I don't think this is an acceptable question, but it doesn't seem to have an appropriate way to close it:


I know this has come up a lot since the recent changes with close vote reasons. I also see this has been asked about before, but the answer -- close as not a real question -- is now irrelevant (Close reason: "You tell me").

The problem is this question is clear, specific, programming-related, reproducible, and not a direct request for an off-site resource, but it's still not really a great question since it's so trivial to find the answer.

You can see people are itching to close questions like these, but they can't agree on why. Is this intended?

  • This is usually the case with pointless and ridiculously low-effort questions.
    – Mysticial
    Apr 16, 2014 at 2:42
  • 2
    I'd even vote to delete the said question.
    – devnull
    Apr 16, 2014 at 2:50
  • 2
    This comment would further indicate what you're inviting by answering such posts.
    – devnull
    Apr 16, 2014 at 2:55
  • BTW, the question is gone now.
    – devnull
    Apr 16, 2014 at 4:14
  • I second to delete said question >:O Apr 16, 2014 at 7:11

1 Answer 1


Yes, this is not an acceptable question and it must be closed.

The question, although programming related,

  • does not add value (you need to feed the program to the compiler and write the output in your answer)
  • doesn't deserve an answer -- even if OPs compiler is broken, an online compiler could be used

I'd close this as:

This question appears to be off-topic because it lacks sufficient information to diagnose the problem. Describe your problem in more detail or include a minimal example in the question itself.

or even by specifying a custom close reason:

This question appears to be off-topic because it is about compiling the code in question to determine the output. Use a compiler, please.

Answering such posts only leads to even worse posts.

It would be perfectly OK if a question were to ask about something specific in the output that the OP thought would have produced a different result or worked in a different manner.

  • 1
    For "Why do I get such an output" questions, I hope you meant questions that actually ask specific questions about understanding the code, not just a blanket "Here's code, here's the output, why am I getting this?"), as I'd close that as unclear or too broad - no idea to even start explaining - it can be anywhere from understanding basic syntax to 'complicated' logic. Apr 16, 2014 at 4:11
  • @Dukeling Of course, it was implicit that the question asks about a specific behavior in that case. Not like a code dump and output to explain. But more like, something specific that the OP thought would result into something but doesn't. (Updated the post to reflect that.)
    – devnull
    Apr 16, 2014 at 4:12

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