The moderators have closed following question, which was, in Oct 2010 apparently a valid question.

I would like to know the reasoning behind the closing as "not a real question". I have made a defense in the actual question (which was afterwards deleted) but in my view the question is about improve your ability to write better code, which I thought this site was about. At the time quite a few answered my question and at that time no-one expressed any doubt about being a "non-real question".

At the same time I would like to ask the moderators closing my question for any pointers how to improve the question.

  • was in Oct 2010 apparently a valid question - what makes you think so?
    – gnat
    Commented Mar 28, 2012 at 8:31
  • @gnat At the time quite a few answered my question and at that time no-one expressed any doubt about being a "non-real question". furthermore no one of the moderators had any objections to the question at that time.
    – user1041
    Commented Mar 28, 2012 at 8:40
  • I see - fair enough
    – gnat
    Commented Mar 28, 2012 at 9:08
  • And I won a badge for popular question for this.. Ironic
    – user1041
    Commented Mar 29, 2012 at 5:43
  • well you might be interested in reading The Trouble With Popularity article in stack Exchange blog
    – gnat
    Commented Mar 29, 2012 at 6:34
  • Thank you for the link. I read it and have been thinking it over. The article was concerned with about not having humorous comments on StackOverflow so I don't see the article as an exact fit. Quote from the article: Popularity is a tough thing. Iā€™m tempted to call it a curse, but what we try to do at Stack Exchange is make sure that questions and answers are popular for the right reasons ā€” because they are amazing resources for learning from your peers The answers on my question gave me a chance to learn.
    – user1041
    Commented Mar 29, 2012 at 7:13

2 Answers 2


First of all, the question was closed by two regular members and a moderator, it wasn't just "the moderators". Now, the notification for the close reason reads as:

closed as not a real question

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. See the FAQ for guidance on how to improve it.

"Not a real question" is just a title, you should be concentrating on the text and not the title. Your question, at least the way I read it, is ambiguous, vague, and overly broad, so I'd say that the close reason applies perfectly. The "not constructive" close reason applies equally, as you are polling for people's opinions and you don't present us with an actual practical problem. It's more of a discussion oriented question, not a bad one, don't get me wrong, just not specific enough to be sufficiently answered on a Stack Exchange site.

A lot have changed since Oct 2010, obviously. I wasn't a member back then so I can't really comment on whether the question was acceptable, but I imagine it was. Right now, it's not, the scope of the site has been better defined, we have a lot more experience on what questions work well with the Q&A format and what do not, etc.

It's a bit frustrating that this question was closed after being open for so long, I guess it's because it hadn't had any activity until very recently and the tag hasn't been targeted for a cleanup. What brought the question to our attention are the two recent answers, which bumped the question on the front page and (probably) attracted the close votes and flags. Both answers are, let's say less than stellar, and when a question starts attracting low quality answers it's a very good sign that it has run it's circle. We typically don't judge a question by its answers, but if a question is borderline, then the answers may be what triggers the closing.

I would have closed this question as well, probably as "not constructive", I think for this specific question the "not constructive" text would better convey why the question is not a good fit for the site. But that's not to say that I have any issues with the question being closed as "not a real question", both close reasons apply and closed is closed, regardless of the reason.

Lastly, please don't edit messages to moderators (or anyone) in your questions, there's little chance your message will reach us this way and the text of your questions should only have information that are relevant to what you are looking for. If you wish to contact the moderators you can flag your question for moderation attention, ping us in chat or post a Meta question.

  • 3
    I am content with your answer. I also removed the percived self-praise that brought attention from one of the regular members. I also lament the direction the site has taken that these kinds of questions can't be asked here anymore. I may be have to find some other place that I can asked more open-ended questions of this type. But it is the call of the maintainers of this site. As the edit in the question I stand corrected.
    – user1041
    Commented Mar 28, 2012 at 8:15

Simple: This question is just way too open-ended (and most programmers should understand why it's too open-ended).

You must log in to answer this question.