I know that it was decided a while back that we should delete questions that contain a dead link to the code. What should we do though for questions that can be revised so that they make sense without the links though?

For example, this question contains two dead links to the code. Yet the rest of the question and title provide enough information that code is not needed to understand the problem. We have two options in these types of situations.

  1. Revise the question, delete the dead links, and add web.archive versions.

  2. Revise the question, delete the dead links, and add code that demonstrates the problem.

I prefer option two since it improves the question by 2x compared to just x. What does the community think?


I think it's only worthwhile trying to reconstruct these questions if the answers are of a reasonably high standard and the problem is well defined and narrowly scoped. I often find that such questions are fairly localised, poorly expressed and of no real use or value to others. e.g. "What is wrong with my page, please fix?"

If there are no real clues as to what the OP's code looked like then don't try and infer what the code might have been. This could lead to misunderstandings and confusion if you wrongly infer what the code may have been. A perfectly good answer at the time may no longer make sense and could attract unwarranted downvotes. In these cases just flag for closure.

If the question is just junk and the answers aren't much better then flag for moderator attention and we'll dispatch it.

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Unless the original "bad" example codes can be reproduced or inferred, I would not delete the links.

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  • I updated my question to reflect what I was actually thinking like 10 seconds after you. – user184498 May 9 '12 at 22:04
  • Ah, web.archive. Good thinking! How reliable is it, though? Do they keep everything forever? – MPelletier May 9 '12 at 22:07
  • I prefer adding a demonstration of the problem. Especially if the original link has extra "clutter." – user184498 May 9 '12 at 22:08
  • Absolutely. To me that's an improvement on the original. – MPelletier May 9 '12 at 22:09

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