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Our "not constructive" close reasons is as follows:

This question does not meet enough of our six guidelines for constructive subjective questions. All questions should be practical, answerable, and of some educational value to the greater community. Chatty, open-ended discussion questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page. See the FAQ.

The description on Stack Overflow is different:

This question is not a good fit to our Q&A format. We expect answers to generally involve facts, references, or specific expertise; this question will likely solicit opinion, debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. See the FAQ.

It seems to me that it is still quite applicable to the kinds of questions that get closed as "not constructive" on Programmers and it's more comprehensive and clear than the one we've got. Although at the same time it's important to mention the guidelines for good subjective questions.

We can ask the SE team to update our description if we think it's worth doing and can come up with a better wording. Do you think we should? Do you have any wording suggestions?

7

After the next deploy we will sync the not constructive close reason with the rest of the network:

This question is not a good fit to our Q&A format. We expect answers to generally involve facts, references, or specific expertise; this question will likely solicit opinion, debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion.

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    +1 AAAA++++++++++++!!! would revert close reasons again – Nick Craver Jan 4 '12 at 1:10
  • Stellar close reason, no problems 5/5 A+++++ – user8 Jan 4 '12 at 1:13
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    It's OK - better than the current one. I would like to see a mention of All questions should be practical, answerable, and of some educational value to the greater community. and a link to the FAQ. These should be added to all of the network sites, I think. – Thomas Owens Jan 4 '12 at 2:43
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This question is not a good fit to our Q&A format.

I think this phrase is key, it's this that shows that Stack Exchange is different to forums and emphasises the fact that we are a question and answer site. Even if we don't get the exact same wording we should get this included.

6

The Six Subjective Guidelines (6SG) are great and still applicable, but there's been a year of clarifications and expansions to them that it doesn't make sense to keep it in the close reason.

That is, the 6SG is just one tool to judge the constructiveness of a question, not the only tool. The FAQ describes several others. It'd be unreasonable to place all the guidelines in the close reason, so the close reason should just describe the general reason and point people to the FAQ.

To that end, I say we just use the global NC reason: the general spirit is still captured, and it points people to the FAQ (and subsequently meta and blog posts) where its explained in more detail.

  • Good point; I agree. – Adam Lear Dec 30 '11 at 21:39
  • Yeap, I really would prefer people reading the faq before the blog post... I can't really say it will make any difference, but it always bugged me. – yannis Dec 30 '11 at 21:42
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    it is also better if we standardize network-wide; remember that the programmers not constructive close reason predates the change to bring us the "not constructive" network-wide reason. Prior to this as I recall it was "subjective and argumentative". – Jeff Atwood Jan 3 '12 at 12:59
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I think it's worth it to try and improve the wording. Some of the questions we get may indeed be of educational value, but too discussion-oriented or attracting opinions over references. For example, a lot of the questions we get about someone's specific employment situation or future options can fall into this category.

My proposed wording change is a blend of what we have now and Stack Overflow's version:

This question does not meet enough of our six guidelines for constructive subjective questions and is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to generally involve facts, references, or specific expertise; this question will likely solicit opinion, debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. Please see the FAQ.

  • A note about employment. The quantity of questions related to career, interviews, employment and personal work issues are, to me, more then I can connect to the topic of Programming subject itself. A off-topic/migration proposal to 'Careers SA', 'Project Management SA' and even (if less obvious) 'Personal Productivity SA' may give them more constructive help then just "closed by off topic"? – Independent Dec 31 '11 at 11:56
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    @Jonas Careers SE doesn't exist yet. We migrate questions where possible to PM and Productivity. We also leave comments guiding people to other sites when needed. (As an aside, it's SE for Stack Exchange, not SA.) – Adam Lear Dec 31 '11 at 15:32
  • I came up with two alternative wordings to this that focus more on the format of the question rather than the generated answers. They each fit into a comment, so I'm going to share them. I like the idea of blending, but here are just some alternative wordings. – Thomas Owens Jan 2 '12 at 11:36
  • This question is not a good fit for our Q&A format because it does not involve facts, references, specific expertise, or meet enough of our six guidelines for constructive subjective questions. All questions should be practical, answerable, and of some educational value to the greater community. This question will likely solicit opinion, debate, argument, polling, or extended discussion. See the FAQ. – Thomas Owens Jan 2 '12 at 11:36
  • This question is not a good fit for our Q&A format because it does not generally involve facts, references, specific expertise, or meet enough of our six guidelines for constructive subjective questions. All questions should be practical, answerable, and of some educational value to the greater community. Chatty, open-ended discussion questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page. See the FAQ. – Thomas Owens Jan 2 '12 at 11:36
  • @ThomasOwens Thanks. :) Though posting those separately as answers so they can be voted on would be better. Your suggestions might not get noticed as much in the comments here. – Adam Lear Jan 2 '12 at 15:59
  • @Anna I figured perhaps you might add them to this answer if you liked them. It's practically the same as yours - reword the existing message by blending SOs and the current message. Although if you think I should post them as a separate answer, I'd be more than happy to. – Thomas Owens Jan 2 '12 at 17:03
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    @Thomas Since I'm gonna have to ask an employee to change it, having a separate message would be good to eliminate confusion over which message should be used. – Adam Lear Jan 2 '12 at 17:26
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I agree with Anna Lear's idea of combining the Stack Overflow and current Programmers messages. However, I have two alternative wordings that are very similar, with the exception of one sentence.

This question is not a good fit for our Q&A format because it does not involve facts, references, specific expertise, or meet enough of our six guidelines for constructive subjective questions. All questions should be practical, answerable, and of some educational value to the greater community. This question will likely solicit opinion, debate, argument, polling, or extended discussion. See the FAQ.

or

This question is not a good fit for our Q&A format because it does not generally involve facts, references, specific expertise, or meet enough of our six guidelines for constructive subjective questions. All questions should be practical, answerable, and of some educational value to the greater community. Chatty, open-ended discussion questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page. See the FAQ.

There are a few other wordings, but something that combines the need to involve facts, references, expertise, and/or the guidelines for constructive subjective questions would be best.

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