I see a new question, and even though it's on-topic (e.g. about the Software Development Life-Cycle (SDLC) on Software Engineers (soon-to-be-formerly Programmers) Stack Exchange), I just have a bad feeling about and I don't like it.

Additionally, though not central to the question, it breaks a few rules like requesting a resource.

I have more than 3000 rep, so I have the close-vote privilege.

I don't feel like fixing it, shouldn't they fix it themselves? I could do it - But now the user will get undeserved reputation?

I can even come up with a creative reason for voting to close it that sort of matches my feelings about it.

Should I vote to close this question?

  • 3
    The rules, community norms, and temperance of each community varies with each site, so the answers will vary substantialily between them. This is the type of issue that should be discussed in each individual community and in the context of the actual problems they face on that site Sep 27, 2016 at 22:47
  • Although I linked to one site as an example, I think this is of strategic importance to Stack Overflow Inc. and sites that it wants to grow, and the principles apply to all sites. Stack Overflow Inc. ignores this to its peril.
    – Aaron Hall
    Sep 27, 2016 at 23:33
  • How does that asker break a few obvious rules incidentally? That sounds like an "above the law" defence.
    – PolyGeo
    Sep 28, 2016 at 4:10
  • In the example it's just one, and it depends on how you construe the statement: "I'm hoping for some good sources in order to persuade my boss to pay for another environment to be set up."
    – Aaron Hall
    Sep 28, 2016 at 12:47

1 Answer 1


If the question is a resource request, as you've stated, then it's not on topic. As the question merits closure, you're more than welcome to close it. You don't need to invent a creative reason, there's a very specific close reason specifically for those types of questions, because they're not appropriate questions on that site.

You're certainly welcome to try to fix the question if you think that you can, and you feel it's worth your time to do so. You're not obligated to fix someone else's off topic question instead of voting to close it. The only person with a responsibility to fix the question is the question author. Some questions that don't merit closure simply won't be salvageable at all, some will only be salvageable by the author (for example, due to missing information), for the rest that others could possibly salvage, it is up to you to determine if you are capable of improving the question and if you would like to spend the time it takes to manage it.

Now, there are also problems that a question can have that don't necessarily make it merit closure (unlike it being a resource request, like you mentioned). A question that simply has spelling/formatting problems (that aren't severe enough to make it unclear) for example, or a question that you simply don't find interesting or useful, isn't a reason to close it. Those would all be reasons to downvote, if you would like, but there is no close reason for "boring". Some of these types of problems (i.e. spelling) are trivially fixable, in which case, as with the above, you're welcome to improve the question if you would like to, while not being obligated to do so.

  • So I should vote-to-close when I could simply delete the off-topic part? That doesn't seem to be in the best interests of the site in general.
    – Aaron Hall
    Sep 27, 2016 at 21:28
  • 1
    @AaronHall For most resource requests that's not actually a simple endeavor. It's often quite difficult to edit most resource requests into good questions. Attempts to do so often end up making the question Too Broad. While it's certainly possible to do, it's very rarely easy, and very often not possible (particularly for someone other than the author).
    – Servy
    Sep 27, 2016 at 21:31
  • Here's an example where this was easily done: programmers.stackexchange.com/posts/332179/revisions - there were 5 votes to close, the offending sentence was removed by yours truly, and it was reopened.
    – Aaron Hall
    Sep 27, 2016 at 21:32
  • 1
    @AaronHall That question was closed as being Too Broad (not as being a resource request). It also wasn't edited in any way that made its scope more specific, it was simply reopened by people that apparently disagreed that the original scope was too broad.
    – Servy
    Sep 27, 2016 at 21:35
  • It was closed for multiple justifications - the system just picks the one with the most votes - and since it was immediately overturned after the single possibly offending sentence was removed, and it was not the reason stated for closing, they were actually, by definition, incorrect.
    – Aaron Hall
    Sep 27, 2016 at 21:38
  • 1
    @AaronHall Meaning that the majority of the people that felt the quesiton wasn't appropriate felt that it was Too Broad, and didn't close it as being a resource request. That the question was reopened doesn't mean that they were incorrect, it means that the people that reopened it felt that it wasn't too broad. That doesn't make the correct by definition. Also, the question was closed after you edited it, not before.
    – Servy
    Sep 27, 2016 at 21:42
  • This is Stack Overflow, the system is always correct by definition.
    – Aaron Hall
    Sep 27, 2016 at 21:44
  • 2
    @AaronHall I didn't say that the system was incorrect, I said that the actions of any given user aren't definitionally correct. Many situations (including, as is the case here, whether a question is Too Broad) are open to a degree of interpretation. That some users disagree doesn't necessarily mean that one is by definition wrong.
    – Servy
    Sep 27, 2016 at 21:46

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