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I recently read (and posted an answer to) this U&L question: file descriptor problem with looping bash script and saw Loop examples in bash in the “Related” column, so I clicked on it, only to discover that it was closed.  (To add insult to injury, its one answer could probably have been flagged as “Not a real answer”, except it’s not clear what that means when the question is “not a real question”.)  I suggest that closed questions should not be listed as “Related”.  After all, isn’t adding value the goal? 

At the very least, closed questions (or at least questions that are closed as “not a real question”) should be suffixed with “[closed]” in the “Related” list, as they are in the All Questions list.

Another approach would be to display the best (i.e., open, up-voted, answered) related questions in the “Related” list, and then put a “view more” link at the bottom that would expose the now witting user to the dregs.

  • @Wesley: Yes, that question is similar to mine. But it was never answered. Refresh my memory: what’s the protocol to encourage the powers that be to respond to a year-an-a-half-old question? – Scott Feb 14 '13 at 22:33
  • Yeah sorry I shouldn't have close voted. The auto-generated text sure makes no sense "This question may already have an answer here"... (link to post with no answers). I don't think there's much that can be done, you just have to wait or provide a better case. See here too: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/14614/… – user159834 Feb 14 '13 at 22:37
  • This is a great idea. Having valueless, answerless off topic questions as somehow "related" just makes it harder to find the posts that have applicability tot he problem at hand. I hope this gets implemented! – Linuxios Feb 14 '13 at 22:43
  • @Wesley: Yeah, I read several related questions before I posted mine. I sort-of accept the argument that duplicate questions might still have some value, but (a) no reason why they aren’t marked as such, (b) no reason why they aren’t buried under a “view more” link, like we have on our user pages (although I admit I didn’t see anybody suggesting that particular compromise solution), and (c) no argument to support keeping “narq” questions. If we want to provide value to our users, and we throw information at them, shouldn’t we do a better job of separating the wheat from the chaff? – Scott Feb 14 '13 at 22:52
  • @Scott: I totally agree, note that I'm the author of the suggested dupe! Maybe it would be helpful to focus on the labeling aspect: How do I do XYZ? [closed] ...but yeah - I don't think they should be displayed at all! – user159834 Feb 14 '13 at 22:54
  • @Wesley: Seems like another case for the ability to rescind a close vote before it closes. :–) – Scott Feb 15 '13 at 1:08
  • @Scott: Haha I fully agree with that suggestion too! However, I was able to at least cast a reopen vote. – user159834 Feb 15 '13 at 1:12
  • @Wesley: ISTR that the FAQ says, “We don’t run Meta Stack Overflow. The community does.” Hmmm. Also amusing: I flagged the so-called answer on your question as “not an answer”, and that was judged to be a “helpful flag”. So now what do I do –– wait for that “answer” to be converted to a comment (or deleted), and then try my luck again? – Scott Feb 15 '13 at 1:32
  • Oh yeah I forgot that post technically did have an answer. As far as "what to do": If you want to raise visibility on a feature request, you can post a bounty or add an answer to it (whcih will bump it to the front page). Answers on meta can usually be something like: "I agree, and here's some other things to consider..." or something like that. I'm sure the devs are busy so you'll have to be patient. The best you can do is gather support, refine the ideas, and wait for a decision to be made for better or worse. – user159834 Feb 15 '13 at 1:41
  • @Wesley: Seems like a bug in the process of closing feature requests –– if it’s common for “answers” to be things like “I agree, and here’s some other things to consider...” (things that would be comments on any of the main sites), then the fact that “This ‘question’ has been asked before and already has an answer” shouldn’t be a factor. Oh well; the windmills are surrounding my castle; I’ve got to go fight them off. – Scott Feb 15 '13 at 3:07