Earlier today I saw the following question being asked on SO: Algorithm improvement for Coca-Cola can shape recognition. In my opinion a very interesting question based on its subject matter and well written as well.
However, at the end of all information, the original question ( the specific revision I'm referring to can be seen here ) asked the following:
I'd like to get some ideas to improve my project (not asking for general case shape recognition, just specifically for cans like here). I spent quite a bit of time on it, and would have loved to spend more, but I didn't have time or courage (or maybe both) to do it until now, probably because I'm not sure how I can improve it, and that's why I'm here asking for help. This could be improvements on this one algorithm, or totally different algorithms that may be more adapted. Any language is welcome, even if I'd prefer more C++ / OpenCV specifics or maybe Java, but this is overall more of a talk about algorithms than language-specific stuff.
Even though I like the topic and find the question as such interesting, based on this last section I voted to close as "not-constructive". I my opinion, with the question as it was, it would essentially allow for a discussion, a debate and a whole myriad of possibly correct answers targetting too broad a scope.
From the moment of casting this vote however, it has been questioned by various commenters and the OP stating such things as:
- "This is a perfect question for this site."
- "This is a great interesting question."
- "brilliant question..........."
as well as various other comments in support of the question and questioning the vote to close. In fact, the question has gathered quite a number of upvotes by now, which I can even understand.
I can see where they are coming from, but if I would be particularly negative I would say "it's a non-constructive question in excellent disguise". Perhaps more suited for a forum setting rather than a Q&A.
I'm not here to get the question closed and even hesitated to ask this question here. I would readily accept that my interpretation of "not constructive" is too strict. But is it?
At which point does a question become "not constructive"? (I guess the answer simply is "when the community decides it is"?) And am I complete off-target in my assessment?