6

I ask this purely because I'm lazy, but can we compile a list of boilerplate comments to leave on questions receiving close votes?

I ran across this question where hot2use posted a terrific close vote comment:

Welcome to DBA.SE. We appreciate your participation. Please consider reading the following article: How do I ask a good question? (Help Centre). Currently your question doesn't contain enough information and might be closed as unclear what you're asking. Consider adding more information. E.g. contents of the ERRORLOG file, the other information suggested in the comments. Add this info to your question.

I would love to see more of these show up on questions receiving close votes on dba.se. Hopefully comments of this nature will help new users acclimate to the site and it definitely seems to fall into alignment with Joel Spolsky's blog post about what he hopes to see with the next CEO of StackExchange:

The type of people Stack Overflow serves has changed, and now, as a part of the developer ecosystem, we have a responsibility to create an online community that is far more diverse, inclusive, and welcoming of newcomers.

Again, purely lazy on my part as I'd love to just copy/paste some of these into questions where I cast a close vote.

UPDATE: I apologize if I gave the impression that boilerplate comments be used always and without modification. Instead, I was more hoping for a community list of upvoted responses from which someone can use as a template for certain question types, and modify as they wish.

  • 1
    Might be related on MSE: Repository of useful pro-forma comments – Andrew T. Apr 12 at 7:12
  • @AndrewT. Yes, those are handy for general scenarios, and much along the lines of what I'd like. However, our close vote reasons are pretty specific to dba.se so I was hoping for a list more specific to our site's needs. – John Eisbrener Apr 12 at 16:31
9

Although I do feel honoured by being mentioned in your question, my comments have not always been well received. I've got a bunch of pre-defined comments lying around, which I will modify depending on the nature of the question.

But they are kind of for private use.

There was a discussion on The Heap™ about this somewhere in 2018 where a new user was basically asking the same. I nearly posted the "code" for my comments, but during the discussion, it became evident that the wording says much about the author and using boilerplate comments might not be the best way to discuss issues or ask for clarification.

There should be a portion inside the comment that reflects, that you have actually read the question and are asking for clarification.

Welcome to DBA.SE. We appreciate your participation. Please consider reading the following article: How do I ask a good question? (Help Centre). Currently your question is very contradicting and might be closed as unclear what you're asking. I.e, you state that you are connected as sa but the default sa is disabled. That is not possible.

...so you shouldn't be using boilerplate comments.

Another example is as follows. There was no reason to put emphasis on some missing or unclear information as the question lacked substance. Hence the hint to OP of adding an MCVE.

Welcome to DBA.SE. We appreciate your participation. Please consider reading the following articles: How do I ask a good question? (Help Centre) and Minimal, Complete, and Verifiable Example (Meta DBA.SE). Currently your question doesn't contain enough information and might be closed as unclear what you're asking.

I would search around the sites (DBA.SE and DBA.META) a bit and then compose your own comment(s). Both sites contains some gems on how to ask questions correctly. Creating your own comment, shows shows that you put some effort into your moderation and are not just copying others.

Create your own style.

  • I understand and appreciate your answer, but I don't think "don't use boilerplate responses" is the only approach here. I was shooting for the "use boilerplate responses as a starting point" method instead, and maybe my question is lacking in trying to describe that objective. Thanks for the feedback, always appreciated! – John Eisbrener Apr 12 at 16:23
-1

Because this is going to get lost if I just leave comments under hot2use's answer, I'll provide the other side of the coin here. My objective is to help aid in providing some constancy and helpful instruction when casting close votes. We have definitely discussed this general topic before in our meta channel and I agree that it's a people problem rather than a tech problem, but the issue here is we're not currently addressing the people problem.

While not a perfect solution, I figured leaving a boilerplate comment (as a handy default) is better than no comment at all on a close vote. I'm not asking we bake that into the site or even force people to use these, but I do think there should be some reference available for people that are looking and who better to provide good boilerplate responses than our community itself.

Write it up to personal preference, but I think providing a community upvoted list of boilerplate comments is better than a majority of comments I see left now, and definitely much better than nothing at all.

  • 3
    I upvoted your question, because I think it is good to ask this on Meta, But I down voted your answer, and upvoted the answer by hot2use. While there are a very few place where it can add value, overall using a community boilerplate creates more issues then it solves. – James Jenkins Apr 12 at 17:31

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .