I wonder why this question about the possibility of zero bugs was closed as "not constructive"

Since it's very much on topic for the field of software engineering, and it's not an opinionated/flamebait sort of question, I can only think of one close reason: that it will solicit debate and extended discussion.

But this question is the stuff software engineering is made of, right? An answer is possible, and you can quote software engineering books and papers. Right? You can mention practical matters such as the cost of finding bugs, diminishing ROI, etc, or theoretical aspects such as the feasibility of formal proof in the general case, and all of that with proper references.

It doesn't seem so open-ended it must be closed.

edit: as Yannis points out, I misread the close reason, which is actually "not a real question". I still think it is on-topic and can be salvaged into a more focused question.

  • 2
    It was closed as "not a real question", and I suspect it's because it's a bit ill defined and overly broad. And... I think I agree with the close voters, to me it seems like each one of the 10 answers is answering a slightly different question.
    – yannis
    Apr 23, 2013 at 5:06
  • @YannisRizos Wow, I really misread that :P Anyway, I think the question can be salvaged.
    – Andres F.
    Apr 23, 2013 at 5:28

2 Answers 2


The question was flagged again for reopening and on evaluation of the question in its current state and the meta discussion, I don't feel a sufficient argument was provided for why this was considered too broad. The question itself is quite answerable in my opinion and a few of the answers are good.

I think that some of the answers provided were poor or don't really answer the question so I protected it from further answers by new users.


If you think a closed question can be salvaged then please go ahead and make (or suggest) the edits necessary.

If you have to suggest the edits then two people will review them and if they approve the question will be edited. If your edits get approved there's hopefully a good chance that the two approvers will vote to reopen as well.

Once the question has been edited it will be place on the /review/reopen queue where others can decide whether your changes are enough to bring it within the scope of the site and an actual, answerable question.

Highlighting the question in [chat] or here is a good way to bring attention to the changes as well.

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    Hmm, I kept thinking about it, and the way to rephrase it would change it almost entirely, so maybe that's a signal this particular wording of the question was indeed rightfully closed.
    – Andres F.
    Apr 23, 2013 at 13:01
  • @AndresF. That's common, sense a question could be good but upon trying to fix find out the fix isn't even the same question anymore. When that happens I find it best to cast the close vote then post the totally-different-but-actually-useful question Aug 14, 2013 at 14:36

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