My question was close because it was off topic. Here it is


It was asked in the context as developer. I have quoted example of development and I have reference software in my question. But it was closed. I was asked to check the faq. I did and I realized, ok it was off-topic.


Then looked at other question, some of them are these


Does this question fit the criteria. Isn't it work related issue?

How-to convince company to start documenting for legacy software

Is this algorithm related question as well or it is plainly related to work atmosphere?

These are not just two! There are a ton of question like that. My question is are programmers faq followed when they don't close such question as off-topic?

Here are some more examples

Let me add this steller question

How do you share your craft with non programmers? (23 upvotes)

  • I assume you are familiar with Good Subjective, Bad Subjective guidelines used for judging quality of subjective questions. Please correct if I'm wrong here
    – gnat
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 18:33
  • I am. The questions on "here are some more examples" link show some more questions that are not related to the software development but rather work environment. If the FAQ clearly says, work environment including general workplace issues, not allowed. Why are they still open? Who are suppose to close them? General users or moderators?
    – TheTechGuy
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 18:48
  • not related to the software development - really? Here's the excerpt from one of the questions you refer to: wasted enough time trying to find out if what I needed per requirement/bug had existed in this big (really) code base looks related doesn't it
    – gnat
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 18:52
  • @gnat, what you have reference in the question is out of touch with the question itself. The question is "How-to convince company to start documenting for legacy software". It is purely a work related, problem? You disagree?. If you notice my question as software-development, non-technical manager in it and reference to software, why would you take it in non-software context?
    – TheTechGuy
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 23:57
  • let's see if I understand you correctly. Per my reading, you interpret the question like as follows: manager disagreement is the substantial, main, primary part of it, while missing Javadocs and slow bugfixes are secondary er... attributes, constraints that may eventually turn out irrelevant. Do you mean something like that?
    – gnat
    Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 9:48
  • @gnat, for you kind information. Take the sentence you mention out from the question and then read the entire question again, does it make any difference in the question? No. Read the context of the question, 1.) Need for documentation of legacy software 2.) convince the company. Bug fixes is really not part of the question. Our mind flow in the direction it wants to. If you are in favour of question, you will automatically favour it. Lets say we both are handicapped and both are biased. Talk to 10 other ppl and ask them what is this question about?
    – TheTechGuy
    Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 12:23
  • I admit there is a mention of legacy software but this concept of need of documentation can be easily be expanded to legacy hard ware, old contracts, old records etc etc. This makes it more of a workplace issue, not a software issue. My question primary asked how to sell your "software development work" to your non-technical manager but that was taken in context of workplace issue.
    – TheTechGuy
    Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 12:25
  • I see. You mean, if one removes references to problems with missing Javadoc and slow bugfixes out of this question, it can become as non-specific as yours - right?
    – gnat
    Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 14:29
  • I am saying I have already wasted enough time trying to find out if what I needed per requirement/bug had existed in this big (really) code base. can be omitted from the question without affecting the question at all. Another hint for you, check the accepted answer, do you see any technical advice that is relevant to software development only. More important does it sound like work relate issue.I feel your pain. I've been in this exact position before. in the accepted answer. And part of it wins the accept answer because of common work related issue.
    – TheTechGuy
    Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 14:49
  • somehow, I feel unable to share the way you interpret the question and accepted answer. To me, the question is quite heavily dominated by the parts you suggest to omit (missing Javadocs - slow bugfixes - "looking for any suggestions that you might give regarding the need of documentation"). As for the answer, well, again I am rather unable to quit a feeling that "Start a wiki or document and start making notes. Make repeated references to this document you're putting together." is just what doctor ordered to solve programming-specific issues I see in the question.
    – gnat
    Commented Feb 5, 2012 at 20:00
  • 1
    I am not going to challenge your interpretation of the question and answer - just pointing out things that make me feel it could be interpreted differently. That chance for a different, programming-specific reading seems to be exactly what has been stopping me from casting close vote on it. Compared to that, your own question didn't give me such a chance.
    – gnat
    Commented Feb 5, 2012 at 20:03
  • I will thumb up your comment. I can seen the picture you are talking about. Let say I looked from your point of view, it is totally a software related issue. But I also see the the question ask about work related issue. You want something, management disagrees. He asks how to convince his Manager to document, the answer says, lead by example, start your own, which is the correct answer. True related to software but it is also work related issue. FAQ says off-topic. Try to match this question with the allowed question bullets vs not allowed bullets.
    – TheTechGuy
    Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 0:33

1 Answer 1


Your question was closed by five regular users, so I fail to see how the moderators have anything to do with that. ChrisF commented:

Is this a problem that's unique to software developers? Doesn't the situation also apply to other professions? Check the FAQ for more information on our target audience and where your question should be aimed.

To which you replied:

It is unique to software development, and I am asking only in that context. But it could be applied to other technical fields as well such as Design Engineer etc.

And I ask, if the question applies to other technical fields, how is it unique to software development?

As for the other questions:

There are several off topic open questions, and quite a few clean up efforts summarized in a recent Meta question: Request for comment: structured tag cleanups. We would appreciate your help in any of these efforts, you should flag every question you think is off topic.

  • Well, let see at least moderator was active in putting a comment that it is not unique to software development. In that retrospect, any question can be extrapolated to other fields. "How to convince company to start documentation.." can easily be applied to legacy hardware and other fields. This is not unique to software. Every hardware piece has documentation. What I see is no placed a comment that this is not unique to software and could well be off-topic.
    – TheTechGuy
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 18:37
  • Something that would add in my knowledge, ppl who vote to close the question are not moderators? I know downvote does not close the qeustion.
    – TheTechGuy
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 18:41
  • 5
    @Dave Every user with reputation over 3,000 can vote to close a question. And you shouldn't assume that close votes are related to down votes, that's not always the case. I may vote to close a question because I think it's off topic, but up vote it because it's interesting and useful. Off topic questions may be moved (migrated) to other SE sites, if they are on topic there, they are not bad questions, they just don't fit the scope and expertise of Programmers.
    – yannis
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 18:47
  • @Dave Well a moderator may left you a comment, but didn't close the question. Every comment is meant to help you revise the question and make it on topic (well, not every comment, but certainly every comment by a moderator). As for the "uniquely applies to software development" distinction: It's always a judgement call. My hack is: does the question change if I replace "programmer" with any other profession? If it does, possibly on topic, if not, certainly off topic.
    – yannis
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 18:49
  • I am assuming, every one who can vote to close the question is actually moderator or moderating. Am I wrong?
    – TheTechGuy
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 18:52
  • 1
    @Dave As for all the other questions: There is no point in discussing what I or you think of them. In the end it takes five members to agree that a question is off topic, except rare cases of blatantly off topic questions, when moderators step in and close themselves. Some of the questions you linked to I personally think are a bit off topic, but salvageable, a small edit can make all the difference. I will revisit them when I have some time and if I can't think of a way to improve them, I'll vote to close. I am assuming others will do exactly the same, now that you've identified them.
    – yannis
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 18:57
  • 2
    @Dave Well, in a sense every user is a moderator, there are several moderation related privileges available per rep scale. But the "moderator" title refers to our elected moderators, ChrisF, Mark Trapp and JoshK. We have an election going on right now and we will have a couple of new moderators soon.
    – yannis
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 19:00
  • Good to know. Thanks!
    – TheTechGuy
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 19:06

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