Audit in question is this: https://stackoverflow.com/review/reopen/1789773

This question was shown as closed for being Too Localized. Now don't get me wrong here, I haven't used the entity framework before and probably should have clicked the Skip button, however:

  1. This question has received no significant edits. The only edit in fact was a tag change, and a tag change surely isn't enough to start a reopen vote - or for me to think oh hey, 5 people thought that this should be closed but now that it has a new tag it should be open again!.
  2. The question does seem very localised, despite its number of votes. It's basically a We upgraded and now something doesn't work like it used to please help.
  3. From an outsider's perspective the accepted and only answer on the question doesn't really make much sense and looks like it came from someone working on the same project.

The you have failed this audit message is a bit harsh, and I'm not sure what other consequences are in place for failing an audit, but perhaps extra checks should be put in place to flush out those who actually aren't paying attention. Time checks and/or edit and question view checks probably wouldn't go a miss.

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    The comment below the accepted answer is: that's a bizarre effect. Glad you found it because I don't know if anyone could have ever guessed it. :) It was an obscure interaction; not really too localized, but hard to judge by outsiders. I'd have skipped this one but the question is indeed not a good audit candidate. Mar 27, 2013 at 10:04
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    You might be interested in meta.stackexchange.com/questions/168374/… Mar 27, 2013 at 11:19

2 Answers 2


This Q+A is the meat and potatoes of SO. Very commonly used tool that can be balky in unpredictable ways that can take you days to troubleshoot with nothing to show for it. An extraordinary and unintuitive answer from somebody that spent those days. Very, very helpful to anybody that encounters the same problem. Also classically the under-appreciated kind of answer at SO, nobody that stumbles by sees the connection.

You are definitely supposed to draw a conclusion from that failed audit. And it is not "there's something wrong with the audit".

Noodling on a bit about this, it is the kind of paralysis I always encounter when going through the 10K moderator review queue or the Close Votes queue. Showing me hundreds of questions about tags I know nothing about. This would all be a lot easier, worthwhile and satisfying if it would filter these big queues by the same rules as applied to my front page.


When I think of "too localized", I think of four situations:

  1. "Here's my code, it doesn't work!"
  2. "Here's my website [link], fix it for me"
  3. "Here's somebody else's work, how did they do that?"
  4. "Why does my syntax error fail to compile or execute as I expect?"

The first two cover about 70% of too localized questions. The last two 15-20%. These are all definitely too localized and should be closed as such.

That remaining 10-15% of actual "too localized" questions are not easy at all to spot, and require judgement calls on the part of community members involved in their fate. As a mod, I stay out of these. There's enough stuff to close without wading into the grey. In fact, I stay away from the last 30% of these questions as they don't really require mod attention--they can and should be handled by the user base.

Your question fits well within this grey area. There is not much information to go on, therefore the cause might be simple and obvious to anyone who has used the technologies involved (i.e., not localized at all), or it may be caused by someone on the team constantly rolling back changes on a single code file (i.e., completely too localized).

It turns out in this case that it wasn't actually truly localized. Others have had this issue, and apparently people have sought out the question and have thought it worthy.

Does that make you a bad reviewer? Of course it does. And you should be ashamed.
I spent the whole answer explaining why he shouldn't feel bad for this and didn't expect me to poke him with the sharp end of the stick??

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    From the question's answer: "The source of this problem was code that set the DbContext.CommandTimeout in our constructor for the same class". Sounds pretty localized issue to me. Mar 27, 2013 at 17:15
  • @0A0D: Unless you do the same thing. Also, 7 upvotes in a month, which isn't bad (checked, no evidence). Again, its a borderline thing, so its a total judgement call, and two people can disagree without one of them being necessarily wrong. (I couldn't bring myself to state that in the answer, so I'll let a team member edit and fix. "Hey, it was a judgement call, don't feel bad bro" just isn't funny).
    – user1228
    Mar 27, 2013 at 17:21
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    While I would take out the "It's bad and you should feel bad" bit at the end, this answer does point out a couple of key points: there's a HUGE SWATH of questions that are currently shuffled off as being "too localized," and frankly because of this, good questions are being closed as TL without people really considering the text for its own merit. Defining this grey area isn't optimal; instead, we should (as a userbase) scrutinize these questions more closely than we are. Knee jerk responses help no one, least of all ourselves.
    – Aarthi
    Mar 27, 2013 at 17:22
  • @Aarthi: I left it in there so you'd have to take it out :)
    – user1228
    Mar 27, 2013 at 17:22
  • @Won't: Not following you on the 7 upvotes in a month, but I can see your point on the rest. What bothers people is while there is this gray area, the review audit is black and white. Mar 27, 2013 at 17:26
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    @Won't Never let it be said you let me rest on my laurels.
    – Aarthi
    Mar 27, 2013 at 17:27
  • @0A0D: True that. I got bit by an audit not too long ago myself. Its relatively new, and they are working on it. Lots of folks getting bit by borderline cases like this.
    – user1228
    Mar 27, 2013 at 17:28

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