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I have perceived some inconsistency regarding the treatment of borderline OT questions. For instance, https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/76144/in-what-context-php-is-easier-than-asp-net-c has had comment discussion leaning towards reopening even though it seems (to me) to violate the "Which technology is better?" clause in the FAQ.

Is it enough to replace "better" with a near synonym such as "easier" to avoid closing, or is there some deeper reason that this question is on-topic? I think "easier" could also be replaced with a lot of other near-synonyms to give this question a broader application.

In other words, did this question slip through on a technicality or is it in fact a type of question that we want to encourage ?

  • The question has been community-closed now as "not constructive". I'll come back here with my take on it later today. – Adam Lear May 13 '11 at 17:48
  • @Anna I think it was closed as "not constructive" because my initial close vote used that reason. If I had a do-over I would have used "Off-Topic". Also, I've edited to reflect the reality that the original question is, in fact, closed. – Rein Henrichs May 13 '11 at 17:49
  • @Rein The final reason is determined by a majority of votes. Can't tell what the vote spread was, but at least 2 people other than you voted not constructive. I think it certainly can go either way, but more on that later. :) – Adam Lear May 13 '11 at 17:56
  • @Anna OT to this discussion but there's probably a lemming effect based on first close reason. That's what I was referring to. – Rein Henrichs May 13 '11 at 17:57
  • OT to this OT discussion but the "lemming effect" was actually fabricated by Disney ;) – Rein Henrichs May 13 '11 at 17:57
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    Don't get hung up on the letter of the law - try to understand the reasoning behind it. Preventing language death-matches is important; preventing users from comparing languages/platforms isn't. See also: programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/65414/… – Shog9 May 13 '11 at 18:28
  • @MrCRT Thanks for that link. It's gonna come in handy for duplicates that pop up periodically. – Adam Lear May 13 '11 at 19:49
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I'm of two minds about this question. On one hand, it did focus on the "why" rather than the asking if PHP was easier. On the other, language/framework comparison is almost always a touchy subject and we're kind of hitting the saturation point on PHP vs ASP.NET questions.

Ultimately I'm happy to see that the question got a few good answers, and I think I'm with Mr CRT here: comparisons are okay so long as they're constructive.

That said, I don't feel strongly enough for the question (especially in light of it having received answers to choose from) to reopen it against 5 close votes from community members.

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