As an example I asked a question where the title could have been phrased better - that is, it wasn't phrased as a question; however, the body of the entry was a question about what options are available for creating controllers for agents in simulated worlds.

The item was closed ("Not a real question"), I have subsequently rephrased the title and body but now I still need 3 votes to reopen.

The question I'm referring to is: What types of solutions are applicable to real-time controller tasks?

Potentially this is on the edge of what SO is meant for. The reason I thought it would be OK was that it is about programming, it is a question with some potentially straightforward direct answers (although there is obviously scope for wider and open ended discussion) and there are pre-existing 'challenge' and code-golf questions that seemed to be popular and that haven't been closed.

Any thoughts welcome. Thankyou.

2 Answers 2


I would edit the original question instead, rather than creating a new question. Admittedly it is harder to get a question reopened than to start a new one, but it does show that you care about the quality of the site.

If enough time goes by without it being reopened (and with no comments suggesting further improvements) you might want to create a new question, but delete the old one... or if there are already answers (as in this case) edit the old question to link to the new one, and vice versa.

  • Thanks. I suppose my main concern is that I would be breaking some unwritten rule and would be penalised as a result.
    – redcalx
    Oct 11, 2009 at 18:25
  • 3
    I think hastily creating a new question instead of editing the old one would earn you some dirty looks, but taking it steadily would be okay.
    – Jon Skeet
    Oct 11, 2009 at 18:45

As it currently stands most of the text of your question feels like either

  1. Look at this thing I'm involved
  2. Build my contest entry for me

I find myself reacting very negatively to this.

Even if I put those suspicions aside, the question (nice title not withstanding) boils down to "Can anyone help with this project?" The correct answer to which is "Yes", but that is not very helpful.

I don't really see Stack Overflow as a site for recruiting participants in other projects.

To your question here, editing the closed question is generally preferable to reposting, but unless you're badly misstated the original, I don't see how you can save this one.

Editing will also bump the question back to the front page where it can get some more attention, but your edit (or a accompanying comment) should include an explanation of how you have fixed the original problem or an argument as to why the close was in error.

  • I take your points. For the record the question (like the challenge) is intended to elicit solutions from a wider audience in order to further an important area of research. It's not so much "can you help with project", but more "What ideas do you have and by all means take a look yourself if you're interested". The challenge itself is entirely altruistic - e.g. open discussion is encouraged and there is no monetary prize. As it is posed as a question and SO is the sort of site where interested parties tend to lurk I thougth it was a reasonable match.
    – redcalx
    Oct 11, 2009 at 19:41
  • Fair enough. I didn't see any immediate spam-like nature in this question, but rather reacted to my perception that it belongs in a category comprised mostly of spam. I am in favor of leaving your question closed because I see no bright line between it and a flood of self interested spam. YMMV and all that. Oct 11, 2009 at 21:05

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