In reviewing today I happened across this question which has been closed as off-topic. The question is a pretty simple one about Nginx modules and administrative control panels, and I'm baffled as to why it was closed, so I come here seeking enlightenment. It doesn't trip any of the FAQ issues, it's not a home-use question, and it's not a shopping question (that I can tell). Ideas?

  • Had you taken a few moments to look over the site you would have noticed at least a few of the very many nginx questions that were not closed. Commented Oct 17, 2012 at 23:48
  • ...some of which I asked or answered.
    – pjmorse
    Commented Oct 18, 2012 at 0:12
  • Then why this question? Commented Oct 18, 2012 at 2:16
  • Because I was puzzled about the reason for the closed question I found. I couldn't identify a reason for the closure, so I asked. The answers have been helpful, and Chris S has also added a helpful comment to the original question, so overall it has been a net positive, and I appreciate it.
    – pjmorse
    Commented Oct 18, 2012 at 10:58
  • I could understand asking why a question was closed but I don't understand asking if it's because of a topic that you have already seen is quite clearly on topic. Commented Oct 18, 2012 at 12:18
  • 1
    The confusion you are describing, if I understand you, is precisely the confusion I wanted to resolve with this question. (And it was resolved, thanks very much to those who helped.) I saw a question which appeared to me to be quite clearly on topic, and yet it had been closed as off-topic. So I asked why (maybe policies had changed? maybe, as was the case, I was missing something?), and received an answer.
    – pjmorse
    Commented Oct 18, 2012 at 13:21

4 Answers 4


It was likely closed to due a strong smell of shopping, specifically the 'if-exists' subtype, which we're sensitive to around here. While there may be a single such module, if there is more than one then we're into subjective territory and it becomes a bad question.

  • Thanks for the clarification, and also to Chris S for posting a comment on the question explaining the closure. I didn't pick up on the shopping smell, but I see it now that you've pointed it out.
    – pjmorse
    Commented Oct 17, 2012 at 14:27

Nginx, it's installation, configuration, management, trouble shooting etc are definitely topical.

I think that the question you link to has fallen foul of being a product recommendation/shopping request which don't go down so well.


I usually pick "Not constructive" for shopping questions, because I think it's a better fit than "off-topic."

It's worth keeping in mind that only one close reason is shown, but the 5 people who voted to close didn't necessarily all pick that reason. It's not uncommon to see 3 votes for one reason and 2 for another and in an extreme case, if 2 people picked OT, and the 3 others picked 3 different reasons, it'd still show as being closed Off-topic.


I disagree with the off topic designation for the following reasons:

Part of our jobs as sysadmins is to review and compare the different tools that are available for us to achieve our goals. When I'm faced with implementing something, I often want to obtain a list of possible solutions so that I can compare and make my own judgement as to which satisfies my needs the best. If we had no way of shopping around, I daresay we would have a very difficult task of being sysadmins.

  • 3
    Michael, I'm glad you are a relatively new user that wants to be more involved with the community. You need to read Iain's answer here, then understand "shopping questions" blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/11/qa-is-hard-lets-go-shopping and why they simply aren't allowed on the main site. Most of us tend to agree that it's great to review and compare tools, hence the "IT Shopping beta" on Area 51 SE I created, but StackExchange's model simply doesn't lend itself to those types of questions on most occasions.
    – TheCleaner
    Commented Oct 23, 2013 at 21:19
  • THeCleaner: thanks for the explanation. I'll add the Shopping beta to my link list. ARE technical discussions allowed there? Because often one evolves into the other. Commented Oct 23, 2013 at 22:03
  • Allowed in the Shopping Beta? Well, it's just a beta right now, and very unlikely to get enough traction or approval to be a real Q&A site here. It was more to voice an opinion that it'd be nice to be able to ask shopping questions in some capacity somewhere. For tech discussions, stick with SF or one of the other non-beta sites.
    – TheCleaner
    Commented Oct 24, 2013 at 12:51

You must log in to answer this question.

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