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Book (or resource) on Java bytecode was recently asked.

I voted to close immediately, without really reading (or understanding) much of of the question.

Should questions that request resources get automatic close votes from members such as myself?

  • I, too, down- and close-voted immediately but unlike you I do not think it was automatic in my case. I still remember that couple hundreds downvotes ago it took me noticeable time (1-5 minutes) to evaluate such post before casting a vote. I believe quick voting for cases like this is a matter of fluency, a skill that comes with extensive practice (like it is in programming). "Do you know what it is to be fluent? It's when for someone looking at you it appears as if you code as you type..." – gnat Sep 8 '12 at 20:27
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    @gnat I am the OP. I already heard from Oded and I would like to know from you: why do you think it should be closed? It is a resource request, but it is not encouraging a poll. Actually, it does not even have one answer yet. The reason is that I am not asking what book to choose among many, but I am simply asking for even one book. The topic is obscure enough to make it difficult to find resources about it, save for the spec. So it seems to me essentially different from questions such as "What book should I learn Python from?". – Andrea Sep 8 '12 at 20:57
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    @Andrea Programmers is a site for "conceptual questions" (per FAQ). To me, resource questions don't qualify. – gnat Sep 8 '12 at 21:10
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    related: Are book recommendations on-topic? and "canonical" discussion at MSO: How to request book recommendations. The latter also has quite some interesting reading in "Linked" section – gnat Sep 9 '12 at 6:33
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    @Andrea Looking at your question, you seem to have a handful of specific questions about JVM bytecode, why not just ask them instead of asking for a book? If, for example, you ask "Why does the bytecode has to know about high level construct such as classes?" chances are books and other resources will appear as part of the answers, either as references or as recommended readings. If your questions show prior research / effort, and are on topic, they'll fare a lot better than a request for resources. – yannis Sep 9 '12 at 16:49
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    @YannisRizos Yes, I will probably post separate questions while I browse the spec. I hoped to get some book that could answer questions I do not know I want to ask yet. :-) – Andrea Sep 9 '12 at 18:41
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No, they should not get automatic close votes

Per the meta FAQ question Are book recommendations on-topic?

I would say that like "what language should I learn" questions, questions that effectively ask for a list of books on X should be closed as "not constructive".

However, like programming language questions, if you have specialised requirements (you want to go into LINQ, or networking, or.. in great depth) then perhaps those should be allowed. They should inspire answers that explain why a book is good for this topic and shouldn't just produce a list of everyone's favourite.

So - in short - if your question will produce a list of everyone's favourite book - don't post, but if it will elicit the title of the book on a topic then go for it.

So use your brain when downvoting and voting to close. Don't just see the word "book" and take some automatic action.

If SE wanted some kind of automatic system, they'd implement one. But they don't. They want community members to actually evaluate the contents of a question and use their brain to decide if a question is suitable for their site or not, and downvoting or voting to close based on that. Automatic downvotes/closure votes will do more harm than good in the long run if valid questions start getting downvoted and closed.

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    If SE wanted some kind of automatic system, they'd implement one Heh, they are implementing one... – yannis Sep 9 '12 at 17:07
  • @YannisRizos Read the details and the comments. They are very clear that the content is to provide a better review system, and not for an automatic close system. "First and foremost, there’s no plan to “auto close” questions." – Rachel Sep 9 '12 at 19:36
  • I know @Rachel, who in their right mind would want an "auto close" system? – yannis Sep 9 '12 at 19:55
  • @YannisRizos I wouldn't mind questions containing 'learn a (programming) language' being auto closed – Ryathal Sep 10 '12 at 12:27
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    @Ryathal There's too many special cases for something like that. There'd always be a chance that someone asks a valid question that contains a phrase on the auto-close watch list, such as "I recently wanted to learn a OOP language...", and I think auto-closing valid questions will do this site more harm than good. It already has a reputation for the high closure rate, and incorrectly closing questions will just make users even more upset and less likely to use the site. – Rachel Sep 10 '12 at 13:46

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