20

ChrisS said here that y'all were looking for text for an "ask your vendor" close reason. I'd like to propose:

Questioners must have required access to fix the problem. Some questions are more appropriately addressed to a vendor or to the party that manages the system in question. Questions must be posted by someone with the appropriate access to obtain diagnostic and debug information and to apply suggested fixes.

It's a close reason I've wanted in the past.

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    I think this would be a good use for the free form Close->Other. If that wasn't under off topic. – Iain Nov 24 '14 at 15:11
  • I've used the close -> other form that way, yes. It's up to the community as to whether or not having this would be useful as official verbiage. – Katherine Villyard Nov 24 '14 at 15:14
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    @Iain That and the community has a habit of piggybacking on the template reasons. (even when they don't really make sense) – Andrew B Nov 24 '14 at 15:42
  • It's surely just a SMOP to fix it's location and thus vastly improve it's utility. Not that most people read the close reason anyway ... – Iain Nov 24 '14 at 15:46
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    FYI on network engineering we simply vote these questions off topic – Mike Pennington Nov 27 '14 at 13:26
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My recommended edit:

Questioners must have required access to fix the problem. Questions must be posted by someone with access to diagnose and debug and to apply suggested fixes. Also, some questions are more appropriately addressed to an OEM/VAR or to the party that manages or warrants the hardware/software in question. We recommend reaching out to these parties to receive assistance on the issue.

Just a suggestion. Figured it's better to start off under the same flow as your first bolded sentence and then talk about OEM/vendor stuff.

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    I like it! Definitely an improvement, IMHO. – Katherine Villyard Nov 24 '14 at 18:11
  • 400 character limit, you're over by 40 – Chris S Nov 24 '14 at 18:47
  • Ah...ok, I'll modify it Chris – TheCleaner Nov 24 '14 at 18:51
  • Suggesting to contact the vendor is often appropriate. And it might not need a close reason of its own. However your wording reads a lot like two unrelated close reasons mixed up in one paragraph. We should think about possible ways to improve wording. How about questions where asking the vendor would have been appropriate, but somehow it just didn't work out (not all vendors are equally professional)? Would that class of questions be considered off-topic? – kasperd Nov 24 '14 at 22:18
  • My edit was just a recommendation to @KatherineVillyard ...I agree it can be construed as 2 different close reasons. – TheCleaner Nov 24 '14 at 22:24
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    This seems MUCH better to me, actually, especially since it cuts out the "I need this to force my sysadmin to do crap he dosen't need to do" type questions too – Journeyman Geek Nov 25 '14 at 3:11
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    @JourneymanGeek There was one memorable question that seemed to boil down to, "The people who manage my active directory are completely unavailable, and I have no privileges to change a computer's OU, so to add a computer to the OU it needs to be in I change the name of a computer on my workbench, then give my new computer the same name, stand on my head, cross my fingers, and remove/re-add the machine. Why isn't this working as expected?" Um. (Dude! Sorry your admins are unresponsive, but talk to them, anyway. We can't do anything about that.) – Katherine Villyard Nov 25 '14 at 14:53
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I don't think that this is a good thing. We don't have many slots for canned closed reasons and I don't see this being used often enough for it to be given a slot.

On top of that it's kinda like RTFM. Lots of questions could be closed as go see someone else. The fact that someone is here generally means there is noone else because they are no longer eligible for vendor support or there is none available anyway.

On the rare occasion that this may be the correct close reason then (ab)using Close->Off Topic->Other is probably the best thing to do.

  • This is my thinking also. Many questions a vendor could answer, but that dosen't mean the questioner is in a position to ask them. Hell, we've got support with companies that i utterly dread dealing with, period. Also it's a little too easy to slip into abusing a close reason of this type. It almost becomes 'go away, speak with whoever wrote your software' for just about anything at all. – Sirex Nov 28 '14 at 0:00
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I like this...

Many times, I'll go down the path of helping a poster with a problem, and find that they're not in control of the system they're working on, or worse, trying to bypass the people who are responsible for the environment.

But beyond that, there are far too many items that fall under hardware or software vendor support. Should we see questions about how to replace a hot-swap disk? Or what this error light on the front of the server chassis means? Probably not...

5

I absolutely agree that the questioner must have the required access to fix the problem before asking. But how frequent are questions where this is not the case? I have seen questions that amounted to "how do I bypass this policy put in place by somebody else?", and that kind of question I'd consider off-topic, and this new close reason could be applicable to those.

There will of course always be corner cases. I imagine questions about network problems will often lead to the conclusion that the real problem is in somebody else's system outside of your control. However I would not consider those to be off-topic. Most sysadmins will from time to time find themselves in a situation where it is their job to find a solution to a problem which is really a bug/misconfiguration outside of their reach. But how to debug and work around such problems could be on topic for this site.

  • I see several of them daily. And because I see them, others generally don't. :) – Michael Hampton Nov 28 '14 at 18:46

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