In my opinion, this question was doomed, not because of what it was asking, but because it too obviously didn't match the phraseology of a question you're supposed to be able to ask on SE websites. I see the purpose of this requirement on SO, when subjective questions were able to be asked with a 50/50 chance of getting closed - it reduced the chances of bad factionalism resulting from a Brazilian SO and a Pakistani SO all mixed together and very confusing.

It asks an interesting question about programming culture and the history of development houses, the question mentions an outline of a historical event that a good answerer might use in his answer had he not mentioned it in his question. But this should not disqualify the question. I think questions that expose prejudices and give people knowledge about how it is to program in a certain geographic area is a good thing for programmers to know! Before I move my family to either coast, I'd like to know what the expectations are: I'm not exactly aware of the differences between programming on either coast.

Furthermore, I don't think it's wise to close a question just because there is no one qualified to answer the question who is a member of the site yet. I'm prepared to wait a month for a proper answer. No decent programmer is going to write an essay on this site while at work, it's just a waste of time. We almost need to accept short answers at first - and then wait for the answer to develop. That's at a microlevel, but at a macrolevel we need to do that for the whole site.

I hope that the people who turn out to be the stellar rep-getters on this site aren't the folks with the most opinions (or even the wittiest), but the people who have learned the most from the most diverse experiences!

If there is a way to change the question to make it acceptable, why can't we just change the question instead of closing it?

  • 1
    It's responsibility of author to change it. You can recommend it to him/her. You had a good experience on this.
    – Maniero
    Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 15:01

1 Answer 1


This question (now deleted) shouldn't have been too localized: as you mentioned, just because it's a niche problem or a subset of the programmer audience in the world, it's not necessarily too localized for Stack Exchange. As Joel Spolsky wrote on another question about localized questions:

Stop abusing "Too Localized." That is meant to close questions that are so specific to a particular place and time that they can only possible benefit the poster, or questions which would be obsolete in a matter of seconds. Just because there is a location in a question doesn't mean it's too localized.

However, it should've been closed as "not constructive": broad comparisons like that are a Gorilla vs. Shark and are prone to too open-ended of a discussion, which isn't a good fit for the Stack Exchange style of Q&A.

If there was a specific problem being faced—like perhaps moving out to a startup in New York City or Silicon Valley and wanting to better understand the culture in the place you're moving to—that'd likely work out a little better.

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