My question Which concepts are pertinent to plan a “end-user documentation” strategy? has been closed, and I do not completely understand why.The reason invoked is

"Questions asking us to recommend a tool, library or favorite off-site resource are off-topic for Programmers as they tend to attract opinionated answers and spam. Instead, describe the problem and what has been done so far to solve it." – Eric King, GlenH7, World Engineer

I do not think that this apply to my question, and argued my position in the comments of the question. These arguments were not answered and the question has been closed.

How can I get any chance to reword my question in an appropriate manner if moderators do not provide details about their decision when asked?

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    "and argued my position in the comments of the question" Please don't do that, it's pointless. No one received inbox notifications for your comments, in all likelihood no one ever saw them (till now). Meta is the better place to argue against (or for) a closure.
    – yannis
    Nov 17, 2013 at 15:05
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    @YannisRizos The closing message says If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit your question or leave a comment. which is quite misleading, if the right thing to do is to ask on META! Nov 17, 2013 at 15:13
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    Yes, the "leave a comment" part is bad advice. Will check to see if there's a pending feature request to reword the message, and if there isn't, I'll post one myself.
    – yannis
    Nov 17, 2013 at 15:13
  • @YannisRizos Should I now edit this META-question for this discussion (and change the title) or is it better style to start another question for this? Nov 17, 2013 at 15:16
  • I think your Meta question is fine as is. As for your main site question, I agree the close reason doesn't quite fit. It was automatically deleted since it stayed closed for a month (without answers), will undelete it so more people can access it and evaluate the closure.
    – yannis
    Nov 17, 2013 at 15:19
  • @YannisRizos Great! Thank you for your feedback! Nov 17, 2013 at 15:22
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    @michipili - did you take a look at Real Questions Have Answers? It's obvious you've done a lot of thinking on this topic, but the question to me looks like it's fairly open ended. Even after your edits it went 20 days without a single answer. It might be necessary to break this up into smaller bite-sized pieces somehow so people can read it quickly and provide a "practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face" in a paragraph or two (scroll down in the blog linked above for yellow text). Nov 17, 2013 at 16:10
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    @DanPichelman You are right that the topic is probably too broad, I will consider reworking the question to convert it in a series of question. It would probably be much easier to answer! Nov 18, 2013 at 6:44
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    @YannisRizos: You might need to rally more moderators to get the question actually undeleted. At this moment is still shows as deleted (with one undelete vote on it, when I tried to add my vote, it was not accepted because a moderator had deleted the question). Nov 18, 2013 at 15:52
  • @BartvanIngenSchenau Actually, it's Community vs. Yannis. Community usually gets the upper hand at the beginning of the fight, but smart folk put their money on Yannis. He's been known to make Community cry "uncle" in defeat. Check out the revision history
    – user53019
    Nov 18, 2013 at 16:36
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    @BartvanIngenSchenau Undeleted again, but it'll probably be deleted again the next time the auto-deletion script runs. Relevant bug report & feature request: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/194496/… & meta.stackexchange.com/questions/207933/…
    – yannis
    Nov 18, 2013 at 20:34
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    @YannisRizos Undeleted again and trivially edited, although now that I looked at the timestamps more closely, I didn't need to do that... So long as it doesn't get downvoted again, it should stay visible. Let me know if it doesn't.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Nov 19, 2013 at 6:41
  • @AnnaLear Thanks. Hm... A whitespace edit stops autodeletion? I was under the impression it would take a more significant edit than that.
    – yannis
    Nov 19, 2013 at 11:54
  • @YannisRizos I was guessing, to be honest. I think any edit would prevent deletion for a question that's closed over 9 days ago (the last set of criteria), but I'm not 100% sure and it's a moot point since this question got picked up under the "abandoned after 30 days" criteria instead.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Nov 19, 2013 at 16:32
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    Do note one thing you seem to have confused off hand: [...] if moderators do not provide details about their decision when asked? You appear to believe it's due to moderators that your question was closed, this community is self-moderating and the users are the ones who do the majority of closing. In the list of people who close voted your question the one with the diamond next to their name is a moderator, but note if he hadn't close voted, two other users would have caused the closure with simple user level votes. The moderation here reflects the community, not some ruling moderators Nov 21, 2013 at 17:13

2 Answers 2


You can ask an actual question.

The question you posted reads more like a blog entry or essay (you even include a conclusion paragraph). It's a wall of text that requires extensive analysis just to determine what your subject matter is. That doesn't really scale well on a question and answer site.

In short, get to the point, quickly and succinctly. We don't necessarily need to know what your entire research background on your question is, we just need you to tell us what your question is.

Pro tip: Good questions can be answered definitively with a single, well-worded answer constrained to a small number of relatively short paragraphs.

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    Additional note: The fact that the wrong close reason was provided only underscores the confusion that the community had with your question. Nov 21, 2013 at 19:54

Your question strikes me as too broad for the stack exchange format. As I understand the question, you are essentially asking for best practices for writing user documentation.

Is there a very specific problem you are trying to solve? If you are looking for a broad overview on the topic, I suggest searching Amazon or your local library for books on "technical writing".

  • Introducing the term “technical writing” is useful! Nov 21, 2013 at 6:16

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