Why is there so many questions on this stackexchange site closed? I mean far more than usual. Even very high quality discussions are closed.

Doesn't this high number of closed questions with high number of views and good quality of content seem like that the current policy that governs the criteria for appropriate question might be going against nature?

I mean it feels as if lot of questions or discussions are everything surrounding programmer, programming, and need not be objective or seeking definitive answer.

It appears lot of questions are of inquisitive nature seeking insight into other programmers and finding common subjects of interest.

Is it possible for mods to relax a bit? I mean lot of great questions with [closed] tag everywhere doesn't do justice.

This question in itself is a perfect example of what I am talking about and it will be closed. But I think my point is clear.

  • 8
    this question should be closed or moved to meta. Sorry, I just couldn't resist :) But in all honesty, this question is not a good example, because you know full well, it's off topic. Others just try to ask for information.
    – DXM
    Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 7:18
  • 1
    Although this is off topic for programmers.SE, you should give some examples to back up your theory. I'm talking about a list of "good" questions without an answer (or even comments) that were closed. Most of the time (even if the question is off topic) admins tends to close the question after it receives some kind of response from community. They don't close it immediately. Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 7:40
  • 3
    it is exactly my point, there should be off-topic tags to discuss misc. questions that is suited for programmer audience. There's plenty of it just spend some extra time reading questions on here and like you said, this is offtopic, so why are you asking me for examples? again this type of relentless search for objectivity in subjective topics is exactly what causes the problem I am highlighting. I don't know what meta nor do I care since I hardly have checked it. Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 7:46
  • 3
    There are a great many questions posted here that aren't appropriate for this site. Without examples, we can only guess at exactly which questions you're asking about. If you're asking about all off-topic questions, the answer is simple: they were closed because they're off topic. This isn't an open-ended forum for shooting the breeze, it's a Q&A site aimed at a specific topic. Meta is a parallel Q&A site dedicated to questions about the Programmers site, including yours. You'll find a link to the meta site at the top of this page.
    – Caleb
    Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 7:53
  • 8
    I found the closing of this question simply ridiculous: it seems mods don't like to accept discussions about themselves. I understand it is not "in topic", but it should have been migrated to a proper site, not closed. Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 7:58
  • 1
    @Caleb, yes I understand Q&A, but questions off topic would be like "Does God hate bad programmers?" vs. "How many monitors do you use for programming". There's only one truly offtopic question and the other is of value to programmers, via concensus or polling or simply acquiring inputs from other programmers. The latter question I found was closed. Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 8:03
  • 2
    @KimJongWoo so basically you're mad because they closed your question which was off topic because it was too broad? The FAQ is here for a reason... And I repeat, admins don't shoot down instantly off topic questions (usually they allow some discussion and the close it when it becomes too big of a mess). If you don't like it you're not obligated to post questions here, you can find other sites that will accept that kind of questions. Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 8:15
  • 1
    @EmilioGaravaglia admins didn't close this question, users did with closing votes. Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 8:19
  • 3
    This question reminds me of the Guardian's "Comment is Free" section; the fastest way to get a comment moderated out of existence there is to question the moderation policy!
    – user4234
    Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 10:48
  • 1
    @ChristianP: That doesn't change the substance: I talked about "mods" not "admins", where mods = "users with moderator priviledge". Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 15:33
  • @EmilioGaravaglia sorry, I didn't realize the difference (I though that you meant admin == mods). Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 15:48
  • 2
    @Christian P, oh yes I am hopping mad. </sarcasm> No, there are questions that are not really off-topic but I see it as closed, so I am just raising my voice. It must be that anyone raising contrarian views must be hopping mad, then it's just another sign of herd mentality. Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 16:25
  • 1
    @ChristianP I just have differing opinions and I hardly think that is grounds for stop asking question, again your assuming that I dislike this site because my question has been closed, but that's probably how you would react in that situation, I simply don't bother if my questions are closed but the fact there are good questions that are relevant to the realm of programming that has been closed, and I feel that it would be more efficient to just have off-topic tags or section dedicated for programming related off-topic questions. Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 16:31
  • 1
    @Caleb, again I have to make clear differentiation between "off-topic" questions that have pertinence to programming/programmers and "off-topic" questions that have no relevance to the art of programming and of those entities that are involved in the latter. Again, my concern is not with this question in particular being closed but just do a search for closed questions and you will see what I mean. Thank you and this is all I will have to say, and I hope that my proposal for some solution to off-topic tag pretaining to programmers and programming is noted, instead of [closed]. Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 16:39
  • 1
    @KimJongWoo There's an appropriate forum for making those kinds of suggestions in a constructive manner, and that forum is the [meta] site. Don't expect people here to take your feedback seriously if you can't be bothered to express it appropriately.
    – Caleb
    Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 16:46

3 Answers 3


Your question isn't a great example since it's not a conceptual software development question but rather a question about the site itself.

That said, now that it's in the right place (on meta), let's talk about the issue you bring up. It would be helpful if you pointed to some questions you specifically think should not have been closed, but in the absence of examples, we can still talk about the general case.

One of the main features of Stack Exchange is that it's high signal and low noise. Leaving questions that are off-topic or don't fit the Q&A model well (e.g. discussion-oriented threads rather than questions that invite explanations) would contribute to noise and dilute the signal.

We've had several discussions about what to do with interesting but off-topic questions and the general result is that Programmers.SE doesn't have to cover everything. There are other sites such as Reddit or Quora that have different policies and philosophies and that might be more welcoming of some of the questions we end up rejecting here.

Here are some links to the previous discussions:

Beyond this, I think we need some specifics from you. Which questions do you think were wrongly closed? What topics do you think should be allowed that currently aren't?

  • 5
    One closing criterium that I think should not apply to programmers.SE is the "single correct answer" one - and that seems to account for a lot of closed questions (example: programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/123293). programmers.SE is at heart not about simple, factual questions - exactly the reason it was split off from SO. Insisting that any question that doesn't have a single, objectively correct answer be closed is IMO totally nonsensical. You could just as well close down programmers.SE completely. Commented Dec 6, 2011 at 23:21

I can't answer that question, not being a mod.

I can say that, in my opinion, P.SE is for potentially open-ended questions relating to the programmer life, work, and career.

I suspect what OP is referring to are some of the useful questions with lots of votes and answers that wound up closed.

  • 3
    Mods aren't the only people closing or voting to close questions.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Nov 18, 2011 at 0:00

My suspicion:

  • The rules are being interpreted too strictly.
  • There is a reluctance to re-open a discussion, when someone's "preferred" answer is dominant in an older question.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .