This question was closed as "too localized". Could those who voted that way please explain just what it is about the question that they think is localized?

To me this is just plain crazy voting and might well be the result of over-indulgence during the Silly Season but I think if the question was to be closed it should have been closed for a valid reason, not just something picked at random.


The question appears to have been reopened, presumably by a mod. It also has another 2 close votes.

Let me be clear: I am not defending the question's right to survival but if it must be closed let it be for a legitimate reason.

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I voted "Not constructive" on this one, which I think is a much more appropriate close reason. I was the first non-TL vote.

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Preface: I did not vote "Too Localized." I am playing devil's advocate.

I think "Too Localized" means "we have no idea what your use case is or what your performance needs are. That information is necessary to give you a reasonable answer that isn't a small book which covers the most likely scenarios. Sadly, that information is currently only known by you, so either pony up more info or we'll have to close it as too localized to the four walls of your office."

At least, that's how I interpret it. Certainly the question is of poor quality and we shouldn't need to coax information out of people like placing saucers of milk to cajole kittens from under the porch. I think "Too Localized" is a bit of a stretch of reasoning in this case. If I had seen that question, I would have voted to close it on grounds of not being a real question.

Half a question, half a question,
Half a question onward,
All in the valley of NARQs
Rode the SysAdmins.
'Forward the Bright Brigade!
Charge for the NARQs!' we said.
Into the valley of Derp
Rode the SysAdmins.


"How long is a piece of string?"

enter image description here


As per John's comment:

I believe you are completely misunderstanding the concept of local. You don't need to know or understand the use case for such questions, just as it's not necessary for anyone to know why I want to generate images programmatically, as per my most recent question.

I see a few topics here. Let's tackle them each:

I believe you are completely misunderstanding the concept of local.

Yes, I believe I might be. That's why I almost never vote the "Too Localized" option and instead choose "Off Topic [no migration]" or "NARQ." From my understanding of "Too Localized" it's a very scarce scenario when a question would fit into it. In this instance I would have voted NARQ - and in fact voted NARQ on it just now as I noticed it had been reopened.

I was only offering conjecture about the "Too Localized" votes because that's how I would have thought. I would have been 90% drawn to NARQ and 10% drawn to "too localized."

You don't need to know or understand the use case for such questions, just as it's not necessary for anyone to know why I want to generate images programmatically, as per my most recent question.

It's not necessary in some scenarios, but in this case (and in most cases on ServerFault) I believe it is. In this specific example, the sticky wicket is the words "optimal" and "performance" as in "What's the optimal way to partition, and format, this partition in Linux to maximize performance."

That's subjective and suddenly makes the topic of partitioning rely entirely upon what he's doing with that partition, what applications he's running and what characteristics they exhibit. Now we need to know a large tract of information that he hasn't offered up and it seems unlikely that a profitable experience will be had by anyone as they try and ferret that information out. Thus, I voted to close it as NARQ.

To pull it back on the topic of the "Too Localized" debate, I really don't know exactly why anyone would vote that option in this case, except for the reasons I pontificated above.

And I still want to know how long a piece of string is.

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  • I believe you are completely misunderstanding the concept of local. You don't need to know or understand the use case for such questions, just as it's not necessary for anyone to know why I want to generate images programmatically, as per my most recent question. – John Gardeniers Dec 28 '11 at 2:06
  • @JohnGardeniers Updated! – Wesley Dec 28 '11 at 2:23
  • I thought you were claiming the credit/blame for one of the TL votes. It appears now you're playing the Devil's advocate. – John Gardeniers Dec 28 '11 at 2:56
  • @JohnGardeniers Yes, I should have been more clear. I updated my post. – Wesley Dec 28 '11 at 2:58
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    as you've asked - A piece of string is 1376mm. I just measured it. – John Gardeniers Dec 28 '11 at 4:27
  • @JohnGardeniers You are as awesome as a henway. – Wesley Dec 28 '11 at 4:33
  • +1 I didn't vote on this one, but would have voted Too Localized. @JohnGardeniers I think you misunderstand the concept of local. In fact, there are two concepts. 1. It might be localized to a particular geographic region. 2. It might be of use to such a minority, edge cases, that it can not be usefully answered for the general case (localized to the situation). I believe this Question falls into the latter. The fine details of the use case will determine if an optimal layout even exists. It might well be the case that any common partitioning is just as good as another. – Chris S Dec 28 '11 at 14:18
  • I see the word "optimal" as being just as bad as "best". The person is asking us to do their job for them, or worse doesn't realize what is involved and is blindly asking for any solution. Best and Optimal vary by situation, if there was a silver bullet for everyone then we'd all be using it by now. Asking for solution suggestions is again just as bad because it's a shopping/discussion question. Too Localized seems to fit all of these sorts of Questions just fine; the "correct" Answer will be completely localized to their situation and almost certainly irrelevant to everyone else. – Chris S Dec 28 '11 at 14:21
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    People seem to forget, Question and Answer are not for the sole benefit of the Questioner (that's what ExpertSexChange is for). This site is for the community. If the Answer is of no benefit to the community, how should we allow the Question to clutter the knowledge base? – Chris S Dec 28 '11 at 14:23
  • @Chris, the idea that the question under discussion is local is absurd. In reality EVERY question is local by your definition simply because no two situations are ever identical. It follows therefore that because each is unique it must by your definition be too localized for SF. I'll also argue that every question is first and foremost for the questioner. I've never seen anyone posting a question just because they thought it might benefit the community and not themselves. – John Gardeniers Dec 28 '11 at 22:02
  • "We're participating in [Server Fault] ... to collectively build something great for the community" Ref. My question on adminCount, it's no coincidence that the Answer was posted less than 1 minute later as I already knew the answer but wanted it posted solely for the community's benefit. – Chris S Dec 29 '11 at 2:34
  • @Chris, that's just rep harvesting. – John Gardeniers Dec 29 '11 at 21:03
  • @JohnGardeniers Oh come now, questions are made to be answered, not only because you don't know the answer, but also because you want to share an already known answer. I believe that is officially sanctioned in some meta.SO conversation somewheres. – Wesley Dec 29 '11 at 21:07
  • @JohnGardeniers That Powershell/adminCount answer was a situation where Mark answered the question in chat, but they posted it for posterity; if he was rep harvesting, then he wasn't doing it for himself. On the topic: I think we could probably clean that question up to a more general "What partitioning, formatting, and file system options do I need to pay attention to for a given storage use case" question and we could do a community-wiki treatise.. but I can see the Too Localized case, and voted Not Constructive myself because he's asking for the "best" general options, which is opinion. – Shane Madden Dec 29 '11 at 22:00

I largely disapprove of "what's the best" questions. they're usually poorly formulated, barely disguised Shopping questions, and almost always the answer includes "depends on your environment/use/budget"

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  • I agree with you but I'm having trouble seeing what this has to do with the topic under discussion, which is why the question was closed as too localized when there are more appropriate voting options. – John Gardeniers Dec 29 '11 at 21:00
  • Actually, I do think that that question was too localized. 'What's the best way to optimize [this disk] on [this controller] with [this filesystem]?' I would give points for a mostly ( except for the "best" part) clear and detailed question, but it's unlikely that it would be of use to anyone else. – gWaldo Dec 30 '11 at 4:03

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