/review is a really well-crafted, cool tool, and fun to use. So is its "canned comments" feature.

Now the eventual next step will be providing canned comments not only when voting to delete, but also when voting to close, right? Because that's arguably where it makes most sense.

Like pre-formulated, friendly comments for the most typical problem situations, providing information as well as useful FAQ links. Those problem situations would include (but not be limited to)....

  • Shopping list questions
  • "Debug my code" questions
  • Questions that link to a web site
  • Questions that ask for code translations
  • Questions that show an egregious lack of effort and research

There's plenty of content to use in the "What Stack Overflow is not" Meta question and in this question.

  • I don't see merit in canned comments for delete votes. If it gets enough, they'll be hidden anyways. But for close votes, it makes much more sense.
    – Someone
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 4:51
  • @Purmou yeah, I was surprised to find it there but not for closures, too. Maybe they want to test it there first
    – Pekka
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 4:52
  • There's something to be said for a system that, when it works, will tend to hide most mistakes... ;-P
    – Shog9
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 4:53

2 Answers 2


Here's the thing with closing: it already has canned comments. Well, sorta anyway - you select a close reason, and once everyone's in agreement, it gets displayed below the post.

Some of them are pretty broad, mind you: "Not Constructive" alone covers a rather wide swath of badness. You could conceivably divvy that up a bit and cover, say, the top five NC reasons in canned comments...

But that brings up the other big problem: in order to be useful, advice here tends to be fairly topic-specific. The advice on asking a hardware recommendation question can apply to, say, library recommendations - but not all of it will, and once you reduce it to "ask how, not what" you're not really adding much to what's already in the close reason.

On Stack Overflow, in certain tags, something like "Please include the code necessary to reproduce this, and describe the problem - don't just link to your site" would be really useful. But that's probably not gonna be in the top 5 on, say, Seasoned Advice, whereas "We don't allow recipe requests here, but if you modify your question to reflect a particular technique we'll try to help you improve it" might be.

I'm tempted to just say, "Suggest improvements to the close descriptions" - but I do think there is a place for this: just not a single set of comments that'll apply to every topic on every site.

Related: Users should not be able to vote to close questions without adding an explanatory comment

  • I'm not sure how cooking.SE plays into this. Canned comments would absolutely have to be specific for each site, but that can not really be a serious problem, can it? The fact that the current close reasons are too broad lead to the birth of Benjol's comment script and WSOiN - which people loved because it allowed giving advice for the OP's specific situation. What you have built now in the review tool might be a way to revive that cool aspect of WSOiN, but without the snark. If it works for deletions, why not for closings as well, where it's arguably much more needed?
    – Pekka
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 5:46

Canned comments for the close vote queue would be a great feature. I'm not sure about the statistic of closed questions that eventually get deleted, but adding this feature would make the comments visible to the asker of the question in most cases, which means there's a chance they will gain something from that experience.

Though, something interesting to consider would be to add a feature where you can add a canned comment instead of voting to close. I don't know about others, but I don't cast a close vote until the asker makes no effort to improve the question after comments suggesting it have been posted (I'm usually one of the ones to suggest improvements).

And the worst part is, the mistakes being made are usually consistent, and I get tired of writing the same comment over and over again (that's the general basis on which the canned comment system thrives, anyways).

So there are a few things to possibly consider. Let it be known that I'm a supporter of both Pekka's option and my revision, and either would be helpful.

  • 1
    Worth noting that if you use the canned comments, the author will still be notified (and thus can still read) the comment even if the post is later deleted. See: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/133729/…
    – Shog9
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 5:11
  • @Shog9: Interesting...how does that work? Are they temporarily allowed to view the deleted post?
    – Someone
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 5:12
  • 1
    Anyone can view their own deleted answers, @Purmou. And there are currently no canned comments for questions.
    – Shog9
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 5:38
  • @Shog9: I actually never knew that...I've had no answers deleted, so I wouldn't know. Thanks for clarifying.
    – Someone
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 5:45
  • @Shog9: My point still stands--I like advice to be public. If other uses can see what was wrong, perhaps they would be more inclined not to do the same. That's why canned comments for answers are obsolete to me. If only the answerer and 10k+ users can see it, what use is there in making it a comment to the post anyways?
    – Someone
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 5:53
  • Normal users can't delete answers instantly. There'll always be some amount of time where comments from non-moderators are publicly visible.
    – Shog9
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 8:34
  • @Shog9: Well, I guess I'll remove the first part of my post then (it does make sense, but I doubt delete votes will come in fast enough to hide the answer before people get to see it).
    – Someone
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 8:57

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