As far as I can tell, it's a perfectly valid question, the basic form of which I've seen asked and helped answers tons of times on here: someone looking for technical information on some computer hardware, with some slight caveats to make it relevant to the asker's own personal requirements.

I've checked the Help Center, and it seems to be on topic, and doesn't fit in any of the "no-go" topics, so I can't for the life of me understand why it's been voted as off-topic, or why it's getting such a bad reception. Can anyone help? Thanks.

  • "I'm looking for a comprehensive list" Asking for lists of things is off-topic.
    – DavidPostill Mod
    Sep 24, 2016 at 21:42
  • See my comment on Ben's answer. Sep 24, 2016 at 21:48

2 Answers 2


I am fairly certain that the part people are concerned about is that you're asking for a comprehensive list of things. Answers to such questions would require constant maintenance as new options appear. This type of question is sometimes called "List of X" and is not usually allowed. That explains why your question is currently closed as off-topic. ("Too broad" might also be a possible choice for close voting.)

Additionally, please know that hardware recommendations are off-topic for Super User; they also tend to go out of date quickly. For more information, please review the help center's article on what you can ask here.

  • It's not a hardware recommendation thread - the deciding I'll be doing myself - I'm just wanting a list of the interfaces available to me. As far as the list goes, how is this question that I based my own on not also a list: superuser.com/questions/138845/…? Sure, the comprehensiveness might be a problem, but isn't the whole ethos of the Stack sites to provide self-contained repositories of knowledge that Google can link to? I don't ever recall seeing a question closed because it would need to be edited in the future. Sep 24, 2016 at 21:47
  • 1
    @Hashim That other question is asking about specific (finite) list. You are asking for a comprehensive (potentially infinite) list. Your question is also very poorly worded. I could answer "use a fibre-optic cable" as it is clearly the fastest type of cable. But it would be a very poor answer and I've no intention of posting it.
    – DavidPostill Mod
    Sep 24, 2016 at 21:54
  • It just seems to me to be against the point of the site to say that a really useful, potentially massive question shouldn't be asked because it would require revising sometime in the future, revision which is an intended feature of said site and will aways be the case on a website that revolves around tech regardless. As I've always understood the Stack sites, questions and answers are always - or at least, always meant to be - being revised, that's the very purpose of allowing them to edited so many months/year down the line. Sep 24, 2016 at 21:57
  • Poorly-worded I can work with - what about it is poorly-worded/defined, and how would I change that? Sep 24, 2016 at 22:00
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    @Hashim "really useful, potentially massive question" The way this site works is that the community decides what is useful and what is not. You, as the asker, don't get to make that decision.
    – DavidPostill Mod
    Sep 24, 2016 at 22:03
  • @Hashim For a start remove the list of things aspect completely. Then read superuser.com/help/how-to-ask
    – DavidPostill Mod
    Sep 24, 2016 at 22:07
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    @Hashim We don't like "give me a list" questions because multiple people can post multiple equally right or wrong answers, but each answer would be good or bad in different ways. Questions should have a solid definable problem and not need a thousand equally correct answers. Per superuser.com/help/dont-ask avoid asking subjective questions where … every answer is equally valid: “What’s your favorite ______?”. If you really want an answer to your question then you should tell us everything you have available and what you are trying to achieve.
    – Mokubai Mod
    Sep 24, 2016 at 22:20
  • "I'm just wanting a list of the interfaces available to me." - Why can't you generate this list yourself? You can improve the question. You have been given several things you can do, to improve it, so you should improve it.
    – Ramhound
    Sep 25, 2016 at 16:03

To be fair, I'd not have closed it for that reason. I'd have closed it for much too broad.

If your question asks for a list and dosen't cover a real problem its bad. In the modern context there's just so many ways to exfiltrate data, both the right way (which is often self evident) and the wrong way (variations in fan speed! Radio signals generated by video card modulation! Careful overheating of a system to cause variations in room temperature! - ok, I'm not sure about the last)... that its impossible to answer the question.

Ask questions about real problems

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