Why is my question a shopping type of question? I really do not understand?

Why do people mark a question to be closed without any note/explanation? I asked and later it was marked to be closed by 2 people. Without any comment nor an answer. I don't agree with @Chris S but he left his explanation. Than you for that. That's called 'collaboration'.

I do not think that any (free script or product) thing like I am asking about exists but before coding what I want by myself I asked here. What is bad about it?

If the best answer to a question is name of a product that means that it is a shopping question?

3 Answers 3


The question you asked (Why is my question a shopping type of question?) has already been thoroughly answered by Mark Henderson, so I'm going to address the question you didn't ask -- How can I ask this question without it being a "shopping question"?

General Advice

Your question is currently a shopping question because you are asking, essentially, for a list of products/services/software/etc. -- If that's really what you want Server Fault isn't the right place to ask (Google is far better at giving people lists of things than we are, and stays up to date all on its own).

Your question can be transformed into a good, constructive question if you can change it from "Give me a list of things that do X" to "I have Y tools available, and I need to do X -- How can I accomplish this?".

Specific Advice

In your specific case you've already given yourself the framework of what needs to be done (it's in your question). Based on what you say in your question I think the most likely suggestion would be "break out your favorite scripting language and start writing a script to meet your needs", which isn't a very helpful answer (and would probably get the question shut down as "too localized" since it's only likely to be helpful for your specific environment).

Server Fault also isn't a scripting repository, so you're unlikely to get "teh c0dez" (a fully working script) handed to you for any question ; If you have problems writing the script though you could ask about the specific issues you encounter here (as it's a server administration script) or on Unix & Linux, which also sees a lot of questions and answers about scripting issues.

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    Noooow I understand. I don't agree though :-) Thank you.
    – Radek
    Commented Jul 30, 2012 at 2:48

Why do people mark a question to be closed without any note/explanation?

There was an explanation from Chris S, that you even commented on yourself. If you read the links in Chris's comment, you'll see that a "shopping" question is basically any question where someone gives a list of requirements and says "Find me a product".

I do not think that any (free script or product) thing like I am asking about exists but before coding what I want by myself I asked here. What is bad about it?

The reason we don't allow these questions is mainly because whilst any given answer might be correct right now, it will be wrong in 6 months. Maybe there are new products on the market. Maybe the answers you get are no longer maintained/for sale.

Additionally, they tend to show a lack of respect for your peers on the site. We realise that this is of course not intentional, but ut's basically like saying "I can't be bothered researching this myself, so, do it for me". This is fairly common, and even yours truly has done this in the past. And it got closed, after someone flagged it.

  • So, my question is not allowed or if written different way it would be ok?
    – Radek
    Commented Jul 29, 2012 at 23:24
  • Regarding your own question. I really canot grasp why something is closed if there are answers, comments, valid discussion below a question. It helps the one who asked and many in the future. If somebody doesn't like such question don't waste your time reading it.
    – Radek
    Commented Jul 29, 2012 at 23:28
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    @Radek - I think you've missed the point. What if someone else in 2 years time is googling for "Best Widget to Foo the Bar with", and they find an answer here, which suggests "You should use BarFoo 3.2". But BarFoo was discontinued, so now the user has wasted 10 minutes of their life looking for something that's no good, or even worse, they tried to use BarFoo 3.2 but find out too late that it's unmaintenined when they run into trouble with it. But it wasn't unmaintained when the answer was written. And then the user goes "Bloody Server Fault, gave me a shit answer, screw them" Commented Jul 29, 2012 at 23:30
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    (which happens to me almost every time I find myself on a non-SE site. Like Expert Sexchange, or some random vBulletin website). But yes, if you can write it in a different way, then it might pass. Check out the example I linked to in the answer above, that's a good example. Commented Jul 29, 2012 at 23:31
  • "After someone flagged it." <_<
    – Wesley
    Commented Jul 29, 2012 at 23:32
  • @WesleyDavid - don't flatter yourself, I've been flagged a few times by people other than you! Commented Jul 29, 2012 at 23:38
  • But any answer can be outdated. If BarFoo 3.2 is outdated it might still be the only solution. It would be wise to find out that before installing and not complain that it wasn't stated in the question.
    – Radek
    Commented Jul 29, 2012 at 23:44
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    I primary ask question on SE and lately there are new answers because there are new ways how to solve what ever I asked. Does it make all the other answers invalid? Or because such and such product/plugin is not underdevelopment anymore?
    – Radek
    Commented Jul 29, 2012 at 23:46
  • @Radek - this is true, any answer can be outdated. But product recommendation/shopping questions get outdated faster than a hipster fashion trend, especially in this field. Which is why we suggest asking questions like "Q: How can I tell what the latest hipster fashion trend is? A: Go to your local trendy inner-city suburb and look around you. Take one article of clothing from each person you see and wear it, preferably make sure the colours clash." rather than "Q: What's the latest hipster fashion? A: Over-sized bright-red spec frames with no glass in them and combat boots" Commented Jul 29, 2012 at 23:47
  • @Radek - in the case of my Hipster Fashion Trend example, there would be a new answer every 4.32 micro-seconds, as each previous answer is by default invalidated specifically because it's an answer. Now of course that's an absurd and stupid example, but for shopping questions the answers can change so often, it's just not worth the effort of keeping them up to date. Every time a new version of BooFarrer is released, do we expect someone to maintain a canonical list of all its competitors? Commented Jul 29, 2012 at 23:50
  • Why don't we use my question as an example? What different answer can I get besides some commercial product (which I don't want), or some free product, script or suggestion to write such script by myself or do it manually?
    – Radek
    Commented Jul 29, 2012 at 23:55
  • @Radek I'm not sure what you want to use your question as an example of -- You are asking, essentially, for a list of products. Products in this field change so frequently that we don't like to have questions where the answers will just be a list of products. Your question is an example of a "shopping question", which is why it's closed. A suggestion to "write your own script" isn't an answer to your question, which is seeking an existing script. If you would like advice on writing such a script please edit your question. (See also the answer I will be posting here shortly)
    – voretaq7
    Commented Jul 30, 2012 at 2:10
  • Well, I am looking for a solution to my need. And seems to me obvious that it must be "a product". Because I didn't find anything and/or I could be wrong with my conclusion I asked here.
    – Radek
    Commented Jul 30, 2012 at 2:47

I voted to close the question as off topic because it is a shopping question as described in the FAQ (please familiarise yourself with it). I see absolutely no reason for providing an explanation when one has already been provided by the FAQ. Perhaps if you had made the effort to find out just how the site works you wouldn't need to ask us to explain it to you.

Quite frankly, I'm fed up with having to point people to the FAQ when there was a great big banner across the top of the page telling you to go and read it when you first joined. You have clearly chosen to ignore it and now expect us to justify what we do.

In short: Go and read the FAQ before posting anything else.

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    I also had an open source project question considered 'shopping'... If this scouring is considered 'shopping', then buying products from NewEgg is a dream come true. More importantly, regardless of merit, the FAQ/Q&A should be updated . After reading it, with comments, it did not close the door in such a manner you would ideally desire. Commented Jul 30, 2012 at 14:40
  • @TechZilla, perhaps you are unaware that we have recently updated the FAQ. Although nobody would consider it perfect the amount of effort and discussion that went into it means none of us are in a hurry to do it again any time soon. It's all here on Meta if you're interested. For the record, I don't fully agree with the harshness of our attitude to shopping questions but that attitude stems from the owners of Stack Exchange more than anyone else. Whether I agree with it or not, that's what we have and I voted accordingly. Commented Jul 30, 2012 at 23:18
  • @gWaldo, thanks for the edit. As you could probably tell, I wasn't feeling like spoon feeding when I posted the answer. Commented Jul 30, 2012 at 23:22
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    No worries, @JohnGardeniers. I try to be helpful in my trolling... I'm quite fed up with some of the hand-holding that many people seem to require. It makes me want to point to the "Professional" part of the site charter more often than not.
    – gWaldo
    Commented Jul 30, 2012 at 23:36

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