Should "What are the advantages of X" questions be closed?

I see that some are open, some are closed, so I wonder what the policy is.


More examples.

  • 1
    Do you want to change your title to read as "What are the advantages of closing questions like .. " What are the advantages of X" ? Vote to close this after that.
    – Chookoos
    Jun 17, 2015 at 3:53

2 Answers 2


No, it is absolutely possible to answer a whole lot of questions about advantages of X without resorting to opinion.

See examples here: http://www.slf4j.org/faq.html#declared_static

While note exactly "What are the advantages of static logging" but it is close enough to prove the point:

This is at least one order of magnitude more constructive than scouring the stack* for something that can be closed.

  • That's not a good example. That's pointing to an FAQ of an external site, outside the network, outside the norms and procedures of Super User. And again, we didn't say to go out and run a search to close all in one sitting, they're closed as they're happened upon.
    – random Mod
    Jun 11, 2015 at 16:45
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    @random Apart from being "pointing to an external FAQ" (which arguably seems like a good enough resource), I don't see what makes it a bad example. It is a case where advantages and disadvatages have clear, non-opinion-based meanings, and that's the point Erik was trying to make. Jun 12, 2015 at 19:01
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    SU is still not "show me the sales pitch" but "show me how to fix this issue". You ask for consistency, we're applying it. That you don't agree with the scope doesn't mean we're being inconsistent.
    – random Mod
    Jun 12, 2015 at 19:47
  • @random "Show me how to decide this or that way" is close enough for me.
    – Erik I
    Jun 15, 2015 at 8:52
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    Furthermore: When lots of questions lots of people find constructive hits a brick wall of "primarily opinion based" it might be time to at least create a different boilerplate text: "closed because someone thinks this can easily collect less primarily opinion based answers". But of course by now you all now that I'd rather want someone sit down and think through the scope of the site carefully.
    – Erik I
    Jun 15, 2015 at 8:57
  • @random says: "That's not a good example. That's pointing to an FAQ of an external site, outside the network". It is a perfectly good example that you can answer such questions in a way that is not "primarily opinion based".
    – Erik I
    Jun 15, 2015 at 9:00
  • That you can, doesn't mean that you will. Is like opening a can of worms. You can get either candy or worms, but everyone knows that the winning move is always not opening it.
    – Braiam
    Jun 15, 2015 at 15:22
  • @Braiam the only winning move is not to play. Jun 16, 2015 at 12:31
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    The "can of worms" analogy is a strange one to use here for me. I would open the can to get candy. If its worms, who cares? I'll just go fishing. Or throw away the can. If a question or answers have potential I think we should keep them until its proven they are not useful. Jun 17, 2015 at 21:55

They should be closed as "primarily opinion based" because they boil down to preference or just looking at comparison charts.

Why you are asking about the advantages or disadvantages is the real question.

  • Do you want to move to another product and need that push?
  • Do you think you're missing out on something by not trying it the other way?
  • Are you really asking about a product recommendation instead? (We have another close reason for that.)
  • Do you think something is wrong when you're doing it a certain way? What is the actual side effect you want to really look at?

That some are open is like all questions that don't belong. They were missed at the time. The policy on that is to close them as you come across them. Not necessarily to sit there and close them all when you're trying to prove a point.

  • 2
    " Not necessarily to sit there and close them all when you're trying to prove a point." -> isn't consistency one of the basis of moderation? Jun 8, 2015 at 20:14
  • Consistency in applying, not necessarily to run the blanket in one fell swoop, but as it appears, as it comes across
    – random Mod
    Jun 9, 2015 at 0:01
  • IMHO each question should be subject to the same treatment. That's my definition of consistency. Jun 9, 2015 at 18:21
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    How is an objective analysis of the pros and cons of a decision opinion based? I'm not saying these questions are good, but I do not think they are opinion based.
    – corsiKa
    Jun 10, 2015 at 17:05
  • 2
    Who's to say if a pro isn't really a con? Not being able to read DVDs natively might be a pro for one person, a con for a dozen others. Instead better to direct the question in a way where you can get pointed information of how it can be solved, not a list of things to compare @cor
    – random Mod
    Jun 10, 2015 at 17:53
  • 1
    @random : what prevents it from being both?
    – Erik I
    Jun 11, 2015 at 10:29
  • @FranckDernoncourt: sitting down and closing all is the basis of much annoyance on stackexchange. Ideally I'd be arguing for changing the rules as a whole lot of the most useful questions here has later been retroactively marked as "not constructive" (sweet irony there) but for now let me argue for not applying "not constructive" just because we can.
    – Erik I
    Jun 11, 2015 at 10:35
  • 1
    @Erik I agree there is way to much closing on SE, but I find inconsistent moderation even worse. I fully agree with your answer. Jun 11, 2015 at 16:35
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    @FranckDernoncourt thanks for the support. I'd like to disagree on the importance of consistency though: "delete everything" and "accept everything" are possibly two of the most consistent ways we can deal with questions and answers but I think the answer is in between. The law is of course for the lawless and having rules that can be used to close opinion based questions and uncronstructive questions is a good thing, -as long as people don't start applying them just because they can.
    – Erik I
    Jun 15, 2015 at 9:11
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    I think a better example of how this type of question should stay open would be "how does A do x differently than B?" Not "Compare A and B for me" - it needs to be specific. Jun 15, 2015 at 18:39

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