I flagged this question as off-topic, using the reason "Questions seeking product, service, or learning material recommendations are off-topic because they become outdated quickly and attract opinion-based answers. Instead, describe your situation and the specific problem you're trying to solve....". The flag was declined.

off-topic – Robert Columbia Feb 24 at 2:19 declined

The question text is:

I'd like to use multiple keyboards (all USB or one USB and one PS/2) with a different keyboard layout on each. Is this possible in Windows 7 or XP? Is there any software that can make it work? I'd prefer to avoid a hardware-based solution if possible.

My specific issue is that I prefer to use a Dvorak layout, but most of my colleagues use QWERTY. I'd quite like it if they could use my computer with a QWERTY layout by using a second keyboard, without affecting the layout of the primary one.

What am I not understanding about off-topicness on SU? I thought the off-topicness of resource requests was more or less the same as on Stack Overflow, given the shared close reasons. Are resource recommendation questions interpreted differently on SU than on SO when determining whether they are on topic?

  • 3
    Mods don't see any flags from under the "should be closed" category, those are entirely handled by the community review queues. Your flag was not declined by a mod.
    – Mokubai Mod
    Mar 4, 2018 at 15:08

3 Answers 3


Your flag was correct.


The only part of the question that makes it off-topic is the sentence:

Is there any software that can make it work?

You can (and should) flag questions that are off-topic, but an even better option is fixing the post. In this case as @DavidPostill's edit demonstrates, that sentence wasn't even necessary and simply needed to be deleted. This fixed the on-topicness of the question and preserved an otherwise useful post and its answers.

Nonetheless, whether you edited or flagged the post for closure, either action was appropriate for getting it the attention it needed.


What am I not understanding about off-topicness on SU?

Your understanding is correct, and I would probably have accepted that flag.

However, in this case, your flag put the question in the close vote review queue and 3 users voted to leave it open.

I've edited the question to remove the software request part, as it has a lot of upvotes and a good answer.


I started to comment on Twisty Impersonator's good answer and it got too long, so I'll supplement that with another answer.

Posters often don't know what solutions are available. Their question will suggest software when software isn't needed. Just because the question contains a phrase asking for software, doesn't necessarily mean that it is fundamentally off-topic. If they describe a specific technical problem they're trying to solve, the software request can often be removed without really changing the question.

What is a problem is asking for software recommendations for a type of software or to perform a very general kind of function. For example, "what's a good image editor?", or "what software is good for cleaning up photos?"

You can tell the difference by the kind of post that would answer it. We don't want to create a list of everybody's favorite application. So:

  • If the question can be fully answered with, "I like XYZ for that", or "XYZ is great because you can do this, this, and that", it's a request for a software recommendation.
  • If a responsive answer needs to explain how to solve the described problem, it's basically an OK question that may benefit from removing the explicit request for software.

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