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For ages I have used this rule of thumb:

Would be this question of any help for someone else?

If not, it's off-topic.

But recently the "too localized" term was removed from the close-vote reasons, and the rules are unclear and ambiguous as well: no doubt, for the OP their question is about "a specific problem they face" (otherwise they just wouldn't have asked it!), and they take this term as a perfect excuse for their "debug my code for me" questions.

So, the question is: is my old rule of thumb is still in effect? Are all questions that boil down to "I wrote some code but have no idea why doesn't it work, so tell me" (a.k.a. "Sometimes you need an extra pair of eyes.") still considered off-topic?

If not - is there any good rule in replace?

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    Sometimes I really wish we had "too localized" back. – BoltClock's a Unicorn Nov 17 '13 at 15:51
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    Your stackoverflow profile states you "do not press closevote buttons" though. So curious why this makes any difference to you. – Martin Smith Nov 17 '13 at 16:00
  • Our rules haven't changed. How we present them to the askers has. – John Dvorak Nov 17 '13 at 16:05
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    If it's an outright dump of code with no effort to understand the problem by the OP, the "minimal understanding" off-topic reason would do just fine. – Bart Nov 17 '13 at 16:05
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    It quickly gets subjective, I doubt we could devise a rule-of-thumb. We are still human, we might be swayed based on simply the asker's apparent effort/zeal. It's just tough – Adel Nov 17 '13 at 16:19
  • @MartinSmith if you think there is any sense in adding to a 100k-length queue - well, I don't. – Your Common Sense Nov 18 '13 at 7:49
  • related: Responding to your “too localized” concerns – gnat Nov 18 '13 at 8:16
  • @gnat it seems most commenters don't understand the question. it is not about whatever voting at all. – Your Common Sense Nov 18 '13 at 8:26
  • @YourCommonSense per my reading of the linked question, your rule of thumb remains 100% intact, they only dropped corresponding canned reason from the list: "...on average, you'd have to read just over 150 questions before you encountered a single one of these. That's not to say that we should ignore those questions or don't care about closing them, just that the total volume they represent, while not trivial, also... ain't overwhelming." – gnat Nov 18 '13 at 8:37
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Open the flagging dialog. Read the different close reasons. They've been written as objectively as possible, and they're a good way for new flaggers/closers to learn what is off topic.

One important bit is that the question is answerable. The answerers should not have to crystal-ball the OPs intentions. Which is why we require the OP to give sufficient background and code to their problem. Besides that, the problem shouldn't be trivial, which is why we require evidence of work done by the OP to solve it themselves. Finally, the problem needs to of the form that enough others will also come across it (i.e. the old "too localized").

So, the question is: is my old rule of thumb is still in effect and all questions that boils down to "I wrote some code but have no idea why doesn't it work. So tell me." AKA "Sometimes you need an extra pair of eyes" are still considered offtopic?

This is off topic, and can be closed with the 3rd menu item:

Questions asking for code must demonstrate a minimal understanding of the problem being solved. Include attempted solutions, why they didn't work, and the expected results. See also: Stack Overflow question checklist

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    Thanks for this latter link. It's really helpful. – Your Common Sense Nov 17 '13 at 16:49
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    -1 however, for the Open the flagging dialog. There are 93437 voted questions at the moment and growing. Means there is absolutely no point in opening whatever dialogs. – Your Common Sense Nov 17 '13 at 19:09
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    @YourCommonSense You only have to open it once to read it. – Manishearth Nov 17 '13 at 19:10
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    The question was about a rule of thumb, not set of contradicting and ambiguous statements. – Your Common Sense Nov 18 '13 at 8:28
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"Debug My Code" Already Addressed

"Debug my code" questions can generally be closed with:

Questions asking for code must demonstrate a minimal understanding of the problem being solved. Include attempted solutions, why they didn't work, and the expected results.

In other words, any question which doesn't show some basic effort by the OP to isolate and/or debug the problem already has a well-defined close reason. While there be may cases where the code is extremely localized in its general utility, the debugging process and underlying source of problems are often applicable to a wider audience.

If you can point to specific questions which are compliant with sscce.org and include some basic effort at problem solving—and yet truly remain "too localized"—those edge cases may be worthy of separate meta questions.

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    The wording seems highly ambiguous to me (and, probably to the number of other people): they don't ask for code at all - they have one already. They ask why doesn't it work. – Your Common Sense Nov 17 '13 at 16:48
  • @YourCommonSense You're saying "attempted solutions" doesn't imply research, debugging, and/or coding of any kind? – CodeGnome Nov 17 '13 at 17:01
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    @YourCommonSense If the question is along the lines of "This doesn't work. Make it work for me", then one could argue they are asking for correctly working code. Even when they don't explicitly state it. – Bart Nov 17 '13 at 17:14
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    @Bart just pretend you are talking not to me but to the OP. And then consider if you are going to tell that explanation for the every one of them. I thought rules are for this very purpose - to reduce the number of explanations, not to increase it. – Your Common Sense Nov 17 '13 at 17:35
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    @YourCommonSense Then by all means suggest a rephrasing of the existing explanations, or an entirely new explanation if you think the current ones are lacking. – Bart Nov 17 '13 at 17:59

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