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This is a question that I thought was perfectly reasonable for P.SE. It was closed as "too localized" due to the fact that the answer may change over time. I find this to be a strange reason to close the question, as many of the answers to P.SE questions would change over time.

I've seen questions on this site pertaining to architecture, software lifecycles, design patterns, methodologies, etc. Answers to almost all of these types of questions might change over time, as the technologies, and thinking around those technologies, change. This is a site focused on a technology profession which is in a state of constant evolution.

Should we really be closing questions because appropriate answers may change over time?

  • Does it become "too temporal"? – rwong May 9 '11 at 10:52
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It's a poorly defined question all around. It borders on off-topic by asking which is better, C# or VB.NET, and in a way, by asking what language the OP should choose without a specific requirement. It's also not very constructive - it doesn't call for explaining "why" or "how" and it mostly invited opinionated short answers with a lot of duplication between them. Yours was one of the few answers that offered concrete advice on how the poster can explore the job market.

In the end, though, I felt the localized aspects of the question were the strongest.

My reasoning was that nobody can say what language is better (C# or VB.NET) for the poster's career and have the answer be applicable to the internet at large. Even if we do serious research into the market trends in the poster's geographical area, that will make the question too localized geographically without a guarantee of accuracy or lasting appeal. And if we ignore that, we are left with answers that can go out of date quickly.

When someone talks about a software practice, it can certainly change over time, but older information might still be useful. Knowing that C# has more jobs than VB.NET in a specific area right now is not at all useful (and potentially harmful) to someone a year from now or in a completely different location.

With all those things taken into consideration, I opted to close the question.

  • 1
    Couldn't agree more, although your reasoning is far more complete and articulate than what I would have come up with. – Walter May 4 '11 at 15:08
  • I guess if you interpreted the question to be asking whether C# or VB.NET had more density in the job market, then I agree with "too localized". I didn't read the question this way. I thought the argument was more that the answer will change, which I don't agree with. Thanks for clarifying. – RationalGeek May 4 '11 at 15:52
  • @jkohlhepp No problem. Out of curiosity, what was your interpretation of the question? – Adam Lear May 4 '11 at 15:53
  • I thought (and answered thusly) that he was asking if he would be better off knowing C# or VB.NET from a career perspective, i.e. what the long term outlook of both technologies are. I think these types of questions are very important when a developer architect needs to choose between competing technologies, and I would hate to seem them closed based on being too local. I do agree in this particular case the question could've been phrased to be a much better question. – RationalGeek May 4 '11 at 17:39
  • There may be merit in someone asking a general, language-agnostic "how do I approach determining job market/technology trends?" kind of question that we could use as the "master" and close others as duplicates. That way we could provide lasting help to people instead of just leaving them hanging with a "too localized" question. – Adam Lear May 4 '11 at 17:42
  • That would definitely be a useful question. However, I think specific technology comparisons are necessary as well. For example, "Should I use MS Silverlight or HTML 5 for my upcoming rich Internet app?". Market trending would come into play when answering a question like that. – RationalGeek May 5 '11 at 12:33
  • @jkohlhepp And questions like that would still be closed. I just figure it's better to teach a (wo)man to fish and at least show them how they can explore market trends on their own, since it doesn't make for a valid question here. – Adam Lear May 5 '11 at 13:18
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Perhaps a better phrase than "too localized" would be "Question asker is not assertive enough to generate answers useful for anyone; original asker included."

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