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Are MS Server OSs a requirement for DVCS systems (Mercurial or Git) on the windows platform? [closed]

Yet, another example of a question being closed as ‘not a real question’.

I grant the question actually requires reading to understand. Yet, people shouldn’t be closing questions if they do not understand the details. If one doesn’t use Kiln (for example) they should be additionally cautious for closing a question.

The very first line is: “Kiln (service for Mercurial) requires Windows server 2003/2008.” This establishes a found system requirement.

The two actual questions are not only reasonable and clear, but actually bulleted to stand out as questions.

• Are MS Server OSs a requirement for DVCS systems (Mercurial or Git) on the windows platform?

• Or to put it another way, Is it practical to run DVCS (Mercurial or Git) on Windows 7?

The next paragraph points out that open source software tends not to include this type of information.

The last bullet point is a bit vague, but taken in the context of the question is answerable.

I would at this point answer the question myself, but as it is closed cannot.

The answer is along the lines of the following should be acceptable:

Yes, while Kiln (service for Mercurial) requires Window Server 2003/2008 to operate, Mercurial itself does not require Windows Server 2003/2008. Many developers run Mercurial on Windows 7.

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Well it has a) 5 down-votes and b) 3 non moderators voted to close before Mark stepped in and closed it. It could have had a couple of flags as well - I don't know I didn't see them.

So all in all I think it is a bad question.

If you think that it is answerable then please edit it to a form where it does make sense. Then either post a question here or flag it for moderator attention so we can review the closure.

  • How is it not answerable? How can I edit a question to fix an unstated problem? Look at how this question has two down votes. Can you personal come up with any justification as to why this question on meta should be down voted? – user179700 Aug 26 '11 at 23:55
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    @user1797 - downvotes on meta have a different meaning to the main site - "voting is often used to express agreement or disagreement" – ChrisF Aug 27 '11 at 9:41
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    Thanks for that clarification, though I think it makes the point that people are voted more based on if they could answer the question, rather than if the question was answerable. No one has so far on either board actually said why the question isn't answerable or disputed that what I wrote above is an insufficient answer. – user179700 Aug 28 '11 at 5:58
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I edited this question to focus on the problem at hand and reopened it. I agree that it is answerable, but I think it was phrased in a way that made people react negatively to it. I hope to have changed that with my edit.

I also checked with a Stack Overflow moderator to see if the question would be a better fit there, since typically tool-related questions are off-topic here and on-topic on SO, but he said this question would likely not get a good reception on SO.


So, am I getting downvotes because people disagree with the decision? If so, how should I have acted instead? I welcome any and all constructive criticism so I can do better next time.

Feel free to re-flag the original question or vote to close, etc., if you think it should not have been reopened.

  • It was most likely closed because of the rant about open source. It confused the issue and put OSS people on the defensive and it was not constructive. It was also phrased in such a way that made it hard to actually see the question in it. Good attempt to fix it anna but I dont think he actually wanted an answer so much as a place to rant. – SoylentGray Sep 1 '11 at 18:45
  • @Chad Point taken, I could have just pointed out that the documentation itself appeared insufficient. It never occurred to me that it wasn’t common wisdom that generally Open Source software has poor documentation. The comment wasn’t meant to be constructive, but to attempt to avoid helpful RTFM comments, which were not of help as the documentation doesn’t seem to contain the answer I was seeking. – user179700 Sep 2 '11 at 1:28
  • @Anna Thank you for your edit. After reviewing your edit and take on the question, I believe that readers were focusing on details meant to inform the question, rather than the underlying question itself. I’ve attempted an edit which I believe takes your approach into consideration, but clarifies the actual scenario. I don’t have an issue with moving the question (if there’s a more appropriate venue) or if in your judgment it still doesn’t belong -- being deleted. I have my answer, I just felt having one, I’d share it for the few others who might suffer the same confusion. – user179700 Sep 2 '11 at 1:44
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I take the question as asking whether the DVCS repository has to be on Windows if the coders who work with that repository use Windows as their development machines. That's not the case; Linux or any other OS that the repository server supports will work.

This can be a technical requirement or a licensing requirement. The Windows world is full of all-manner of non-sensical End User License Agreements that serve only to protect the interests of the software vendor.

For example O'Reilly - the technical book publisher - used a sell a really good Win32 web server that ran just fine on Windows 95. It did not need a server OS to serve lots of requests. But Microsoft pointed out that the EULA for Win95 did not permit servers running under that OS to have more than I think five clients, even if the OS itself was completely up to the task and the server vendor was perfectly cool about unlimited clients.

Microsoft gave O'Reilly the only alternative of allowing unrestricted clients on fully licensed NT Server installs. Unfortunately NT Server came bundled with Internet Information Server, Microsoft's own web server that never ran at all on non-server windows builds. Because of this horrible licensing scheme and the fact that Microsoft retains more Men In Grey Pinstripe Suits than Tim O'Reilly could ever hope to afford, O'Reilly's web server was a complete failure in the market.

That's just wrong.

Anyone who runs only Windows for a living just has to get used to living with this kind of crap. Thus the OP's question may well not have been in any way technical, just legal.

  • When I see down votes, the first thing I do is consider if am I being unclear. It doesn’t seem to be the case here. The question is, “Are MS Server OSs a requirement for DVCS systems (Mercurial or Git) on the windows platform?” Clearly, the question is limited to the ‘windows platform’. The very first line in the question states that Kiln (service for Mercurial) requires Windows server 2003/2008. How is it not reasonable to ask if that is a Mercurial requirement as well? – user179700 Aug 30 '11 at 21:37
  • The answer is basically, no it is not a requirement. Which I’ve learnt outside of SE, but which I cannot share, because the AH who closed the question, seem to think if they cannot personally answer a question, it should be closed. At least that seems to be the case, since none of them bothered to actually spell out an issue. – user179700 Aug 30 '11 at 21:38
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    @user179700 AH? – Adam Lear Aug 31 '11 at 18:52

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