I came across this question (deleted, 10k+ link) on Stack Overflow, where the user seemed to be asking for a tool. Needless to say this violates the rules and I decided to flag it. However before I could do so the question was already closed.

I posted a comment trying to help the OP to a resource. Also I asked the OP who has spent a considerable time on Stack Overflow the reason for not following Stack Overflow rules when framing his question.

If you check the OP's comment he makes an interesting point about 4 other questions asking for tool's not being closed.

Yes I understand. But why are there so many posts in SO, which are off-topic the exact same way (asking tool recommendations) but have not been closed? Did I miss something? Examples: stackoverflow.com/questions/2636820/…, stackoverflow.com/questions/74879/…, stackoverflow.com/questions/8186373/…, stackoverflow.com/questions/547399/…

Why the disparity?
My opinion is that these questions were probably asked when the rule regarding asking for tools was not made on Stack Overflow.


1 Answer 1


If you find such older questions for tool recommendations which are not closed, just flag/vote to close them. Those questions were asked before our rules for tools recommendations were changed. Probably no one noticed such questions after the rules are changed. That's why such questions are still open. Voting to close now.

  • 1
    I disapprove of applying rules retroactively. Are we then going to start re-opening questions if the rules change again at some point in the future? One of the example questions linked to by the OP had answers with a total up-vote count of well over a 100 - so obviously a lot of people found the answers useful. It seems like a real waste to me to close/delete those questions. Better to spend the time on reviewing new posts.
    – Michael
    Sep 20, 2013 at 8:07
  • @Michael - I don't think tools recommendation rule will change in future. But there are lots of highly voted questions (or it's answers) which are closed, locked or deleted. So there is nothing wrong to close highly voted questions which doesn't fit our FAQ.
    – Himanshu
    Sep 20, 2013 at 8:16
  • Sure, but that's where I disagree. I'm all for not being able to use "but he did that back in 2009" as a justification when posting a new question that breaks the current set of rules. I'm just against going back to those old questions and applying the new rules retroactively.
    – Michael
    Sep 20, 2013 at 8:35
  • 2
    @Michael If the rules ever loosen and a question should be open based on the current standards that has been closed based on previous stricter standards than you most certainly can and should vote to reopen it. Also, nobody said anything about deleting all of the questions, simply closing them, both to prevent new spammy answers from being posted, and as an indication to new users that such questions are not allowed here. If the question happens to have valuable answers then it shouldn't be deleted, merely closed.
    – Servy
    Sep 20, 2013 at 14:00

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