In my office, full of engineers and sysops, we figure that stackexchange has already died.

Here is example of the day (far from the only one): https://serverfault.com/questions/542572/jemalloc-error-making-redis-on-centos-6-4

A clear question and answer gets closed at all? Off topic? (Where else does one post a "how to install redis" question?)

The only suggestions for improving the original question.

What is the point of participating when the powers that be are so full of.... power?

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    Not going to get into this particular discussion; just a quick note - the only moderator attention on that question was from someone who answered it; the 5 people that closed it were not moderators Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 3:19
  • Where is the moderator overkill here? Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 3:24
  • Should be "moderation overkill", a common problem. Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 3:58
  • @lance Thx for the support, and you are correct re syntax ( on mobile and may not be able to edit) Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 14:41
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    So, you post an incomplete question with no useful logs or information, it gets closed, you edit it to be useful, and it gets reopened. Where is the problem?
    – MDMarra
    Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 20:07
  • @MDMarra See my comment to Chris S post below. The flow you describe is not the flow that happened. Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 2:22
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    It was closed after your second edit and re-opened after your third edit. The third edit is the one that started making sense. You didn't give anyone enough detail to solve your problem and you're surprised that it was closed? I'm not following the logic here.
    – MDMarra
    Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 2:30

3 Answers 3


No need to get all indignant. You improved your question, Flagged, and now it's reopened.

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    Clear signs that SF's doom is nigh, truly.
    – Andrew B
    Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 5:20
  • 1
    – Wesley
    Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 18:35
  • @Wesley no questions under this tag yet. This needs to be changed.
    – the-wabbit
    Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 20:11
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    Chris, I don't think that was the sequence. (Look, I know that is not the sequence, I was there, but I am trying to be diplomatic.) I posted it. There was feedback that the OP was poor. I improved it. I figured it out and answered it, and THEN it was closed. How does any SE site benefit when legit questions and answers get closed because a few users think it might be better on a (very similar) other SE site? Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 2:22
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    Doom is closer than you think. I post a straight issue, no games, here on meta of all places, and y'all downvote it? I am just trying to ask about something that struck me as unconstructive, and the very act of asking is punished. Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 2:25
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    A meta downvote means that you disagree with the asker. Obviously people are disagreeing with your premise. The system appears to be working as designed.
    – MDMarra
    Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 2:30
  • I wasn't there. I'm still not all here. The point of the flags are to be able to bring matters to the attention of the moderators so they can correct problems. You identified a problem, freaked out, and then took steps to correct it. That doesn't generally garner warm fuzzies.
    – Chris S
    Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 3:41
  • @syneticon-dj It should be an alias for doomed!
    – Andrew B
    Commented Oct 10, 2013 at 7:35

It's not a how do I install... question. It's a how do I debug this compilation error question.

Most sysadmins will try to avoid compiling $product from source as this generally puts you outside the support loop for the OS you are using. You can no longer take advantage of the herd immunity provided by the official support channels. From a sysadmi point of view this is a bad thing.

As Falcon says this would be better suited to U&L or (I think) SU or even SO. It's possible to ask pretty much any IT related question that you want on SF and consider it on topic. Unfortunately not all potentially topical questions are relevant to our target audience and are dealt with appropriately.

  • I am following the documented steps to install redis, which include building. Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 14:38
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    @samsmith You keep repeating that comment like it changes something -- Frankly we don't care if you're following the Martha Stewart Guide To System Administration. your question is still, as Iain noted, How do I debug this build error?. While compiling stuff from source may be a common sysadmin task, Server Fault generally doesn't provide technical support for doing so. We did at one point, until the volume of "$thing won't compile -- HALP!" questions from total neophytes became overwhelming. Now, as a result of that abuse, we don't.
    – voretaq7
    Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 15:29
  • @samsmith I hope you fed back the information you discovered to the document maintainer so it (and possibly the build script) can be updated.
    – user9517
    Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 17:12
  • @samsmith: You can see this typical SO-family NIMBY argument: "better suited to U&L or (I think) SU or even SO". So move it to U&L and they chase you to SU, move it there and they chase you further. The problem is that this splitting is useful 50% of times and otherwise a crap. You seem to be hitting the latter a lot.
    – maaartinus
    Commented Oct 16, 2013 at 17:29

https://unix.stackexchange.com/ would have received it well, I think. I believe (though I forget) I may even have voted to migrate it there. Unfortunately, if I am not in the majority when I do it, it says I voted to close it outright. Alas.

Certainly, we are not all doomed. However, it's very important to keep the sites on topic, and in the case of this particular site, it is an uphill battle requiring lots of attention. It looks like this particular question was just not sysadmin-interesting according to myself and 4 other independent sysadmins. It's not always about clarity; it's more often about relevance.

I, as a high-rep user, have minimal moderation power on my own - anytime I want to do or reverse this particular action (closing), I need 4 people to agree with me. Believe me, it's minimal.

  • I am following the documented install steps which include building. Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 14:39
  • That was never in question. Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 19:41
  • "unix.stackexchange.com would have received it well, I think" So why wasn't it moved there? If someone makes a mistake and posts to the wrong SE site, they get penalized? Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 2:19
  • I couldn't tell you. As I said, I believe I voted to move it there. Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 2:23
  • Thank you for the note. But this doesn't help address the OP. The OP is: Why is the community (whoever is voting to close) so aggressive in closing legit threads (and even downvoting this thread, which tries to discuss such behavior) ? Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 2:29
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    You mean address the question. This isn't a forum. Anyway, no, it doesn't, and you'll find lots of answers all over meta as we've discussed this probably a hundred times before. Everyone is very tired of talking about it with everyone whose question got closed individually. See doomed. Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 2:43

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