I asked this question on the website. It was closed as being off-topic. The off-topic message says If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit your question or leave a comment. all of which I had done approximately 2 hours before the question was closed.

So I would like to know how do I ask the users who cast the vote to close the question after I had commented about the validity of the question about where else should I comment in order to fulfill the criterion regarding commenting in order to explain the question?

  • 3
    You can try @comments Commented Jul 3, 2013 at 8:11
  • 1
    Btw, it does look very much like a "recommend an IDE" question, which is off topic. Commented Jul 3, 2013 at 8:12
  • @doubleDown I commented when I saw 2 close votes. The least they could have done is to comment giving me the reason before closing. Commented Jul 3, 2013 at 8:16
  • @JanDvorak Wrote for 3 of them in the closed question. 2 of them had more than 1 word in their names so don't know how to do that. Commented Jul 3, 2013 at 8:24
  • @doubleDown "recommend IDE questions" are off topic because there is no clear criteria on what "best IDE" means. This question, on the other hand, is asking about very specific characteristics, so I don't think that it's off topic.
    – Pablo
    Commented Jul 3, 2013 at 9:17

2 Answers 2


As has been mentioned in comments, you can ping close voters with @-comments. See How do comment @replies work? for more info on @-comments and how to use them - specifically for your comment about not knowing how to ping a user with a space in their name.

But I can probably save you some time. Obviously I do not know with 100% certainty why all 5 people voted to close, but I am virtually certain all 5 voted to close for the same reason.

The line from the On-topic questions in the help center

software tools commonly used by programmers

is often misinterpreted to mean "recommend a tool that can do x".

While it is true that an IDE is a programming tool commonly (exclusively) used by programmers, your question isn't really about the IDE and is actually about finding an IDE with a specific list of features. While it is a subtitle difference, it is a very important one.

Recommendation type questions like this one are generally referred to as "Shopping Questions", not because you are looking to buy something, but because you are "shopping" for a recommendation.

While these types of questions can be helpful in the short term, answers are mostly opinion-based, with little content other than a link, and upvotes end up being a popularity contest rather than objective votes on the quality of the answer.

The other major issue is they become outdated very quickly. Assuming your question was open and had a several answers, if someone were to find your question 3 years from now, they are going to find a list of IDE's that is 3 years only. In the end these types of questions tend to be helpful only for a very brief period of time, so rather than dealing with out-dated shopping questions, the community decided that they should not be accepted.

See this Why are "shopping list" questions bad? for more information.

  • Questions are bad if they are asking what is best IDE for doing X. But questions that are asking for specific features of IDE IMHO won't get outdated. But that's just my opinion and it seems there is a difference of opinion on this in SO community itself. Thanks for the explanation. Commented Jul 3, 2013 at 10:00
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    @AseemBansal I disagree that questions with very specific criteria won't get outdated, but a little less quickly than others. How many times have you gone to an old forum post or wikipedia article and found a link that does exactly what you want, only to find the project was abandoned and has been dead for 2 years. Commented Jul 3, 2013 at 10:28
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    @AseemBansal And frankly, I wish there was a method to ask these types of questions as good ones can be useful, but for every good "shopping question" there are about 500 bad ones and sorting through the crap to find the real gems gets tiring. Commented Jul 3, 2013 at 10:30
  • I agree that the links can be outdated for an IDE but that can also happen for language refrences, standards and many other things that are valuable and are cited on a dialy basis. That shouldn't be a factor to stop anyone from citing them. Anyways I understand the problem that you are explaining and am not looking for a debate. That's the reason I accepted an answer so early and didn't debate much. Just looking for the answer to the original question on SO. I wanted to start GUI development but Google and the official documentation didn't help me much. I'll just keep looking elsewhere. Commented Jul 3, 2013 at 10:35
  • @AseemBansal Most language reference sitess keeps archival docs intact. Same for standards. Not same for software. And link-only answers are not respected for the very reason sometimes links goes down. Answer based on language reference will not be useless if that reference is moved or no longer accessible. Answer pointing to software will be totally useless if that software cannot be downloaded.
    – Mołot
    Commented Jul 3, 2013 at 14:58

The problem with your question is that, even though an IDE is required for programming, it is not exactly related to any kind of program and the users in SO are looking to correct code basically. Questions asking for clarification on some theory part is OK but asking about opinions are considered off-topic and here you are asking for an opinion on what to do. This is exactly what you got as an answer on meta too. So its better if you let google help you in these cases and let SO help you in coding.

You can refer this link and see where to ask which types of questions.

  • 1
    This explains why the question might have been closed, but doesn't answer the question posed here, which is how the OP should question others about reasons for closing. Commented Jul 3, 2013 at 9:24
  • Thanks for the list. But the link doesn't answer the question regarding where to ask questions regarding which IDE has these features. Perhaps you can point me out to a proper resource on this? Commented Jul 3, 2013 at 9:54
  • Regarding the answer on meta you should read all the comments that followed with one moderator saying that the question was actually on-topic. A bounty was started and the answer there was also that they are on-topic. But never mind, I'll look at some other place because google isn't helping me here. Commented Jul 3, 2013 at 10:06

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