15

For reference, look at this question: https://dba.stackexchange.com/questions/39302/invalid-object-sql-server-2005-express

The question appears to be abandoned, and offers no real help to future visitors. Should it be closed, or do we care?

13

Great question.

Here's my $0.05 (I'm giving you more than a tupence so deal with it).

  • If the question is old and good, then answer it if you can.
  • If the question is old and poor but can be edited to be good, then edit it and answer it.
  • If the question is old and off topic then vote for it to be closed as off topic.
  • If the question is old and too localized or too broad then leave a comment asking for details and try to help clarify with an edit if possible. Try to follow back up on it if you can for a while and if after a few months nobody has responded with more details, then vote for it to be closed.

If you strip off the "is old and" you find that we basically have the same rules as for not-old questions.

  • 2
    And what to do with questions which had comments requesting clarification that were never answered? – dezso Sep 21 '13 at 8:36
  • 1
    @dezso - Those are the questions that prompted my meta question. We have many questions where the OP came in, posed a question, then left without any further responses. A lot of those questions are unanswerable without further info. – Max Vernon Sep 21 '13 at 9:32
  • 4
    Then you vote to close as too vague – jcolebrand Sep 23 '13 at 17:19
  • And what if you do not wish to invest time in such a question (which is a legitimate personal choice)? Then the above rules do not cover all situations. – usr Sep 26 '13 at 12:44
  • 5
    Yes they do. If you choose not to invest time in the question, just close the tab and go outside. – jcolebrand Sep 26 '13 at 17:53
11

I think we should close out questions that are abandoned and of no use. It helps keep the site clean and useful and helps ensure a good signal to noise ratio.

-4

Yes, they should be closed.

And it should be added as a close reason.

For an example question take this one. Here is the test I would apply here,

  • The OP hasn't been on the site since Mar 2016. He's not active by any definition.
  • The question is highly localized to the point where it will never have any value to anyone else. That's ok, imho, so long as it has value to the author.
  • The author themself is likely no longer to find an answer useful having already resolved the problems.

I don't think this is reasonable,

If the question is old and too localized or too broad then leave a comment asking for details and try to help clarify with an edit if possible. Try to follow back up on it if you can for a while and if after a few months nobody has responded with more details, then vote for it to be closed.

We have lots of these questions, not merely one or two. But hundreds. And even if you did it we don't have a close reason that represents this problem.

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