I once posted a question on Stack Overflow asking if learning Haskell would help me learn node.js. The question was downvoted into double digits and shut down in 5 minutes flat.

Imagine my confusion when I saw this question, "How do I get started with Node.js" asking

"Are there any good resources to get started with Node.JS? Any good tutorials, blogs or books?"

which has 1268 upvotes?

How do I get started with Node.js

  • 12
    Note that the example you gave was asked 4 years ago. A lot changed in what is or isn't good for the site since then. – Dennis Meng Mar 1 '14 at 3:29
  • 9
    Stack Overflow isn't always a good example of its own guidelines. I agree that the question should be officially closed though. – Pekka Mar 1 '14 at 3:33
  • 1
    Things kept for historic reasons (meaning lots of incoming links) are not a good indicator for the on-topicness of gimme-tutorial questions. Your example list ought to be part of the tag-wiki meanwhile. But it's community wiki already, so. – mario Mar 1 '14 at 3:34
  • Irrationality is the square root of all evil. – devnull Mar 1 '14 at 3:34
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    Using a question that is exactly 4 years old today doesn't make for a good example, especially when it has been turned into a form of wiki. If you did a question/answer combo as thorough as that it probably would have been well received. – slugster Mar 1 '14 at 3:45
  • possible duplicate of This lock notice is partly misleading – gnat Mar 1 '14 at 20:44
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    You see here -11 thus far down votes for just asking about our (community) opinion on a question. For me the problem is with some users culture (down vote first then think). Some users also think that down voting will bring the world closer to their ego. As a professional instructor I never down vote . – Konstantinos Chertouras Mar 1 '14 at 20:53

Because that isn't a question anymore. Not as we normally think of questions here on Stack Overflow: problem statements, with specific answers written by individuals, ranked according to votes received.

I could give you a long explanation for why that is, why we kept that "question" around when so many similar questions were removed... But it's easier to just show you.

This is what that question looked like a few weeks after it was asked. Three answers, none of them much longer than a sentence, one consisting of a now-broken link and another of someone's idle opinion on how Node should be learned. A pretty poor showing indeed - I would challenge anyone to defend a question like that as particularly useful. But such questions - resource-requests - were fairly common for the time; we were still figuring out what worked and what did not.

Eight months later, the situation wasn't much different. Oh, there were a few more answers, and a lot more views... But not much in the way of votes for all those views. Some links were already broken. Clearly, this - like so many other such questions - was not working.

Then, over a year after the question was first asked... Something happened. Instead of dropping another answer with another link onto the page, someone had the idea of trying to organize the various resources they'd found useful, cataloging them in a single answer. Others joined in, adding and categorizing. And readers found this useful.

At this point, it stopped being a normal question. What grew up then and exists today is essentially a wiki, a collaboratively-edited compendium of information on a given topic.

We didn't really plan this. It's one of those things that happens sometimes when folks see a need and use the tools available to them to address it. Since it happened, and continues to be maintained, we allow it.

See also: Why is "The Definitive C++ Book List" question allowed, but other book recommendation questions are not?

  • Is the "collaborative effort" lock an alternative to the historical lock? Are there specific guidelines for getting it applied to a resources question?q – jscs Mar 1 '14 at 9:22
  • If it's a question with actively-maintained wiki answer(s) and generally doesn't fit with the normal Q&A model here, it's a good candidate for this. Historical Lock is a better choice for things that aren't appropriate but are seen as useful to keep around for reference - that is, things that are part of the historical record but shouldn't need to be changed. – Shog9 Mar 1 '14 at 17:08

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