Here is a question, which I asked, that is voted to be closed because it was not considered a valid question:


Here is another, almost the same type of question, that received no close-votes:

Why - in Java 1.8 - is Function<V,R> used and not Function<R,V>?

Now, I do not see a big difference and I think the rule on question validity is being applied partially and too strictly in the first case.

What is wrong with the first question, and if there is something wrong with it, can it be reworded or posted somewhere else?

1 Answer 1


I'm one of the individuals who voted to close your question.

The difference between the two to me is fairly clear. Your question asks several vague questions (of the form "Why would the designers do...?") which would all be subject to opinion (unless someone who actually participated in that decision happened to read the question and decide to answer). It also asks for speculation about an alternative ("Would it not make sense...?"), which again calls for speculation and opinion. One version of your question even started with the phrase "I know this is a request for discussion", as can be seen from the revision history and comment trail.

The other question you linked is more specific. "Why in Java Y was this order selected, when in Java X the order is...?". As demonstrated by the accepted answer, the reasons can be clearly (and rather definitively) stated. There's no apparent request for discussion, AFAICT.

The SO guidelines clearly state:

You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page.


If your motivation for asking the question is “I would like to participate in a discussion about ______”, then you should not be asking here. However, if your motivation is “I would like others to explain ______ to me”, then you are probably OK. (Discussions are of course welcome in our real time web chat.)

(The second IMO excludes yours, because you're not asking us to explain something specific, but rather to explain a thought process that we were not privy to, and to discuss the alternatives that might have been considered or possible different decisions that could have been made.)

  • Yes, "I would like others to explain _ to me" is the case here. There must be a valid reason (guideline or otherwise) that caused them to dispatch so many functions through the Stream API and not to have some of them integrated as part of List. That is what I am asking and maybe there is a solid answer. Nov 4, 2013 at 0:35
  • I don't see the point in continuing the discussion, @SaintHill. I explained why I voted to close in a comment to your original question. You debated it there, and I asked you to bring that discussion here. You then asked here to have your specific question reviewed by others, who did so and agreed that it was not appropriate, and it was put on hold. (As you can see by the vote count here, far more people reviewed it as well.) Your question is not specific enough to be answered, IMO. I don't know how saying that more times will change anything. :-)
    – Ken White
    Nov 4, 2013 at 0:43
  • I am not asking you to open it or discuss this with me. Let me just be clear that I was asking my question for a valid reason (maybe only valid to me) and was looking for a proper answer on an API guideline for such cases. I am not debating it with you. I am simply clarifying the reasons and rationale for my question. Maybe instead of spending all this time commenting and meta-ing, you could have lent a hand with editing the original question to make it closer to the requirements. If you had asked a questionable question, that is what I would have done :-) Nov 4, 2013 at 1:11
  • Wait. You're saying I should have rewritten your question (that I feel is inappropriate because it's non specific) and magically converted it into an on-topic question? Sorry, but if it were that easy I would have done so. It's not. The question asks for nothing but discussion about a decision that was made by others (not me) and speculation about what they could have decided instead (again, not up to me - I can't change the past). The question you asked here was what the difference was between your question and the other one you linked, and I answered that question here.
    – Ken White
    Nov 4, 2013 at 1:16
  • OK.OK. I get it. You're killing me now! We all have something to learn here on SO. Nov 4, 2013 at 1:56

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