I'm following the steps in this question so that I can appeal the closing of a closed question.

My case is basically that subjective questions are allowed, according to this document, as long as they:

  • inspire answers that explain “why” and “how”
  • tend to have long, not short, answers
  • have a constructive, fair, and impartial tone
  • invite sharing experiences over opinions
  • insist that opinion be backed up with facts and references
  • are more than just mindless social fun

I feel that this question meets those criterion.

Here is the question: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/18178200/is-developing-in-c-c-for-web-applications-using-fast-cgi-still-viable

Furthermore, I've seen a number of similar questions being closed by users that have less that 10k rep. I feel that there is a lot of loss of very useful information because of the overuse of the "subjective close". Certainly, we don't want to have a social jabber site. But perhaps we could make inroads by encouraging rewording or editing the question to fit these guidelines. Also, perhaps there could be a notice when you are "voting to close" that clearly lists the criteria above so that user have another opportunity to permit constructive, yet subjective, questions.

Any suggestions on what I should do to proceed in this matter is very much welcome.

  • 1
    Ok, just cast the 5th Reopen vote. Good luck. – Lance Roberts Aug 12 '13 at 20:04
  • @LanceRoberts Thank you very much :-) I'm hoping others contribute to this topic and share their findings. – Homer6 Aug 12 '13 at 20:04
  • Well, it's already gotten three close votes since being reopened. Hopefully people will come here. – animuson Aug 12 '13 at 20:06
  • 1
    @animuson Any ideas why the comments on the questions disappeared? – Homer6 Aug 12 '13 at 20:08
  • @Homer6 I deleted them. Since you have a Meta question, it's better to discuss the question here rather than in the comments there. – animuson Aug 12 '13 at 20:09
  • @animuson How many times can it go back and forth, getting closed and reopened? – Homer6 Aug 12 '13 at 20:10
  • @Homer6 Technically, until every user with over 3,000 reputation has participated in closing/reopening the question. ;P A moderator will step in long before that though. – animuson Aug 12 '13 at 20:14
  • @animuson It looks like it got closed again. Is there an authority that could make a final ruling on it and prevent it from flip-flopping? Furthermore, we'd be interesting in editing it so that it's not so subjective. How could we do that? – Homer6 Aug 12 '13 at 20:45
  • @Homer6 The idea is for this meta post to generate a consensus, at which point a mod can open/close the post (and lock it if needed) after the community has had an opportunity to discuss the issue. Until then, let it flip flop. – Servy Aug 12 '13 at 21:14
  • @Servy Makes sense. Thanks for clearing that up. – Homer6 Aug 12 '13 at 21:23
  • My original post has been changed. If anyone could petition to re-open it with me that would be awesome -- I shall place a bounty on it once it is re-opened to the best response. – Jacob Pollack Aug 14 '13 at 9:24

So, going through each of the points that you've raised:

Performance [...]

This is the point point that you actually discuss extensively. You don't just assert an opinion, you back it up with hard facts, stories, etc. While questions along the line of "which is faster" are often not very good, but clearly there is potential here to objectively come to a conclusion as to how two options compare as to performance.

Application Lifetime Is Detached from Web Pages

This is all you say on the subject. What does this mean. What affect does this have on the consideration being made? What do the alternatives do, and how do they compare?


This doesn't really mean much on its own. Support this assertion. What allows this particular solution to scale; what prevents other solutions from scaling; what data is there that demonstrates, using facts/evidence, that it will scale better?

Here on this point I'd say there is certainly potential for meeting the metrics mentioned, but your post hasn't actually done so.

No Context-Switch Overhead


Same arguments as to the app lifetime comment; you just mention these alone and include nothing else.

(the first two "Cons" I have no comment on)

The FastCGI interface is way more complex than solutions like PHP. Learning how to write multiplexing FastCGI applications will take some time. We feel that this investment of time pays off rather quickly, but sometimes other people tend to see this differently.

What is your basis for this assertion? This is just your opinion, with no supporting facts, evidence, expertise, data. Just you saying that it's more complex. It is nothing more than one person's opinion. Why and how is it more complex?

A very good security expert friend of mine said that there are just a lot more concerns with c/c++ being exposed to a web front. I would certainly agree that security is something that needs to be thought more of than on a traditional PHP environment.

This is even less helpful than the previous comment. Someone, somewhere, who isn't even here to be able to discuss his reasoning, feels that there are "concerns". What are they? What are the consequences of them? How can they be mitigated? How can anyone possibly respond to your statement that there are "concerns"? How can anyone make a decision based on this?

Your post was helpful when it was dealing with just those aspects that could be objectively measured or conclusively proven one way or the other, namely performance characteristics, the existence or lack of of certain features and the observable effects that they have.

As soon as you stepped away from those objective statements and tried to answer the actual question asked of "Is it viable" rather than a concrete, objective, provable statement about, say, it's performance, the value of the post plummeted down to virtually nothing.

The question should be edited such that it asks something that can be conclusively answered, rather than the vague, open ended "is this viable" question that it currently asks which is simply "primarily opinion based".

  • All of the pros and cons are summarized excerpts from the linked article (with the exception of the fourth cons, which I added myself). I didn't elaborate on each of them because I didn't want to add to the already large length of the answer. – Homer6 Aug 12 '13 at 20:30
  • I also avoided forming a conclusion to avoid it being perceived as an opinion. I do have strong opinions that it is viable, but was unsure how to proceed, given the knee-jerk reaction of people to close was appears to be a subjective question. – Homer6 Aug 12 '13 at 20:33
  • For most of the pros, I guess that's somewhat understandable, but what about those last two cons? How am I supposed to find, through all of the information in those references, how they support your assertions? – Servy Aug 12 '13 at 20:34
  • Do you think it'd be possible to reword both the question and answer so we wouldn't have a close/reopen tug of war? I'd just really like to see a good discussion on the subject. However, I think that people will be reluctant to engage in it if it's just going to be closed. – Homer6 Aug 12 '13 at 20:36
  • The security expert is a total genius. I have the IQ of 140 and I can honestly saw that he is one of the smartest people I've ever even known about. He also has more than 15 years experience with some of the biggest names in security. When I was discussing it with him, he expressed serious doubt about the idea, stating that it would significantly expand the development scope to produce anything that couldn't be torn down with minimal, malicious effort. I don't know everything that he knows, but when someone that smart and experienced makes a strong statement like that, I tend to listen. – Homer6 Aug 12 '13 at 20:42
  • The 3rd con is also outlined in the referenced article. – Homer6 Aug 12 '13 at 20:44
  • @Homer6 I explained how I felt the question could be worded; you need to focus on those points that can be objectively discussed, such as performance. Currently it's left wide open as to the metric for comparing the options, as well as which options are being compared. That's largely what makes it subjective. I'd just really like to see a good discussion on the subject Well, that's the problem. SO doesn't want discussions. The goal is to create questions and answers without creating extended discussions. That's the problem with this post; it will cause extended discussions. – Servy Aug 12 '13 at 21:17
  • I see. Those are all very good points. Thank you for taking the time to help. – Homer6 Aug 12 '13 at 21:19
  • @Homer6 That you think the person is very smart, regardless of how smart he is, doesn't make the statement any less opinion based, or any more helpful to readers. You may trust it, but why should we? Perhaps you should find somewhere where he can go himself to make a detailed explanation as to the specific problems with such a solution. (SO may not be that place.) I'm not saying you shouldn't believe him, I'm saying it doesn't create useful content for readers of the post. – Servy Aug 12 '13 at 21:19
  • I guess the main reason I brought up intelligence is that, as a compounding opinion, I find that more intelligent people are slower to form unfounded opinions (and quicker to shift their opinions in the face of new, contradictory facts). While I may be wrong, it's an observation that has generally held true for me. Also, it is mentioned, to some degree, in the en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect – Homer6 Aug 14 '13 at 7:58
  • @Homer6 Which is of course a perfectly valid consideration to make in you forming your opinion. It is however not a valid consideration for all of the rest of us, who have no means of knowing how intelligent the person actually is. Your argument is lacking in objective facts, evidence, etc., which is exactly what we're trying to avoid here. – Servy Aug 14 '13 at 13:32
  • It's unfortunate that we are so quick to discard preliminary information. Often, when little is known about a subject, there is little or no quantifiable data. In those cases, fuzzy or seemingly subjective information can be the only guides to initial navigation of a new topic. That information has value, it's just not as polished as later information will be. How many people do you know who have built fastcgi projects within the past 5 years? Hopefully, someone will stumble upon this information and take the next step (even if that next step is determining that it's a bad idea). – Homer6 Aug 14 '13 at 15:42
  • @Homer6 We're not saying that such discussions are evil and should never take place, we're simply saying that they are out of the scope of this site, because this site isn't built to support discussions. Forum sites are often built around having discussions, unlike SO. Quite simply, you need to find another site that chooses to incorporate this into it's scope. SO can't and won't try to be everything to everyone; it picked one thing to do right, and does it. – Servy Aug 14 '13 at 15:45

Sorry, but IMO the question should be closed.

Without even considering the answer you provided yourself, the question itself is too subjective. The title and first sentence ask if X is a viable solution for Y, and there is no way to provide a single, correct answer to a question that vague.

I have no idea what "viable" means to you. Execution speed? Ease of implementation? Cost of ownership? Memory footprint? Providing a definitive answer to an ambiguous question approaches the impossible. For that reason alone, the question should be closed.

You do provide some clarity in your answer as to what you think "viable" means, but in order to be a good, on-topic question, that needs to be done in the question. Assuming I have the technical knowledge you are seeking, I should be able to answer the question without having to read any of the answers first. (I should be able to grunch it.)

  • Note that I have not cast a close or reopen vote on the question. – John Dibling Aug 12 '13 at 20:38
  • Thanks @John, how could we reword this question so that it clears away the subjectivity? Furthermore, do you know of a guide that users could follow if they wanted to edit their own questions? – Homer6 Aug 12 '13 at 20:43

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