I'm well aware of the reasons why questions usually get deleted, but now I stumbled over this post and I noticed that it has 4 delete votes on it. So, can someone please explain to me why this post should be deleted?

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    It does look like an excellent resource. Not sure why anyone would vote to delete. Aug 30, 2013 at 10:41
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    is it cause your over 10K on SO that you see the count of delete votes? question itself suck, no research shown, no specific problem , far too broad so I can understand why someone votes to delete the question.
    – user221081
    Aug 30, 2013 at 10:50
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    The post under discussion is now a Community Wiki and not a question. I dont think CW posts need to show research because their goal is to become a continually evolving source of good information. I believe, the post should not be deleted. Aug 30, 2013 at 11:00
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    The question seems far too general and unfocussed IMO. Aug 30, 2013 at 11:10
  • Well, it's basically a tutorial for a technology that's been hammered in stone in the 80s, so I wouldn't say it's unfocussed or far too general.
    – tombom
    Aug 30, 2013 at 11:15
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    @tombom - And what do you make of the "Tricks and Efficient Code" section? That just seems to be full of random haphazard facts. What on earth does updating a table with a self join in MySQL have to do with the premise of the question? Aug 30, 2013 at 11:24
  • That's a good point, yes :) And don't get me wrong, I wouldn't mind voting to delete either, because I would explain my answer to other questions in my own words if needed, rather than linking to this post. I'm just curious, why others vote to delete, as it still could be useful for some readers.
    – tombom
    Aug 30, 2013 at 12:05
  • The answer to the question is a nice summary, and I'm not in favor of deleting the question, but aren't books the way to disseminate this type of information? Aug 30, 2013 at 14:55
  • @tombom To see that the question is too broad one only needs to look at the length of the answers. Answers on SO should be answerable in just a few paragraphs. That this one takes a few dozen pages to answer the question shows that the question is too broad. SO is not a place for entire tutorials on basic concepts belongs. You simply need to get a book for that. Trying to fit the content into an SO question just isn't appropriate.
    – Servy
    Aug 30, 2013 at 17:35

1 Answer 1


In general, SO requires some effort be shown in the question asked. Requests for help with code are the norm, but usually when someone asks a generic "How do I do this?" question, it gets flagged.

The general guideline is located here.

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    While this is a true statement, how is it relevant here? The question and its answers together represent an enormous amount of work. In recent years questions like this have been closed, sure, but deleting it is nuts. It's a useful resource and is linked from other questions, too. Aug 30, 2013 at 13:49
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    The QUESTION is what's being closed. Regardless of how useful the answers were/are, the QUESTION falls outside SO's guidelines. Aug 30, 2013 at 13:51
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    I'm usually pretty strict about old questions which don't meet today's standards, but I think in this case the question and it's answers are worth considering keeping. I do think it should remain closed, though. Still, this answer here is correct and relevant, as far as it goes. /cc @ErnestFriedman-Hill Aug 30, 2013 at 13:51
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    @AndrewBarber Historical lock, perhaps?
    – yannis
    Aug 30, 2013 at 13:55
  • @Yannis Worth considering, yes. Aug 30, 2013 at 13:56
  • To be clear, @JohnnyBones, we're talking about deleting that question, not just closing it. Deleted questions are invisible to sub-20K users. I am absolutely fine with it being closed. Aug 30, 2013 at 13:56
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    @ErnestFriedman-Hill - All I did was answer the question. I didn't say I agreed that this one in particular should be deleted. Aug 30, 2013 at 13:58
  • @ErnestFriedman-Hill You need 10k rep to view deleted answers. You need 20k rep to actually vote to delete them.
    – Servy
    Aug 30, 2013 at 14:06
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    @JohnnyBones: "Regardless of how useful the answers were/are, the QUESTION falls outside SO's guidelines." You're absolutely right. But there's a difference between closed and deleted. The question doesn't deserve to be open, but it also doesn't deserve to be deleted. Closed is not a step along the path to deletion. Aug 30, 2013 at 14:14
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    @AndrewBarber there's also some sort of collaborative lock mentioned here that might be applicable for this one too.
    – user213963
    Aug 30, 2013 at 15:04
  • @NicolBolas - Closed is a step along the path to deletion. It is not possible to vote to delete an open question. Quite regularly on meta I see the argument that "the question was closed. No one improved it. We deleted it" example. Of course deletion is far from an inevitable consequence of closure though. Aug 31, 2013 at 8:48
  • @MartinSmith: No, closing is a thing that has to happen before something gets deleted. That doesn't mean or imply that everything that is closed and not reopened should be deleted. Aug 31, 2013 at 8:51
  • I didn't argue that. I was just pointing out your phrasing is incorrect. On the path to deletion closure is a required step. Therefore it clearly is a step on the path. Aug 31, 2013 at 8:54

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