235

Analogy Time A good question-answer pair is like collaborative problem solving. The asker has a big puzzle they are trying to solve, and are stuck on some part of it. A good question will explain what it's trying to achieve as well as the specific problem they are currently facing so that people can help them find an appropriate solution. ...


227

Surely the important goal here is the production of well-asked, well-answered questions, right? Not visible self-flagellation... When I ask for effort, what I'm really looking for is a starting point, some context for where the problem actually exists. So many XY Questions are easily answered by seeing a code sample. Without that, it's like trying to ...


191

Shog, you're attacking a straw man here. You should know better than that. Folks aren't looking for "effort" because they think displays of struggle are some sort of magic pixie dust, able to turn a terrible, useless question into gold. They're looking for effort because the lack thereof is the most blatantly obvious hallmark of the thousands of terrible, ...


118

I think the changes are okay but they still don't fill the gap that Too Localised provided earlier. I used Too Localised as a way to close certain questions that could definitely not help anyone and trying to put those under "Off Topic" feels like a stretch to me which makes it seems way too Catch-22 and might not fix the problem you initially wanted to fix. ...


107

This appears to be quite complicated. I imagine closed was chosen for a reason back then. In retrospect, I suspect the problem is that we want to sample a whole gamut of "improvable" questions into only a few types of feedback. Technically, the spectrum of responses to improvable questions goes from something like the ideal: On Probation [Our ...


97

Stack Overflow is going the way of Usenet. No, I don't mean that the quality is going down. I mean that the moderation of questions on Stack Overflow is focusing more and more on the effort made by the asker to conform to the group norms, and less and less on the goal of “collectively increasing the sum total of good programming knowledge in the world”. ...


90

The description of the "Too Broad" close reason has been changed. This is the new text: Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question.


83

Provide the OP with all the reasons that their question was closed. It would be helpful to show the OP all the reasons that the question was closed instead of the one that a majority of closers picked. If two people pick primarily opinion based and three pick too broad, the OP should be made aware of both problems. Otherwise, they'll edit the question to ...


82

History Over time, some close reasons that were carefully named came to be re-interpreted, and ultimately, misused. Example: Too Localized. Other carefully-chosen names repeatedly caused conflict due to the difference between the everyday meaning of the word and the Stack Exchange meaning of the word. Example: Not constructive. (To clarify, most ...


73

I thought the real good use of Too Localized was for typographic errors and small, silly mistakes. It doesn't make sense to call most of these off-topic because the user usually isn't thinking he has a typo, he doesn't know what the problem is. Therefore he is giving legitimate code, and then it's discovered that it's just a typo; so it won't really help ...


69

You know, I think you do kind of have a point. Frankly, our current "on hold" notice design is horrible. Not only does it blend in with the ads with its boxy and text-packed design (which makes it look like a typical poorly designed banner ad, with too much content packed into too small a space), but the content formatting itself looks as if it was ...


64

I like most of these suggestions. I think it is well worth making the changes outlined here but there also needs to be some consideration for preserving the community from becoming a job shop environment. Please do not remove "Too localized". This close reason was spot on. Clearly some of the other close reasons needed work but "Too localized" filled a ...


63

Please fix this bug, at least when the question is migrated. This has a larger impact than just mixing up different reasons for closing when migration comes into picture. Recently, I voted to close this question on cstheory.stackexchange.com as off topic, and after my vote, a moderator of cstheory decided to migrate the question to cs.stackexchange.com. ...


60

Each site needs their own reasons for closing questions as "off topic". The main problem is that each community has different reasons for closing questions as "off topic" (if they aren't otherwise not constructive, too localized, or not a real question). However, from all those reasons, the most obvious should already be in the FAQ, and well known to most ...


58

It's not about Effort. It's about Respect. The line I draw for moderation is based on the probability someone will say, "Try X" and the OP will respond, "I already tried X". To which the person will inevitably comment, "Try Y" and the OP will then say, "But I already tried Y!" (without having it in their question originally). It all comes down to ...


57

I would like to distinguish between effort in formulating the question and effort in solving the problem. When I want to kill a post, it is mostly for a lack of the former.


56

Questions where the problem was fixed, but no one knows how (and no one is interested, usually really narrow situations) For example: OP posts a comment: Nevermind, I have fixed the problem OP never comes back to answer how. No one else really cares.. (like I said, it's usually a simple problem..). This certainly doesn't fit under off-topic, ...


54

Strictly stick to the everyday meaning of "Off Topic" "Off topic" does not, in an everyday sense, describe all site-specific reasons, and the phrase should not be used on questions that aren't allowed for reasons other than the general area of content. Network Hardware on Stack Overflow is genuinely off topic On Stack Overflow "How do you add two numbers ...


54

I have to say that I'm very disappointed with some of the moderator comments that have been made in this discussion. First of all, there is a level of defensiveness for the status quo that is frankly mind boggling. It's not like the status quo is something old. The term "off topic" was never applied to "not enough information" or "not enough effort" before ...


47

I long ago had campaigned for the too broad reason (and they had inserted that language in the NARQ comment), so I think that one is great. My main feedback would be for you to specifically mention polls or list questions in one of the reasons (probably primarily opinion based). We may be able to close knowing what those are, but the user may not ...


46

Alternative message suggestion: This question belongs on {hyperlink to other site} but in its current state is not of sufficient quality to migrate it to the other site. Please read {site name}'s {link site's /help/on-topic}, {link site's help/dont-ask}, and {link site's /help/how-to-ask} for more information. Personally, I envision this as a checkbox on ...


45

A better question would have mentioned something about working backwards through the trace and trying to find the cause, but not seeing anything in the code that explains what they're seeing. Debugging is a programming skill that is learned, not just immediately acquired. However, it's a perfectly answerable question, and is very likely to help other people ...


44

I have just been reminded of something that happens a LOT on travel. A person asks a question with a short shelf life that's perfect for the site when it's asked, but won't be in a few weeks or months. This can include updates on a natural disaster, or a significant closure like a major museum being closed for repairs or other indefinitely-long things. It ...


41

Alternative #2: Just list the members who chose the majority reason, with a link to the revision history to see the full list with the minority report. closed by foo, bar, baz as not a real question (and for other reasons) on Jun 21 at 4:26) The bolded parts would be links; the reason part to a FAQ entry on the reason, and the for other reasons part as ...


41

"Too Localized" is no longer necessary since the specific off-topic reasons now address its main use case. The problem with "off-topic" & why we need "too localized" We've talked a lot on Meta about closing and migrating questions and one of the things that sticks out is that a lot of crappy questions (used to) get migrated with the result that the ...


37

I too like the three new close reasons. My only remaining complaint about the closed question banners is the final sentence: For help making this question more broadly applicable, see the FAQ. What help does the user receive upon clicking that link? A list of the same closure reasons with the identical text and circular links back to the FAQ. They also ...


36

There are three reasons: To give you the answer right away, as provided by people answering the other question, people who might not recognize your question as being the same thing even if they saw it To leave a signpost for people who think more like you than like the people on the other question, so that when they come to your question they too will be ...


36

I completely agree with and understand all the problems with "Too Localized", and I wholeheartedly agree with the decision to remove it. And I do think it makes sense to replace "Too Localized"'s previous legitimate uses with site-specific close reasons. But I do not think the right solution is to lump these site-specific close reasons in with the "Off ...


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