First, I asked this question, which immediately got shut down for being ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form.
Some guy there told me that "it need[ed] rewording."

OK. So I reworded the question so that it could be taken as less ambiguous. The end result was this thread covering essentially the same content.

Again, it didn't last for a minute.

Kind people on both of these links had been advising me that this sort of question would be more appropriate for programmers.stackexchange.com.

For the second time, I followed their advice and asked it on programmers.stackexchange.com.

Again, the question got beaten up and died in a short period of time.

I'm nowhere.
No matter what I do with "your" advice, people vote for closing it.
What do I do in this case?

  • 9
    Realize that your question wasn't meant for Stack Overflow. Also, change your gravatar to a Unicorn and mutter something about waffles. – George Stocker Sep 28 '10 at 5:16
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    @George That's why I asked it on programmers SE. – OTZ Sep 28 '10 at 5:17
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    @OTZ, given that they're trying to clean up Programmers.SE, maybe your question isn't meant for there, either? meta.stackexchange.com/questions/65439/… – George Stocker Sep 28 '10 at 5:18
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    @George then where is it meant to be? – OTZ Sep 28 '10 at 5:19
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    @OTZ: it's certainly possible that it's not meant to be anywhere. StackExchange doesn't guarantee you an answer to every question. – Michael Petrotta Sep 28 '10 at 5:21
  • As an aside: when a question is closed for some reason, why not edit THAT VERY question to see if it's reopened? Posting the same in a new question does not help keeping the sites clean. – Arjan Sep 28 '10 at 5:26
  • @Michael I'd be surprised if anyone thinks the opposite. What you are saying is merely a truism. please be more substantive. – OTZ Sep 28 '10 at 5:26
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    @OTZ: what more would you like to know? – Michael Petrotta Sep 28 '10 at 5:28
  • The problem is that those questions really really aren't "legitimate" – badp Sep 28 '10 at 6:12
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    @radp Can you elaborate? I can't read your mind. – OTZ Sep 28 '10 at 6:26
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    I'm rather surprised it got closed on programmers; it seemed like exactly the kind of question they like there – Michael Mrozek Sep 28 '10 at 7:00
  • possible duplicate of Can we ask subjective questions - and if so where? – badp Sep 28 '10 at 8:14
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    "What answer would you accept?" That's for the audience to decide. It's very useful to remember that the totality of subjective votes represents objectivity as the number of votes goes to infinity. I'll just sit back for a while and see what they have to say/vote. – OTZ Sep 28 '10 at 8:32
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    @OTZ: ...and see what they have to say/vote. And they have spoken, period. No insult intended. – Time Traveling Bobby Sep 28 '10 at 10:12
  • I still haven't understood if you want answers or you want a popularity contest where people vote on stuff they like, except they hardly ever scroll down much let alone visit page two. And then this happens. – badp Sep 28 '10 at 14:24

Sorry that acting on my comment didn't save your question. Poll-type questions are generally frowned on, even though some of the early ones have survived just by having been around for long enough.

Concerning Programmers.se, you were probably just a victim of bad timing, as George Stocker linked in his comment, they're in the process of trying to do some kind of 'clean up' there too.

  • No worries. I certainly appreciate you commenting on this thread. thanks. – OTZ Sep 28 '10 at 5:57

StackExchange isn't about everything with a question mark. Subjective questions work poorly here. Such questions attract people views and activity, taking homepage visibility away from what really SE is about: solving practical problems.

There are eleventy million sites for programmer chit chat, including the upcoming SO chat.

Also, your second question has been closed as duplicate -- why did you just need your very own duplicate? At the end of the day, you should be glad the hidden features of (x) questions still are allowed at all to continue existing -- on many SEs they'd be closed just as expeditiously.

  • +1 for the first sentence. – George Stocker Sep 28 '10 at 6:28
  • And + 1 for why did you just need your very own duplicate? – Arjan Sep 28 '10 at 20:26

Well, that is the one that you re-worded into What are the Python features you found unintuitive or surprising?. I think we can all agree that at most only one of those two needs to live, and as it happens both are pretty-much directly related to the existing Hidden Features of Python.

So IMO, the answer here is "look to existing questions first". When you've read the wisdom in the 147 existing answers, then perhaps is the time to create a specific, answerable question on the topic.

But the originals (both, or all three if we include their C cousin, with existing conjoined twin) are indeed pretty vague.

  • Right. I agree that the second question could be closed for being similar to "Hidden Features of Python". But the question on programmers SE, I believe, should be there to live. Did you read the reason for the close? "It's difficult to tell what is being asked here." Is the intension of "WTF moments in Python" difficult to understand? I don't think so. – OTZ Sep 28 '10 at 5:45
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    @OTZ - I can't comment on the SE, since I'm not involved. Perhaps seek clarification at that site's meta. However, my suspicion is that both communities (and there is a lot of overlap) are finding "list me 235 examples of [x]" bothersome - they don't tend to give hugely valuable discussions. Have you read the 147 python answers, for example? And I mean all of them, not just the first two. – Marc Gravell Sep 28 '10 at 5:49
  • I think WTF features are different from hidden features. WTF features are generally more subtle, whereas hidden features are mostly just like other language features once you learn them -- they just don't come up often, though some of them can be subtle like WTF features. – OTZ Sep 28 '10 at 5:55
  • I didn't know there was a meta site for programmers SE. I thought this meta was also the meta for programmers SE. Thanks for the information. I'll take a look. – OTZ Sep 28 '10 at 5:56

If you

  • checked that it wasn't asked before
  • thought about the question and its relevance for the SO community
  • added some own effort in the form of code, examples and/or links
  • really really want to know this and not just suck out a question to get some reputation

then you should edit:NOT mark that kind of questions as a community wiki. If there is no objective answer possible, you shouldn't ask it here.

  • 6
    Nope. CW is not there to be able to post list or subjective questions. CW is there to allow the community to edit a post and collaboratively contribute to a question. CW is not an excuse, or way, to get subjective questions to become acceptable. – BinaryMisfit Sep 28 '10 at 11:55
  • @Diago : see point 2. In the example of the OP, I doubt the question is very subjective. There are quite some questions about quirks/favorite tricks etc. on SO, and I personally learnt a lot from them already. It's a matter of opinion off course, hence my inclusion of point 2. – Joris Meys Sep 28 '10 at 11:57
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    There is a reason there is a new programmers SE site. As for past questions having been allowed, the community has changed and therefore it's not allowed. However, you whole answer gives the indication that it is OK if it is CW. This is not the case. – BinaryMisfit Sep 28 '10 at 14:23
  • @Diago : could you please give an example of a question that should be community wiki? Not to contradict you, but I can't possible imagine a wiki question without it being at least partly subjective. – Joris Meys Sep 28 '10 at 14:31
  • Have you ever read the Community Wiki FAQ, and what the purpose of it is? What are Community Wiki Posts?. Questions are automatically switched to CW after a certain number of edits, among other things. If you actually searched meta for CW you'll find a few posts in which the above point has been made clear numerous times. – BinaryMisfit Sep 28 '10 at 14:45
  • @Diago : yes, I read that before, hence my question. A non-subjective question with a definite answer can't ever enter wiki mode. – Joris Meys Sep 28 '10 at 14:52
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    I think you need to read that very carefully. It can. In fact there is a few questions that have already. My point is, CW is not an excuse or valid way of posting subjective questions. The FAQ clearly states subjective questions are not allowed, and as much as you want to argue that it is, the community moderators, and diamond moderators will shut these questions down on sight, CW or not. Even more so now that there is a programmers SE site. – BinaryMisfit Sep 28 '10 at 14:56
  • @Joris, CW is great for questions that require a long and intricate list of answers, as long as there are a finite number of answers and they are all objective. I'll look for some examples now. – Pops Sep 28 '10 at 14:59
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    @Diago : from one of the discussions : Conclusion: A question should not be marked CW if it is possible to write valid, helpful and knowledgeable answers which contribute to SO. So the only conclusion I can draw then is that no valid questions on SO should be marked CW. - PS : I'm not arguing this, I'm just trying to correct my understanding of CW. – Joris Meys Sep 28 '10 at 15:02
  • CW is exactly what the FAQ states. It allows the community to collaboratively own and maintain the content of a post. That all it is. There are rules that will force even valid and helpful questions into CW automatically, and it is rare for an author to make a question CW themselves. Which is way you can edit a CW question with only a 100 reputation among other things. – BinaryMisfit Sep 28 '10 at 15:04
  • @Popular Demand : thx for looking, I'm really trying to understand the purpose of CW, as I marked some of my own questions CW based on my -apparently wrong- understanding. – Joris Meys Sep 28 '10 at 15:05
  • @Diago : OK, thx for the explanation. – Joris Meys Sep 28 '10 at 15:06
  • @Joris, examples: gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/6149/… meta.stackexchange.com/questions/24611/… meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2267/stack-overflow-clones/… (note that it doesn't have to be for list questions, it's anything that would be better edited by the whole community than just one person... that just usually ends up meaning a list, in practice) – Pops Sep 28 '10 at 15:10
  • RE: "no valid questions on SO should be marked CW" - for the most part, CW on questions is rarely necessary. It's best suited to answers, and when it's actually needed for editing. Votes are more important than reputation, and that's what CW preserves. That's why CW is not really a good mechanism against subjective material - we still end up with messed up votes. It's better off for when we want to preserve the quality, but want to open up access. And frankly, valid questions tend to be more personal in their goals than what CW is meant to address. – Grace Note Sep 28 '10 at 15:15

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