When the OP tags their question not-programming-related it's almost always going to be closed. If they've already admitted it's not related lets save the close attack and just tell them what to do. Just tell them up front - "This isn't appropriate on SO" and provide a link to the FAQ that describes the kinds of questions that are appropriate.


Isn't he getting that message when the question closes?

What could happen is when a person gets his question closed, he should get a link to the FAQ.

  • Right now you get warnings like "this looks subjective and will likely be close" the same could be done for the npr tag. Rather than have the junk posted to SO followed by a rash of closing, telling them it's going to happen before it closes saves everyone a lot of grief. – Paul Alexander Jul 2 '09 at 23:58
  • Sure, if people are helpful they could post things like this. Often closing of questions happens quickly though also. – Ólafur Waage Jul 3 '09 at 0:00

Often times I think if someone is going to tag something as not-programming-related I think two things:

1) Often times newbies wouldn't know to tag it as not-programming-related

2) If they are smart enough to choose not-programming-related as a tag, they should probably be smart enough to already know this, and are ignoring it.

I think that what you are proposing is a possible solution to something that is either too rare to be too big an issue or not a real solution either (if they know to use that tag, they should know better already, but choose to ignore it).

  • 1
    I take the opposite view: a new user who doesn't know any better wants to ask an off-topic question, stumbles upon the tag while trying to be a good citizen, and takes the very presence of the tag as justification that the question is allowed. – Joel Coehoorn Jul 3 '09 at 0:07
  • Joel Coehoorn: I believe you have a much more optimistic view on the abilities of new users than I do. – TheTXI Jul 3 '09 at 0:09
  • 1
    I think they generally have good intentions, including just wanting to a have a little fun. Intelligence varies much more wildly. But the auto-suggest prompt works pretty well, so in the absence of any other good available tags (and now that they can't create new ones), it's not hard to stumble on 'not-programming-related'. – Joel Coehoorn Jul 3 '09 at 1:35

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