Why was this question closed without even allowing the OP much time to clarify their question? Seems a bit harsh, as the question is fairly specific although it does need some extra details.

  • 1
    +1 I agree, seems a bit harsh compared to standard practice on sites like Programmers.SE.
    – amelvin
    Apr 25, 2011 at 13:27
  • Programmers is designed to be more broad and allow for more subjective questions to be asked. This site is not.
    – John Conde Mod
    Apr 26, 2011 at 15:33

2 Answers 2


SO (and it's child sites) are based around the concept of "Quality Question gets a Quality Answer". All new users are pointed to the following post on "How to Ask".

While not every question needs to meet the "perfect" criteria, it is reasonable to expect askers to at least provide the minimum about of information to remove ambiguity, provide context, and ensure they at least try to make it worthy of being answered.

John closed the question for pretty succinct reasons:

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form.

  • 1
    Three of the latest ten questions asked on webmasters have been closed by the same moderator as subjective/argumentative - perhaps he has higher standards than most SO/SE moderators. But if he's going to be closing questions it would be good practice if he dropped a comment on the question explaining the reasons for the closure other than the boilerplate SE text.
    – amelvin
    Apr 25, 2011 at 13:26
  • @Mike I agree that the question was lacking in detail, but the user wasn't given much chance to correct it. The community could have clarified and then rewritten the question, rather than just closing it.
    – Dan Blows
    Apr 25, 2011 at 13:30
  • @amelvin @Mike - both fair comments, but I agree that giving an inch allows the mile, so as long as it's fair, it's ok to be firm. (Ok, I stop with the cliches now). Apr 26, 2011 at 0:29
  • That question was closed for being too broad. The OP can easily edit their question and asked to have it reopened at any time. It's how things work and has been done before. Leaving it open before they made their modifications would have invited overly broad answers which is obviously contradictory to the goals of this website.
    – John Conde Mod
    Apr 26, 2011 at 15:34
  • @amelvin, the boilerplate text perfectly described why the question was closed. Leaving an additional comment was unnecessary.
    – John Conde Mod
    Apr 26, 2011 at 15:37
  • @John Fair enough in that instance.
    – amelvin
    Apr 26, 2011 at 15:54

I am all for giving feedback to good questions that are slightly off-topic.

However, in that particular case, I think the OP didn't put even a modicum of effort into their question. It's not like we closed a question that was a brilliant 500-word essay explaining a problem in amazing detail.

So as John noted in a comment here, the boilerplate close reason should suffice when the question is a short, low-effort one. Part of the contract here is that askers should meet answers halfway. Heck, even a quarter of the way.. just put in some effort to ask good, clear questions -- how can anyone in good conscience expect effort in the answers if they have shown little to no effort in ask their question?

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