I would like to ask why How to force evaluation in Haskell? was down-voted and closed. This came completely unexpected since it is a very specific and precise question regarding Haskell and how to force evaluation of an expression. There are tons of similar questions on programmers.


As far as I understand, a few question have been cleaned up (and possibly moved to stack overflow) in the last few days and this question was too old to be moved. I admit I was a bit confused about which questions belong on stack overflow and which belong on programmers because I have seen quite a number of more technical questions on programmers (e.g., if I am not mistaken, this, and this) that IMO are a bit on the borderline.

However, I have seen that some of these questions have been moved to stack overflow so it is a bit clearer now. Still, I would find it better if it was possible to move also old questions: the question had already an accepted answer.


I have posted a copy of the question and answer on stack overflow, as discussed with the moderators.


I would now like to delete this question because (1) it is off-topic and (2) for some reason it got a downvote and I would not like it to get more. But it is not possible to delete the question because it has already an answer. What can I do? Thank you in advance.


1 Answer 1


The down vote came from the close reason. Some close reasons, including off-topic, automatically apply a down vote to the question. The reason for closure is clearly stated in the FAQ: questions about "implementation issues or programming tools" belong on Stack Overflow. A good rule of thumb is that if you are sitting at your computer, in front of your development tools, the question probably belongs on Stack Overflow. If you're at a whiteboard or in a conference room, Programmers is probably a better bet.

This question was not eligible for migration to Stack Overflow because of its age. In the past few months, a restriction was placed on migration. After 60 days (refer to this feature request at MSO for details), questions can no longer be migrated.

If there are indeed "tons of similar questions" on Programmers, please point them out. Implementation details are, and always have been (as far as I can remember), off-topic here. If any exist, they should be closed or migrated to Stack Overflow.

  • 1
    Why was it closed and not moved to Stack Overflow?
    – Giorgio
    Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 18:10
  • 1
    @Giorgio I'll edit that into my post, but questions over a certain age (60 days, I think, I need to check Meta.SO) are no longer eligible for migration.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 18:10
  • I think some times the border is not so clear. The question was not about implementation details. There are several techniques for forcing evaluation in Haskell and it is not just about the implementation details, but also about what is the best choice (wrt to performance, memory usage, and so on).
    – Giorgio
    Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 18:15
  • 2
    @Giorgio The question is quite specifically asking for "the right way" to implement functionality and the specific behavior of a piece of code, and if the resultant behavior isn't what is to be expected, what the correct implementation is. Even if you took into consideration non-functional aspects, once you move away from architectural and design decisions into code, the best site to ask on moves from Programmers to Stack Overflow.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 18:19
  • Is there a way to move the question there or would I have to rewrite it from scratch?
    – Giorgio
    Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 18:21
  • @Giorgio Let me get back to you on that. It's a good question with a good answer. It just doesn't belong here.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 18:23
  • OK. As I said, I was a bit confused because I saw similar questions appearing on programmers so I thought this was acceptable. Normally I try my best to ask question on the right site.
    – Giorgio
    Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 18:31
  • For what it's worth the intention I had, with my "close" vote was for it to be migrated to SO. But that was not an option as Thomas has stated.
    – Walter
    Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 18:32
  • 1
    @Giorgio Just talked it over with an SO mod. Feel free to reask there. You can self-post that answer on SO as well. Be sure to provide appropriate attribution (provide the user's name and link to the answer's Programmers profile in the SO answer) as required by CC-Wiki. After you do that, ping me here. I'll clean it up on Programmers.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 18:35
  • @Thomas Owens: If I self post the question, will the answer be copied also? I mean, I already have the answer I was looking for, and retyping the question there would only be to avoid that the question goes lost. I also think the user who wrote the answer should keep the credit.
    – Giorgio
    Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 18:39
  • @Giorgio You'll have to copy/paste the answer as an answer on Stack Overflow. I'll ping the user who wrote the answer here, though, inviting them to repost it over on Stack Overflow. If they choose to, a moderator on SO can delete your self-posted answer in favor of their answer.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 18:41

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