I wrote this this question, thinking it might be a good general question to get started. I ended up revising it massively with some good comments.

I read the background on what makes a good subjective question and I followed the guidelines. I even provided far more detail than this highly-voted, very subjective question. What makes my question different? It doesn't look like any other precedent was really established for subjectivity here at DBA.SE in the past.

So, what (if anything) could I do to get my question re-opened? For history's sake, can someone identify where my question diverges from the SE subjective question guidelines?


Would it be more appropriate just to migrate it to Programmers.SE?


Is there room for soft questions?

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    I don't have a real answer, but there's a vague idea (which I'm not sure is good either) that you could try and suggest a specific enough kind of scenario in which a DBA would be forced to selectively run tests (e.g. it's to do with a late/overdue production update or something) and the problem would be to decide which tests to skip, thus potentially leading to the question of what kind of new features are less likely to break if you don't test them. Maybe you'd also have to suggest a specific set of features to choose from, too. – Andriy M Jun 26 '15 at 17:16
  • @AndriyM Those are great ideas! Thanks! Still, I'm not sure that the subjectivity guidelines (linked above) or above-linked question's precedent give any indication that a more specific scenario is required. – ZX9 Jun 26 '15 at 17:29
  • No, I don't think it's required, I was just thinking of how you could help others to see that your question can be useful, and that, in turn, made me think about how this question could be useful for me. That's how I came up with that example I gave in the previous comment. It doesn't strike me as one particularly likely, to be honest, you may be able to find a better one. The idea is, as I said at the beginning, to help others to see the practical usefulness of your question – provided you believe it useful yourself, of course. – Andriy M Jun 26 '15 at 18:04
  • Hmm, perhaps I should explain a little, because the original idea has kind of evolved in my mind. At first I thought you might need to change your question and make the specific scenario the main method to get your question across. Now I'm thinking that perhaps your question would be fine to remain as it is, but in order to justify it you could simply add a sentence or two along the lines of "As an example of where you might need an answer to this question, consider this scenario..." (I'm not suggesting this is the best pattern, no, it's just to give you an example of what I mean.) – Andriy M Jun 26 '15 at 18:19
  • Ah, no, you are already asking where/when it would be fine not to test things, so yeah, you'd probably need to remove/rephrase a bit or two as well. – Andriy M Jun 26 '15 at 18:21
  • Just because some historical question was allowed to live at the time does not mean we want that type of question to continue being asked. The site's rules, guidelines and culture have changed over time, just like Stack Overflow's has (our history is just a little shorter), and we have become less tolerant to subjective questions. Don't use 4-year old questions as a model. – Aaron Bertrand Jun 28 '15 at 16:12
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    @AaronBertrand Could you mark it as historical? I'm not sure exactly what that implies not being a mod, but I've seen other questions which say something like "this question is protected for its historical value and should not be used as a model" etc. – ZX9 Jun 29 '15 at 11:27
  • @AndriyM FYI, unless you'd like to, I'll likely borrow some of your above ideas to form a new question, since using them on the one referenced here would essentially re-write it. – ZX9 Jul 1 '15 at 13:22
  • I had no such intentions and I have no objections. Please be my guest. – Andriy M Jul 2 '15 at 5:24

To me, your question falls into the "unclear what you're asking" or "too broad" category, rather than "subjective". What do you mean by "feature" or "testing"?

Is it ever OK to change, without testing elsewhere, the button shape on your web site (feature) from square to rounded? Most people would answer positively.

Is it sometimes OK to replace, without testing elsewhere, a stored procedure that calculates compound interest on a credit card account that has four different interest rates for different charges (or may be a piece of code that calculates a cruise missile trajectory)? Most people would probably scream "NO!".

In other words, the answer depends on the specific circumstance (missing from the question) and your personal tolerance to pain, physical and psychological (unknown to the responders).

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  • I like the direction you're going (I just don't have the rep to upvote). Follow up: if I do clarify my specific circumstance, will it then still classify as opinion-based? – ZX9 Jul 1 '15 at 11:22
  • After you clarify your circumstance, then it will clearly become opinion-based, because different people will probably behave differently in your circumstance. – mustaccio Jul 1 '15 at 12:07
  • That makes sense. (I think I'll wait a bit longer to see what other ideas people might have.) – ZX9 Jul 1 '15 at 13:23
  • I do like your clarification on the "personal tolerance to pain", I just want to identify the specific location on the subjectivity scale at which this is or isn't appropriate... – ZX9 Jul 7 '15 at 12:16
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    I like this answer. It boils down to this: there's a cost to being wrong, and there's a cost to making sure you are not wrong. Which cost is greater? – Walter Mitty Jul 9 '15 at 13:20
  • @WalterMitty Well said! There are certainly cases for both circumstances. I was originally just hoping for a DBA with lots of experiences to explain both sides of it. – ZX9 Jul 9 '15 at 15:32
  • I've looked at IT from both sides now; from right and wrong and still somehow; it's IT illusions I recall; I really don't know IT at all! – Walter Mitty Jul 9 '15 at 16:45

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