While I understand that it's off-topic for StackOverflow - it's not specifically a programming related question - I'd suggest that it does meet the underlying goal of the StackExchange network: Having it around makes the internet a better place.
Some stats: 50 upvotes and 31 favourites for the question itself, and over 200 up votes across the answers.
The question was closed in October 2010, closing off further participation, but at least the information was available to those looking for it.
Today, the question was deleted - making the information in accessible. Making the internet a lesser place.
- Why did the question have to be deleted?
- Could it not have been migrated? - it seems to be on-topic for Programmers.SE
[I spend most of my SE time on the main sites, not lurking in Meta, so if I've missed some element of protocol, please be gentle!]
Ok, so it's clear that migrating it to P.SE is a bad idea because the community over on P.SE should be doing it's own thing, not dealing with secondhand baggage from SO. Fair enough. (Though, I'd point out, I was asking why it wasn't migrated, not advocating that it should be.)
I'd still be interested in peoples thoughts on why it needed to be deleted at all (since little has been said in response to that part of my query).
How does deletion of this question actively improve Stack Overflow? How would retention of it actively harm SO?
Even though not strictly on-topic, it's part of our collective history on SO. As an old question, it wouldn't show on any "hot topic" lists - but only as a search result and only when relevant to the search.
Further, most of the highly voted answers on that question are both thoughtful and thought provoking (the answer on single women excepted). They are exactly the sorts of results I'd like to find when doing a search, exactly the kinds of commentary I'd like my kids to find and evaluate if/when they're making decisions about College.
I've just noticed that the question is no longer deleted! Thank you.
It's still closed - I have no problem with that - but at least it's now accessible by people who search for it.