Why on StackOverflow questions are closed so easily

In recent years I have found that is very too often that legit questions on so are just closed.
Am I the only one? I mean, when this happens to my questions I feel emotional… getting BUM, your question is closed… it’s a hard think to digest.

And I have noticed that questions are often ckised by people that have nothing to do with the Julia community… I mean, that there is no “Julia” tags in their profile… this isn’t really normal, as these guys can’t appreciate the content of the question…

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I don’t know, I can only recall something like 10-20 off the top of my head. About 1-2 per year doesn’t seem like all that much to me? That’s just a guestimate of course, but to me it doesn’t feel like much. I follow quite a bit but mostly stay away from non-technical discussions, but the vast majority of the threads are pretty technical and usually debugging someone’s code.

If anything, I think there should be a policy of closing threads about a month of inactivity. A very common occurrence, about once per week, someone necroposts by pinging me in some thread to solve some other issue and I have to tell them to make a new thread if they have a completely unrelated question. That gets pretty annoying and auto-closing when threads go inactive would incentive keeping threads to one topic.

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This is a huge problem on StackOverflow, unfortunately. One thing to make sure of is do not initially tag questions with other topics, especially common ones that will draw attention outside of the Julia community—if you tag something with “Python” or “C++” god help you, they will close your question immediately regardless of what you ask. Don’t tag it with something like “DataFrames” or “files” or “networking” either. Basically just put the “julia” tag on. Yes, this is stupid and it shouldn’t be this way, but unfortunately SO is broken. Once the Julia community gets to answer the question, then you can add appropriate tags—a question with answers is much less likely to get closed.

Also, if your question does get closed, feel free to post it on the #stackoverflow channel on Slack—we have enough people in the community with rep to reopen questions and have often done so, but you need three high rep people or something like that, so it’s unlikely to happen without calling attention to it. I’m always happy to help reopen wrongly closed questions.


Somehow when I read this, I missed the StackOverflow part :sweat_smile:

Yes, non-Julia people close Julia SO posts all of the time. That is super annoying so we have to tell people to come here.


Personally, I think we should strongly discourage people from posting Julia questions on StackOverflow and equally strongly encourage them to post here directly. StackOverflow used to be great maybe 10 years ago, but these days, I wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole. A relevant comment from the internet today: https://old.reddit.com/r/webdev/comments/116vvpp/saying_goodbye_to_stack_overflow/

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I’ve had answers edited or deleted when, in addition to answering the question, I tried to direct people here :smile:


Stack Overflow definitely has its flaws, but it is a super highly tuned google SEO juice machine. The thing to remember is that when you ask a question on SO you’re not asking for yourself. You’re asking for the pageviews that SO will get in the future from others looking for the answer to the same question.

It’s so very valuable to have a corpus of Julia questions on SO because that’s the easiest place to find answers afterwards. On the flip side, it can really stink to be the people getting burned in the process of asking those questions. There is a way to “properly” ask a question in the eyes of the SO true-believer elite (the way that’ll make for good google SEO juice) and there’s no room for error. There’s a whole organized cabal that runs around looking for and closing/deleting questions they don’t deem worthy, using a chat room the brigade their votes.

I wonder if SO may be getting to the point where the questions are best asked by experts — or at least experts in asking SO questions. I do think it’s way harder to ask questions than post answers.