This seemingly popular question has 4 reopen votes and 4 delete votes.

But it was closed by a moderator (Will) as not constructive. As I see the question, it's not really subjective (it is answerable), and also has some good answers. So I thought to take it to meta to find out what others think of it.

Should it be reopened, or should it be gone 'forever'?

  • The next vote decides. :-) Having 25 answers kind of hints that there isn't a single correct answer. And, BTW, it probably takes 10 delete votes because it's highly upvoted (and if that happens it can potentially be undeleted again). – Bo Persson Sep 9 '12 at 12:25
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    It is currently reopened with 2 close votes lodged. The question doesn't need to be open to be useful, it just needs to remain undeleted. – slugster Sep 9 '12 at 13:22
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    I got to cast the re-closing vote on it :) I think the number of answers (and much of their content) makes it clear why the question is "not constructive". – Andrew Barber Sep 9 '12 at 15:10

I think it qualifies for the historical lock:

When is it appropriate to lock a question for historical reasons?

Questions can be historically locked when:

  • The post is Off-Topic or Not Constructive, and
  • The post is stellar, in spite of its off-topic nature, and
  • There are a large number of views, upvotes and inbound links on the post, and
  • The post is contentious; i.e. it has been closed and reopened at least once, or deleted and undeleted at least once

Right now the question:

  • Has a few awesome answers (especially 1,2,4),
  • Is clearly Not Constructive,
  • Is open and may confuse newer members that they can ask similar questions,
  • Has been viewed 118,238 times, clearly a popular one,
  • Has been closed an re-opened at least once,
  • Hasn't been active for a while (other than today's re-opening),
  • Won't benefit from further answers,
  • Came close to being deleted.

Let's lock it.


And now it's closed again. Locking seems even more appropriate now, let's not get into a close / re-open war. It's a question that generated some awesome answers, no need to delete it, but also no need to update it, keep voting on it or re-open it again (Is there any benefit to further answers?).

  • 3
    "Is clearly Not Constructive," What is "not constructive" about it? It's asking a specific question about how many, many projects build their SVN repositories. Considering that most SVN projects will arrange their directories this way, there is obviously a reason for it. Thus, the question is answerable. Someone clearly knows what they're doing, how they work, and what they're for. So... where is it not-constructive? It's not subjective in any way, it's not a poll, and it's not an invitation to a discussion. – Nicol Bolas Sep 9 '12 at 14:53
  • It's really no different from asking, "Why do I see lots of Python member variable names with a leading underscore?" – Nicol Bolas Sep 9 '12 at 14:56
  • @NicolBolas For one it's not obvious if it's asking about the concepts or about how svn implements them. Most of the answers use slightly different interpretations of the terms, which I'm guessing is the primary reason there are so many of them (and I can't see if there are any deleted ones). Editing it now to make it more specific would invalidate a few of the answers, unfortunately, and I guess that's why it was initially closed. It was closed again, and although we don't have to agree if it's NC or not, I think it's obvious that it's contentious. – yannis Sep 9 '12 at 17:01
  • You skimmed right over the most important one: "The post is stellar, in spite of its off-topic nature". It seems like for most people the qualifications for historical lock are "old with lots of upvotes" – Michael Mrozek Sep 9 '12 at 17:10
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    @MichaelMrozek It's a question that generated some awesome answers – yannis Sep 9 '12 at 17:15
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    Just to note: HL not only prevents new answers, it also prevents edits to existing answers. It truly is meant for questions whose only value is as a record of the past, questions that would otherwise be deleted! It is not a way to mark a question as "done". – Shog9 Sep 9 '12 at 18:26
  • @Shog9 Hm, yes, that's why I mentioned that it hasn't been active for a while. I checked whether there was any recent activity on the question or any of its answers before suggesting locking... – yannis Sep 9 '12 at 18:34

As I see the question, it's not really subjective (it is answerable), and also has some good answers.

So vote to re-open it. Just because a moderator closed it doesn't mean you can't disagree - that's the whole point of the close/reopen voting system.

I gotta disagree with Yannis here, I don't see any reason why this should be closed much less locked - yes, it's a simple question that's answered in the official documentation and can be easily googled, but, uh, if you do that you'll see that the top two answers point to that question on Stack Overflow.

Mission Accomplished.

  • It's already open again... After having been re-opened and closed already today. Maybe it's time for a lock :-). – ben is uǝq backwards Sep 9 '12 at 18:14
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    Being closed and re-opened a couple of times really isn't a big deal. That's... kinda how the system is supposed to work - no reason 5 people out of the thousands of Stack Overflow members should decide the fate of a single question. That question's been around for four years and never got a single close vote until today (apart from Will's). I don't really think it's all that controversial. – Shog9 Sep 9 '12 at 18:21

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