All too often, I'm seeing close votes (or even closed questions) as "Unclear" on questions that are perfectly understandable to me. It seems to happen roughly once a week, and that's just in the limited number of questions I look at.
Today's example is How to refresh System information on wsl2, which gathered 2 close votes for "Needs details or clarity" before I answered it.
There's just, IMHO, no good reason to be closing (or even voting to close) questions that have enough detail to be answered.
The issue in that question is 100% reproducible without any additional information. Simply starting WSL with the default distribution will demonstrate the problem -- The MOTD shows outdated system information. I was able to reproduce this in less than 10 seconds.
Understanding the question (let alone answering) does, however, require that the reader have the appropriate subject-matter expertise in the topic being discussed:
- Understanding what WSL is.
- Knowing that the default distribution on WSL is Ubuntu.
- Being up-to-date on WSL and Ubuntu enough to know that Ubuntu was just recently (in the last week) updated to 22.04 as the default distribution (this typically happens around 4 months after the release of an LTS version of Ubuntu).
One of the comments does ask for additional clarification (which is good and appreciated). Regardless, we shouldn't assume one way or another that a VTC came from the user who commented -- Nor does it matter. I do know that one of the votes came in well before that comment, so that earlier voter didn't request any clarification.
But again, even without any additional information, the question was clear enough to answer and IMHO didn't warrant close votes. It only takes 5 non-SME's that lack enough understanding to get from VTC to "Closed". And as we've established, it can be very difficult to reopen (short of mod-intervention) when that happens.
So to leave this as a question, to solicit responses -- What would be some good guidelines for voting "Needs details or clarity"?
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