The question What real life bad habits has programming given you? (10k only) is one of the all-time most popular questions on Stack Overflow. It had 341 upvotes and around 157k views, but it looks like at some point it was merged across to the Programmers Stack Exchange… and then deleted.

If they don't want our question, can we have it back please? :-)

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    If it ended up on Programmers, this should probably be asked on Meta.Programmers. – Jon Seigel Jan 13 '11 at 23:31
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    Now you know why they started Programmers. It's the SO Recycle Bin, and eventually everyone empties their Recycle Bin. – Lance Roberts Jan 13 '11 at 23:35
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    Moving it around doesn't make it a better question – random Jan 14 '11 at 3:11
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    @random - Who says its not a good question? At least 341 people seem to think it is... – Justin Jan 14 '11 at 3:16
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    At least 341 people are wrong or voted because it was funny. Not because it was on topic for the site – random Jan 14 '11 at 3:19
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    @random: Who on Earth would delete a question that was a fantastic traffic generator and motivated community to stick around? It's like Amazon deleting a few thousands of reviews with total 157K people who'd voted on them. They wouldn't because it's what attracts people to their pages. – user136634 Jan 14 '11 at 4:48
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    @developer yes, and the Spice Girls used to be hugely popular, too. Also, pornography is very popular -- should we allow that as well? – Jeff Atwood Jan 14 '11 at 5:42
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    @Jeff, deleting something that hugely popular in retrospective wasn't the right call in my opinion. I know you believe that the value of the site is represented by questions only and people play an insignificant role, but the fact is, we have a community here and a community needs its cultural heritage to keep the feeling of togetherness. I'd appreciate if you were considering that aspect too. – user136634 Jan 14 '11 at 6:28
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    I'm waiting for @aarobot with his pitchfork and torch :). – systempuntoout Jan 14 '11 at 9:33
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    @Jeff: great, now I have an image in my head of you in the mid 90s dancing to "Wannabe". – Andy E Jan 14 '11 at 9:42
  • @Jeff, you know you want to... – Eldros Jan 14 '11 at 12:07
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    @systempuntoout: Didn't know about other questions. What a loss to humanity... – user136634 Jan 14 '11 at 12:12
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    @Jeff: That's a nice straw man argument you offered there. – user102937 Jan 14 '11 at 21:18
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    @Jeff: So is that a "no" on the pornography? Because I can't tell from context. It would be convenient to have one fewer window open on my desktop at all times. – Gabe Apr 2 '11 at 5:13

I have set up a graveyard to host part* of the rejected questions the "deletionists" do not want in their garden; you can find that specific question here. [Link BROKEN. But the Wayback Machine has a backup.]

Personally, like you, I have more than a doubt that sniping Legendary-Popular-TopVoted questions silently and without listening to people is the perfect fair approach in an awesome community like this but the witch hunt is continuing so, resign yourself to that.

alt text

Why was «What's your favorite “programmer” cartoon» deleted?
+500 Could you please provide the list of the recently deleted legendary questions?
Set up an archive for legendary deleted questions
Provide a way to retrieve deleted questions and answers

* unluckily the archive is not complete because I was too late; I have to figure it out how to import them from data dumps


Sorry I mis-remembered.

It was closed as a duplicate of this question which was the original reasked.

I closed then locked it on 29th Dec. I didn't merge as with 609 answers I thought it would overwhelm the other question. My intention was for it to remain on the site but unalterable. I don't know why it was subsequently deleted. The note is that it was

deleted Jan 1 at 0:00

which is a bit suspicious as there's no user name on that.

I'm reluctant to undelete in case I fall foul of some rules I'm not yet aware of.

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    Downside of not merging it is that all existing links break. – Shog9 Jan 14 '11 at 0:14
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    @Shog9 - only if the migrated question remains deleted. If no one can explain why it was deleted I'll undelete it and all the links will work again. I'll also try to remember to keep an eye on it to see if it gets deleted again. – ChrisF Mod Jan 14 '11 at 10:27
  • @Shog9 umm... Why did you reopen this now, so many years after it was posted and closed? Any special reason to dig it out of its grave? – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask V2 Jun 12 '18 at 6:17
  • Because there are good answers here that provide a useful historical perspective on a controversy that is quickly faded from current consciousness, @Shadow. – Shog9 Jun 12 '18 at 15:44
  • @Shog9 even so, having the question closed has no effect on existing answers. You mean that new answer can be proper here? – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask V2 Jun 12 '18 at 19:21
  • I don't really know where you're coming from here, @Shadow. We don't generally close answered questions as a matter of course. – Shog9 Jun 12 '18 at 22:10

This question doesn't meet enough of the six guidelines for subjective questions.

It reflects a much earlier time in Stack Overflow and does not belong on the current incarnation of the site.

It does not contain enough enduring value to be retained, except as a social artifact of an earlier era.

As always, it can be retrieved from the earlier data dumps if you want access to it.

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    I understand that your goal is trying to make the internet a better place, but I don't believe deleting questions like these is achieving this goal. I understand that one question won't make or break the experience, but it does set the tone of the sites. And, they do add up. – jjnguy Jan 14 '11 at 5:06
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    But surely " Punishment for breaking the build " or " Significant new inventions in computing since 1980 " respect those "guidelines" and are "about programming", right? Oh wait..., you have the best answer for the first one, and Alan Kay wrote the second one. We wouldn't want to annoy Alan, wouldn't we? (And I am at a loss about " What are some funny loading statements to keep users amused? ", and so many others) – VonC Jan 14 '11 at 7:10
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    As I said in the comments of " Will the gold “Great Answers” badges be removed after the deletion of popular questions? ", your site, your rules. I have no issue with you removing any question from SO following any criteria you have advertised. But simply deleting such popular questions remains a bit harsh (not to mention the badges issue I highlighted in my question). – VonC Jan 14 '11 at 7:12
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    If anything, they attracted their share of traffic, and could have been used, in a separate special site, as a kind of "education tool" to introduce the occasional googler to the StackExchange world that actually exists beyond those funny questions. – VonC Jan 14 '11 at 7:12
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    @vonc I simply don't agree. Start your own site and mirror those questions if you feel so strongly about them; the CC attribution encourages this. (I went ahead and deleted my answer on that question, but overall I think that question does have merit enough to keep, if you're looking for serious ways to handle build breaks) – Jeff Atwood Jan 14 '11 at 7:18
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    @Jeff Your recently awarded achievement tinyurl.com/2vcx7jg is now sub judice :). – systempuntoout Jan 14 '11 at 9:30
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    @Jeff but can you please document the deletions somewhere so we actually can fetch the questions later? The only real problem I have with all this is your doing it on the QT. That is terribly unfair – Pekka Jan 14 '11 at 11:39
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    Doesn't the Recently Deleted Questions list show what's been recently deleted? @pek – random Jan 14 '11 at 15:23
  • @random good hint. It's a bit cumbersome to walk through but will surely help. Thanks – Pekka Jan 14 '11 at 17:41
  • @Pek there's a +500 bounty waiting for you, mind to share that list? – systempuntoout Jan 15 '11 at 0:22
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    @system aaah! I didn't realize my 10k powers would come in handy one day :) I will. Is there still some time? Seeing as I can't do it straight away? – Pekka Jan 15 '11 at 0:24
  • @Pek it's ending in 2 days; you have the full weekend to work with it :). – systempuntoout Jan 15 '11 at 0:26
  • @system that doesn't mean much at the moment, I'm working 7 days a week :) But I will go through them, there shouldn't be that many. – Pekka Jan 15 '11 at 0:27
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    @Pek come on :) . Thanks! – systempuntoout Jan 15 '11 at 0:29
  • @systempuntoout - sorry. The "deleted" tab in the 10k tools have a 30-day view, but as I just found out, they only show deleted questions up to 1 day old nevertheless. So - we're back to square one. – Pekka Jan 16 '11 at 1:29

I have re-posted the question on Quora, a place where these kinds of subjective questions are allowed and possibly even encouraged:


If you answered the original, you might be interested in giving your answer again here.


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