I thought I definitely agreed with the Subjective Questions Guidelines, and it made sense to me to close those which did not reach a score of at least 4/6. It seems, though, that my interpretation of the guidelines was somewhat flawed.

I'm asking now after a specific case, and the question - er - in question was mine, but please grant me enough trust not to assume I'm not impartial in judgement. I really love this place, although I'm kind of a newbie, and I want to play it by the rules - and to do so, I need to know them first.

So, this is the question. I added a self-evaluation post-scriptum about the guidelines, too, before posting. Nevertheless, I got some downvotes for not abiding to them, and one person - with a way higher reputation and experience here than mine - also made me notice which points my question supposedly didn't respect.

Problem is: I disagree, and I think the reasons are clear, so there could be something I'm missing.

So, could you please tell me what I fail to understand in the guidelines implications, if I fail to understand something? I know it's an effort, but it would be really helpful for me.

  • I'm not seeing a link to the question here. I think it would be useful to provide a link to any specific P.SE question being asked. Dec 29, 2010 at 22:46
  • @David Thorney, "This" in OP is an hyperlink. Here it is anyway: programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/29485/… Dec 30, 2010 at 8:41
  • Ah, in the third paragraph, with nothing showing it except a slightly different color for one uncapitalized word, which is not necessarily easy to see. I assure you I did scrub with the mouse, evidently not thoroughly enough. Personally, I like to see more prominent hyperlinks. Dec 30, 2010 at 14:51
  • @David Thornley, makes sense. I have a very high-contrast monitor, so the highlight was pretty obvious for me, but I should have thought about it. Dec 30, 2010 at 16:38

1 Answer 1


It was closed as off-topic because (at least my vote was because) this doesn't apply specifically to programmers - the same question, with the same answer, could reasonably be asked of anyone doing vaguely similar desk based work.

This seems to be one of the things people misunderstand. Questions should be about things which are pretty much unique to programming and programmers, rather than being things that apply generically to office workers.

  • Oh, it hasn't been closed. Your observation makes sense, although I disagree. I've done some other kinds of desk work in the past (as a translator) and my attitude towards a musical background was very very different (I used to need absolute silence). The particular breed of concentration you need when programming is, IMHO, helped by different conditions than other desk works. Also, all three down votes gave not abiding to the guidelines as a reason - sure you marked it as off-topic? Dec 23, 2010 at 22:23
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    @cbrandolino - have also commented on the question specifically to support my close vote (which I'm normally happy to do where it's not obvious). Maybe I'll be proved wrong and someone will produce a great answer packed with facts and research but right now it's a load of people going "I like to listen to music". Dec 23, 2010 at 22:27
  • @Jon, true, but there is also quite a bit of people explaining why/when it helps/does not help. And the thing is: should I be responsible for the answers? It's not like the question did not enable a serious conversation. Dec 23, 2010 at 22:34
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    @cbrandolino - I'm going to leave it after this comment but I don't think there was a serious conversation in my view - there are a bunch of programmers saying "hey, I like to listen to music when I code". Ask a question about whether anyone knows of any solid research or science supporting increase or decrease in productivity while listening to music for intellectually challenging work and I'll be upvoting you like crazy. Dec 23, 2010 at 22:51
  • @Jon, I get your point. I would have really loved some references to papers/studies as well. Dec 23, 2010 at 22:52
  • Ok, I think I might as well accept this one. Dec 26, 2010 at 9:43

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