10

From a recent proposal it was clear, that we accepted to have new custom close reasons replacing our existing custom close reason.

To go live we need your vote, your suggestions, and your critique on the proposals we collected so far.

Please vote, comment, or answer here and help to create new custom close reasons that better reflect our current closing policy.

  • 1
    For the protocol, I want to state that I do not consider this vote necessary. If anybody opposed parts of the proposal, they had sufficient opportunity to discuss this. The proposal was intentionally not split into several proposals, as what was proposed makes more sense together than the single parts. – Wrzlprmft Jun 18 '15 at 11:53
  • 2
    For the protocol: As a moderator I need a clear vote from the community before I will be able to propose the deactivation of a custom close reason we have for years now. If this approval was not clear I am not going to propagate this further. – Takkat Jun 18 '15 at 12:00
11

Yes

This is a fork from Pops’ answer, trying to incorporate the general approach (tell people what the site is about first) but trying to solve some issues with the wording and be closer to the original suggestion in some aspects.

I propose that we:

  • Remove the old close reason.

  • Add the general-reference close reason

    This site is about the usage and rules of the German language. It is not well-suited to replace dictionaries, grammar books or similar. If you have already consulted such general references and still have questions, please edit your question to explain what you found and why it did not help. See this post on Meta for more information.

    I shortened the first sentence only because of the character limit.

  • Add the bulk-translation/proofreading/spellchecking close reason

    German Language SE is for specific questions of general interest and to help you learn and understand. Thus, requests for proofreading, spell checking or translations of individual texts are not a good fit here. If you can, please narrow down your question to a single specific source of concern. See this post on Meta for more information.

  • We had a long debate of the pros and cons of including the we feel sentence in the first reason. If you can add to this, we are grateful for a third opinion. The alternative would be to replace the third and fourth sentence by: If you have already consulted such general references and still have questions, please edit your question to explain what you found and why it did not help. – Wrzlprmft Jun 21 '15 at 6:49
  • I think that using the word feel does no good here. Whoever votes to close makes a decision. She or he decides at that point, that a general reference would answer that question, she or he decides that there is not enough research effort. – Martin - マーチン Jul 1 '15 at 12:39
  • @Martin-マーチン: What alternative would you propose? – Wrzlprmft Jul 1 '15 at 14:01
  • I pretty much would agree with Pops close reason - I would have weighed in on the other thread, but I don't attend this page regularly, so I missed my chance. – Martin - マーチン Jul 1 '15 at 14:38
  • @Martin-マーチン: I removed the we feel part and replaced it by something following the lines of Pops’ suggestion. – Wrzlprmft Jul 1 '15 at 18:42
  • I think that's a better fit. I have a follow up question: Can I assume, that the "Blatantly Off-Topic" reason will also go? Has it ever been used? These cases should be extremely rare and could be dealt with in a custom reason. – Martin - マーチン Jul 2 '15 at 3:19
  • @Martin-マーチン: The “Blatantly Off-Topic” is not a custom close reason of our site but appears on every site to every user that flags a question as off-topic and does not have the priviledge to close. – Wrzlprmft Jul 2 '15 at 4:32
  • What about a headline for each close reason? I quite liked these in Pops' proposal, and I do believe they are helpful (more than bolded text somewhere in the body). Can we somehow try to re-install such headlines (my suggestion would be General Reference for the first one, and Copy Work for the second where people copy their work to here). – Takkat Jul 2 '15 at 6:25
  • @Takkat: In my opinion the bolded texts are as eyecatching as headlines and thus do as well. But I do not oppose headlines in general, if we can find some. If you interprete copy work as you do, it would be copied work, but I do not think that this captures the essence of the close reason: Though most such questions are indeed copied work, they do not need to be and that’s not what’s wrong about these questions. – Wrzlprmft Jul 2 '15 at 9:08
  • What about Too broad - because a single issue was not given. This would also cover single word translation requests where we mostly have too many options we can not resolve without context. – Takkat Jul 2 '15 at 9:14
  • @Takkat: It’s okay, though I consider proofreading, spell checking or translations of individual texts to be more to the point (and thus boldfacing it a better option). – Wrzlprmft Jul 2 '15 at 10:51
5

I just came by to follow up on the previous request and possibly enable some new close reasons, but I'm concerned about how the current drafts look.

I don't have any philosophical objections to the direction you want to go, although I believe some sites in the network tried, struggled with and ultimately abandoned versions of "general reference" close reasons a long time ago (i.e. before my time).

My concerns are with the specifics of the wording. Both reasons, particularly the second, sound a bit antagonistic to me. To quote my colleague Robert Cartaino on writing close reasons,

when you start by explaining what the site is about, it becomes way less cumbersome to explain where they went wrong. I've been experimenting with this format, and it's been an unexpected bonus that users seem to come away feeling much more satisfied knowing what the site *is* about… rather than just being told what they did wrong.

So I propose

  • Remove the old research effort close reason.
  • Add the general reference close reason

    General reference — German SE is for questions about the usage and rules of the German language. It is not well-suited to replace dictionaries, grammar books or similar references. If you have already consulted these sources and still have questions, please edit your question to explain. See How do I ask good, on-topic questions for translations or about differences? for more information.

  • Add the translation/proofreading/spellchecking close reason

    Copy work — German SE is for questions about learning the German language. Requests for individual instances of translations, proofreading or spellchecking are generally not a good fit here. If you have a specific source of concern, please edit it and any relevant context into the question. See Are questions related to peer review of a text on topic? for more information.

These are by no means set in stone; please feel free to use them as starting points for your own versions (or tell me I'm on the wrong track).

  • The individual instances in the second close reasons are probably more confusing than helping, but I do not have the time to think about a good alternative now. Otherwise I like the direction. – Wrzlprmft Jun 19 '15 at 21:49
  • Is there a more prominently placed version of this? If not, it may be worth creating one. – Wrzlprmft Jun 19 '15 at 21:50
  • "Individual requests for"? "Specific requests for"? – Pops Jun 19 '15 at 22:12
  • Even worse, as the next sentence request to state a specific concern. So, in brief: “specific requests are off-topic unlessa specific concern is identified” – this can only lead to confusion. – Wrzlprmft Jun 19 '15 at 22:16
  • I finally found time to give the second close reason more than a minute of thought and hope that I fixed the issues now. Please review it. – Wrzlprmft Jun 19 '15 at 23:29
  • @Wrzlprmft regarding the second close reason I rolled back your edit as I believe people should be able to see and discuss the initial proposal without having to go through the post revisions first. Consider to post your edited version as another answer here. – Takkat Jun 20 '15 at 6:04
  • I believe it is the individual instance without research effort what made people close a question most of the time. It's these questions "Can you translate this for me", "Is my spelling correct?", "I read bla bla bla what does it mean?" followed by a text with many or few issues but without a specific question we could answer. – Takkat Jun 20 '15 at 6:17
  • @Takkat: I do not disagree about individual instance being the core of the problem. The problem is that the expression it is not fit for communicating the issue without more explanation, in particular if we contrast it with specific source of concern later. – Wrzlprmft Jun 20 '15 at 6:31
  • Well, we do help learners on specific issues if they were mentioned. Then the individual instance may be the context we need for answering a question but we do not accept such an instance otherwise. Lengthy explanations should be made individually in a comment or on the meta post we link to. Individual instance is the former bulk put in nicer words. – Takkat Jun 20 '15 at 6:46
  • @Pops: I believe some sites in the network tried, struggled with and ultimately abandoned versions of "general reference" close reasons a long time ago – Does this include language sites? At least ELL has such a close reason and the big difference between language sites and most of the rest of Stack Exchange is that we do not want to become the general reference in some respect. – Wrzlprmft Jun 20 '15 at 7:22
  • @Takkat: Continuing in chat. – Wrzlprmft Jun 20 '15 at 7:24
3

Please also take a look at this suggestion, which is essentially the same with a more friendly approach to the wording.

Yes

The proposal should be implemented exactly as suggested, except for the unopposed modification proposed by Takkat. This means:

  • Remove the old close reason.
  • Add the new close reason as discussed:

    We feel that your question can be answered by a dictionary, a grammar book, or a similar general reference. To have your question reopened, explain what you found when consulting these references and why they did not help you. See our Help Center and How do I ask good, on-topic questions for translations or about differences?

  • Add a new close reason for bulk translation, proofreading and spellchecking questions, for example:

    Asking for proofreading, spell checking and translations is off-topic unless a single specific source of concern is clearly indicated. We’re here to help you learn, not to provide a bulk translation or proofreading service.

Note that all of this was explicitly stated in the proposal and is as of now unopposed (except for two downvotes on the entire proposal).

  • The second close reason should better reflect our current closing policy: Asking for proofreading, spell checking as well as for translation is off-topic unless a single specific source of concern is clearly indicated and sufficient context was provided. - we will also have to adapt our FAQ to this before it can go live. – Takkat Jun 18 '15 at 12:27
  • Using the singular (specific source instead of specific sources) should imply single, but it cannot hurt to be more clear about this. – Wrzlprmft Jun 18 '15 at 12:38
  • IMO to Indicate is better than to identify. We may also add the sentence we're here to help you learn, not provide a bulk translation or proof reading service - to make it a bit friendlier (and closer to the existing reason). I had removed the large amount because I believe that even small amounts of text are off topic if the prerequisites you mentioned were not met. I also added the sufficient context here because that always was a major complaint and close reason if it was missing. – Takkat Jun 18 '15 at 12:47
  • @Takkat: Sorry; I thought the boldface marked the only change you suggested. I agree with everything. – Wrzlprmft Jun 18 '15 at 12:59
  • Great - have my vote then (at least on this one I can vote). – Takkat Jun 18 '15 at 13:01
  • @Takkat: Thinking about it, I removed the sufficient context again. It does not really fit in here and causes probably more confusion. If we want a custom close reason for such cases it should be distinct. But I do not think that we need one, unclear what you’re asking suffices. – Wrzlprmft Jun 20 '15 at 7:18
-1

Here is another variant for the second close reason open for discussion:

Copy work — German Language SE is for questions arising when translating, proofreading or spellchecking, but we are not a professional individual service. Any such texts should be of general interest. Please add your specific concern or missing context to let us help. See Are questions related to peer review of a text on topic? for more information.

  • Any such texts should be of general interest. – What texts are you referring to? None were mentioned up to this point. Also, this implies that there are proofreading and spellchecking questions of general interest, which I would dispute. – Wrzlprmft Jun 20 '15 at 20:47
  • Also, as already discussed in chat, copy work does not seem to be an established term: I cannot find it in dictionaries or similar. I asked a native speaker of English and he did not know the term. The foremost Google results for the term do not seem to be about what we use in the question. Even if some people actually use it in this sense, we cannot expect users to understand it. – Wrzlprmft Jun 20 '15 at 20:53
  • @Wrzlprmft: the translations or proofreadings we (the community) had closed in the past were not of general interest, those who were we mostly leave open. It remains to define "general interest" but I'm fine to ditch this sentence. I only introduced it for clarification. Take copy work as a draft until we find a better term (which we haven't yet). – Takkat Jun 20 '15 at 21:24

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