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Update: I've deleted my answer on the referenced question. Now, it can be purged by delete votes or the Stack Exchange Roomba.


I would like to understand better why How to upgrade pgAdmin 4 version 1.1 to version 2.1? was closed as `too localized'.

Was it because it is not relevant to most of our audience? Or was because it is 'too trivial'? Or both, i.e. because it is trivial is not relevant to most users in DBA SE? Or something else?

I thought it was not too localized because:

  • pgAdmin is frequently being upgraded (in a monthly basis) and it is a software widely used by people working with PostgreSQL;
  • Someone who is probably far from where I am, asked a question I wanted to know the answer (I mean, it is not too specific).

Previously related questions were asked in Meta: How to edit my question or is it too localized?. This one I understand the question was very specific to OP's circumstances and nearly off-topic in scope. And Closed as Too Localized. This one is similar, but different in the sense subject there was not trivial (at least to me).

Probably users voting to close as 'too localized' know what they are doing, but do new folks usually understand well this message?

Assuming the 'too trivial' premise is correct (if it is not, please disconsider), perhaps we could improve the close reason to:

"Too localized - this could be because your code has a typo, basic error, or it is not relevant to most of our audience, or is too trivial. Consider revising your question so that it appeals to a broader audience. As it stands, the question is unlikely to help other users.

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Assuming the 'too trivial' premise is correct (if it is not, please disconsider), perhaps we could improve the close reason to:

"Too localized - this could be because your code has a typo, basic error, or it is not relevant to most of our audience, or is too trivial. Consider revising your question so that it appeals to a broader audience. As it stands, the question is unlikely to help other users.

This is a good question but I think the wording is OK as it is. The current wording is shorter and simpler and already encompasses the 'too trivial' aspect, even though that isn't apparent at first glance.

It is the phrase "it is not relevant to most of our audience" that covers the 'too trivial' case; and that's because there is a particular 'expert' focus to the Database Administrators site. Most of our audience are experts or looking for specific expertise, and that's how we want to keep things — that's the niche we have which means the site has usefulness beyond just being another tag on SO.

There isn't a hard and fast rule or a very clear line concerning what is considered 'too trivial' and what isn't (as you can see from elsewhere on meta), but the community use their collective discretion and mostly get it right to keep the balance of helping beginners towards expertise and keeping the expert focus. In the case of the question you've linked to, there are other issues than that the answer turned out to be trivial; for example it shows no research effort, and that probably weighs against it too.

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Not all closures will fall precisely into the exact interpretation of the wording jammed into generic close reason text. No matter how much we fiddle with that text, someone is not going to be happy that it didn't 100% accurately reflect the closure reason behind their question.

In this case, I'm not sure there's a more accurate close reason for "give me the instructions to do x" when the instructions turn out to be downloading and double-clicking. Sites on this network are meant to get help from your peers solving a technical issue you are facing. How to install Office, add a user to Windows, or upgrade a program - simple things that yield plenty of material from a straightforward search - are not very useful and just add to the noise here. While yes, you need the help right now, part of the point of this site is to serve as a lasting archive of technical questions and answers that don't already exist elsewhere.

  • "Not all closures will fall precisely into the exact interpretation of the wording jammed into generic close reason text." Alright, but on Stack Overflow it used to be a problematic close reason (see meta.stackexchange.com/questions/184154/…). Maybe here as well. Funny thing is that your 'straightforward search' return obsolete and off-topic links until the Q/A here in DBA SE. But I appreciate the answer; it helps. – Andre Silva Nov 3 '18 at 21:41
  • Again, it doesn't really matter what we call the close reason, people will still complain. The current wording is misleading to you, we'd change it and then it becomes misleading to someone else. The main point is that the questions get closed and effort isn't spent by your peers answering questions you can answer yourself, quicker. As for obsolete and off-topic, I don't know, the first result for me got me here in two clicks: pgadmin.org/download That may be different for you, but you can't give up and go ask peers to search for you if you don't get your answer on the first hit. – Aaron Bertrand Nov 3 '18 at 21:55
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    I'm all for helping people solve problems, I've been doing it for years, both here and on Stack Overflow, and for years before these sites existed. That doesn't mean that every possible question about anything database-related belongs here. – Aaron Bertrand Nov 3 '18 at 21:58
  • Well, that link (pgadmin.org/download) does not answer the question I linked to. About "you can't give up and go ask peers to search for you if you don't get your answer on the first hit." it was quite the opposite, my search did not return any useful results, only that (until then) unanswered question (not my question). So I tested it (upgraded software by 'downloading and double clicking') and posted an answer there. – Andre Silva Nov 3 '18 at 22:58
  • About "it doesn't really matter what we call the close reason, people will still complain" that is not true at all, it is possible to sharpen a text message and improve feedback to users (we do this all the time in Stack Exchange). But I think your point is, that it is not the case here (that we need to change/improve that message), ok, I get it. – Andre Silva Nov 3 '18 at 22:59
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    I’m certainly not a unilateral dictator here, I just feel like we could squabble over the wording of any close reason every week and there will still be the next person who needs it explained. My vote is to explain it when that happens and then move on. – Aaron Bertrand Nov 4 '18 at 1:27

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