A little while ago I posed the following question - lightweight document indexing to handle less than 250k potential records. Badly.

The question was immediately leaped upon and labeled as soliciting "market research". This was probably because I included the word "potential" in the title of the question (always a red flag) and because at the tail end of the question I mused on whether anybody thought it would be worth pursuing if it came out that no such technology existed. Combined with the title, I'm guessing that somebody assumed I meant "as a commercial enterprise" and not as an open source solution. When I saw the comment that was made I immediately edited the question to remove the offending remarks, trying to salvage the question.

No luck.

The question was closed within an hour and featured absolutely no discussion beyond the following comment.

"Please don't do your market research here. The question is off-topic here. You may have better luck asking it at onstartups, though you should read their FAQ first." - Oded

His closing vote was quickly followed by four additional close votes. Maybe I'm way off the mark here but this really seems to me like a close-vote dogpile.

The question was closed as off-topic but I fail to see how it didn't fall under at least one of these guidelines of the P.SE FAQ:

  • algorithm and data structure concepts
  • quality assurance
  • software architecture
  • software engineering

Based on my understanding of the P.SE FAQ, it also qualifies as a constructive subjective question.

At worst, the question might belong on StackOverflow but even then SO is for strictly for objective questions that have verifiable, factual responses.

My conclusions:

  1. I should have phrased the title differently. My bad. This is an easy edit, honestly.
  2. I should have realized that somebody might mistake my intentions when I asked if it might be a viable project if an existing solution wasn't available. Again, my bad, and was fixed immediately.
  3. The question was closed before anybody took the time to really read the post.
  4. The question should not have been closed but rather, could and should have been edited to make it more palatable.
  • How was the wedding? Welcome Back.
    – Morons
    Commented Jan 3, 2013 at 0:32
  • Anyhow you question is basically an exact duplicate of this : programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/47360/…
    – Morons
    Commented Jan 3, 2013 at 0:33
  • Any time a question starts with what appears to be ranting it gets instantly down voted.
    – Morons
    Commented Jan 3, 2013 at 0:34
  • 1
    I know how to build the engine, just not sure if its worth doing. I guess this question itself is not fully formed in my own head properly. Commented Jan 3, 2013 at 1:15
  • @Morons Oh, and wedding was fine. That, combined with I got a job at a fruit company kind of led to my hiatus. ;) Commented Jan 3, 2013 at 1:17
  • its all good, you are welcome back (to the blogging team) any time..
    – Morons
    Commented Jan 3, 2013 at 1:19
  • whether your goal is open source or commercial code was irrelevant
    – Ryathal
    Commented Jan 3, 2013 at 13:36

1 Answer 1


I read the post and I don't understand what problem you are having difficulty solving. I see a few questions in the post:

  • does something exist like this for full-text indexing/searching?


  • Has anyone ever had a similar gripe before... or am I nuts and should just keep using SQL for these situations?

Both of those aren't appropriate for Programmers. The first is polling for technology solutions that will likely generate a shopping list of things. The second question seems better suited for a discussion forum.

I don't think off-topic is the correct close reason, but I agree with the closure. I think that "not constructive" or "not a real question" probably would have been better. However, there aren't any answers to the post. That makes it a potential candidate for reopening, if it's edited.

I would recommend editing it so that it doesn't read like you're looking for a list of technologies, are trying to rant, or trying to start a discussion. Describe the specific problem that you are currently facing and what solutions you have found and why they don't seem appropriate.

As far as people closing instead of editing, no one is under an obligation to edit a post.

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