Closed as Not Constructive: The Top-Voted Discussions on Stack Overflow

It goes without saying that Stack Overflow is an invaluable resource for any coder seeking help. This is in large part because they enforce stringent guidelines such as sticking to factual questions and answers. As a result, many posts that don’t meet these guidelines get locked down.

Many are duplicates or desperate students doing homework in the eleventh hour, but every once in awhile a fascinating and insightful discussion will emerge from the community. These too will get closed by moderators eventually of course, with reasons like being off-topic, too broad, opinion-based, or not constructive, and with notices like:

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion…

Thankfully they remain online for posterity because they also make for some of the best reading fodder you can find on Stack Overflow. Judge for yourself: diving into the archives, I’ve collected an anthology of the top-voted “extended discussions” year by year for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!

(I’ll note that earlier years of Stack Overflow seem to have more of these rich discussions. I guess the moderation policies have been effective. Hacker News and Proggit are the places to turn for these sort of discussions now.)










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