I feel that if you wish to close a question, you should at least comment and explain why. Allowing the asker to explain why the questions is relevant to the site. I wish commenting on questions you choose to close would be encouraged (or required) when closing a question of a user with over x reputation.


I asked this questions from a programming pov. Finding a sollution in a programmatic way is often very different from finding one in a mathematical way. For instance, the most constructive answer I had (in the comments) was how to apply binary search to complete the process which is a programmatic practice and not a pure mathematical technique.

I am hoping to reopen the question and answer it myself.

Currently, I'm thinking of using binary search. I just need to compute the distance between a line and a rotated ellipse.

  • What is your feature request? To clarify, the feature request tag is for when you're suggesting new features for the site.
    – user200500
    May 12, 2013 at 3:14
  • Regarding your question on Stack Overflow, I think people missed the fact that this was a problem that needed to be solved computationally, not by determining a closed form solution. Hence the suggestions to go to MSE. I and a couple of other users have voted to reopen. In the future, please remember that people are much more willing to invest time in understanding your problem and helping you if you demonstrate an attempt to help yourself. Some attempted code or preliminary analysis of the problem would help your question be taken more seriously.
    – user200500
    May 12, 2013 at 4:14
  • I've reposted this proposal in a more nuanced way but it was quickly struck down. Feb 23, 2014 at 23:25

2 Answers 2


Check the duplicate link for a wealth of reasons why comments will not be required when closing questions. Should a user be forced to add a comment when they vote to close?

However, I think it's helpful for people to leave comments, so I'll use this as an opportunity to provide you with some feedback:

The reason your post was likely closed is because it's very vague. Stack Overflow gives you a large question box, a blank canvas to work with, for a very important reason: The more information you can tell us about your problem, the faster potential answerers will understand your problem, what you're trying to do, and why you're trying to do it. This helps not only you but also future visitors searching for answers to the same or a similar problem.

Without the details, one must ask why you didn't just Google the solution. Or worse, a bunch of answerers make assumptions about what you're trying to do, spend several minutes writing a very detailed and thorough answer, only for the original asker to exclaim breathlessly "no!i tried that it didnt work!!!"

As a question asker, you're pretty critical to the success of Stack Overflow. Asking well-research questions gives back to the community just as much as answering them does. If you can edit your post to provide more details about the exact problem you're trying to solve, there's a good chance you can get it reopened. Just make sure it relates to programming. It looks like people just thought you were lost and closed as off-topic. :)

By the way, if no one leaves a comment explaining the close reason, you can always ask in the comments. Just be nice about it. Chances are someone like me might be hanging around -- who wasn't a close voter -- who can still give you some helpful feedback that may help get the post reopened or help you write a better question next time. Hope this helps!

  • 1
    The OP could definitely have shown more effort, but this doesn't justify the users who closed an on topic question as off topic. If there isn't sufficient information present (although in this case I believe there was, just barely), you should ask for clarification and/or vote as NARQ.
    – user200500
    May 12, 2013 at 4:22
  • 1
    Hi @Asad, most likely, the close voters didn't read it as a programming question. I'm not taking sides and suggesting it wasn't a programming question, but my point is simply that a little bit more detail and background information would remove any doubts that most reasonable people might have that it is indeed a programming question. Hope this helps!
    – jmort253
    May 12, 2013 at 4:28

You're about 80% a dupe of this question: Should a user be forced to add a comment when they vote to close?

As for the "high rep user" part: yuck! Reputation is an important part of this site culture, but it is not as important as the philosophy that the quality of a question or answer is blind to who posted. In this particular case, I definitely don't want a culture that once you reach X rep you can start asking crappy questions because you're above the rules. Or that things high rep users do are good because they are high rep (see: reductio ad hitlerum.)

  • In addition, 1,000 rep is hardly high. Even 10k is arguably not high. Someone once said you're not truly high rep until you hit 100k.
    – jmort253
    May 12, 2013 at 4:30
  • 1
    @jmort253 - I never used the word high. I used the words "over x" so I don't see how the comment is relevant?
    – AturSams
    May 12, 2013 at 4:54
  • 1
    Your answer does not address the issue. Leaving a comment does not assume you should ask "crappy questions" as you have so eloquently worded it. The questions still get closed. It just means the person has been here long enough to appreciate constructive criticism and perhaps has a good idea about what and what should no be on the site. I think communication could help correct and improve the quality of questions asked by users who frequent the site.
    – AturSams
    May 12, 2013 at 4:57
  • @ArthurWulfWhite where "high" means "over rep X" for some X. As X -> 0 your question -> exact duplicate.
    – djechlin
    May 12, 2013 at 4:57
  • 1
    @ArthurWulfWhite we expect low rep users to receive constructive criticism as graciously as we do from high rep users. They come to appreciate it by receiving it from early in their career here. A double standard doesn't help the situation for anyone.
    – djechlin
    May 12, 2013 at 4:58
  • @ArthurWulfWhite - I just assumed you were lumping yourself into the '> x' category, and you have about 1,000 rep. Truth be told, comments for 1 rep users are just as important as comments for any user. We should treat everyone with the same respect regardless of reputation.
    – jmort253
    May 12, 2013 at 5:16

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .