I voted to close this question: how to do the following effect in jquery or css etc

It was closed as off-topic, with the following reasons:

"Questions asking for code must demonstrate a minimal understanding of the problem being solved. Include attempted solutions, why they didn't work, and the expected results. See also: Stack Overflow question checklist" – Mathieu Imbert, chue x

"Questions concerning problems with code you've written must describe the specific problem — and include valid code to reproduce it — in the question itself. See SSCCE.org for guidance." – j08691, Mitch Wheat, brasofilo

I've asked before about close reasons and always came away with the conclusion that there was always only going to be a single close reason:

So is this time any different? Is this a bug or a feature?

Edit: In the comments @Bart says that the dual close reasons being shown may be because of the fact that the question is on hold. His thinking is that after the question is closed, there will only be one close reason displayed. That does seems logical, and could very well be the case.

So I went looking for other closed questions that would confirm this. I found this one from a few days ago and it is still on hold. It only shows one close reason:

"Questions asking us to recommend or find a tool, library or favorite off-site resource are off-topic for Stack Overflow as they tend to attract opinionated answers and spam. Instead, describe the problem and what has been done so far to solve it." – aaronman, chue x, joran

So here we have two on-hold questions (put on hold) within a relatively short time of eachother. One shows two close reasons, the other only one.

So I ask again, bug or feature?

  • 5
    Why do you think it is a bug? The text says "The users who voted to close gave these specific reasons:" then two reasons. – Martin Smith Aug 25 '13 at 14:42
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    If anything it's an unreported feature. – Bart Aug 25 '13 at 14:43
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    @MartinSmith - Well, as I mentioned I've asked about this before and came away with that conclusion each time. Also, as Bart mentions, there hasn't been any news on this. I've also searched the recent questions and have not found anything on this. – chue x Aug 25 '13 at 14:43
  • I don't see the issue addressed in your question "More than 5 close votes?" and maybe the answer is incorrect or incomplete in your other question. – Martin Smith Aug 25 '13 at 14:47
  • @MartinSmith - In "More than 5 close votes", there were multiple close reasons displayed - it turned out to be a bug. In the other one, the conclusion that I came to is that there is always one close vote reason displayed no matter how the votes are tallied. – chue x Aug 25 '13 at 14:51
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    @chuex - The only issue I see addressed in the answer there is the explanation as to why 8 names were displayed. No-one said it was an error to show 2 reasons. – Martin Smith Aug 25 '13 at 14:52
  • @MartinSmith - If you look at the original question, it now only displays one close vote reason (not two) as when I reported the issue. That indicates to me that it was an error. – chue x Aug 25 '13 at 14:54
  • @chuex - True: Grijesh Chauhan's reason isn't shown. Maybe we can infer from that it only shows reasons that 2 or more people voted for. – Martin Smith Aug 25 '13 at 14:57
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    @MartinSmith - Well that's where the other link "Close Vote Reason Logic.." comes in: "If there is a two way tie - 2 vote too broad, 2 vote opinionated, and 1 vote for off topic, then the last vote to vote in the tie (too broad and opinionated) is the result. If there is a five way tie, the last vote is the result." Not in the answer there, but implied is that if there is a 3 to 2 vote, the 3 vote reason wins. – chue x Aug 25 '13 at 14:59
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    @chuex - Well its pretty evident the answer there is wrong. It indicates that only one reason will ever be displayed and I doubt the code to display multiple reasons with correct pluralization appeared as a bug. The alternate text is "The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:" per your earlier link – Martin Smith Aug 25 '13 at 15:03
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    @MartinSmith - my point is it has never worked like this before. If you think it is a feature, add it as an answer and people can vote it up or down. – chue x Aug 25 '13 at 15:05
  • @chuex I think this might be a difference between the temporary "on hold" state and the final "closed" state. I.e. during "on hold" all reasons get displayed and when that switches to "closed" everything works again following the old rules. – Bart Aug 25 '13 at 15:05
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    Thank you, @Bart, for the explanation. Can you point to any docs on this? – chue x Aug 25 '13 at 15:07
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    I would consider rewording this question to just ask directly "what is the logic used by the code that displays close vote reasons" then hopefully you will get an answer that covers all cases. And pointing out that the current behaviour is different from described in the FAQ so that it doesn't get closed as duplicate of that again. – Martin Smith Aug 25 '13 at 16:22
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    Given how the close reasons are set, and the separate list of users in the (3+2), I find it highly likely this isn't a bug. I would consider relabeling this as [support] and simply asking what the rules are. – Mat Aug 25 '13 at 19:33

(Disclaimer: I am not a developer, I don't have access to the code base, and I therefore can't provide an official answer to this question. I speak only of what I have personally witnessed and what seems logical in my own head.)

Multiple close reasons are not listed for a question, even given a lack of consensus. That has always been true, and it is still the case now.

There is a set of rules for which close reason ends up being shown: the first candidate is the one selected by the majority of voters. Ties are broken by the last voter. The reason chosen by a moderator is always the final choice, regardless of whether or not there was a tie.

In this case, only one close reason was chosen: "off topic". The fact that we've crammed multiple (arguably unrelated) sub-reasons underneath that main category only makes the experience more confusing for humans. It is all the same to the computer. Apparently, logic was added to display multiple sub-reasons in the case of a contentious split (i.e. 3 users picked one of the sub-reasons and 2 users picked a different one). That is what you're seeing here: two people picked the "failed to demonstrate a minimal understanding" reason, and three people picked the "lack of repro code" reason.

In the case of the other question you bring up, the "off topic" reason was the majority consensus (3 out of 5 votes), and therefore is the one that got displayed. That is consistent with the old rules. As for the other two close voters (Jim Lewis and Oscar Lopez), there are two possible explanations:

  • Both of these people chose a close reason outside of the "off topic" category, which doesn't get displayed because only one reason is ever displayed. That reason is the majority consensus—in this case, "off topic", with 3 out of 5 votes.


  • They split even amongst themselves in choosing one of the other "off topic" sub-reasons (e.g. Jim chose "no repro code" and Oscar chose "not programming related"), and the system doesn't show a choice that is made by only one person.

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  • Thank you for the insight. Would you say that this behavior (multiple reasons shown) is relatively new (to you personally)? Or is it old behavior that I have just not encountered in the short time I have been on SO? – chue x Aug 26 '13 at 12:10
  • Hmm, asking that question makes it sound like you either didn't read my answer or didn't understand it. The behavior is as new as the subdivisions for the "off topic" close reason are. Multiple reasons still are not shown, "off topic" is a single reason. – Cody Gray Aug 26 '13 at 12:14
  • Yes, that's what didn't quite click for me, that "off topic is a single reason". Makes sense now. Thanks again. – chue x Aug 26 '13 at 12:19

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