I have a question about my Super User post: Need to mass download by clicking browser buttons which use SQL

I made this question

It was put on hold because "is unclear what you're asking". But that's not informative enough.

I do not speak english. I do not understand what is unclear/confusing what can be interpreted on different ways.

I posted a screenshot showing what I need to do. I explain it on the text.

I made some edits, like moving the question up (the question was marked in bold, and I specifically wrote "The question is...".

I had read that I had to explain the problem before making the question, so I had put the question at the bottom, which maybe confused the moderator.

So I moved the question up, but still don't see what could be different.

It would be helpful to have some explanation on what is confusing. Can the question be interpreted on different ways? (like what ways?)

Should I make more focused? Then I would fall in the trap of "making an XY question". Is necessary to make a broad question to avoid limiting the possible answers, and have the question removed for being too specific "XY problem".

It is always a catch 22. If the question is too open, "is unclear". If is too specific "is an XY problem".

  • 1
    I suspect the "unclear" part isn't your question, but how to solve it. We don't know anything about how that web site is set up. It could even be that the requirement to use that button is there to prevent the kind of automated mass downloading you want to do. Also, if this is internal to your company and they don't want to help, that would make your question off-topic on Super User.
    – fixer1234
    Mar 6, 2019 at 18:26

1 Answer 1


The issue is it’s unclear because your problem is idiosyncratic to that other website. Additionally, SQL has utterly nothing to do with what you are attempting to do with is fetch things from a URL that is not provided in a way in which you can simply download it through a direct URL or some kind of scripting to trigger a download.

At the end of the day, I would have voted to close this question as being “Too Broad.” Your question is clear, but your situation can only result in too broad a scope of answers that could (might?) never actually work.

  • My problem is not idiosyncratic to that other website. Any person that needs to automate downloads by clicking on a button, and not being able to know the URL for download, would have the same problem.
    – sozigu
    Mar 8, 2019 at 12:09
  • The point, is not that is made with SQL, but that I cannot extract the download URL from the page. I have to click the button. It appears to be an Oracle APEX application, which hides the download URL, for security reasons. I had programmed APEX, so I know how it works: only the database knows the link. A button makes the request, a temporary url is generated by the database, and downloaded. But is not relevant if SQL is used. I only wrote SQL as an illustration of what blocks getting the URL and manually downloading the file.
    – sozigu
    Mar 8, 2019 at 12:13
  • It is irrelevant if it is APEX or not. It is irrelevant if it is about a specific webpage. If Selenium were working, a solution would be "use selenium to automatically click the button". It would be a general solution, for a common problem, which would be useful to anybody needing a similar automation. All your arguments about changing URL are totally irrelevant. Obviously the URL constantly changes. It is a given that I cannot predict the URL. There is no point in pointing that. I only spoke about SQL/APEX to illustrate that I cannot predict the URL.
    – sozigu
    Mar 11, 2019 at 11:38

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