I tried creating a question asking what work is involved in creating a facial recognition app and got recommendations on my life and how to spend my free time...

I want to talk about what kind of libraries are available to do a certain thing within Android and what kind of difficulty a task is and I get mundane irrelevant answers ending in my thread being closed?

I guess here's another Exchange group that should be forgotten. Out of 5 answers, not a single one was relevant to my question.


Q & A, of the type that we practice here at Stack Exchange, rests on a few fundamental principles and assumptions:

  1. Each site has a specific subject matter area. Questions asked on Stack Exchange must fit the subject matter of the site you post them on.
  2. The questions you ask must have a well-defined scope; that is, they must be specific enough to be answerable. What that means in practice is that you can't ask questions that solicit opinions, ask for a list of things, make product recommendations, or are too broad.

There are very good reasons why we follow these principles. If you've ever tried to get an answer to one of your questions in a forum environment, you already know why we have these conditions: it's very nearly impossible to get a decent answer on a forum. In short, forums suck.

So we do everything we can to avoid those forum behaviors that prevent people from getting good answers to their questions. This reduces the noise and is more attractive to those subject matter experts who are here to provide answers to your specific questions.

If you are not aware of these principles, or fail to follow them for whatever reason, you're going to have a very hard time participating anywhere on Stack Exchange.

  • I followed said principles. – insidesin Jan 8 '17 at 6:33
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    If you had, your question would not have been closed. – Robert Harvey Jan 8 '17 at 6:47
  • Yes, that's why this is such a weird thing for the mods to do. I guess I can't expect them to do a good job nowadays. – insidesin Jan 9 '17 at 4:59
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    @insidesin: You sound like a criminal who was caught red-handed with a stolen wallet, trying to tell the police that the guy just gave him the wallet. Your questions were not OK for this site, period. We do not allow questions that ask "what libraries are available" for something. We do not allow allow open-ended questions like "how to create facial recognition software". You can try to pretend that your questions are on-topic for the site, but our rules are quite clear that they are not! – Nicol Bolas Jan 9 '17 at 15:26
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    @insidesin: Again, this isn't your own personal soapbox. If you want to do that, take it somewhere else. – Robert Harvey Jan 11 '17 at 14:04
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    @insidesin: "I didn't ask what libraries were available. I asked if there were libraries to make it easier." Same difference: you were asking for libraries. That's not an acceptable question for this site. – Nicol Bolas Jan 11 '17 at 16:04
  • @NicolBolas I wasn't asking for libraries. I was asking if there were libraries. It's a yes or no answer. – insidesin Jan 12 '17 at 3:16
  • @RobertHarvey If I want to do what? Ask relevant questions to do with software technologies? – insidesin Jan 12 '17 at 3:16
  • @insidesin consider giving a read to Question closed because yes/no answer – gnat Jan 12 '17 at 6:21
  • @gnat That wasn't the question of my post though. That was just some idea or direction in how I want it answered. – insidesin Jan 12 '17 at 11:16
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    @insidesin: "that's why this is such a weird thing for the mods to do." – No moderators were involved in either the closure or the deletion of your question. Please, get your facts right. – Jörg W Mittag Jan 18 '17 at 10:31
  • @JörgWMittag sorry, accidental forum expression. It's unfortunate that you aren't familiar with forums either. – insidesin Jan 22 '17 at 10:23

What you were asking for is a topic where a useful answer could fill a whole book. Such questions are usually considered as too broad for the Q&A format of this site. Note that facial recognition is still a topic of scientific research.

You argued it is not too broad, since you only want to know how much work is involved. However, that is nothing strangers on the internet can tell you, because we do not know you, your background, what exactly the features are you imagine for your program, or the quality of the facial regcognition you expect. Each of these details can easily make a difference factor of 20 or more in the resulting effort. So even if your question would not have been closed as "too broad", it should have been closed as "primarily opionated".

Moreover, it is not "illegal" to talk about technology here. Almost any question on this site has a specific technological context. However, we do not give any technology or library or tool recommendations, and questions asking for such a recommendation are typically closed quickly by the community, too.

See also: Why was my question closed or down voted?

  • here is the link (the question is deleted but you can access it with your rep level): What work is involved in creating a mobile filter/face-swap style program? – gnat Jan 8 '17 at 10:31
  • @gnat: thanks, I should really learn how to use the query features of this site to find such a question by myself :-) – Doc Brown Jan 8 '17 at 10:53
  • I didn't query - just checked 10K tools page and found it in recent deleted questions – gnat Jan 8 '17 at 10:55
  • How can that fill a whole book? It's asking about the technology of one very specific method. I guess I should just face the fact that people don't like advanced topics here. – insidesin Jan 9 '17 at 5:00
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  • @DocBrown amazon.com/Liespotting-Proven-Techniques-Detect-Deception/dp/… Boy, being useless is fun! – insidesin Jan 9 '17 at 14:04
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    @insidesin: Note that meta is here to give you the ability to provide feedback or get answers to your questions about the SE platform. It's not your personal soapbox; rants are not really welcome here. – Robert Harvey Jan 9 '17 at 14:59
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    @insidesin: "Boy, being useless is fun!" He's not being useless. You asked how facial recognition could require a whole book. He demonstrated how it can by showing you several books about facial recognition. You lost the argument. – Nicol Bolas Jan 9 '17 at 15:28
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    @insidesin: kid, if you don't like what is on- or off-topic on this site, better ask your questions somewhere else. – Doc Brown Jan 9 '17 at 15:47
  • @RobertHarvey Good to know, when I start ranting you can shut me up. Til then it'd be nice if you stopped spitting irrelevance. – insidesin Jan 10 '17 at 12:53
  • @NicolBolas There was no argument. Everything can fill up a whole book, now if all you're going to do is be facetious, please stop and refrain from wasting my time. – insidesin Jan 10 '17 at 12:54
  • @DocBrown "kid" ? I'd love for this site to be worth something, but a simple test has shown that it unfortunately is not. – insidesin Jan 10 '17 at 12:55

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