I asked a question on Stack Overflow. It was about a possible configuration to run a given development environment. The question was whether the configuration was supported or not by that development environment. I hadn't found a definitive answer on the net so I asked it on Stack Overflow.

The question was closed because someone thought that it would "likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion".

I don't see why. Isn't this kind of question good?


The problem here seems to be mostly in the phrasing. You ask:

Did anybody try to use Eclipse+CDT on Ubuntu 12.10 64bit for Android NDK development?

Which might well result in "Yeah, I did. Didn't work at all", and at the same time a "Sure, worked fine for me". And with that a whole list of answers in between, one not more correct or wrong than the other. And that's where it becomes not constructive.

You could rephrase it to a "Can I use..." formulation. But in that case the answer would most likely be: "Just try it". Or alternatively, if you're looking for a more canonical answer, "Does platform X support technology Y?" might be an even better formulation.

In any case, "Try it" is the advice I'd give you in this particular scenario. And if you run into particular problems, come back and ask a question about it. See if it fits with Stack Overflow, or otherwise Super User.

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    Or possibly Ask Ubuntu – ChrisF Mar 16 '13 at 12:55
  • Why? To do it I have (I'm doing it now) to spend time installing a new virtual machine and all the dev environment. Why can't I ask whether someone has already done it or not? And anyway it can't open a debate. Either you tried it or not. – herschel 19 secs ago edit – kingston Mar 16 '13 at 12:56
  • And when I received an answer from someone that had already done it I could be sure that it is possible to do it – kingston Mar 16 '13 at 12:57
  • Consider that the ver 10 that I have already used is fine so it was important to be sure whether it was worth trying and if in the future someone else will have problem at least he will know that other people succeeded – kingston Mar 16 '13 at 13:00
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    The question in its very nature does not have a single correct answer. "I tried and it worked for me" is equally as valid as a "I tried and couldn't get it to work at all". And that's the type of answers your question invites. Which is why I suggested the reformulation. But at that point the answer simply becomes "Just try". Or you might get the question "Well, did you try?". It's a question fit for a forum perhaps. Or a chatroom. If you try and bump into a particular issue, then you might have a question fit for an SE site. – Bart Mar 16 '13 at 13:01
  • As you can see I got an answer that is clear and definitive. SOmeone has tried it and it worked. I was looking for that and I keep not agreeing with you. – kingston Mar 16 '13 at 13:05
  • That is of course entirely up to you. You asked why your question got closed and I explained it for you. And I answered why it's not a good question for Stack Overflow. What you end up doing beyond that is entirely up to you. It's not so much about the answer you got, but about the answers you invite. A tricky distinction perhaps, but an important one to understand. Like I said (and as I've said many times before) phrasing counts for a whole lot. – Bart Mar 16 '13 at 13:08
  • OK. It's a pity because it means that I can't save time asking this kind of questions only because there could be more possible correct answers even if all those answers would have been useful and not just a debate about personal preferences or opinions. – kingston Mar 16 '13 at 13:18
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    This will sound annoying, but you saving time is not our concern here. Good questions are. And from my answer you should at least be able to get how to more constructively approach such a question, though your mileage may vary depending on the exact question and the site you ask it on. As always, your best bet is to try something and come to the site with a practical problem. – Bart Mar 16 '13 at 13:21
  • Bart is correct when he says we aren't here to do all your research for you. We need questions and answers that are useful to a larger vase of people. Yes/no answers always beget more questions, questions we could have just started off with in the first place. If your goal is to put no effort into your questions, you'll find Stack Overflow an inhospitable place. – George Stocker Mar 16 '13 at 15:26

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