It is quite common to enconter a question such as this, which is not a bad question; it has a description of the problem, some code, and the desired outcome, but is simply not minimal.

My question is, how should this be flagged? I see two options which look equally feasible:

1) shortest code option

2) enter image description here

closed as off-topic by Laurel, PeterJ, Ward, Monica Cellio, Nathan Tuggy Jan 11 at 3:07

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

  • "This question's topic is only applicable to one specific site in the Stack Exchange Network. Questions on Meta Stack Exchange should relate to features or policies that commonly apply to the network or the software that drives it, within the guidelines defined in the help center. You should ask this question on the meta site where your concern originated." – Laurel, PeterJ, Ward, Monica Cellio, Nathan Tuggy
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    This is only relevant for Stack Overflow, so it should have been asked on Mea Stack Overflow. – Laurel Jan 11 at 0:58

While I think either could be used, my preference would be the one that explains that the shortest possible code to illustrate the problem is required.

At the GIS Stack Exchange the wording we use for that Custom Close Reason is:

Questions seeking help to debug/write/improve code must include the desired behavior, a specific problem or error and the shortest code (as formatted text, not pictures) necessary to reproduce it in the question itself. Providing a clear problem statement and evidence of a code attempt will help others to help you. See: How to create a Minimal, Complete, and Verifiable example.

I think the other choice of Too Broad is not unreasonable, because to answer a question with a lot of code in it and "something broken" in it will probably require you to ask yourself a number of questions as you try to answer and there may be a number of things wrong with the code. This all adds up to the question being too broad for focussed Q&A.


Use the first one. The example you posted was not a minimal, complete, and verifiable example. That's exactly what the first close reason is for.

The "too broad" reason is used mostly for questions that ask two or more things at once. It could also sometimes be used for questions asking how to do something really large (how do I build an operating system), but those have another close reason that can be used also (off-topic resource).

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