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I see this interesting question https://superuser.com/questions/324151/are-people-deluding-themselves-with-vim

was deleted

there was already one answer posted, and of course that's lost..

other interesting answers, like one I was in the middle of typing, couldn't be posted

it's one thing closing a question for it being subjective, but worse to delete it.

These things should be migrated. Deleting it with any answers is just throwing away what people deem valuable.

I hope that unfortunate person made a copy of his question and anything useful from any answer before it got deleted. ok not much was that useful but some could've been, and people could've posted useful things.

These things should be migrated if anything. If there is no place to migrate it to then I wonder why.

People have for ages spoken of subjective questions being of value and them needing a place.

With all these skilled people about why is nothing done about this still to set up a section for them?

If people are really so viciously opposed to them being here that they're willing to delete them despite their value (often subjective so-called unanswerable questions get accepted answers, and useful answers), why if people are so opposed that they delete them, are there not people with the ability to, setting up a place for them? Should we really come to a point where questions of value with answers of value, are just thrown away out of the database.

  • 3
    > Should we really come to a point where questions of value with answers of value, are just thrown away out of the database. -- I guess it comes down to the fact that most people don't think those are valuable. The "value" you see in votes stem from the subjective nature of the matter. People always behave differently when you throw in opinions -- it's the internet! – slhck Aug 17 '11 at 7:40
  • @slhk look it's not all opinion, in answer to the VIM question one of the points is that the unique thing about VIM and a core distinguishing feature it was designed with, is the fact that the keys for moving the cursor are on the home row so fingers don't have to come off the home row. That's not an opinion. And many other things in "subjective questions" are not opinions. And votes -do- show people valuing things including that information was useful to them. – barlop Aug 17 '11 at 13:44
  • You are right that an answer to a subjective question may include objective details (like possible features, historical notes, et cetera). Yet at the same time, and this is the main issue here, a subjective question can not be answered once and for all. Stack Exchange wants to focus on questions that can be answered, and ideally these should be as canonical as possible. This is the inherent philosophy of the sites here. – slhck Aug 17 '11 at 14:00
  • It would be technically possible to drive a subjective Stack site, but it would require much more work in terms of 1) users being as neutral and technical as possible, 2) efficient moderation, 3) making use of the "one question, multiple answers" concept, which in this case does not appear to be effective. This is why there are threaded discussion forums, which are much better suited for such a task. – slhck Aug 17 '11 at 14:02
  • @slhck well the "once and for all" is fine for objective questions whose answers can constantly be improved upon, and where new answers can be posted. those older questions aren't closed. So no answer is necessarily "once and for all". The philosophy is clearly that "subjective questions" simply aren't wanted and clearly it's because they break the system. But why can't the philosophy recognise that many are useful to people, and incorporate them without breaking the system?(posted before your last comment) – barlop Aug 17 '11 at 14:15
  • @slhck In discussion forums i've seen on the internet, any time somebody posts , the thread jump rights to the top, so those aren't suited to subjective questions either,they break on them too, because they at least need their own section. SO might break even more than they do, but SO has talented designers/developers that could design a system that doesn't break on them, or as you say, a Stack site for them, though some extra features so it works better would help, but at least you'd get a place for them many are valuable, a place other than their demolition. – barlop Aug 17 '11 at 14:26
  • > But why can't the philosophy recognize that many are useful to people -- Maybe they are, but the downsides seem to outweigh the value of those questions. And most importantly, the majority doesn't want it. This is the main reason why it's not going to happen. – slhck Aug 17 '11 at 14:28
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it's one thing closing a question for it being subjective, but worse to delete it.

Why? It's better to get rid of the cruft that's not allowed rather than people link to it 2 years later sayinng "Mommy! That question is there, mine's not! Waaah!"

These things should be migrated. Deleting it with any answers is just throwing away what people deem valuable.

Migrated where? There isn't a place for such a question on the network. People should assess the FAQ before they post the question.

These things should be migrated if anything. If there is no place to migrate it to then I wonder why.


What's the golden rule of question migrations?

Don't. Migrate. Crap.

-- Jeff Atwood

With all these skilled people about why is nothing done about this still to set up a section for them?

Why is it so hard to understand that Stack Exchange is a Q&A platform, not a discussion forum? Questions like those involve extended discussions are do not fit well. There are a million other places where you can discuss these. Heck you can setup a site of your own and discuss this.

And you have mentioned it yourself about the single answer:

ok not much was that useful


(often subjective so-called unanswerable questions get accepted answers, and useful answers)

The accepted answers are often forced acceptance, based on highest number of votes rather than based on an objective criteria. (How do you define a objective criteria for is nestle better than Cadbury).

I suggest you read this blog post.

What, specifically, is wrong with asking Gorilla vs. Shark?

  • Nobody needs to know the answer to this question.
  • It’s not nearly specific enough.
  • It is difficult to learn from these questions.
  • It drives away experts.
  • Your assumption is that they're not valuable. That they're all equivalent to asking Gorilla vs Shark. This is false. When people vote them up that is people finding them valuable. Why do you think they get votes? You think nobody can learn from it, well, that's your strange subjective opinion, but it's easy to name some for example even the one I just named - the VIM one, and say how it can be answered and people can learn from the answers. To characterise any question marked subjective as Gorilla vs Shark, is childish, and as crap, is just wrong. They can get high votes. – barlop Aug 17 '11 at 4:50
  • Some of the early subjective ones "shopping list" style, got loads of votes? Why? Were they useless crap? Of course not, they were very popular. And not for childish reasons. The use was obvious. So there should be a place for such questions. Or the VIM one. Easy to answer in a useful way people can learn from. – barlop Aug 17 '11 at 4:52
  • "There are a million other places where you can discuss these." but you can't migrate them 'cos the stack exchange platform cannot handle that style of question? It seemed to handle them fine, many were popular, though in time the rules were made stricter and they got closed. Not because the stack exchange platform couldn't handle it. – barlop Aug 17 '11 at 4:55
  • I can see how some people don't like any subjective question, but many do like -some- of them, and many have gotten high votes in hte past when the questions weren't closed. And subjective questions aren't necessarily A vs B or puerile. The stack exchange system didn't break with them, so I think they deserve a place, just not on SU or SO, bit migratable. The fact that many subjective questions have had many votes, shows some -are- considered to be of value. – barlop Aug 17 '11 at 5:01
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    > The stack exchange system didn't break with them -- Yes it did. If you take a look at those popular subjective questions (of which most are deleted now), you will see that you lose focus instantly over a massive amount of answers. Also, people shouldn't receive votes for their opinion, but for the technical content of their answer. The only exception being the Meta sites, where voting based on agreement is encouraged. – slhck Aug 17 '11 at 7:11
  • @slhck Well the system at least supported them, just unfortunately over others, so let's agree that's no good. But can you for a moment accept the obvious, that lots of the votes some of them got were for -usefulness- of the information / usefulness of the question. Not just "I agree with that opinion", it could be "wow I didn't know that thing existed that's useful to know, I may look into trying it". So can't they be put in a place just for them so they don't break other things? – barlop Aug 17 '11 at 13:58
  • @barlop > that lots of the votes some of them got were for -usefulness- of the information / usefulness of the question -- yes, that might be partly true. At the same time though, it's hard to maintain and separate the objective and the subjective. Something being "useful" to somebody is not the ultimate and only reason for keeping content. – slhck Aug 17 '11 at 14:09
  • @slhck people separate here anything within a definition of subjective, gets moved or now, deleted. So that's not too hard for people to do. "Something being 'useful' to somebody is not the ultimate and only reason for keeping content" Well you're characterising it again, as "something" and just "somebody". When things get many votes, it shows it's not just useful to somebody, but many people. And it's not just "something", it's "something" within the domain of knowledge of an expert user. – barlop Aug 17 '11 at 14:34
  • on a subjective site, moderation would be more along the lines of is it within the domain of knowledge of an expert user. And there can be requests for people to give the objective details behind any opinion, and such opinions might get voted, and thus show up more. though still moderation would be necessary as with any SO site. and if there are no objective facts behind the opinion then maybe moderation could remove it or maybe it'd just be left without many votes. – barlop Aug 17 '11 at 14:38
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    > When things get many votes, it shows it's not just useful to somebody, but many people -- Maybe, maybe not? Even if it were useful to many, if it doesn't fit the rules of the site, there's no place for it. Take this as an analogy: Many people consider driving fast useful, because they reach their destination faster. Yet it's hard to control thousands of people driving as fast as they want, that's why we have speed limits. You can question or vote against them all day long, but they'll be there as long as the majority wants them. – slhck Aug 17 '11 at 14:39
  • @barlop just because a question can be asked does not mean it needs to be asked on our network. There is a whole universe of websites where you can ask subjective discussion questions like that.. just not here. – Jeff Atwood Aug 20 '11 at 1:24

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