This is my first meta post, so please forgive any transgressions.

So, I came across this question on SO: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/15331013/receiving-error-the-name-i-does-not-exist-in-the-current-context#comment21650060_15331013

This does not even have a basic understanding of the language. His/Her post is asking questions about a build error which is pointing toward a local variable that is never defined.

Is there room for a "Close" option for removing Garbage questions where the poster put no personal effort into determining a solution?

My thought process is that these poor quality questions pollute the site and waste the time of folks trying to answers real questions and help.

  • First Post on Meta Mar 11, 2013 at 4:28
  • 1
    Actually this wasn't that bad of a question since at least it was understandable and answerable. Spend some time on the Close review queue and you'll see what I mean Mar 11, 2013 at 5:05
  • If you see a bad question or answer, down vote it, vote to close or flag it. Simple.
    – BDM
    Mar 11, 2013 at 5:30
  • 2
    "This is my first meta post, so please forgive any transgressions." - aren't you being a blatantly lazy user? :) (No downvote, because you've received enough already) Mar 11, 2013 at 6:32
  • There is a good chance that the user has a poor grasp of English and doesn't have the first clue where to turn about that particular error. I think it is best to give the benefit of the doubt, rather than assume it is some lazy person. With that said, it is too localized. Mar 11, 2013 at 6:35
  • @GeorgeWBush - Poor grasp of English is a non-issue. Those are obvious. I am talking able the questions where the first comment is always 'what have you tried?' -- Folks who post: "Here's my code, tell me what's wrong." -- This is NOT a language issue Mar 11, 2013 at 18:22
  • @AndrewGrimm Are there other questions on meta that cover this topic? I feel there are more and more questions posted that have not been research (on SO that is). I did some searching before I posted. I came across a question that I thought should be closed, but it didnt fit any of the categories -- although I now think it fits the 'Too Localised' (as pointed out by @manishearth) -- I am not lazy. Mar 11, 2013 at 18:26
  • @SomeHelpfulCommenter Thanks - I will review. I havent spent anytime there, never knew it existed. Mar 11, 2013 at 18:27
  • Thanks all for the feedback. I wasn't expect such a negative response. I was just trying to keep up the quality of questions that are on StackOverflow because I spend part of my day trying to answer them. Mar 11, 2013 at 18:30

5 Answers 5


Yep, such questions are liable to be closed. Use Too Localised or Not A Real Question, depending on the post (Too Localised for posts which will never help anyone else, NARQ for those which just don't have much effort). Link to https://stackoverflow.com/questions/how-to-ask and https://stackoverflow.com/faq in a comment (You can use magic links like [ask] and [faq])

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    I like the 'Too Localized' argument. I agree with at. Mar 11, 2013 at 4:39

I'm going to invoke Hanlon's Razor on this instead, and presume that the poster genuinely didn't realize what they were doing. I'm also not going to take the extreme position that you are - yes, it's a poor question, but to banish it to /dev/null is taking it too far.

The question itself is too localized; it only affects them and will only really apply to that one or two niche situations in which someone realizes they didn't put a loop/loop counter in. I would prefer to close it as too localized and leave it at that.

Remember - despite the fact that the question quality is poor, the fact that they're asking questions means that they'd like to try to improve. There's some room for patience to be had here.

  • 3
    I think that if you copy and paste code and the code doesnt build, the next steps should not be "Post on StackOverflow". This isn't code written by the question's poster. My goal is to preserve the quality of questions and answers -- Things like this are just filling space. Mar 11, 2013 at 4:47
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    Closing is meant to be a temporary "on hold" state. Questions can easily get out if fixed. It's not a banishment. Mar 11, 2013 at 5:08
  • @GlennFerrieLive: You're right, in a sense - code that doesn't compile isn't suitable for the site. However, that doesn't mean we show them hostility for their code not working or compiling. If you haven't been there at least once in your programming career, you haven't been in it. Either way, there are ways to guide those who don't understand coding to improve their question quality, or demonstrate to them in subtle ways that copy-pasting code from the 'Net don't benefit them in the long run without animosity. Again, the tools to remove bad questions still exist. Use those instead.
    – Makoto
    Mar 11, 2013 at 5:17

I would call that question Too Localized (unlikely to help future users). Not a Real Question would also be a reasonable choice. (Some very basic questions have been answered before and could be marked as Duplicate).

You don't really think anyone's going to create a close reason called "Garbage," though, do you?

  • No, but maybe "Poor Question quality" -- idk Mar 11, 2013 at 4:36
  • @GlennFerrieLive: You respond to poorly-researched questions by downvoting. There's no reason to add a close reason solely for that purpose- close reasons are for questions that aren't appropriate for the site. Mar 11, 2013 at 4:37
  • I have down-voted. and would down-voted twice it were possible Mar 11, 2013 at 4:39

Questions about compiler errors are, IMO, among the most useful on StackOverflow because they're very likely to help other people who run into the same error. Compiler errors often seem cryptic and aren't always well documented, and hearing about real-world experience in resolving a given compiler error can be extremely valuable.

This may be a very basic question, and the answer might to you seem Blatantly Obvious To The Most Casual Observer™, but someone did take the time to ask because the answer wasn't obvious to them. I did a quick search on SO for "does not exist in the current context" and found half a dozen questions, none of which had a solution which would have helped the OP for the question at hand. The accepted answer is clear and likely to help future beginners who make similar mistakes.


you can flag such question as 'too localized' for moderator attention or if you have more than 3k rep then you can vote it to close. But please don't forget to add comment for the asker.

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    Not Constructive is defined as "As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or specific expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened" -- Seems to me that it implied that question is either (a) not a question or (b) argumentative -- Does that include poorly researched / efforted questions? Mar 11, 2013 at 4:37
  • +1 for the comment. We have option to flag it as 'too localized', as probably will not help any future user, or we may go to 'other' section and define what we think about the question. That will be more appropriate.
    – rptwsthi
    Mar 11, 2013 at 4:44
  • @GlennFerrieLive Please don't use "Not Constructive" for questions that you feel are of poor quality. The "Not Constructive" reason is usually reserved for questions that ask for discussion or opinions, eg. "What is the best programming language?"
    – user200500
    Mar 11, 2013 at 5:42

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