Example (the title promises more than the body of the question delivers):


The asker has only a relatively vague idea what he is going to do, and often, when someone points him to an obvious place to look for an answer, the reply is an "but where do I start" comment from the asker. Doesn't seem to be very constructive to me. Plus there are only so many questions of that kind possible before "exact duplicates" are inevitable.


4 Answers 4


I'm not sure at the moment.

If I wasn't a moderator I think I'd be voting to close - after all it could be seen as a variation on the "what do I learn next?" type question. It's a little more specific than that, but unless framed correctly it will just result in people listing their favourite development tools.


I think those kind of questions largely depend on the answers

They're usually too open-ended to be answered well, and often just lead to a list of everyone's favorite resource, which will get outdated over time.

However, if someone does take the time to write a comprehensive list of how to get started with a specific language or technology, then I'd leave the question open.

  • Such lists would be great for the language's tag wiki, but whenever they've been tried as answers (mostly on SO) they failed. Tag wikis on the other hand generate no reputation, and it's quite more probable that people will maintain them because they actually care. It's a shame no one reads them, though...
    – yannis
    Commented Apr 11, 2012 at 8:23

Studying similar (faq-proposed) question at SO Meta and especially its accepted answer helped me to make my mind on that:

Above brought peace and light into my life.

Now, if I can imagine an answer making good tag wiki, it means question is OK to me. assuming it is on-topic

Otherwise, I take a deeper look into the question and try to find out if there's something wrong with it.

As for the question you referred to, well, it doesn't look OK to me.

While casting close vote I have been choosing between not constructive and too localized.

Per re-reading Q&A is Hard, Let’s Go Shopping! I was rather inclined to vote for too localized but the statement "Which development tool is widely used now?" made me feel that not constructive would be a better match.


Understanding scope of the question helps to find out if it's appropriate or not. "I am a newbie, how do I get started writing new programming language?"

FAQ discourages questions that are too wide:

Your questions should be reasonably scoped. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much.

I think that not constructive close reasons description matches above with "this question will likely solicit... extended discussion".


Not a real question can also match in blatant cases, with "overly broad" close reason. "Need help getting started with programming."


I saw that there were up votes in this question, does that means people agree this is a good question?

I just got one at https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/140237/most-useful-guides-to-learn-python-pdf-books-which-one but I'm starting to get confused currently whether I should answer this sort of question or not. Is there any new opinion about this?

  • sorry this was supposed to be a comment on the question above not an answer, but I don't know how to fix this.. Commented Mar 18, 2012 at 5:59

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