If this is tl;dr skip to the bottom heading.
This question is very simply a request for an off site resource... with a score of 75.
These questions are clearly off topic and violate the letter of the site guidelines, but they have a lot of views and aren't really causing harm... well, except for all unnecessary answers they tend to attract. For instance, the first bulleted question has 8 deleted answers.
The rules, the guidelines, the close reasons... All exist to make life easier for folks here. If we treat them as sacrosanct and immutable, unable to be interpreted or applied differently in different situations... then they stop serving and start being worshiped.
@Deduplicator says it should be protected (which it was based on the answer deletions); perhaps more
I could see a wiki-lock being useful at this point in time
I don't see the need to delete it though.
And when you close a question, that's what you're saying.
The thing is, though, questions like this one don't cleanly fall into the historical lock guidelines:
When is it appropriate to lock a question for historical reasons?
Questions can be historically locked when:
- The post is Off-Topic or Not Constructive, and
- The post is stellar, in spite of its off-topic nature, and
- There are a large number of views, upvotes and inbound links on the post, and
- The post is contentious; i.e. it has been closed and reopened at least once, or deleted and undeleted at least once
There are questions that are:
- Yes off topic but aren't harming anyone
- Not particularly stellar, but many have found useful
- Have a large number of views, but perhaps just high SEO and not really inbound links
- Only contentious among white-hats that want to follow the rules in a sacrosanct and immutable way
Moderators (on Stack Overflow, anyway) also don't seem very willing to apply historical locks in their current form. These flags also take much, much longer for moderators to handle, often days (whereas other flag types take mere hours at most). Here are three examples from my flagging history:
- isset() and empty() make code ugly - Declined, not locked
- source of historical stock data - Marked as helpful, but not locked
- Log4j 2.0 vs. Logback Declined, post eventually deleted - image of deleted post
And so, I propose:
We should have a way that non moderators can do something similar to locking that isn't deletion.
It would be:
- Similar to protection, except it would prevent everyone from adding new answers, not just 1 rep users.
- Have a big banner saying that this is not a particularly good question, just like historical locks
- Would attempt to settle the debate on whether these questions should be "locked" or left closed
- This question's tags would prevent the tag cleanup script from running, so we could keep "off-topic" tags for posterity but users without tag creation privileges couldn't create them. Further reading: Tags that only exist on locked questions, should we treat these the same as tags that don't exist at all?
Open questions I hope to resolve in comments / answers:
- Would this "protected" status be one-way or two-way?
- My vote: two way, as the idea is this a compromise state between deletion and not-deletion that could prevent open/close and delete/undelete wars.