4

Yesterday I asked why my question on SO was getting closed as off-topic. The answer given says it was off-topic because of the following reasons:

So, let's get to the core, the FAQ:

  • a specific programming problem -> Kind of...
  • a software algorithm -> Nope
  • software tools commonly used by programmers -> Nada
  • practical, answerable problems that are unique to the programming profession -> Not really...

So, that's 0.5 out of 4 (that's your score in the "Let's check the FAQ game").

While my question eventually gets reopened, here's what I thought about the "FAQ game":

Does a question have to fulfill all of the above or just one of them?

Consider a typical question on JavaScript. Is it

  • a specific programming problem -> Kind of...
  • a software algorithm -> Nope
  • software tools commonly used by programmers -> Nada
  • practical, answerable problems that are unique to the programming profession -> Maybe...

So that's 1 out of 4 (do we have to close it as well?).

(This question has nothing to do with the particular question I asked before. It is a general discussion on how off-topic does a question have to be in order for it to be considered off-topic, based on the FAQ.)

  • 5
    How have you decided what a typical question on JavaScript is? – Oded Feb 20 '13 at 12:38
  • @Oded Let's say how to delay the execution of a function with Javascript. Programming-specific? ya. Software algorithm? nope. Software tools? No. Answerable? Well I can try. – Antony Feb 20 '13 at 12:41
  • Off-topic enough that 5 people with close votes available know it when they see it. – Wooble Feb 20 '13 at 12:42
  • 2
    IMHO 1/4 is enough. – Ramy Al Zuhouri Feb 20 '13 at 12:42
  • @Wooble How about the FAQ game? – Antony Feb 20 '13 at 12:42
  • @Siva If I can easily search the web for an answer, do I have to ask such a question on SO at all? – Antony Feb 20 '13 at 12:48
  • 5
    You seem to be under the impression there is an official off-topic 'game'. It's one person's check list to see if something is off-topic. I happen to agree on the checklist, and your question is rather borderline. – Martijn Pieters Feb 20 '13 at 12:48
  • @MartijnPieters No I don't have such an impression. Just that someone interprets the checklist that way that makes me think about how I should properly read the FAQ in order not to get a question closed again. – Antony Feb 20 '13 at 12:53
4

No, you don't have to check every one of those.

For example there are perfectly fine questions that are not about software tools.

In my opinion you need:

  • one of the first three and
  • the last one

Also note that those are not The Rules™ (emphasis mine):

We feel the best Stack Overflow questions have a bit of source code in them, but if your question generally covers …

  • Yeah. I wonder how many questions fits all of them. "generally" makes more sense to me. – Antony Feb 20 '13 at 12:45

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