I was just checking my answer/reply history and noticed Select using a different value than id on join became Closed as 'Off Topic'.

Tag reads "this could be because your code has a typo, basic error, or is not relevant to most of our audience" In the case of this question that doesn't happen.

If you can understand what the user is asking, should you impose verbosity, rhetoric, or technicality? Is that a requirement or scale for an upvote?

Question has three up-votes and does not seem to be 'too localized'.

So, is it really relevant? Was relevant? How does became off-topic?

Other In-Topic (otherwise adequate), open questions that fit the bill:

Help with SELECT queries


How to select distinct record?

Even more: https://dba.stackexchange.com/search?q=help+select

Yet another perfect example: Select over 2 select queries

So in turn, if the question in this case is too 'StackOverflow' then shouldn't it be moved to that community?

3 Answers 3


I think he's wrong, but Paul White said it very clearly: the question is too basic... [for some]. I think this adds tremendous confusion and dissuades people from using this site. As a member of the community that feels passionately and differently on this specific issue, I've also voted to reopen your question.

All SQL questions should be welcome here. "Basic" is entirely too subjective, and as someone growing and coming here looking for expertise you're probably not the right one to make that distinction. Not all admins on DBA.SE even use SQL: some of them come from GIS backgrounds or use record-based systems (ex, PICK) that lack the SQL query language. Some people use xquery. What do these guys do when they have SQL questions, level up at StackOverflow first?

I've tried to address this in a substantive way and to change this policy on a few occasions. It's an uphill battle. The sad part is that we really need more users like yourself to come here and ask good questions and grow in this community, and sending you off to StackOverflow to ask DBA-esque questions inhibits both your growth and the communities growth in the near and long-term. It's an all around bad and dated policy.

I've down-voted the others answers. I feel strongly about this and ejecting newer less experienced database users back to StackOverflow is a shameful act.

Not to mention there are tons of users here who want to help you learn, myself included and it's not exactly like the site has an abundance of questions: Tex, GIS, WordPress, SharePoint, Drupal, SalesForce, and Magneto StackExchanges all get more questions/day than us. I'd take a bet that they employee fewer people and have less-advanced subject matter than we do too.

  • Fully agree with you, unfortunately not the most important 0.5% of the community.
    – Nelson
    Apr 5, 2017 at 11:17

I think it was considered too localized because the problem was a missing join condition.

The scope of the site states

dba.se is for those needing expert answers to advanced database-related questions [...]

Doing a Cartesian product instead of an inner join is hardly a topic that I would call advanced. In fact, it is more a beginners' mistake (or one that an experienced person commits when he/she is tired enough).


close notice

The question is pretty basic - essentially it is asking how to write a simple join.

Our on-topic help centre page says:

but, dba.se is not the right place to ask questions about...

  • Client-side programming - ask on Stack Overflow
  • Basic SQL - ask on Stack Overflow
  • Career advice, including salary or résumé - try Patrick McKenzie's Don't call yourself a programmer

I don't recall why I only voted to close at the time. I should have downvoted it as well - something I have now corrected.

Regarding the other questions listed, sure, they would have been more suitable for Stack Overflow. This site is operated by human beings, so actions are not always entirely consistent.

People sometimes answer strictly off-topic questions because they want to be helpful. Nevertheless, the scope and general policy of this site remains as stated in the Help Centre.

...if the question in this case is too 'StackOverflow' then shouldn't it be moved to that community?

No. See What is migration and how does it work? in the Stack Exchange FAQ. Relevant bullet points:

  • Don't migrate crap!
  • Avoid migrating answered questions.
  • Don't migrate for the sake of migration.
  • If you're not sure, don't vote to migrate it.

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