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Questions get closed awfully fast these days.

As always, there are lots of rotten questions that should be closed, but do they need to be closed within minutes? Some decent questions which are poorly written or are missing a crucial detail get closed because impatient folks do not take the time to work out what is really being asked.

An example from today: C++, deny multiple executions of the binary

I suggest disallowing a question to be closed immediately after it is asked. This would allow experts with a bit of patience and tolerance for poor English language skills a chance to take a look, fix up the question or even answer it.

closed as off-topic by rene, Jason C, Won't, Nathaniel, Nathan Tuggy May 24 '17 at 15:27

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question pertains only to a specific site in the Stack Exchange Network. Questions on Meta Stack Exchange should pertain to our network or software that drives it as a whole, within the guidelines defined in the help center. You should ask this question on the meta site where your concern originated." – rene, Jason C, Won't, Nathaniel
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Let's close this quickly because it belongs on Meta Stack Overflow. Yes, I love the irony. – rene May 24 '17 at 14:38
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    @rene Well, yeah. The longer it stays open here, the more likely answerers are to spend time with it here when that time could be better spent on MSO in a context that is more applicable to this question (and thus get more valuable input, mostly due to wider exposure to a more relevant community). – Jason C May 24 '17 at 14:47
  • Sorry if I put this in the qwrong place. It is not at all obvious where to put it. The only lionk I could find was "hot meta questions" which led me here. – ravenspoint May 24 '17 at 14:51
  • It depends a bit how you word it but it can be on-topic here if you consider this a feature to be implemented network wide. I'm not sure if all sites follow the same close vote policy though. – rene May 24 '17 at 14:54
  • Yeah, that ^^^. It's not that it's in the wrong place per se, it's just that not only are policies different on every site, but the actual behaviors due to e.g. number of close voters and site activity are different on every site too, and SO is generally an exception among all the others. Also the downsides of this FR are very different on SO compared to other sites (e.g. a delay of minutes = dozens of pages on SO's question list). For future reference, per-site metas can be accessed through the drop-down nav menu in the top bar. – Jason C May 24 '17 at 15:00
  • @JasonC I still cannot find the link to the correct meta. I cannot find a "drop-down nav menu in the top bar" – ravenspoint May 24 '17 at 15:23
  • @ravenspoint i.snag.gy/g9lChv.jpg For other sites besides SO (without the new top bar) that menu is under the SE logo on the left. On SO it's the button all the way on the right. – Jason C May 24 '17 at 15:24
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    Possible duplicate of Should there be a delay for close votes? – Nathan Tuggy May 24 '17 at 15:27
  • @JasonC Thanks! ( Very obscure that. It says "List of all 121 sites" which sounds really dull, but it is in fact more interesting that that.) – ravenspoint May 24 '17 at 15:27
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Questions get closed awfully fast these days.

I often find that they're closed too slowly, but yes, sometimes questions are closed reasonably quickly.

do they need to be closed within minutes?

If not faster, yes.

Some decent questions which are poorly written or are missing a crucial detail get closed because impatient folks do not take the time to work out what is really being asked.

No, they get closed to give the question author an opportunity to fix those problem without being hindered by having people post low quality answers as a result of the question missing critical information. This is not them being impatient, this is them understand that closing the question is the best way to help it get improved.

I suggest disallowing a question to be closed immediately after it is asked. This would allow experts with a bit of patience and tolerance for poor English language skills a chance to take a look, fix up the question or even answer it.

We don't want people answering low quality questions that are missing critical information necessary for them to be answered. That's why closing exists in the first place. Trying to answer questions that aren't in an answerable state causes problems, and makes for a worse experience for everyone involved. It's far superior for the question to be closed, fixed, and then reopened once the problems have been resolved and the question is in a state where it can be answered.

Also note that closing the question doesn't inhibit the ability of others to help improve the question. Quite the opposite. It enables them to more effectively improve the question than when it's open.

  • These are all good points. However, none of them are at all obvious to a new user. When new users have their questions closed within minutes, they are very discouraged. Also note that the problems cannot be fixed by the OP because the problem is with the OP command of English and/or the subject matter. Finally, I never look at questions that have been closed before I get there - perhaps the snag is the word "closed" – ravenspoint May 24 '17 at 14:47
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    @ravenspoint It is the user's responsibility to ask an appropriate question, and there are consequences to ignoring the sites rules and asking an unanswerable question. Again, just trying to pretend that the problems don't exist, when they clearly are there, just causes even more problems. When a question is closed users are given information on why the question is closed, and what to do about it. It is then up to them to fix the problems that they caused. – Servy May 24 '17 at 14:50
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    @ravenspoint That someone has poor English skills doesn't make the problems go away. If anything, it just makes trying to fix them that much harder. As far as you not looking at closed questions, if you're looking for questions to answer, rather than for questions that you can help the author improve, then that's great, the feature is working as intended to make the site better by not forcing you to see a question you can't answer, thus wasting your time. Of course, if you're looking for question you can help fix, rather than just questions to answer, then you wouldn't need to skip it. – Servy May 24 '17 at 14:52
  • Have you read the "given information" - incomprehensible.and unfriendly – ravenspoint May 24 '17 at 14:53
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    @ravenspoint I disagree, but if you would like to suggest improvements to any of the information presented anywhere on the site to something that you feel is more understandable, by all means, write up a proposal. It's not an easy problem to solve, by any means, as there are so many competing goals as to what to present and how. – Servy May 24 '17 at 14:56
  • @ravenspoint on MSO we had this among others. – rene May 24 '17 at 15:03
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    @ravenspoint Re: The poor English skills; in my experience, poor English skills are, in the vast majority of cases, a non-issue (and often an editor will even come in and clean it up) if the question itself fits the site guidelines. Usually, though, it's easier to pretend that "poor English skills" was the reason for a closure rather than taking responsibility for the real reasons. Also, folks taking straightforward advice personally and becoming defensive is more of a problem with the reader of said advice (who ought to reflect) rather than with the advice itself. – Jason C May 24 '17 at 15:04
  • @JasonC Generally there's a line. When you cross a line where the problems with the grammar are so bad that people literally can't understand what's being asked, then it will result in questions being closed. For minor problems that make a question harder to read, but still possible to understand (with effort) then yes, that's quite right. – Servy May 24 '17 at 15:06
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We don't close questions anymore, we put them on hold - least at first, and the status changes after 5 days. So in theory you don't actually get questions closed for days. That said...

Questions get closed awfully fast these days.

Things are working as they should - presumably it means that more experienced uses are engaged and clueful enough to vote appropriately, which I would add, has not always happened. Being put on hold quickly also means people don't get answers and the wrong idea about a question that's not that good.

As always, there are lots of rotten questions that should be closed, but do they need to be closed within minutes?

As opposed to hours? (which is a VERY long time on a busy site). Days? Maybe months.

Some decent questions which are poorly written or are missing a crucial detail get closed because impatient folks do not take the time to work out what is really being asked.

Excellent. You clearly know what's wrong. Comment if you don't have those details. Edit if you do. Vote to reopen.

An example from today: C++, deny multiple executions of the binary

I read through that, twice. I don't quite see how that can be fixed. If you do, feel free to edit. It does feel super broad though, and potentially off topic without further details.

This would allow experts with a bit of patience and tolerance for poor English language skills a chance to take a look, fix up the question or even answer it.

I can do all these things after a question is closed but not deleted. This even throws it into the reopen queue.

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    We do close questions. The banner says, "on hold" for a few days, but the feature is still called closing, and the banner itself uses the word "closed" after 5 days, so saying, "we don't close questions" is just wrong. – Servy May 24 '17 at 14:57
  • I mean, it is the same thing, they just changed the text of what it's called in the banner, temporarily, to help people understand that it's not a permanent state. It's not actually different. – Servy May 24 '17 at 15:00
  • @Servy While you are technically correct, the fact that the text is different to help people understand that it's not permanent is valuable and important, and it's generally more helpful to everybody at the end of the day for us to refer to it in the same spirit, technically correct or not. – Jason C May 24 '17 at 15:07
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    If you use the term "on hold" instead of closed, that's fine, I don't really care, but saying, "we don't close questions" is both incorrect, and causes more confusion for those not familiar with the specifics. If you just want to find/replace usages of "closed" with "on hold" in your posts, have at it. – Servy May 24 '17 at 15:10

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