attitudes, which is what I think this site was born from--two guys saw something successful and built an awesome network out of it. So we may be making stuff up, but it makes sense and is generally agreed with.
    – Someone
    Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 17:32
  • @Purmou Okay I get it. The faqs don't mean squat when you can find some people to agree with you. I guess I can't compete with that. Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 5:16
  • 1
    @Brandon starting a war you can't win wasn't a smart move. Please, put all of this behind you, accept how the community works and move on to the next question. :) Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 7:58
  • @Shadowguy That wouldn't be nearly as much fun. Feel free to leave if it bothers you though. But if you want to stick around we can keep playing the see who can get the last word game. ;) Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 8:36
  • @Brand I'm not bothered, I just know how it will end and was trying to prevent it. Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 16:02
  • @Shadowface So you do want to play the who can get the last word game! Great, game on! :) (I love this game) Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 23:13
  • @BrandonMoore - I don't believe that you understand which game Shadow Wizard was talking about. However, if you keep posting duplicate questions and/or get enough questions closed, then you'll find out (the hard way).
    – user164207
    Commented Feb 24, 2012 at 2:58

The fact is that the question is not a good fit for StackOverflow. Why? I could simply say "look at what has happened." The question was closed/reopened/closed again. Feelings were hurt, users were angered. This meta question had to be asked in order to clarify wth is going on. Drama.

The crux of the issue is that the question cannot be definitively answered. This, in itself, does not make it off topic here. Add on some judgement calls based on little information and you have the situation we are in right now.

I think this blog post about good subjective vs. bad subjective is pertinent to this case. The post contains a list of points which makes questions like yours "good." However, successfully pulling this off is very hard. I can tell you that, in my experience, good subjective questions often end up unanswered. Its just not reasonable to expect you will get the information you truly need to make your decision here. There isn't enough room to give the details you need in order to get informed answers, among other problems.

I think you might be able to identify some answerable questions in relation to your issue, but only after you have done more research into the matter to identify problems with migration on a much narrower scope than the current question.


I don't know the criteria that qualifies a question as not "too localized," but either way, that question wasn't closed on those grounds.

Any question asking for pros and cons will definitely get drastically differing answers, just because every single user who answers it will have a different way of doing something, and therefore will give a different and obviously opinionated answer.

Answers like those are what we try to avoid on StackOverflow. While, yes, everybody has a preferred way to write their own code, reasoning behind a certain technique has to be factual for us to legitimately trust and follow it. I like to add line breaks and an extra indentation level between my jQuery selector and the first function. Not a lot of people do that, and it's a personal choice, but the point is that no matter how it looks, the technique I use has been determined by more than one source to be the most effective, which qualifies it as more than a fact but also the overall preference of the programming community as a whole.

So I think the closing of that question was justified, because it would solicit very opinionated answers. There simply wasn't any room for fact, and more than enough room for opinion.

Although professional/expert opinion is what drives the research and factual part of it, I believe that it has no part to play in the answer itself, which should rely solely on fact to make its point.

  • 1
    Sure, but you don't have a technical reason for formatting your code the way you do. You admit it is just a stylistic thing. I don't think that's the case with the question under discussion. He's not really asking for general styles, he's asking for a comparison & contrast of two specific approaches, detailed in the question. He's looking for expert-level knowledge and experience, either from people who have done this before or those that can provide references to justify their recommendations. Ultimately anything can be seen as personal choice, but there's definitely room for fact here. Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 8:18
  • 1
    @CodyGray: I think the wording of the question has a big role in why I feel it would attract answers that are too opinionated. Pros and cons can go either way. I just think that the question, as it currently stands, is fishing for an answer where a users lists the pros and cons coming from their past experience or something, which I think is valuable, but shouldn't be an answer just like that. There needs to be some factual backbone.
    – Someone
    Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 8:22
  • @Purmou Did you see my question attracting a lot of opinionated answers? No, because there were no answers when it was closed. Instead of trying to be the thought police how about just closing questions which actually do solicit bad answers rather then ones that you just THINK will solicit bad answers? Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 8:28

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .