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I posted a question about a particular piece of software, and a user voted to close it, with the reasoning that I intend on trying other software. This is the question in question:

Does the free EaseUS partition master no longer support making a bootable USB?

I'm pretty experienced myself and that close reason seems ridiculous to me. Is it a legitimate reason to close a question because a user may plan to try other software? Planning to try other software does not mean that an OP will no longer use the software they asked about, and it doesn't mean that other people won't eventually have the same question about the original software either.

Also, a person is entitled to also try different software, it doesn't mean they are no longer going to try that original software, and it doesn't make a question invalid.

Note: the close vote has since been retracted, but this question still stands as a hypothetical, lest somebody else has the same issue: Should a question be closed if the asker mentions they might end up using other software?

Here is a screenshot of the question:

Screenshot of the question linked above

closed as off-topic by bertieb, Ramhound, I say Reinstate Monica, Jan Doggen, Pimp Juice IT Aug 9 at 22:50

  • This question does not appear to be a meta discussion about Super User or the software that powers the Stack Exchange network within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    I'm voting to close this question because there is no longer a close vote and the original question has been answered – bertieb Aug 9 at 11:59
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    @bertieb the question still stands as a hypothetical for if a future such situation arises. That commenter, Ramhound, changed his mind but somebody else might possibly think like that, so the question stands – barlop Aug 9 at 12:00
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    Despite my CV on this Q, you may wish to keep it open if you are interested in the more general point. However, what I would say is that raising a meta Q over one close vote is a little... hasty on the trigger. You asked about it in chat, you had the opportunity to discuss with the close voter themself- a single close vote is not in and of itself a binary decision on what is acceptable. – bertieb Aug 9 at 12:02
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    I would note that your question as it stands reads that it is more about the user who submitted a CV, rather than the hypothetical situation. I would suggest you consider a further edit. – bertieb Aug 9 at 12:11
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    Are you asking the community whether it's ridiculous that a user voted to close your question? Or something else? If the former, I'm not sure how we can answer that. No one needs to justify the reason for their vote. That's the whole reason multiple votes are needed to close/open questions. – I say Reinstate Monica Aug 9 at 12:42
  • @TwistyImpersonator no i'm asking if it's legitimate reason to close a question because of the idea that a user may plan to try other software (given that planning to try other software does not mean that they will no longer try the software they asked about).. and of course doesn't mean that others won't. But certainly doesn't mean that the poster will not try the software they asked about. I have clarified my question – barlop Aug 9 at 13:18
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    Thanks for clarifying. In that case, IMHO the 2nd sentence and 3rd paragraph of your post distract from your actual question. Both of them presume the answer to your entire post is, "you're right; your question shouldn't be closed." This taints your post with an air of being a rant instead of actually wanting to find out what the community has to say. – I say Reinstate Monica Aug 9 at 15:14
  • @TwistyImpersonator this paragraph is vital to my point "Also, a person is entitled to also try different software, it doesn't mean they are no longer going to try that other software, and it doesn't make a question invalid." That's my view and I think it's a reasonable one. I can ask for opinion on this while stating my view – barlop Aug 9 at 16:39
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    Two thoughts: 1. Asking if a product ever had a particular feature is, at best, only on the fringes of being on-topic. I would not be surprised to see other people voting to close. The fact that Ramhound, or anyone else, did should not be surprising. 2. The question now has an exhaustively complete answer. It would be appropriate for you to accept it because it clearly answers the question. – fixer1234 Aug 9 at 16:54
  • @fixer1234 my question says "only in the pro version" so that wasn't really in question. The question is whether there has been a change - and I clarified this. And he didn't think to close it because he didn't like me asking if it had changed. He wanted it closed because I was also trying another solution.. Added- he has now covered the question of whether there has been a change, so i'll accept it, unless perhaps I see it to be incorrect – barlop Aug 9 at 16:56
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Intended non-use of software may have an impact on question applicability

The help centre notes:

You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face.

A strict reading of the bolded phrase would rule out a question if you did not intend to use the software, as it would not be a[n] "actual problem that you face".

To apply this in every case would be an overly-harsh and narrow interpretation- in my own view.

That said, if a situation arose where it was clear that OP:

  • made it clear they did not to intend to use the software they are asking about
  • indicated they had some knowledge of the answer they posted the question about*
  • by asking, promoted a product that has been frequently spammed

I would consider submitting a close vote.

This may seem unfair, but bear in mind that by posting a question you are asking folks to put in time and effort into researching, writing and posting an answer. If it seems like an answer isn't going to be useful to you, or to future readers, having it open to answers would not benefit the site.

*: If someone knows the answer to a problem which is solved, by all means post it as an answer to the question- self-answer questions are encouraged, if they will benefit other users

One close vote is in itself not a binding, binary decision on acceptability

As there is a bit of commentary in your question as to (forgive the paraphrase): how can someone possibly vote-to-close my question, 'that seems ridiculous', I will address that aspect too.

Meta QAs work best with concrete examples. In your case, you posted your question, it attracted a close vote, there was some discussion in the comments and in chat, and the close vote was ultimately retracted. This is the system working well.

At time of writing, your original question was:

While it can potentially be frustrating to receive a close vote on a question, it it worth remembering that it is not a commentary on you, the poster. Rather, it is an attempt to improve the question quality.

It can be worth seeing how things play out- your question did not garner any further close votes than the one it temporarily had, and it may have remained open.

  • It didn't garner more close votes due to the fact, the author showed such disrespect towards me after asking if I worked for EaseUS, I decided it was easier to answer their question. – Ramhound Aug 9 at 12:19
  • @Ramhound huh, I missed that comment- thankfully its gone, had I seen it I would have flagged it for removal – bertieb Aug 9 at 12:23
  • Perhaps the criterion, "indicated they had some knowledge of the answer they posted the question about" would be better if amended to include the condition, "and they didn't post a self-answer." Otherwise this seems to suggest there's an issue merely in the case the OP knows the answer, but we do actually want this in cases of self-answered questions. – I say Reinstate Monica Aug 9 at 12:34
  • @TwistyImpersonator fair point, I considered while writing but elided at the time- OP should be familiar with self-answers (and if knew the answer, should have done so!) but I'll add something which addresses that now – bertieb Aug 9 at 12:40
  • Very good. It's helpful to keep in mind we want our posts to edify future visitors who may have the same question and might be less familiar with these things. – I say Reinstate Monica Aug 9 at 12:43
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It can't be right, can it?

I did what I always do when a user appears to have solved their question and submits a comment to indicate that fact. That was the sole reason for my close vote.

Also, a person is entitled to also try different software, it doesn't mean they are no longer going to try that other software, and it doesn't make a question invalid.

The answer to your question was on the EaseUS website. I could have easily downvote the question due to the fact the question was not well researched. Difficult to determine what might have been if your comment indicating you were going to try different software would have changed my thought process.

the user, Ramhound has since retracted his close vote, but the question stands.. as a hypothetical, lest somebody else think the same thing that he had thought.

The only reason I retracted my close vote, is due to the fact, you accused me of working for EaseUS and was attempting to silence the fact they removed a feature. However, I have absolute disdain for the company if anything answering your question would provide me happening if that was the case.

So if anything you did me a favor by disrespecting me by that accusation. I will refrain, from providing the exact comment you made, out of respect for you. Something that I perhaps should not actually have, since it is clear, you don't have any for me.

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    @barlop - We will have to respectfully disagree on that fact. By asking if I was trying to prevent bad press for my "employer", you accused me of having a very bad character flaw, something that I took offense to (and feel I rightfully should have). Even if I did work for EaseUS, it wouldn't have made it right, to make that accusation by the way. – Ramhound Aug 9 at 12:41

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