The new closing off-topic description is self-contradictory:

This question was caused by a problem that can't be reproduced or a simple typographical error. While similar questions may be on-topic here, this one was solved in a manner unlikely to help future readers.

If the problem is not reproducible, it certainly hasn't been solved. The rewording is necessary. I would suggest to change the second sentence to:

While similar questions may be on-topic here, this one is unlikely to help future readers.

  • 2
    The "this one was solved in a manner unlikely to help future readers" refers to the "simple typographical error" part of the first sentence, not the "can't be reproduced" part.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Jan 17 '14 at 3:46
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    @animuson It clearly states "this one was solved". It is clearly confusing, it refers to "this" question.
    – sashkello
    Jan 17 '14 at 3:48
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    @AlienArrays There is a full-stop. There is no OR in the second sentence. You can replace full-stops with AND and apply your logic.
    – sashkello
    Jan 17 '14 at 3:49
  • Would you rather it say "this one may have been solved"?
    – animuson StaffMod
    Jan 17 '14 at 3:49
  • @animuson Yes, this is what I mean. I understand what it supposed to mean, but it doesn't express this at the moment.
    – sashkello
    Jan 17 '14 at 3:51
  • @animuson I don't think that it should refer to how it was or might be solved at all - is there a reason it should be there? If the problem can't be reproduced, you don't know if it can be easily solved or not. I'd rather move "can't be reproduced" to "unclear what you are asking" closing reason.
    – sashkello
    Jan 17 '14 at 3:53

Ok, that one word has now officially caused too much confusion. I've tweaked it slightly, to put more emphasis on the "this is no longer a problem" aspect:

This question was caused by a problem that can no longer be reproduced or a simple typographical error. While similar questions may be on-topic here, this one was resolved in a manner unlikely to help future readers. This can often be avoided by identifying and closely inspecting the shortest program necessary to reproduce the problem before posting.

Hope that helps...

I've provided some examples for this close reason here: Off-topic close reason only for answered questions? Should I answer? If you can think of additional wording changes that would help clarify that intent, don't hesitate to suggest them.

  • 2
    I don't see how "resolved" is different in this situation. "not reproducible" and "resolved" or "solved" just can't be there together IMO.
    – sashkello
    Jan 17 '14 at 4:23
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    @sashkello Imagine if someone points out a missing semicolon in comments, or a very terse answer. That's almost always the case when this reason is applied.
    – Tim Post
    Jan 17 '14 at 4:52
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    @TimPost I'm talking specifically about not reproducible problem. I don't see why everyone keeps explaining about typographical errors...
    – sashkello
    Jan 17 '14 at 5:07
  • 1
    @sashkello: I think the confusion here was centered around using this for questions where the problem can be reproduced... Just not by anyone reading it. The intended use was for problems that can't be reproduced by anyone, including the asker! I've tweaked it again, and added a separate OT reason for the separate interpretation.
    – Shog9
    Jan 17 '14 at 18:21
  • To me this close reason sounds like a problem that no longer is one, but the user asked about it anyway. Does this really happen a lot? Can anyone give me an example of such a question? How do we even know that it could have been a "simple typographical error"? Personally I would phrase it starting with the important bit and shorten it to its essence: "This question and its answers are unlikely to help future readers because the problem is not reproducible or its solution is not generally applicable." Jan 20 '14 at 10:21
  • That's the wrong way around, @LearnCocos2D: you need to recognize the symptom before trying to diagnose the disease. If you're not seeing questions that match the symptom described here, don't use that reason! But yes, they are reasonably common. I've provided some examples here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/216219/…
    – Shog9
    Jan 20 '14 at 17:45
  • Ahhh! Thanks for the example, now I finally understand the actual use for this close reason. It seemed very strange to have a close reason for a question that has supposedly been solved already. Jan 20 '14 at 17:56

I agree that the closing reason should be reworded, but I would make a few additional changes to the rewording so that it reads:

This question is unlikely to help future readers. Either the question cannot be reproduced or else the solution was a simple typographical error.

The part about how "similar questions may be on-topic" is implicit and can be omitted. Moving the second sentence first places the key point (lack of utility for future users) first, thus making it easier to find the correct closing reason when you're skimming the list.


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