I recently asked this question, but it was put on hold as "primarily opinion-based."

I disagree with this closure reason. I clearly state in the question that I am not looking for an opinion, but for an answer that is supported by a reference (if there is one):

Now, is it the matter of preference or is there a naming standard I am not aware of?

Please support your answer with references to reliable sources and do not give me answers based on your opinions.

If I was to present this with an algorithm I would say: if true then prove it if not then prove it. Hopefully, that makes sense.

I realize that my question may be interpreted wrongly, as it is not a usual question to ask. However, I think that it does fit within the scope of Stack Overflow. I will let you be the judge.

How can I edit or modify my question to fit the standards of Stack Overflow and avoid people voting to close?

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    I think your question is fair. Sometimes, all it takes is one person to misunderstand you, and flag to close your question, unfortunately citing a reason that might bias all subsequent reviewers against you. (Disclaimer: Link is to my own question regarding this topic.) As per the answer in that question though, I think such hiccups are an acceptable compromise given how great SO does work, and given that you can vote to reopen or post on meta for reconciliation. Commented Jul 25, 2013 at 22:40
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    FYI language like you need to read the question again brother is very confrontational, argumentative and downright disrespectful. The guy posted an answer trying to help you, acknowledging in the opening sentence that even though you stated you didn't want any opinions, the answer could only be opinion-based because - and I agree with him - naming conventions are completely subjective, and there is no one standard everyone should (or even could) adhere to.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Commented Jul 25, 2013 at 23:24
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    It's great that people come to Meta for help on improving a question and getting it re-opened. But asserting right in the title that the closure was "wrong" or "unfair" is not a constructive way to initiate that process. I've changed the tone of your question in my edit, without altering the meaning of it in any way. Hopefully the example will be useful to you. Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 6:48
  • Thanks for your opinions and advices. I will try to avoid asking unclear questions and put much more effort in wording. After all I want to delete my question as it looks terrible with a -9 score still being a question that fits the standards of the site. Thanks for helping me understand things.
    – user221081
    Commented Jul 28, 2013 at 12:09

2 Answers 2


I tend to agree with @CanSpice. You can word a question like this so that it is on-topic, but barely, and you're not likely to get good answers that are on-topic. I suggest that this question really belongs on Programmers, where it's much easier for it to be on-topic and more likely to get a good answer.

Edit: This isn't shopping or polling. This is him saying, "I saw this particular naming standard in use. Whence which articulated convention, if any?" That question has a definite answer (which could be "there isn't one"), and isn't soliciting a big list of naming standards. The answers don't have to be maintained, and the right answer will be the right answer for all time.

As a side note: I upvoted this question - at least @mehow was willing to come to MSO and hash out how to make his question better. That's the whole point of Meta, and the resulting answers and comments will help other users post better questions without having to have this discussion.

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    request for "references to reliable sources" makes this question bad fit for Programmers. One of the standard, canned off-topic reasons there is: "Questions asking us to recommend... off-site resource are off-topic for Programmers..." Consider editing your answer to account for that
    – gnat
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 7:00
  • To be precise, he wasn't asking for recommendations. He was asking for respondents to cite their sources. That's not the same thing and shouldn't be a problem on Programmers or anywhere else. This just goes to show how tricky it is to word a question like this and be within the guidelines for the site ;-) Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 14:26
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    Ben, "is there a naming standard I am not aware of" part is slippery, too. Recently, similar stuff was discussed at Prog meta "I am not asking for your *favorite* or the *best* [whatever]. I am asking if one exists at all..." Per my understanding, this is just a smoke screen for plain polling.
    – gnat
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 14:31
  • moved this response to answer Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 14:41
  • this is shopping in disguise, and here's why (I just repeat reasoning from one of my comments at prog meta): think of what will happen next, right after you happily leave with that freakin' Yes this is Standard1. Month later, next guy will come and answer Yes this is Standard2. Month later, next... and so on and so forth. That works fine for Google, where they load to you page after page, without a limit. Stack Exchange just isn't designed to work the way you want. Yes/No question turns into shopping with ease
    – gnat
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 14:45
  • @gnat: I don't think it's going to attract answers like that after a certain point, which is how this site works. Answers will be accumulated for a while (if there's interest), and then it slows down to nothing except the occasional comment. There are only so many articulated conventions that will match what he's asking for, and he's not asking for a list anyway: he's asking for one. I think he needs to reword his question to be more clear, but fundamentally this question isn't off-topic, particularly on Programmers (I think there's a different reason it's off-topic on SO). Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 14:53
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    Shopping? Uh, no. @gnat. Polling, sure. GTKY, maybe. I don't think he's looking for a product or service though. At least not until I officially launch ShogCo NamingSchemer 3000 Pro Enterprise Edition.
    – Shog9
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 14:55
  • when I was new at Programmers, I was hooked by phrases like "references to reliable sources" and "is there a standard" easily. And, well, I wasn't shy of answering these in old questions (saw plenty old stuff when hunting for Electorate badge, in searches and in bumps). You seem to assume that current generation newcomers are somehow immune to that sort of attractive nuisance. I am more sceptical
    – gnat
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 15:03
  • @Shog9 okay what about Google-proxying?
    – gnat
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 15:04
  • What's wrong with "polling", @gnat?
    – Shog9
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 15:20
  • @Shog9 okay, let it be polling I don't mind
    – gnat
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 15:42

You're asking for a reference for a naming convention. Conventions are by their very nature opinions, and are not standard between different organizations. Both of the "reference" SO questions you link to suffer from the same problem -- any answers to them will by necessity be opinions (and I've voted to close both of them as such).

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    I disagree. Conventions may be opinions, but the existence of them are not. The user was not even asking which is best, but simply whether there exists a convention that could explain the pattern he's seeing. The question, "Is it a matter of preference or is there a naming standard [...]," IMO, is an objective question. Commented Jul 25, 2013 at 22:42
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    Then his question is unclear, and should be closed for that reason. Further, answers to his question would be highly dependent on which RDBMS the user is using, which hasn't been stated, so the question could be closed as unclear on that basis as well.
    – CanSpice
    Commented Jul 25, 2013 at 22:45
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    One can find a reason to close, many, many questions. But given that we are intelligent human beings able to disambiguate ambiguity, and given that as a community we should be supporting each other, and given that we have the ability to edit questions to add clarity, or add comments to help others understand, I don't see why we must be hellbent on finding reasons to close questions that caused some dispute, except to protect our pride in our initial judgment. Commented Jul 25, 2013 at 22:47
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    I will add, though, that I'm not necessarily a fan of the user's attitude. I'm not sure if it's a language or cultural barrier, though. Commented Jul 25, 2013 at 22:50

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