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I originally asked (https://stackoverflow.com/q/19892688/2483138) with the intent of having the interactions of Rails/Bundler and the shell that calls it explained to me. It was closed with no comments and a reason of "primarily opinion-based". I flagged it for attention and was told that, in that mod's opinion, it was not opinion-based but was too broad.

In my head, I am asking a question that is tightly scoped to the interactions of two common software tools (a terminal/shell and the Bundler gem). Clearly, what is in my head is not what ended up on the page, but I can't see what others are seeing.

I am looking for help understanding what is perceived as "too broad" or "opinion-based".

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    I'm glad you are bringing this up on Meta. I didn't see a way of making your question more targeted, otherwise I would have helped you out with editing it. Nov 19, 2013 at 17:13
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    And thanks for bringing it up so constructively. A pleasure to see.
    – Bart
    Nov 19, 2013 at 17:37

1 Answer 1

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You're asking for anything and everything about a topic. That's inherently a problem. The question should be specific, and someone should be able to post a short, targeted answer that verifiable answers the question in entirety.

If it wouldn't be possible to provide such an answer (as is the case with your question) then it's "too broad". Either there really is some specific targeted question (which seems likely here), and you just need to make it clear what it is, or there fundamentally isn't a specific question that you're really looking to get, and fixing it is not really possible.

If you're asking why your specific solution worked using a shell and not in a terminal, then that could potentially be a decent question. You'd likely need to provide more information about the specifics of each solution, the non-working and working versions, but I can see potential there. Asking about all of the differences in the whole world between using a shell vs a terminal is what's making your question overly broad.

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  • Perhaps I'm off on my terminology, but my question is less about terminals and almost entirely about shells. That perhaps gives me some insight into what people see. Would this be a better rephrasing: "What does the cmd shell do when running bundler that the bash shell doesn't or vice versa?" with the appropriate background as you've suggested?
    – ABMagil
    Nov 19, 2013 at 16:41
  • @ABMagil I'm not really familiar with the topic at all. I used your own terminology on the assumption you got it right. Regardless, it does seem that you're asking for "what are all of the differences between A and B", or just a "tell me everything there is to know about Foo", both of which are too broad.
    – Servy
    Nov 19, 2013 at 16:42
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    @ABMagil "What does the cmd shell do when running bundler that the bash shell doesn't or vice versa?" No, that is too broad. That's asking for everything there is to know about those two things. That is not appropriate for an SO question. If you want to know why one solved your problem and one didn't, show the two solutions and that could be explained in an SO answer. Finding all differences is a question that inherently doesn't belong.
    – Servy
    Nov 19, 2013 at 16:44
  • I'm sorry, can you explain more what you mean by "show the two solutions and that could be explained..."? Are you saying I should describe what I did? Is that something beyond saying "I ran cmd and X happened and I ran bash and Y happened"? I would feel much less like I was asking a specific question in that case...
    – ABMagil
    Nov 19, 2013 at 18:20
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    @ABMagil If what you showed is enough for someone else to replicate the issues, or know why it's not working then that's fine. It appeared to me as if that wasn't enough information, but given that it's not my area of expertise I can't say for sure if more information is needed.
    – Servy
    Nov 19, 2013 at 18:24
  • Thank you for the help. I understand what I said that made the question so broad. I think it likely that my question actually falls towards the "no specific answer" side of things. On further thought, I think what I'm asking for actually is a rundown of larger mechanisms as would befit a help site, rather than a Q&A knowledge repository.
    – ABMagil
    Nov 19, 2013 at 18:36

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