I flagged this question for moderator attention with a custom reason:

It should be closed because... it is useless, I suppose?

It was declined with this message:

declined - If you feel that way, find a close vote reason that matches. I personally think it's fine.

  • offtopic because...
    • general computing hardware and software nope
    • concerning problems with code you've written nope
    • asking for code nope
    • professional server, networking, or related infrastructure administration nope
    • recommend or find a tool, library or favorite off-site resource nope
    • belongs on another site nope
  • unclear what you're asking it's clear what OP is asking
  • too broad it's a straight forward question
  • primarily opinion-based the answers itself wouldn't be opinion based

Either there's no fitting close reason here, there is one but I don't see it, or "Why ..." "Because." questions are fine on SO. Opinions, please?

  • 3
    The answer would be primarily opinion based. We are unlikely to get an answer from the original template author. Sep 26, 2013 at 8:46
  • 4
    That said, the question is fine, really. It doesn't need to be closed, as the answer is 'because the template includes that comment'. Which is a straightforward non-opition-based answer. Sep 26, 2013 at 8:48
  • Flagging the question for moderator attention is certainly not the right action. You could have used 'off topic' and fill in a different reason. Pick the "other" option. Sep 26, 2013 at 8:49
  • 2
    @MartijnPieters That option is not available to users with less than 3k rep.
    – Stijn
    Sep 26, 2013 at 8:49
  • @MartijnPieters As mentioned in my feature request here, you can only use predefined OT-reasons when flagging.
    – user213634
    Sep 26, 2013 at 10:28
  • @AndersUP: When flagging, yes, as there already is an 'other' flag option. For voting to close there is a 'other' option there. I made the mistake of assuming the OP had enough rep to VTC. Sep 26, 2013 at 10:31
  • @MartijnPieters There is only Flag for mod attention --> Other and as I linked in my comment to your answer, they don't want us to use that for OT-questions.
    – user213634
    Sep 26, 2013 at 10:33
  • @AndersUP: Fair enough, then don't flag such posts. Leave it to 3k+ users. It is, in my opinion, rare to have to use that option. Sep 26, 2013 at 10:36
  • @MartijnPieters Yeah, that's what I'm doing. It's not that rare, though, but in reality I think it's a bigger problem that flags are moved to close queue. I currently have 50 flags outstanding (with most being 7+ days old), which means flagging further posts is kinda futile. So now I almost only flag those that I know won't go to the close queue - and they usually get resolved pretty quick.
    – user213634
    Sep 26, 2013 at 11:17
  • 1
    Well, not everyone has to agree with you on whether a post deserves closing, either. :-) Sep 26, 2013 at 11:18
  • @MartijnPieters I saw that comment coming a mile away. ;-) I'm not complaining about disagreement - that would be a seperate meta post if I were, but here are a few examples of flags that are still active: stackoverflow.com/q/18891906/806549, stackoverflow.com/q/18891640/806549 and stackoverflow.com/q/18870870/806549.
    – user213634
    Sep 26, 2013 at 11:24

2 Answers 2


If you can VTC yourself, there is never a need to involve a moderator.

If you feel none of the standard options fit, pick "Off topic" -> "Other" and complete the sentence.

You could also argue the question could be closed as primarily opinion-based; unless the original template author shows up to explain exactly why those empty comment lines are there it is all speculation and opinion.

That said, the question is fine. The answer is "because the template includes that comment line".

  • 2
    As I mentioned in the comments to the question, "Off topic" -> "Other" is not available to users under 3k rep. I can't immediately find a reference but it has been discussed on various MSO posts.
    – Stijn
    Sep 26, 2013 at 8:53
  • Found it: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/185867/… Quoting @Shog9: If you see a post that should be closed for an unusual reason, you have the option of flagging for moderator attention, selecting "other" and describing that reason in detail. Anyway, I'll flag it as primarily opinion-based and see what happens.
    – Stijn
    Sep 26, 2013 at 9:00
  • 1
    @Stijn The problem is that they don't really want you flagging OT posts for moderator attention. Quoting Flexo: Using a custom flag to alert moderators sidesteps this new system.... So there are no real options for flagging generic OT-questions.
    – user213634
    Sep 26, 2013 at 10:32

That's a valid newbie question. Leave it open.

You're an experienced programmer. You understand things pretty well, including that the empty comment is not all that meaningful.

However, you've forgotten what it's like to be a newbie: some of these things can be arcane. Did you know if you write a triple-slash comment with some XML in it, suddenly Intellisense picks that stuff up? Did you know if you're working in JavaScript, a comment immediately inside a method is picked up by Intellisense? Some of this stuff is weird and for all intents occasionally powered by magic.

It's perfectly OK for a newbie to come here asking:

What's this comment for? What's it do? What's it mean? Why's one of the lines blank?

And it's perfectly OK to answer:

Well, it doesn't do anything really, and it's like that because someone just felt like it. This isn't one of those cases where the comments are hugely meaningful. They are pretty much just there for your convenience and because whoever made the default template felt like doing it that way.

(In fact, I've just gone ahead and done that.)

  • Good explanation. I won't flag such questions in the future then.
    – Stijn
    Sep 26, 2013 at 9:19

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