More than five years ago I asked a question about how to check the content of a non-optional value using guard. The first example of four, unfortunately, used an optional array as the input. The other three did not, and the question was about the last one. Now, five years later, someone closed it as being the duplicate of a question about optional arrays.

In any event, my real concern is that the instructions on how to re-open such a question leave very much to be desired. Let's look at them...

Leave a comment on the question itself calling for it to be reopened

Fair enough. However, the reopen queue pages do not display new comments as diffs, so a reviewer may not see them. Am I missing something here?

Be sure that you've read the close notice and any comments on the question

In every case I have seen, these consist solely of "duplicate of" or a similar short message. For the average user, there isn't going to be much to go on.

If a moderator (user with a ♦ symbol after their name) closed the question

How do you know who closed the question? There is no name in the blue box, no link to the votes... nothing. How does one perform this action?

If you have at least 3,000 reputation points, vote to reopen yourself.

Which is fine, but how does one indicate why it should be considered? The only solution I can see is to edit the question and put notes at the top so they will show up in the diff in the review queue.

For that matter, how does one find any particular item in the queue? I didn't see any way to navigate it other than the skip button. Would it be possible for there to be a link to the item?

  • 6
    The FAQ for reopening suggests editing the question to explain why it's not a duplicate. Have you done that? Sep 24 at 20:00
  • 4
    Just FYI You can see who closed the question in the timeline, though you can no longer tag them in comments. Also, going to the per site meta (or even the chat) is a good way to get eyes on your reopen request.
    – Mark Kirby
    Sep 24 at 20:01
  • 4
    @MarkKirby If you can or can't @ ping close-voters in comments hasn't changed. If a user made a unilateral action on the question/post, then you can ping them, even though their username doesn't auto-complete in the comments. For questions and close-voters, this means that if the user is a gold tag badge holder and they single-handedly closed the question as a duplicate, then you can @<username> ping them. In addition, if the only close-voter was a moderator, then you can also @<username> ping them.
    – Makyen
    Sep 24 at 22:56
  • @RobertLongson - the page you link to did not appear anywhere I could find it. I was directed to the page "What if I disagree with the closure of a question? How can I reopen it?" The portions quoted above are from that page. I do not see how one even finds the page you linked to other than google? Sep 27 at 16:23
  • From the FAQ or the FAQ tag. Sep 27 at 16:25
  • @MarkKirby - what is this "timeline" you speak of? I see nothing with "time" anywhere on the page and none of the links take me to a history-like page. Is this somewhere else? Sep 27 at 16:25
  • @MauryMarkowitz Under the voting arrows is a little clock icon, click that.
    – Mark Kirby
    Sep 27 at 16:27
  • 1
    @RobertLongson - so it seems there are two places one has to look, using different mechanisms to find them, and they disagree with each other. This seems sub-optimal. Sep 27 at 16:30
  • I just realized this is about the help center. I guess the problem is that the UI/UX has changed many times, but that article on the help center can only be edited by staff (and certainly needs more love!). Unlike the community FAQ which can be edited by everyone and is usually more up to date. Sep 28 at 6:08
  • @MetaAndrewT. But how does one find the FAQ? There is no link from anywhere within the process. Do we requires users to do a Find? Again, sub-optimal. Sep 28 at 11:16
  • Yes, I agree it's sub-optimal, it's just that this help center is out of the community's control. We can't do anything other than reporting it (like what you have done it here). Sep 28 at 11:22

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