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This is not my question, but it is a question that I possibly could answer: why is the question What versions of VMware Workstation has the “Recording/Replaying VM activity” feature marked off-topic?

The stock reason given is:

"Questions seeking product, service, or learning material recommendations are off-topic because they become outdated quickly and attract opinion-based answers.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. Share your research. Here are a few suggestions on how to properly ask this type of question."

That reason makes no sense to me. The question:

  • Is not asking for a recommendation. There is nothing opinion-based about it.
  • It is not going to be outdated quickly. The feature existed once upon a time and then was removed. There is a bounded range of product versions that this feature existed in. Moreover, since those versions are likely out of the vendor's support window, there aren't likely to be additional maintenance releases for them, and the complete list of product versions could be completely enumerated.

I would agree that the question might be an X-Y question, but as-is it is perfectly answerable: The feature was introduced in VMware Workstation X and was removed in VMware Workstation Y.

I've seen My question was wrongly “put on hold” as “off-topic”, but I do not believe that the same arguments apply:

  • Again, answers would not be short-lived and could be comprehensive.
  • It's not broad.
  • I do think that the question would be a fit for a Q&A site; it seems reasonable to me that there could be other people who would want to play around with the dead feature and have the same question.
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  • If it’s an X-Y problem that’s justification to close the question. This seems like an easy problem to research though, install different versions of VMWare Workstation and verify if the feature exists. It’s not even clear you know the feature was removed. – Ramhound Dec 5 '19 at 12:15
  • Questions based on "what software provides this feature?" are typically viewed as falling under software recommendations. Granted, which release of software X marked the beginning or end of feature Y, is slightly different, and there's some precedent when a major coding change affects it. For example, there are lots of questions about certain features of Firefox changing with the introduction of Quantum. These were generally on-topic when worded, "why did feature Y suddenly stop working?". (cont'd) – fixer1234 Dec 5 '19 at 17:07
  • When lots of those questions were coming in, people allowed some leeway on "which version of Firefox do I need to continue using feature Y?". The question you cite has a different problem. The title is a question. The question body appears to be more of an answer, coupled with a request for general discussion. The stated closure reason is just one of several issues making it a poorly written question. – fixer1234 Dec 5 '19 at 17:07

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