I came across many of the highly rated questions are "closed as not constructive". For example Connection pooling options with JDBC: DBCP vs C3P0 . This question has 146 upvoted, 105 favourites; will be most valuable question.

I could understand this question may be not programming related; but still related the best way of code design. Since we don't have stack for programming design; I think we can use stackoverflow here.

Now My concern is; what is the objective of closing a question? At one point of time are we planing to cleanup those questions from the DB? if yes we could loose such valuable question rit? And How we are planing to differentiate really not constructive question from design based question which is highly voted?


2 Answers 2


The provided answers are not necessarily valid (read: "best") after e.g. 3 years. The question is not timeless at all. If nobody updates its answers, how would you after 3 years be sure that an accepted answer is still the best answer at the moment? Those kind of questions are not a good fit for Stack Overflow.

  • It seems like you're arguing that it's too localized (in time). But I'd say its actual close reason of not constructive makes more sense.
    – Ben Lee
    Commented Mar 31, 2013 at 8:10
  • @Ben: with "too localized", think of things like typos, logic flow error, misinterpretation, etc. Such a question can have only one valid answer, but it would be only applicable to questioner itself and hardly or even never be of interest to anyone else now and in the future. The question in question is defintiely of interest to others, but just not constructive. The chance is very big that the accepted answer would be disagreed by others, now or in the future.
    – user138231
    Commented Mar 31, 2013 at 8:12
  • Yes, "too localized" applies to area of focus as you point out, but it also can apply to localization in time or place. Your post says "the provided answers are not necessarily valid after 3 year" -- definitely sounds like you are arguing that this is time-localized. Again, I think "not constructive" makes a lot more sense here.
    – Ben Lee
    Commented Mar 31, 2013 at 8:16
  • 1
    @Ben: Well, then we have a disagreement :) "Non constructive" and "Not a real question" are IMO just more specific cases of "Too localized".
    – user138231
    Commented Mar 31, 2013 at 8:17
  • I do agree that the obsolescence factor is a part of what makes a shopping question not constructive, but I really don't think it's the most salient part of what's wrong.
    – Ben Lee
    Commented Mar 31, 2013 at 8:18

The vote count is not consistent with the quality of this information. I can only speculate as to why this is, although it certainly involves the fact that a lot of people have this problem. However, I read through this post and gleaned the following:

  • Both the two choices proposed seem "pretty good." Some people seem to like one more than the other.
  • Various users have had problems with one or the other solution, while others have used it "for years" and "not had a problem with it."
  • Many highly-upvoted answers are just troubleshooting tips getting one or the other to work.
  • Other highly-upvoted answers seem to be just people voting for their team, not on the quality of the information.

So three points: firstly, the information in this case is actually pretty poor. Secondly, this just isn't the domain of SO. If Eric Lippert wrote a blog post titled "choosing a connection pool," I would totally read it and learn from it, although it doesn't belong on SO. Moreover I would probably look for several similar articles and become more educated, but this far out of bounds of the "(approximately) unique best answer" criterion for constructiveness.

Thirdly, closing does not mean deleting. It has poor information, but not actively toxic or bad information so we'd prefer to have it around. We certainly wouldn't want a question like this to be indicative of the quality users should expect on SO, so "closing" it is a big fat way of saying "this question has some value, but don't take it as precedent."

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