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Q&A

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Codidact Meta is the meta-discussion site for the Codidact community network and the Codidact software. Whether you have bug reports or feature requests, support questions or rule discussions that touch the whole network – this is the site for you.

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Q&A Can we streamline the process for closed bad questions?

Reopening takes a while, usually a few days.... If our goal is to make it as easy as possible for experts to share knowledge, this goes against that goal. ...a lot of these questions are not that...

posted 2mo ago by Karl Knechtel‭

Answer
#1: Initial revision by user avatar Karl Knechtel‭ · 2024-03-25T19:00:41Z (2 months ago)
> Reopening takes a while, usually a few days.... If our goal is to make it as easy as possible for experts to share knowledge, this goes against that goal. ...a lot of these questions are not that important - especially the ones that end up closed. They're small, simple things... I'm not going to create homework for myself by saving my answer somewhere, marking it on my calendar to review it a couple of days, and if reopened post it then - I have plenty of other homework as it is.

This is largely missing the point. These questions are, indeed, by and large, "not that important" - **which is exactly why they are also not urgent**.

When Codidact started, a deliberate decision was made to keep the Q&A format and try to fix problems within that format, rather than deciding that it would be better to go back to something more like a traditional forum model. (For those who *do* see value in that model, the original creator of Stack Overflow ended up creating forum software called Discourse; I've used at least two such forums, and I find the software works very well.)

**It's a mistake**, in a Q&A environment, **to expect responses to be both personalized and fast**. At current site sizes, there just aren't enough people around to give a fast answer, even if every expert on every site felt compelled to answer every question they knew how to answer. At scale, on the other hand, **experts' time is better spent on** answering better questions, improving existing questions and answers, *devising new questions to self answer*, etc. In other worse, **curation** of a searchable resource.

And that really is the point of a Q&A site: **if you waive the expectation of *personalized* assistance, you can get a *fast* answer**. In fact, you can get a *high-quality* answer *much faster* than on a forum - because you just search for it, and it's *already there*. The answer quality is high *in large part because the question quality is high* - higher than most people who actually need the answer, are willing (or perhaps even able) to produce.

This is not to say, of course, that there is no place for personalized assistance. The Stack Overflow Meta community answer (which doesn't seem to be very well respected by the general Stack Overflow userbase) is that this place is not on Stack Overflow. (Or that *was* the answer, at least - now everyone is trying to figure out what to make of the new Discussions feature that staff foisted on them.) My personal answer, on the other hand... should be the subject of a separate post here. ;)

----

**All of that said, yes**, I can definitely see ways to streamline the process, and no good reason why it should be intentionally *not* streamlined.

As things currently stand, as far as I'm aware, question closure is only done unilaterally - whether by moderators or curators. For these cases, it would go a long way to have petitions (whether in the form of flags by the OP, or some other system) for reopening *directed to the closer*. Rather than spamming these individuals with fresh notifications if the question is repeatedly edited (or the OP gets impatient), it would make sense to present these users with a default view that puts such questions (i.e., ones which they themselves closed and which are currently nominated for reopening) at the top.

Further, if someone else opts to reopen the question, both the OP and the original closer should be notified by the usual mechanism.

Rather than others flagging questions to reopen them, it would make more sense to implement a community voting procedure. Unlike with individual votes, and more like reactions, I think it makes sense for the system to show the identity of those with pending close votes, and those with pending reopen votes on a closed question. (However, I do *not* support the idea of including countering votes; there should not be votes in this mechanism to keep an open question open or a closed question closed.)

Finally, in case of warring over the reopening or re-closing of a post, moderators should have the power to lock a post in the closed state.