When people ask about Programmers.SE being too negative, closing too many things, or needing to be more inclusive - the best way to approach this is probably to look at the questions that have been asked and put on hold in the past two days or so (the 100 most recent questions).

  1. possible lossy conversion from long to int in java
  2. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/297099/where-do-i-start-i-want-to-automate-some-redundant-office-tasks
  3. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/297098/why-initialization-is-important
  4. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/297095/python-3-x-breaking-down-user-input-and-storing-it-in-different-variables
  5. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/297091/how-to-implement-ipc-in-a-java-process
  6. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/297081/async-retry-executes-immediately-before-waiting-for-interval
  7. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/297076/accesing-java-script-variable-inside-java-in-jsp-file
  8. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/297073/heuristic-of-a-star-search
  9. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/297071/saving-time-on-mysql-as-data (migrated)
  10. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/297064/spare-time-development-for-work-and-ethics
  11. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/297063/whats-a-good-way-to-design-a-data-input-output-program
  12. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/297061/first-pc-game-question
  13. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/297056/is-commenting-of-code-part-of-system-documentation (duplicate)
  14. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/297055/when-to-use-typedef-in-c-programs
  15. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/297054/how-to-handle-a-widley-configurable-application (duplicate)
  16. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/297053/link-facebook-likes-with-website-profile-rating
  17. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/q/297158 (duplicate)
  18. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/297037/how-to-generate-a-single-js-file-containing-all-dependencies-from-npm-or-bower
  19. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/297023/google-mock-how-to-name-mock-functions (migrated)
  20. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/297012/file-not-found-file-mp3-in-delphi-xe7
  21. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/297009/pointers-in-c
  22. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/297002/gui-development-in-c-programming
  23. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/297000/starting-out-again
  24. What does "amortized" mean in "amortized analysis" of algorithms? (duplicate)
  25. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/296989/drawing-of-model-design-question
  26. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/296969/what-caption-is-best-for-a-detail-form (migrated)
  27. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/296966/mean-value-for-dimension-in-numpy-array (migrated)
  28. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/296958/which-programming-or-scripting-language-is-this
  29. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/296956/how-to-intercept-sound-from-running-programs-and-modulate-before-outputting
  30. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/296949/flux-architecture-w-backone-how-to-use-action-creators-for-all-http-responses
  31. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/296948/how-should-i-develop-an-app-for-live-streaming-of-a-home-based-cctv-on-android
  32. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/296946/what-are-good-ways-to-store-decorated-objects-in-a-relational-database-without-a
  33. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/296945/restful-api-using-hateoas
  34. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/296934/intellij-community-edition-javascript-support
  35. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/296930/is-regex-anyway-slower-than-string-methods-to-match-something-in-long-strings
  36. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/296922/suggestions-for-building-a-distributed-system-wanted
  37. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/296920/what-is-the-architectural-design-method-that-begins-with-data
  38. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/296914/what-is-essential-to-create-an-extremely-performant-software
  39. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/296909/how-do-you-format-text-in-python-using-lpod-library (migrated)
  40. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/296905/software-version-with-git-branching
  41. Why isn't there a true "Date-Only" data type?
  42. PHP OOPS: Code review
  43. Methods of “Code Softening” (Opposite of “Hardening”) for C & C++
  44. Chain of Responsibility vs Commands in a queue or stack
  45. latest concept of model-view-controller updates in php
  46. I like programming but I get discouraged sometimes and feel like stopping because I don't think I am good enough. Is this a normal feeling?
  47. Waterfall model implementation
  48. Writing comments for some small code with rather large background (duplicate)
  49. Storing in-memory data in Hadoop
  50. contributions vs commits on Github
  51. It is possible now to use .net native for windows 7?
  52. Passing table name to a stored procedure to perform insert/delete on that table
  53. How to test HAProxy Load Balancer
  54. Is there such a thing as “code diversity”?
  55. process large dataset c#
  56. GPL - Does "internal use" apply for a public gameserver? (migrated)
  57. I have trouble with my matplotlib (Python) plot and fit?
  58. Hooking into partial class' property change
  59. Can the copyright message be removed from software output licensed under GPLv3?
  60. Spring-boot and maven multiple modules

And some that don't show up in the list because they were deleted:

  1. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/297040/top-10-rules-for-remote-work
  2. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/297033/what-is-the-complexity-of-while-loop (duplicate)
  3. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/296960/finding-n-satisfying-a-criterion
  4. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/296943/ctrlf-inheritance-to-c-in-vs2013
  5. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/296954/code-editor-that-allows-multiple-projects
  6. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/296926/loan-origination-system-los-integration
  7. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/296916/how-to-make-android-app-load-external-url-in-in-app-browser
  8. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/296911/output-of-3-different-i-o-models
  9. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/296908/ideas-needed-for-a-project-to-do
  10. https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/296830/linear-equations-in-ruby

So there we have 70 questions that have been closed and/or deleted.

To people saying that we're being too negative and closing too many, specifically which of these questions shouldn't have been closed? can be salvaged and reopened by one of us? needs to be fixed by the OP and only the OP can fix it?

To any Community Managers that see this - please look at this list and consider if we are indeed being too restrictive? or if there is another problem lurking? What can we do to better serve these questions in a timely manner? Do you think we need to change our scope to say that some of these questions should be allowed on the site?


2 Answers 2


Some of these questions could indeed be salvaged into ones that are within the scope of the site. However, building this list was exhausting. It is probably also likewise exhausting trying to go through it and see which ones can be fixed.

Many of the questions will have comments such as this exchange (from question #60)

It's not clear what you're asking, and it's even less clear what problem you're trying to solve. – GlenH7 Sep 9 at 20:46

I'm asking if there is any sense in spliting spring-boot app into separate maven modules, one module for backend one for frontend – whd Sep 9 at 20:57

@whd that depends on what problem you are trying to solve. A suggestion is a solution to some problem. Without knowing what the problem is, suggestions are shots in the dark that may or may not be helpful to you or future readers. – MichaelT Sep 9 at 22:11

... and no response since then.

The people who do fix questions are getting overwhelmed and exhausted trying to do so. Look at the quarter's most recent editors and you will see that the people coming the questions are also the ones that have historically been the ones fixing the questions.

So, I'm exhausted trying to wade through the crap of 'fix this code for me' which is off topic here and has never been on topic here. Or the "I'm a high schooler, how do I write a video game?"

And so I close and down vote the questions that other people shouldn't need to invest time in reading. In hopes that by not needing to look at them, they will find the other answers useful, enlighinging, and answerable.


So I finally got around to looking at all 70 questions and writing down how I feel about them. Obviously, I'm one of the active close/down/delete voters who feels that >50% of our questions having downvotes indicates not that we're too harsh but that we get a lot of terrible questions, so maybe this post is just preaching to the choir and nobody actually cares, but no dissenting voices have posted yet and I think one real answer is better than none at all.

When I looked over this list I did (to my surprise) see a very small number of questions for which a reasonable argument against the closure/migration/deletion could be mounted, and I've highlighted them in bold below. However, I do still feel that not a single one of these 70 questions could by any stretch of the imagination be called a good question. In my opinion, at most you can argue 3-4 of them are salvageable or were treated a bit too harshly. If you feel differently, please post your own answer.

  1. lazy debugging question, off-topic and not good enough for SO
  2. way too broad
  3. no actual question
  4. code writing request
  5. some combination of too broad, unclear, tool recommendation, etc; we have no idea what the OP actually wants to do
  6. no actual question
  7. so trivial it's unclear why the OP needed to ask; OP appears to be lacking extremely basic background knowledge about what client-side code and server-side code are, however, technically this was answerable so you could apply the "no question is too low-level" argument here
  8. no actual question
  9. fix my code request, but an answerable one; migrated to SO and answered over there; "the system worked"
  10. some combination of too broad, unclear, possibly legal advice, "you should be talking to them not asking us", and the answerable parts of it are more appropriate for The Workplace
  11. OP appears to be asking us to design and/or write his program for him
  12. OP appears to be asking what the best 3D video game engine would be, probably not detailed enough to migrate to SoftwareRecs.SE
  13. OP needs to ask his manager what he means by "documentation", this is not a problem we can solve; closing as dupe of the comment question was probably wrong, but I'm not sure it matters
  14. a list of useful examples question, which is traditionally considered equivalent to an open-ended list or opinion poll question, however this one did get a pretty decent accepted answer so you could argue for it
  15. I'm not really sure here. My personal belief is this is not a "standard" problem with more or less correct solutions, but a simple fact of life that everyone has to design around, and asking how to handle complex configuration is no different from asking how to handle browser incompatibilities or how to handle legacy code or how to design a webapp, i.e. I would've considered voting "too broad" on both this question and its current dupe target.
  16. A typical vague "Is it possible to..." which imo is equivalent to asking us to design and/or write the OP's software for him.
  17. Literally an exact duplicate of 16.
  18. Appears to be a tool recommendation.
  19. Asking about Google Mock, migrated to SO and answered there; "the system worked"
  20. I have no idea what the OP is trying to ask.
  21. Literally just asks us to explain pointers in C++, so it's either asking for tutorial links or asking us to write a C++ tutorial as an answer.
  22. "Is it possible to create GUIs with C?"
  23. Career/education advice
  24. For once, a duplicate I actually feel good about. This OP asks what "amortized" means in the context of algorithm analysis, and we already have an answered question asking essentially the same thing.
  25. On-topic, but too vague/broad/unclear to be answerable, and the OP even says he "wanted to poll and get some opinions and advice."
  26. Unclear and/or an opinion poll. I don't even know what the OP means by "caption", so I have no idea what he's after. I don't believe it was worthy of migration, but oh well.
  27. Asking how to do something in numpy. Migrated to SO and answered there; "the system worked" again
  28. "What language is this?"
  29. Either asking us to design/write the program for him, or recommend resources.
  30. Mostly unclear, though I can see a request for code example in there. Nothing salvageable though.
  31. The most charitable reading of this would be "How do I write CCTV code that's portable across all DVRs?" which is still painfully overbroad.
  32. Apparently this one has reopen votes for some reason, but it's obviously too broad in its current form (and hasn't had any edits yet). While the problem is a common and well-known one, OP is essentially asking us to list all the "good" solutions to that problem.
  33. Essentially asking what "the best practices" for a REST API are.
  34. Tool recommendation and/or tech support.
  35. "Is X slower than Y?"
  36. Tool recommendation and/or asking for examples and/or asking what project to take up next.
  37. "What is the architectural/design method that begins with data?" Title says it all really.
  38. "What is essential to create an extremely performant software?" If this isn't too broad I don't know what is.
  39. Code writing request. Should not have been migrated.
  40. Like most version control branch management questions, this is a purely subjective opinion poll rather than a genuine problem that might have an actual solution.
  41. A thinly-veiled rant whose premise is objectively wrong. Maybe this is an example of something to downvote but not close vote, but it got an answer, and the answer has loads of comments from the OP about why it's not helpful, which to me is a classic symptom of a question that should have been closed much sooner.
  42. Claims to be a code review request but provides no code, only vague descriptions of folder structure and control flow.
  43. Essentially "How to make code more error-prone?"
  44. No one seems to know what the OP thinks he's asking.
  45. The entire question is "i know basic about MVC but ,i want to know about latest concept of " model-view-controller" in Php"
  46. Career advice, though it got an accepted +8 answer.
  47. "Can anyone share his experiences about waterfall model."
  48. Kind of an interesting problem, but ultimately an opinion poll about what form of documentation would be the best.
  49. Very vague task description followed by "we're stuck" with no real explanation of why they're stuck, this is a classic example of "too broad" being used to mean "Google a book/tutorial on this technology instead of asking us to write another one"
  50. Asking us how GitHub works.
  51. Tech support
  52. Typical underspecified question, too broad/unclear/opinion-based
  53. Typical underspecified question, too broad/unclear/opinion-based
  54. Not only an opinion poll, but one where opinions can't even be backed up by anything; it's more a philosophy question than an engineering question.
  55. Typical underspecified question, too broad/unclear
  56. Asks us to interpret legal jargon in a license, correctly migrated to OpenSource.SE.
  57. Fix my code request, and far too unclear to migrate to SO.
  58. I simply don't understand this question, or the OP's comment under it.
  59. License interpretation question, which apparently isn't clearly answered by the GPL itself. Arguments can be made either way on how we should handle these questions, but it does appear that there is no objectively correct answer we can give without being lawyers.
  60. Asking how to split up code/modules/whatever without any specific problem or context, so it's just an opinion poll.
  61. Opinion poll, open-ended list question, too broad, career advice
  62. No explanation of why the OP is unable to calculate the big-O themselves. Dupe link is probably correct, down/close/delete votes are maybe too harsh, but the question does come off as lazy.
  63. I have no idea what the OP is trying to ask. It looks vaguely like a comp sci proof homework question but far too poorly explained to be answerable even if it was on-topic.
  64. Asking us to design/write code for them.
  65. Tool recommendation
  66. Way too broad, asking for the best way to design/write a "loan origination system" (without even trying to explain what that means)
  67. Implementation issue, but with too little explanation to migrate to SO.
  68. Homework dump, no explanation of why the OP is stuck, and far too many assumptions have been left out so we couldn't solve it anyway.
  69. "Ideas needed for a project to do"
  70. I'm voting to close this question because this is an extremely simple and common problem with loads of help available on Google, with no explanation of why the OP is unable to solve it on their own. – Ixrec Sep 9 at 19:30
  • 1
    On #62, when you paste that question in to the ask, you get a long list of possible duplicates. The majority of which answer the question or point to the duplicate. The down is because of lack of research, the close is to close it to the canonical dup, and the delete was to stop the down votes and because we don't need yet another poorly written duplicate floating around.
    – user40980
    Sep 13, 2015 at 18:01
  • 1
    @MichaelT I'm being very generous in this post. Even the stuff I have in bold only indicates the ones I think could potentially be argued the other way, even though I still agree they were handled correctly. #62 is definitely a lazy question.
    – Ixrec
    Sep 13, 2015 at 18:15
  • 1
    I didn't go through the list as closely as you but I did look at most of them and get the same feeling about the overwhelming majority of the questions. I would encourage people feeling like this site is too negative to be more aggressive in edits to bring questions on topic.
    – enderland
    Sep 16, 2015 at 18:38
  • As the answerer of #10, as I was submitting the answer, I realized that the question was probably off topic, too broad and should be closed. I just thought that it could be answered with "talk to a lawyer" which is how I started out, but then it just kinda snowballed from there. Sorry about that. Completely agree with the close though.
    – Jan
    Sep 17, 2015 at 4:34

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