Should this question be re-opened on the grounds that it is asking about an area of history, and it was given a successful answer?

The situation is a question that was a bit off-topic (too technical, I think. Maybe better for another site). Someone answered it, though.

The general case:

Should a closed question be re-opened if it provides info about the field of knowledge that is tagged? Or should it remain closed since it would encourage more questions in an area like this?

  • btw it just dawned to me that the somewhat aggressive tone of my answer may seem as a response to your Meta question. For the record I've upvoted this, these things need to be discussed on Meta. I didn't quite like how quickly the question was re-opened, but that's irrelevant. – yannis Apr 20 '13 at 22:38

We get some questions here that get down into nitty details of things like farming, napoleanic tactics, economics, local 14th century politics, etc., so why not mid 20th century computer architecture?

However, IMHO the closers do have a point that this question could be far better answered on StackOverflow. If there's a question that's really in another SE site's baliwick (particularly a strong non-beta site), a close vote on it doesn't seem all that unreasonable.

  • Personally, I don't think its that bad. If I see the reopen votes (currently at 2) go to 4 I'll happily cast the 5th. – T.E.D. Apr 15 '13 at 18:24
  • I think my question is about policy: if we should discourage a certain kind of Q & A even when a valid answer is given. If not, I think we should re-open questions that occur like this. – New Alexandria Apr 15 '13 at 18:25
  • @NewAlexandria - Ah. I thought by "successful" you meant "upvoted by more than 2 or so", not simply "accepted". You should note that, while new answers may not be added after a closure, the author may still accept one of the existing ones. Question authors often do this (IMHO just out of pique). Thus it is quite likely, even probable, the actual order was: question closed -> answer accepted. – T.E.D. Apr 15 '13 at 20:34
  • Well..it has been reopened now (with no help from me). Sure enough, the answer acceptance was rescinded. – T.E.D. Apr 16 '13 at 16:34
  • @T.E.D.: Maybe the best compromise is to migrate the question to SO, and let their moderators handle it, thereby giving it a chance. – Tom Au May 24 '13 at 17:51

Without discussing whether or not an answer should be opened or closed, I would make the following observation:

IMHO, a question that was "successfully" answered is no longer "off topic." It could be that it should remain closed because it is "too localized." That is, it will only help the ONE person.

There is a REAL difference between the two. An off topic close carries an automatic downvote, and a -2 rep penalty. A "too localized" close does not. I would urge moderators who think this question should remain closed to make this change to spare the OP the penalty. Or else reopen it, if you are so inclined.

  • 1
    That's a dangerous policy, a question doesn't become any better just because it was answered. It was a lazy weekend, I was bored and I posted an answer, but I don't see how that says anything about the question's quality or topicality. Also, let's not pick a close reason that doesn't apply just to "spare the OP the penalty", that's... horrible. When we are voting to close, we are also communicating (in broad terms) to the OP what we think is wrong with their question. Picking the wrong close reason will only confuse them, and we'd be essentially lying to them. – yannis Apr 17 '13 at 23:24
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    I've removed my answer, therefore the "successfully" answered argument doesn't have a basis any more and we are free to discuss the question on its own merits. – yannis Apr 18 '13 at 1:11

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