About the question:

I think this is a solicitation of constructive criticism and praise for an existing technology. We want to know what lessons we learnt, what good ideas to replicate and what mistakes to avoid in future.

Why was this very constructive question closed as “not constructive”?


2 Answers 2


From our FAQ:

What kind of questions should I not ask here?

You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page.


If your motivation for asking the question is “I would like to participate in a discussion about ______”, then you should not be asking here. However, if your motivation is “I would like others to explain ______ to me”, then you are probably OK. (Discussions are of course welcome in our real time web chat.)

The question is very open ended, doesn't present an actual problem, and the only motivation behind it appears to be a discussion as OP appears to have already made up their mind. There is nothing inherently wrong with the question or questions of similar characteristics, they just don't fit the Q&A philosophy and format of the site.

Further reading:

  • @romkyns Thank you for bringing that old question to our attention, the scope of the site wasn't as well defined back then.
    – yannis
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 20:47
  • In other words, it has nothing to do with being unconstructive? Then why does it say “not constructive”? Maybe you should fix that message to say something more appropriate and less misleading?
    – Timwi
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 21:03
  • @Timwi The close notification is the same network wide, it's not something I can fix on my own. If you feel it's misleading, please post a Meta question, similar to this one.
    – yannis
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 21:05
  • Do you think it’s not misleading? Do you still think that the question was unconstructive?
    – Timwi
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 21:12
  • @Timwi No I don't find it misleading. The close notification doesn't just say "not constructive", there is a a description and a link to the FAQ, and I think all of these combined contain most information needed to understand why a question was closed. If you have a better suggestion for the title of the close notification, by all means post a Meta question. There is always room for improvement in everything, and although I don't find the current title misleading if your suggestion is a better one, I would gladly support it.
    – yannis
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 21:16
  • So you think calling it “not constructive” when you don’t actually think that the question was unconstructive is excused by the fact that there’s a link to an FAQ somewhere in the small print? Come on.
    – Timwi
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 21:18
  • 1
    @Timwi "Not constructive" is in respect to whether it fits the scope and format of the site, not a comment on the question itself. Not every interesting, relevant and well formulated question fits the scope and / or the format of the site, and every close notification reflects on that, it's not a comment on the question itself. For example, we close questions as "Not a question", regardless if they are formulated as a question.
    – yannis
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 21:21
  • Then how about “outside the scope/format of this site” instead of “not constructive”?
    – Timwi
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 21:29
  • @Timwi That could be one possible rewrite. You should post it as a Meta question to see what the community thinks of it. I personally don't think the current title is misleading, however I only have a single vote in these matters, as everyone ;)
    – yannis
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 21:39
  • I don’t understand why you don’t think “not constructive” is misleading even though you’ve admitted that the closing of the question had nothing to do with it being not constructive...? I’m really confused about that.
    – Timwi
    Commented Mar 13, 2012 at 12:45

An example of an unconstructive subjective question is defined in the FAQ as:

• there is no actual problem to be solved: “I’m curious if other people feel like I do.”

The question listed above really isn't solving a problem, it is just encouraging a broad discussion on a very complex issue. It would be suitable for a forum post but not for the format of this site.

  • 1
    The question definitely wasn’t asking whether other people “feel like” the OP did. It was asking for lessons learnt in hindsight, both positive and negative, which affect future programming language design — if that isn’t constructive, I don’t know what is.
    – Timwi
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 21:06
  • 2
    @Timwi: To put it another way, it is a rant thinly disguised as a question; the answer is already in the question: "This is what I believe; prove me wrong." Commented Mar 13, 2012 at 20:04

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