Recently, I accidentally posted a question on Stack Overflow, when I actually intended to post it on superuser.com (where it would almost certainly have been useful and relevant). The question was closed. However, the question is now too old to migrate, and I am concerned that it may leave this question open to the risk of deletion, no matter how potentially useful it may be.

Much to my dismay, I recently learned that popular off-topic questions on Stack Overflow are being routinely deleted, and I'm concerned that some of my own questions may be affected by this process as well, no matter how popular or useful they may be.

Will useful (but off-topic) questions like this one be saved from deletion, and is there anything that I can do to prevent this particular question from being deleted, so that I won't lose the useful information that I have gained from it?

  • 2
    It might be useful, but if it belongs in Superuser, it won't be as useful here as it would have been there. I'd delete the question manually and create its doppelgänger in Superuser. Jun 6 '13 at 7:39
  • Much to my dismay, I recently learned that popular off-topic questions on Stack Overflow are being routinely deleted - deleted posts may look gone, but they're not gone gone. They are still visible to users with 10K+ rep, diamond mods, and I believe the OP can also see them. You just have to know (or use) the link to them, because they are not searchable.
    – slugster
    Jun 6 '13 at 9:06
  • 3
    Have you considered, and I know this is going to sound crazy... posting it on Super User? You will likely get a different set of answers. But you'll ultimately get the same info either way. So what's the problem? Jun 6 '13 at 10:43
  • "Should off-topic questions be retained?" No. No, they should not.
    – user164207
    Jun 6 '13 at 16:53
  • @NicolBolas In that case, would the Superuser question be closed as an exact duplicate of the Stack Overflow question? Jun 6 '13 at 19:17
  • @AndersonGreen: Generally speaking, no. Especially when the SO question is closed for being off-topic. Jun 6 '13 at 19:18
  • @NicolBolas Still, I'd expect the question to be closed for "lack of research effort" if I posted it on Superuser, since the question already has an answer on Stack Overflow. I'd migrate the question to Superuser if it were possible, but sadly, it isn't possible. Jun 6 '13 at 19:28
  • @AndersonGreen: Questions aren't closed for "lack of research effort". The most you might get are downvotes, and you can head those off by simply pointing out that you're re-asking the question here because it was off-topic there. Jun 6 '13 at 23:26
  • @NicolBolas - I regularly cast NARQ close votes on questions that show no research effort.
    – user164207
    Jun 7 '13 at 17:36
  • @JackManey: That doesn't mean you should. Lacking research effort is what downvotes are for, not close votes. Jun 7 '13 at 17:49
  • @NicolBolas - The stock NARQ close reason consists of "It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, see the FAQ." Questions showing no research effort are incomplete, and hence qualify to be closed as NARQ.
    – user164207
    Jun 7 '13 at 17:50
  • That being said, I also don't hesitate to downvote questions showing no research effort.
    – user164207
    Jun 7 '13 at 17:51
  • @JackManey: That's a very broad definition of "incomplete". If the question provides sufficient information to reasonably answer it without making wild guesses as to what's really being asked, then the question is complete. Jun 7 '13 at 18:03
  • @NicolBolas - If a question is missing a vital component--namely what the OP has researched and/or tried--then the question is not complete.
    – user164207
    Jun 7 '13 at 19:35

Your question is not popular. It was asked 5 months ago (or 150 days ago, thereabouts), and it only has 317 views. That's 2 views a day. My blog gets 2 views a day (granted, I don't write in it like I ought to be).

Popular? No. If it had thousands of views over three months? Potentially.

As far as Useful -- if it is, then someone else will ask it again. This time we could catch it in time to move it to the right place.

That having been said, your post is a candidate for deletion.

  • 4
    "My blog gets 2 views a day". I'm jealous! ;) Jun 6 '13 at 12:48
  • Should I create a duplicate of the question on Superuser, since it would have been on-topic if I had posted it there? (Also, I don't really understand why there's no option to move questions from Stack Overflow to Superuser - I tried to move it to Superuser, but my request was declined for some reason). Jun 6 '13 at 19:20

"When should I vote to delete?" is a useful resource when considering when questions will be deleted. You should assume that any question matching those descriptions will eventually be deleted - maybe not now, but definitely at some point in the future.

Note specifically:

Off Topic:

Almost always delete it.

Off topic usually says "This shouldn't have been posted here in the first place."

There are a few off-topic questions that have a historical lock, but that is very rare, and is a side case. The specific example you posted doesn't match any reason for a historical lock, especially since it's a new question (and therefore not 'historical'). Expect it to be deleted.

  • Should off-topic questions be deleted even when they are popular or potentially useful? Jun 6 '13 at 4:28
  • @AndersonGreen If a question is useful or popular, the optimal action is to migrate it to the appropriate site. If no such relevant site exists, and the question is truly popular and useful (as well as somewhat relevant to programmers as a whole), then it may be okay to leave it undeleted.
    – user206222
    Jun 6 '13 at 4:29
  • Since my question is too old to migrate to Superuser, is there anything else I can do to save it from deletion? Jun 6 '13 at 4:30
  • @Anderson Probably not, in this case. It's a settings question in Chrome. I'm not sure whether mods have the power to migrate such questions, but if they do, you could request they move it.
    – user206222
    Jun 6 '13 at 4:31
  • Why do you think my question should be deleted? It got a few upvotes, so I think it's likely that it has some value (and it may even be indispensable to some of the users who found it, since the information in that question can't easily be found elsewhere on the Web). Jun 6 '13 at 4:37
  • I'm not totally sure on this one, to be honest. I haven't had much experience with delete votes and delete scenarios, so I'm going to let someone else answer.
    – user206222
    Jun 6 '13 at 4:40
  • @AndersonGreen The number of votes 10k'ers can cast to delete a post scales by the votes on the question, but there have still been upto 43 delete votes cast on what you could imagine would have been a pretty popular post. Some posts' I've noticed get deleted and undeleted over and over because different people have different perspectives and some have strong views on this subject. So your post may be at the mercy of the mods and how they feel.
    – gideon
    Jun 6 '13 at 5:16
  • @AndersonGreen I can tell you most likely that have nothing to worry, it doesn't have delete votes yet and if it has enough views (proving that it's useful) it won't really be deleted.
    – gideon
    Jun 6 '13 at 5:22
  • 4
    @gideon Views != Useful != OnTopic != SafeFromDeletion Jun 6 '13 at 9:23
  • @AndrewBarber haha. Thats a nice plain answer.
    – gideon
    Jun 6 '13 at 10:33

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