There is some discussion on the close reasons - trying to simplify them to the "rep 1" level of understanding.

There was a desire for a close reason of "... what [language | technology | project] should I [learn | read | do] do next ...", however, it was decided that this was not a new user friendly message.

What might work is if each of those message options were a drop down that could template into the custom reason text area - giving the flexibility desired but without having to retype the message each time and furthermore encouraging consistent close reasons.


Much of the comments have gone down the path of examining particular P.SE questions and what close reason those should be closed with. While that is valid different question it more suited to meta.programmers.SE - whether it should have its own off topic message or be one of the predefined not off topic messages is for that community, not stack echange as a whole.

The feature request presented here is that there are times where, in an attempt to make the close reason as appropriate as possible to the question I may find myself typing similar messages again and again with slight variations (swapping out "language", "technology", "project" or "learn" and "do") again and again to match the close reasons as specified in the not about on topic section of the help center.

The options that the community in question are considering are:

  • A difficult to read close reason 2 of 6
  • A generic off topic close reason about "what next" 4 of 6
  • A rather wordy off topic close reason that enumerates all of the options 6 of 6

The idea and feature request yet remains (even if the specific issue of this close message has been resolved by going to a wordy one) - the ability to have a templated message (dropdowns) that populates the 'other' field to allow for a range of close reasons that have a closer fit to the question. This is something that can help guide close votes to have the common reasons that have enough variation to them that completely canned reasons do not.

Just as the specifics of close votes aren't something that MSO for different stack exchanges gets involved in, dwelling on that isn't helpful. The feature request is saying "you gave us some really nice tools that we are going to make use of, if we had this tool too, it would compliment that set nicely in a way that may give a better experience to people who have their questions closed on hold."


If there is a particular reason that we think applies to enough questions to want to have it pre-defined then it should simply be one of the main close reasons, or one of the sub-reasons of offtopic. Having yet another lists of closes reasons would needlessly complicate the close voting system.

In the particular case you gave as an example, it is already covered reasonably well by "Primarily Opinion Based".

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    The "where do I start" question is very common on P.SE - programmers.stackexchange.com/search?q=where+to+start -- There is also the "What next" as demonstrated by programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/24886 or programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/85099 or programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/98539 or programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/164444 - these are very common questions with lots of variation. – user213963 Jun 27 '13 at 19:25
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    @MichaelT I don't disagree that they're common. Why do you feel that "Primarily opinion based" doesn't cover them? – Servy Jun 27 '13 at 19:26
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    Partly because it is specificity mentioned as off topic in the faq/help center - programmers.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic to have a consistent mapping between the help center off topic and the close reasons for off topic. In theory, one should give as specific help (a close reason is help) as possible. People reading may not realize that the "primary opinion based" isn't about how the question is asked, but the subject matter itself. Guiding a person to the actual reason it is closed provides better guidance to close voters, the asker and people finding the question later. – user213963 Jun 27 '13 at 19:35
  • @MichaelT The system was just rolled out. Why don't you try closing questions as "primarily opinion based" for a little while and see if people tend to understand the close text as given, or if there is a significant amount of confusion as to what that means. Personally, I'm thinking there won't be a huge amount of confusion, and for those cases that there is, it wouldn't have been any better to use an offtopic sub-reason. – Servy Jun 27 '13 at 19:38
  • For this specific case, most of the close reasons are often still appropriate. It is unclear what is being asked - the OP doesn't include enough info to give a possibly good answer. It is too broad - there are too many possible answers and good answers would be too long. And as you pointed out, it is opinion based. Having one, consistent, best close reason is just as important as one best answer - since the close reason is an answer in effect. The difficulty is having a good close reason that communicates "yes, we know what you are asking and it isn't appropriate here." – user213963 Jun 27 '13 at 20:49
  • @MichaelT Yes, it's common for a question to meet multiple close criteria. Rather than suggesting yet another close reason (keeping in mind that it still wouldn't be wrong to use one of the others; they still apply) why not simply propose choosing one to be, by convention, the one appropriate close reason for these types of questions, so that everyone uses that one reason. These questions have historically been closed as not constructive much more often than NARQ; we just need to decide which of the existing reasons fits best and use that. – Servy Jun 27 '13 at 20:52

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