Why are "open-ended" question closed so fast when whether a question is open-ended or not is actually subjective? Someone can always come with a rock-solid collection of facts that will make his argument the definitive answer and the question would not be open ended anymore.

Considering that questions can have more than one correct answer, this makes even less sense.

2 Answers 2


Please take a look at our FAQ:

You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page.

Often, these questions aren't based on any actual problem you're facing, but stem from curiosity. They can definitely be fun to discuss or think about, but Stack Exchange primarily wants to solve real issues.

You say that "questions can have more than one correct answer", which is true, but these are the kinds of questions we do not encourage. Questions where there's no requirement for one correct answer inspire anyone to post their own opinion or subjective statements. If your question does not have one correct answer – or multiple ways to solve the problem you face – then it's truly not constructive.

In that sense, it doesn't matter whether it's closed fast or slowly. Some questions from the earlier days were quite subjective, but have been closed only recently. Others, such as yours, were closed because they already provoked extended discussion in the comments – clearly a sign that there's no one correct answer and that one could go debating about it forever.

If you want to ask others how they feel about it, you're welcome to visit Super User chat.

Your question was:

why are the default *NIX shell commands options/switches so far off for what you'd intuitively expect?

But what is "intuitive"? Wouldn't someone who lived in the command line for years find the GUI way intuitive? Doesn't everyone have a different opinion about this based on their experience? In fact there's no one correct answer except for "because it has evolved this way".

I would suggest you check out Good Subjective, Bad Subjective from the Stack Exchange blog. Maybe, based on the guidelines there, you could reword your question in a more impartial tone, not basing it on your assumptions on what's "intuitive" or not. I think it'd be much more suitable for Super User.

  • indeed, my previous closed question was badly worded and I realized I didn't even quite ask what I wanted to know. as added in the edit, I found what I needed to know in the answers to this question instead, about 30mins after posting it... so I was not specifically referring to MY question. Now it is true that open ended questions would gain unmerited popularity and tend to "push other questions off the front page", I haven't thought of it this way and you're right...
    – NeuronQ
    Commented Oct 13, 2012 at 14:23
  • 1
    ...it really amazes me that you bothered to look at my prev question to try and figure out the context ...you guys are amazing :) (in a good way, no irony here)
    – NeuronQ
    Commented Oct 13, 2012 at 14:25

Stackoverflow & co are factual and specialized web sites. Discussions are more appropriate for the Internet Relay Chat, Usenet, or the more general-purpose Forums.

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