It's been a couple of days since we're using the new off-topic close reasons, including:

  • Questions seeking product, service, or learning material recommendations are off-topic because they tend to become obsolete quickly. Instead, describe your situation and the specific problem you're trying to solve.
  • Questions about software development are off-topic here, but can be asked on Stack Overflow.
  • Questions about the use of web-based applications are off-topic here, but can be asked on Web Apps Stack Exchange.
  • This question belongs on another site in the Stack Exchange network
  • Other (add a comment explaining what is wrong)

Here, the "but can be asked on …" is misleading: If we have a migration option, why not migrate it there? In the long run, this only encourages double-posting, and if the question is too bad to be migrated through close votes, then why even lead the user to the other site? We probably wouldn't want them to copy-paste their question.

My proposal would be to get rid of the two canned responses for software development and web-based applications. We could introduce a generic response:

This question is not about computer hardware or software as defined in our help center.

On the Help Center page, we could add pointers to other sites and refine our scope—similar to what we proposed a year ago.

This would have the following benefits:

  • Questions worth migrating will attract migration votes, and bad questions (or those where no migration path exists) would point to our main Help Center page, where we could explain what other sites there are.

  • We'll get least one additional custom slot for a new canned response

What do you think?

  • 2
    "but can be asked on …" is misleading: If we have a migration option, why not migrate it there -> precisely. if it can be migrated, we will migrate. I'm for the proposal
    – Sathyajith Bhat Mod
    Commented Jul 7, 2013 at 16:45
  • 2
    Can't wait for it to be deactivated
    – random Mod
    Commented Jul 7, 2013 at 16:46

1 Answer 1


This is now live. Use this option when…

  • a question is clearly out of scope (e.g. about a web app), and
  • it is too bad to be migrated to another site, or there is no target site for this question

Being more specific never hurts though, so if you choose Other… and fill out a custom reason, that's fine as well.

As for the one slot we can fill, we'll take suggestions here, or in the form of separate Meta posts.

  • Awesome, I think this implementation is really slick and works very nice now. Commented Jul 8, 2013 at 19:07
  • 2
    @slhck how would you feel about enabling the beta/prototype close reason to fill the third spot, and seeing how that goes? If we decide there's a better close reason we want later, then we can always disable it.
    – nhinkle
    Commented Jul 8, 2013 at 23:34
  • @nhinkle that's live as well
    – Sathyajith Bhat Mod
    Commented Jul 9, 2013 at 15:25

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