This is the thread I am concerned about. It is closed, saying it is too localized.

And it says

Too localized:

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, see the FAQ

Really, I can't understand how this question only valid for

  1. A small geographic area
  2. a specific moment in time
  3. an extra ordinarily narrow situation.

Someone please enlighten me.

Addition: I have voted to reopen that question. I also have an up voted answer in there.

  • 1
    I'm not a C++ dev but from the comments and answers the OP is passing a char rather than an int to a function, which is stated in the documentation... I would normally use too localized for this type of question as it is a small error that could very easily be avoided. – ben is uǝq backwards Jan 10 '13 at 11:21
  • There were 2 errors. 1) OP passing string literal as an argument, which gets modified during method execution 2) OP passing wrong argument to the system function (which expects const char* and op passing int). Sure OP could have avoided them, but isn't it possible that others also make same mistake.. – Krishnabhadra Jan 10 '13 at 11:25
  • i hope this meta.stackexchange.com/a/160281/176320 will clear – NullPoiиteя Jan 10 '13 at 11:41
  • 2
    Irony is that this question is getting closed saying too localized. – Krishnabhadra Jan 10 '13 at 11:45
  • @NullPointer To be frank, I didn't understand at all.. If I have a small code segment, I got a compiler error at line X, I posted the code and error message (because I didn't understand the error), but the question gets closed saying it is too localized, and you should read the documentation. – Krishnabhadra Jan 10 '13 at 11:51
  • For non English natives (which I am btw, I am not sure about OP) and newbies, the compiler error message can be too much technical. I can understand a newbie question which is impossible to answer (just saying I got this error, zero code, zero error message) getting closed. But this one was clear and precise to the point. – Krishnabhadra Jan 10 '13 at 11:55
  • 6
    There were 2 errors, and that's the problem with this question. Had he focus on only one of those errors then he'd have easily found the many existing questions about sprintf(). Making a question unique by asking about a combination of errors just creates useless clutter. – Uphill Luge Jan 10 '13 at 11:57
  • @UphillLuge Agree with you there, OP could have done that. But every starter won't debug like that. Debugging also needs experience. I believe OP is not the first programmer who stared at string literal with surprise. Anyway I agree more to your comment, than with the answer. – Krishnabhadra Jan 10 '13 at 12:10

“Too localized,” was originally intended to cover questions like “Where have I left my keys?” But it has since been applied to code-only questions based on the phrase "This question is unlikely to help any future visitors…".

Users generally expect their answer to help others beyond the person asking the question. You can make your question more generally useful by by providing a bit of background information about the specific problem you are running into, or perhaps what you've already tried or what you don't understand about the error you are getting.

The basic idea is that asking the question should include a proportional level of effort to those answering it. When there is an appearance of "do my work for me," users start to feel taken advantage of. And — for the time being, at least — "too localized" seems to fit as good a reason as any.

We are working on some changes to the closing system to provide better guidance and education to the end user. Stay tuned!

| improve this answer | |

I'm one of the closers. Referring to one of your comments on the original question:

I can't see any reason to close this question as "too localized". Very surprised with the close votes on a well asked question

I's a code only question, with no background, no explanation of what the user is trying to do or what they expected to happen. That, quite simply, is not a well asked question. The question as it stands (in my opinion) is immediately deserving of closing as "Not a real question".

As 'ben is uǝq backwards' commented on your question here, it's a basic, well-documented problem that even a first year student should be able to fix by themselves - hence "Too Localized", since it seems to apply to somebody who is perhaps tying to self-learn (which would match your listed points 1 and 3, and is also therefore, "not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet"). Now, that's not to say there isn't a good question in there trying to get out, but as written, it is not a question that deserves to remain open on SO.

| improve this answer | |
  • Agree that it is a code only question. But the code was sufficient to understand the question, and there is no explanation needed to understand the problem. OP posted the valid code segment and error log. – Krishnabhadra Jan 10 '13 at 11:41
  • Regarding The question as it stands (in my opinion) is immediately deserving of closing as "Not a real question" - Disagree, everything was clear about that question, and it no way confirm with [not a real question ]meta.stackexchange.com/questions/17282/…) close reasons. – Krishnabhadra Jan 10 '13 at 11:43
  • 3
    Another thing you need to understand, is the very first (half) sentence of the FAQ: "Stack Overflow is for professional and enthusiast programmers". Is the question appropriate for the declared audience of SO? Combined with the second section of the FAQ: "You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face" then you need to ask yourself, does the question satisfy those conditions? If you can solve your problem simply by understanding one of the most basic properties of the language, then you're probably in the wrong place. – RivieraKid Jan 10 '13 at 11:56
  • @Krishnabhadra nothing I've said means that just because you have a basic question that you can't ask it on SO - but we do have a right to expect that you'll try a little harder than just copy & paste. It really wouldn't take that much to improve the question, and if it was improved enough I'd even cast my reopen vote, but not in it's current incarnation. – RivieraKid Jan 10 '13 at 12:13
  • Hmm, From what my understanding of stackoverflow is 1) You can ask basic question here, and a lot of new programmers visit this site 2) The question should be on topic, non duplicate, help other programmers 3) question should contain enough information so that it can be answered. This question tick the mark in every case. – Krishnabhadra Jan 10 '13 at 12:19
  • I also agree that OP was careless/sleepy and overlooked certain basic things and there by had to ask this question(absent minded the word OP used), but the question is still original. And I believe this question will help others in future, other people will get this error, search by the error log in google, and may get to that thread. – Krishnabhadra Jan 10 '13 at 12:23
  • 1
    @Krishnabhadra - The question is still there. Closing it doesn't mean it's going away, just that it is not a very good question (rather silly mistake, really) and already has all the answers it needs. If the title is not a near duplicate, and the answers are useful, there is no need to delete it, even if it's closed. – Bo Persson Jan 10 '13 at 17:25

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