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I've seen a small handful of questions here marked as off topic that just baffle me. Here is the latest:

https://superuser.com/questions/197939/best-host-for-vmware-workstation/197942

How is that remotely off topic? Just to make sure, I went back and read the rules, and I see nothing in them that says questions about which OS is best for VM Ware could be off topic?

Folks, aren't we here to be helpful? I love the organization of StackExchange sites, and I think that having very active mods helps keep that running. Their work is generally excellent. However, I think it is going too far in some cases, and I am really interested in knowing why this question in particular was flagged as off topic by two separate individuals.

  • Apparently the question was deleted - I wish I knew what the question was about in the first place. – Anderson Green May 8 '13 at 2:25
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I could've sworn I voted it as Subjective. Coming to the question:

I just purchased vmware workstation 7 and I am trying to decide what the best host is.

I don't see how anyone can objectively answer this question. Before the question was closed, I see that there's an answer by your stating you run majority of today's operating systems fine.

Another n persons might post that host the teh best! How do you quantify "best" ? How will 5 OS recommendations from 5 different people help the person who's trying to the find the "best" for his needs. Never mind that OP has not mentioned what his understanding of best is - or the fact that what's best to you might be worst to me.

Pretty much why I voted to close. I don't see any re-open votes on it either, so I'm assuming the community feels that it was perhaps best to close.

  • Sathya, thank you for your explanation. I appreciate the time you have taken to tell us why you closed that question. I have went back and read the "Good Subjective, Bad Subjective" post from the SO blog (linked to from the FAQ) [blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/09/good-subjective-bad-subjective/] and it makes sense to me why subjective questions are generally closed. However, I would argue that the intent of the original question most certainly met the 6 criteria for a good subject question, and that the poster's wording is what may have swayed it towards bad. More in next comment... – Brad Oct 12 '10 at 2:41
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    It saddens me that simple wording, rather than the obvious (to me anyway) intent of the question is what causes it to not be on the right side of the subjective line. However, you bring a very good point, that others in the community have not voted to re-open. I like the uniquely StackExchange philosophy of community moderation. I just hope that we as a community keep a more open mind, and read more carefully. – Brad Oct 12 '10 at 2:45
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    I think a question like this is an excellent opportunity for users with 2K+ reputation to lend a hand by editing. If we see questions which aren't well written and might be closed in their current form, but can be edited to fall within the SU guidelines, that would be best. When pondering whether to vote to close a question, I first ask myself, "Could I edit this to fall within the requirements for a good question, while still getting the asker's question answered effectively?" – nhinkle Oct 12 '10 at 2:55
  • Example of what sort of editing I am referring to in my previous comment: superuser.com/posts/193920/revisions – nhinkle Oct 12 '10 at 2:57
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    @Brad 's first comment the point - the point of that blog post is that is it provides guidelines for subjective questions on SE sites where subjective questions are on-topic. Near the end where it states ..., wherever subjectivity is part of the site topic itself. Subjective questions are not on-topic on SU as per the FAQ and the community, and so the blog post is not relevant. That said I wholly agree with @nhinkle's comment about editing, and I think shall try and keep this in mind for the future... – DMA57361 Oct 12 '10 at 7:25
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My bet is they thought it was asking for a shopping recommendation.

  • Shopping help was the reasoning. @sathya may have voted for subjective/argumentative though. – random Oct 11 '10 at 22:56
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    @random: He was definitely not looking for a shopping recommendation. Careful reading of his original question made this clear, and he actually added clarification since you posted your comment about this. Thank you though for adding your comment to the original post. – Brad Oct 12 '10 at 2:33
  • @random Anybody why considered "shopping" as a part of the reasoning should go back to school. Because of such people, we have to write things like "On my new vmware workstation ..." instead of "I just purchased vmware workstation ...". It'd funny if it wasn't sad. – maaartinus Apr 24 '11 at 13:44

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