A request question is asking to enumerate all JavaScript functions that return null or undefined.

I thought that questions which ask to make a list of things are off-topic here; however, I can't find anything in the rules which tells that it is the case.

There is a popular variant of questions which lead to answers containing only one or few elements from a list, such as What non programming books should a programmer read? Those are off-topic, but this case is different.

Here, the answer won't limit itself to one or few elements from a list. Instead, it can:

  • Either produce the full list of all functions returning null and a list of those which return undefined, eventually providing also a link to the documentation which contains those lists in the first place,

  • Or explain how to generate such list by parsing documentation such as MDN,

  • Or provide a piece of code which creates the list from JavaScript itself.

This question is also different from questions asking for a list of examples. Here, there is the right answer.

In all cases, the question is absolutely not “I'm lazy, do my job for me”-style question. I find it well written and constructive, and among the close reasons, no seem to match.


  • Is this question off-topic?

  • If yes, what should be the close reason?

  • Possible duplicate of Why do 'some examples' and 'list of things' questions get closed?
    – gnat
    Nov 10, 2016 at 12:13
  • 1
    @gnat, the question you marked as a possible duplicate is already mentioned in my question where I explained how mine is different. Nov 10, 2016 at 12:27
  • per my reading of the question you ask about it isn't anyhow special - because it doesn't require for a single answer to contain full list or instruction on how to get full list. This makes it possible to submit multiple formally legitimate answers that can't be reliably ranked / voted to find which one is better. (to avoid misunderstanding I don't think it would be okay to work around this issue by editing the question with meta requirement that answers must be of certain form)
    – gnat
    Nov 10, 2016 at 12:43
  • No, gnat, the difference is in the formulation of the question. If, during a discussion, I ask you “What are some languages I can learn now?”, you'll answer with a small list of suggestions such as “You may learn Haskell and Go.” On the other hand, if I ask you “What are all the languages I could learn?”, your answer won't be “Haskell and Go.” Instead, you'll point me to the Wikipedia list of all programming languages, and suggest me a way to subtract from it the languages I already know. While another person could give a different list of languages and suggest a different way of... Nov 10, 2016 at 12:56
  • ... determining which languages I know already, the fact that multiple answers are possible is irrelevant here—many valid questions on Programmers.SE have multiple valid answers. This is, however, very different from answering “Haskell and Go.” or “Ruby and Fortran.” and deciding which one of those lists is subjectively better. Nov 10, 2016 at 12:59
  • I posted the original question. Initially I was requesting some general rules (the preferred answer) or, in the absence of such general rules, a list. Upon reflection I realize that requesting a list is perhaps not appropriate for the web site, but also not even really what I was looking for, even as a secondary option. I thus edited my question to only request some general rules without even mentioning any lists. Nov 10, 2016 at 13:30
  • 3
    Asking for "some general rules" is still asking for a list of rules, despite avoiding the word "list".
    – Eric King
    Nov 10, 2016 at 16:39
  • 1
    When multiple valid answers are possible and there is no objective way of selecting the "correct" answer, that's usually a reasonable indication the question is off-topic here. As for your examples in the comments, neither would be a good fit here: "what are some languages I can learn" is obviously off-topic, but even the second asking for the full list is off-topic: the full list when? New languages are created every year!
    – Andres F.
    Nov 17, 2016 at 4:08
  • @AndresF.: completely irrelevant. If you have read my comment, you may have noticed that one of the solutions is to point to a source which will be updated over time, so will still work year after year. Also, since when the answers have to be timeless on SE.SE (not even mentioning StackOverflow)? Many highly upvoted answers are written in a given time context, and may not be relevant any longer in a century, or ten years, or one year. Nov 17, 2016 at 12:31
  • @AndresF.: and here's an excellent example of a question which have a strong time context: Is XHTML5 dead or is it just an synonym of HTML5? I had to edit my answer two years later, since it appeared to be mostly wrong because of the changes in the standards, and four years after the answer was posted, it probably has to be updated once again (but I don't know the subject well enough any longer to do it.) Nov 17, 2016 at 12:37
  • @ArseniMourzenko Pointing to a source which is not a "snapshot in time" is also frowned upon; answers here should be as self-contained as possible. If pointing to an external source, please do not use one that is constantly being updated as your main answer (as in your example).
    – Andres F.
    Nov 17, 2016 at 14:31

1 Answer 1


No. A list is a list and the same rules apply. We don't do lists here and we also don't do basic research that can be solved by simply reading a document page. We solve problems.


You must log in to answer this question.

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