This questions would be OK, in my opinion, minus the argumentative flamage at the front.

I suspect that the OP would react less than positively, let alone the muppet-crew of upvoters, to the obvious edit.

What do the meta-denizens think? One more close vote, or stepfordization?

  • BTW, this very question is worded in a pretty inflammatory way! I'd suggest you reword it - e.g. "Should closed questions be edited and reopened?" – Bobby Jack Aug 27 '10 at 12:37
  • Not surprisingly, the head muppet rolled back your edit. So I put in another close vote. Really, how much of a dick does one have to be to roll back an edit that somebody made in order to graciously reopen the question? – Aarobot Aug 27 '10 at 14:22
  • 2
    What's a muppet? (In this context, that is. I know about Jim Henson.) Also what's stepfordization? – Pops Aug 27 '10 at 14:35
  • @Bob Muppets here are 'me-too' enthusiasts for fluff questions. See 'Stepford Wives' for the stepford joke. – Rosinante Aug 27 '10 at 14:45
  • @Aaro I'm not going to stoop to re-editing, but you could :-) – Rosinante Aug 27 '10 at 14:45
  • @Bob feel free to edit it :-) On meta we tend to be snarkier. – Rosinante Aug 27 '10 at 14:47
  • @Ros thanks for the muppet def; I saw Stepford Wives a while back, but don't get how it fits in this context. – Pops Aug 27 '10 at 15:00
  • The OP edited it again to take out the stuff at the beginning – Michael Mrozek Aug 27 '10 at 15:43
  • @Pop: My version of his question was rather colorless and monotonic. – Rosinante Aug 27 '10 at 17:22
  • @Ros oh, you mean it as a synonym, not the opposing option. Silly English language. – Pops Aug 27 '10 at 17:26

The "offensive" line seems to be "What I always disliked about Java....". This refers to a particular feature of a programming language. I just don't see this as inflammatory or offensive. The OP didn't even say "I don't like Java because....", let alone "Java is a bad language because...." or "Java SUX....".

This looks to me to be an innocuous statement of opinion that some people are blowing out of proportion. I just don't see it as a problem. I have seen more inflammatory language about C++ not only avoid getting flagged out but upvoted.

Shall I start voting to close/flagging as offensive anything more opinionated than "There's a feature of language X I dislike"? If so, I'd like to get going. I have some work ahead of me.

Aside from that line, it's not just an OK question, it's a good one. It asks something that is definitely answerable about a programming language.

  • You have to admit, the line "What I always disliked about Java" followed by the line "What I always liked about C++" seems to be making a pretty clear statement of opinion rather than asking an innocent question. It wasn't inflammatory, but it was definitively argumentative in a passive-aggressive sense. I suppose you could read it innocuously, but speaking as a neutral party (using neither Java nor C++ heavily), it originally came across as a thinly-veiled rant. – Aarobot Aug 27 '10 at 16:59
  • @Aarobot: It wasn't the best way to open the question, no, but I still fail to see why it got that sort of reaction, particularly when I've seen a lot worse out there. As something of a C++ partisan, I wouldn't think a question starting "What I have always disliked about C++" was a problem in itself. The line certainly could be a prelude to something I would have a problem with, but in this case it was quickly explained and turns out to be pretty tame. Seriously, what level of offense should we take? If this deserves to be closed as S&J, I do need to flag some stuff offensive. – David Thornley Aug 27 '10 at 17:19
  • As I always say, the existence of worse questions isn't evidence that that question under consideration should stay - only that there are other questions that should be closed. No one took "offense", otherwise they would have flagged it - argumentative != offensive. I believe the technical term is "flame-bait." – Aarobot Aug 27 '10 at 22:35
  • @Aarobot: What I'm getting at is that there's a gradation of argumentativeness, and this is, in my opinion, not very argumentative. (Either that, or the Java guys are really sensitive. In that case, my impulse as a parent is to say "Deal with it.") The only argument it seems to have spurred is about the wording, and if all the would-be Bowdlers had ignored it there would have been no controversy whatsoever (well, about the definition of the STL, which was cleared up fast). I don't remember anybody seeming to feel they had to defend Java. – David Thornley Aug 30 '10 at 17:28
  • Perhaps several people simply felt that it would be more productive to simply vote to close the question than to try to defend Java. As I've said before, the lack of an argument does not mean that the question wasn't argumentative. Honestly, if I saw a question that went "What I always disliked about .NET was garbage collection...what I always liked about C++ was its explicit memory management", or vice versa, I'd probably vote to close that as well. It's unnecessary for context and comes off as an X-vs-Y rant. – Aarobot Aug 31 '10 at 2:57

I agree - there are some good (useful) answers to that question, and with some rewording it would be totally valid. As far as I'm aware, it can still be edited, and then flagged with a note to the effect "This question has been reworded to make it less subjective. Please consider reopening". Does that approach make sense?

See Can closed questions be edited by their owners? for a similar discussion

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