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Introduce a “general reference” close reason

I won't repeat older discussions, everything's been said.

However, people have been developing the trend of closing these questions as too localized. I don't think that'll do, and we (the 5k+ club) will always find a way to close these questions.

I am not favoring or defending such behavior, but those questions need to be closed, and there isn't (currently) an adequate way of closing them!

I'm obviously referring to questions whose sane answer would be "Go and read the manual please".

  • 1
    I agree, but it's been pretty firmly declined: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/86043/…
    – Pekka
    Jun 9, 2012 at 21:08
  • Why won't that do?
    – user102937
    Jun 9, 2012 at 21:08
  • @RobertHarvey: Because these questions are not localized, wanting to sort and array is a completely valid question, it's just easily solvable using RTFM. Jun 9, 2012 at 21:09
  • 2
    Wait, this wasn't implemented in the end? I thought it was: blog.stackoverflow.com/2011/02/are-some-questions-too-simple
    – Ziv
    Jun 9, 2012 at 21:10
  • @Pekka: That's not the same reason. Jun 9, 2012 at 21:10
  • @Ziv: No, that was declined eventually, too much abuse potential. Jun 9, 2012 at 21:11
  • 2
    @Ziv No, the general reference reason was not implemented beyond some beta sites and it seems they decided to kill it. Truth: What? Abuse potential? Is "RTFM" somehow less abusive than "General reference"?
    – user154510
    Jun 9, 2012 at 21:11
  • 2
    Minutes 14:00–20:00+ in Stack Exchange Podcast #20 are related and worth a listen for why very simple questions are at least tolerated on Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange.
    – user149432
    Jun 9, 2012 at 21:17
  • What is RTFM? :)
    – Taryn
    Jun 9, 2012 at 23:09
  • @blue Read The <Rhymes With Trucking> Manual :p Jun 10, 2012 at 2:13
  • Thank you for bringing this topic to meta again, because that's something that keeps working with me.
    – hakre
    Jun 10, 2012 at 10:29

1 Answer 1


No, thank you.

We have enough close reasons already. If the question is easily answered by a Google Search, just flag it, or vote to close as "Not a Real Question."

Too Localized is sometimes used under the theory that questions on Stack Overflow should be of interest to at least one other programmer. Questions that can be easily answered by a Google search are not of interest to anyone here.

  • So... close them as too localized? Jun 9, 2012 at 21:14
  • That's what I do.
    – user102937
    Jun 9, 2012 at 21:15
  • 5
    Or as a duplicate of a more helpful/general question that covers the same ground (a LOT of these basic questions get asked so often there's already a good dupe), but finding dupes is harder.
    – Ben Brocka
    Jun 9, 2012 at 21:16
  • How should we flag such questions with the current flag reasons? For example, this question is solved by simply looking at the MSDN documentation for TimeSpan. Flagging it for moderator attention seems a bit excessive, but it's the only flagging reason that allows a comment.
    – Stijn
    Sep 9, 2013 at 14:15
  • @Stijn: That question looks fine to me. In any case, the answer to your question is close as "Questions asking for code must demonstrate a minimal understanding of the problem being solved."
    – user102937
    Sep 9, 2013 at 15:03

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