7

Concerning question Can I create a new session in another tab or window in Google Chrome?

This is surprising to me for multiple reasons.

  1. It's not off-topic, but it was closed
  2. It was deleted

OK, let's review the topics of Super User.

  • Computer hardware
  • Computer software
  • Personal and home computer networking

Well, the question is specifically about Google Chrome, so I'd say that falls under the "computer software" topic.

OK, let's review the list of off-topic content:

  • Programming and software development
  • Video games or consoles
  • Websites or web services
  • Electronic devices, media players, cell phones
  • Issues specific to corporate IT support and networks
  • Asking for a product, service, or material recommendation

Well, it's a reach, but maybe I could see this as "asking for a product". But that's mitigated by simply editing the question title to something like "How to create a new session in another tab or window in Google Chrome?".

The intent is clear in the question body and a plugin is not the only way to accomplish this, so the question title was slightly inaccurate. Any user or moderator could've made this edit with confidence that the meaning of the original question would be kept in tact.

Instead closed as off-topic? It's received a trickle of answers over the years; some good, some bad. I can see why a moderator might lock it, but going even further to delete it is just absurd.

The question:

  • Is on topic
  • Was helpful to many people: 37 up-votes, a single down-vote, and 28,000+ views
  • Has no negative remarks

Can someone explain the moderator's decision to me?

8

Did a quick review of the question. Seems I closed an earlier version of it, but seems fine. I did have to prune a lot of the older answers, which weren't all that good.

3

The post was closed for being a software recommendation. At the time the question was asked, we hadn't settled on that rule. Nobody can fault you for violating a rule that didn't exist. But we realized that recommendation questions aren't nearly as useful as other questions - they tend to go out of date quickly, and they attract low-quality, link-only answers. Relevant: Since when are software recommendations off-topic? So we went back and cleaned up lots of these questions.

As you said, though, plenty of software rec questions can be trivially rephrased from "what software does X?" to "how do I do X?". For an answer to be useful, it has to explain how to use the software to accomplish the task: How do I recommend software in my answers? There are still recommendation questions that can't be asked, like "I want a browser that does X, Y, and Z, and is free", because that's not a task.

Closed questions that provide no value may be deleted. A case could be made that the answers to yours did not, and I would agree: they just linked to the product and/or its documentation and didn't explain how to use it in the answer itself. (Links tend to go bad over time.) But that's a reason to delete the answer, not the question. This question was easily salvageable and, in my opinion, didn't deserve swift deletion. If there was a wildly popular "what's your favorite computer joke?" question with a bunch of answers, that would very much call for complete removal, but one that has a potential to be actually useful to someone in and of itself should survive.

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