I just learned that this question is a duplicate of some other question (the link to which is supplied now in the first question). Reading through both questions I cannot see how one could defer the answer to the new one from an answer for the other one. The new one is a completely different question and asks which programming language to use for this kind of task. This may or may not be approriate for this site, but it is for sure not a duplicate of the other one (which focuses on what an expert system is supposed to do).

I don't think that this kind of inaccurracy in this kind of decision is helpful for this site, nor does it create trust in the decision of those users who marked it as duplicate.

  • 5
    [sigh] Questions about which programming language to choose are off-topic anyway. Apr 15, 2013 at 19:15
  • 2
    @RobertHarvey Fully agreed. But if this is the reason for closing, then it should be closed cause it is, e.g., inviting endless discussions, but not cause it's a duplicate (which I don't think it is). It is not fair to just take one arbitrary reason and close it because of that, without allowing the poster to understand what the actual problem is.
    – Thomas
    Apr 15, 2013 at 19:31
  • Hm. In the end, the result is the same. Apr 15, 2013 at 19:32
  • 6
    @RobertHarvey I strongly disagree. In the first case, you have a frustrated new user who feels he is subject to arbitrariness (hope you get what I want to say, English is not my mother tongue), in the second case you may (in the best case) succeed in having the user understand what the problem is and with some luck, he will ask better questions questions in the future. If something is wrong make sure to clearly communicate what is actually wrong. Otherwise shut up (my apologies if this sounds rude).
    – Thomas
    Apr 15, 2013 at 19:40
  • I'm not the one who closed your question. What are you looking at me for? There is clear communication in the faq, which you apparently didn't read. Apr 15, 2013 at 19:41
  • 2
    @RobertHarvey It was not my questino which was closed. I'm simply replying to your comments.
    – Thomas
    Apr 15, 2013 at 19:44
  • Ack. What are we even talking about this for then? Apr 15, 2013 at 19:46
  • @RobertHarvey I think this might be a great site. But I also do get the impression that many established users here are trying to scare potential new users away, cause they for some reason do not meet the standards. A simple and efficient way to do this is to close question by claiming they do not conform to 'X' without seeing the need to even check whether this is actually true. Your first comment was in the direction 'So what'. I want to know whether most 44k reputation users of this site do share this position, so I'm asking back. Very simple. By now, I got mostly 'so what' as a reply.
    – Thomas
    Apr 15, 2013 at 20:03
  • 4
    Some veteran users are just frustrated by the apparent inability of many users to ask quality questions. Most close reasons are just proxies for "this question sucks" anyway, and close voters are less concerned with getting the close reason right than they are at getting the question closed. More info here: meta.programmers.stackexchange.com/a/5720/1204 Apr 15, 2013 at 20:07
  • @RobertHarvey I got that by now. I think that such a place can only be useful if at least the veterans show a certain kind of discipline, which, no offence meant, I feel is lacking here. I asked for deletion of my account cause of this just a minute ago. I do not intend to fight a circus like that. Thanks for answering nonetheless.
    – Thomas
    Apr 15, 2013 at 20:24
  • @RobertHarvey (Oh, by the way, I did read the FAQ.)
    – Thomas
    Apr 15, 2013 at 20:46
  • 1
    Well, I apologize if I appeared a bit short. I don't really know what to say about the accuracy of closings; it's never going to be completely accurate, for a number of reasons. Apr 16, 2013 at 14:31

3 Answers 3


That particular question fit multiple close reasons at once, but people can't select multiple reasons. I personally think it wasn't adequately similar to the dup, but duplicate is the most helpful close reason, because it points you to a question where you might get at least part of your question answered. If I have a choice between closing as a duplicate and another reason, I always choose the duplicate.

Personally, I think the question should be an exception to the no "what programming language" question rule, because most languages that make good expert systems, like LISP or Prolog, have lousy GUI support. It's precisely the kind of question a community of expert programmers is well-suited to answer. @glenatron's comment about dual languages would have made a great answer with a little bit of exposition.

  • 2
    There is likely a much better question of "after working in an expert system in lisp, I have found myself with a command line, but no GUI - how do I put a front end on this expert system." Though thinking about it, clojure might be an answer (getting lisp like syntax and access to all of the Java classes...)... though I haven't dabbled in expert systems (or really UI either) enough to say.
    – user40980
    Apr 16, 2013 at 1:07

I have noticed a lot of questions being flagged as duplicates lately when I didn't feel that they were duplicates of the question that the people closing them said they were duplicates of. In some cases they didn't seem close.

It seems to me that the definition of "duplicate" should be very close to an exact duplicate of the question, in intent if not in wording. If the question is otherwise ambiguous or of low quality we shouldn't be closing it as a duplicate, we should be trying to clarify it or closing it for an appropriate reason.

Reading the guidance from MSO that @gnat mentioned, I see this:

the answers to the original question must solve the dupe’s problem.

In this case I could see no answers to the question that came close to solving the duplicate's problem and clearly neither could the person asking it. There was some good information that was pertinent to their decision making, but nothing there which was an answer to this question.


My vote has been based on what is stated in the questions and in MSO guidance. Let's see,

  • Closed question (revision that I voted on):

    I would like to know from the programmers what programming language is to be preferred?

  • "Target" question:

    What is the general process to define the behavior of an expert system, from the initial assessment of the conditions to the actual code?

Given above, I voted in accordance with this guidance at MSO:

we want to tell the user ...something like, “Somebody already asked this. If that other question doesn't solve your problem, please clarify your question to explain how it's different.” Perfect: if the other question helps them, they're happy because they got an answer. If the other question doesn't help them, they know exactly what to do. No argument about how exact an "exact duplicate" needs to be...

  • First of all, thanks for answering. But:'Somebody already asked this': how do you draw this statement out of what you cited from the questions? I really cannot see this.
    – Thomas
    Apr 15, 2013 at 16:49
  • @Thomas per my reading, "what programming language is to be preferred" is a necessary part of "from the initial assessment of the conditions to the actual code"
    – gnat
    Apr 15, 2013 at 18:24
  • Hmm, ok, your point of view. Which I do not share. My point of view. In addition, the answers to the 'Target question' are not very useful in regard to the specialization of the closed one. Anyway, the question has been opened again.
    – Thomas
    Apr 15, 2013 at 18:54
  • somewhat related discussion at Whiteboard: civil peace, the way of MSO etc
    – gnat
    Apr 17, 2013 at 21:20

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .