I had posted this question some time ago, and I had my doubts (even the question mentions it) whether it was on-topic on serverfault, since it wasn't exactly the type of question one would usually encounter here. However, today I saw that it was closed (as expected) but the reason given was

Requests for product, service, or learning material recommendations are off-topic

While I do understand closing the question, I can hardly understand how this can be the reason for it. To help me write better ones, and flag other questions in the future, can someone please elaborate a bit on this?

  • 1
    The real reason why this question is off-topic is because it is dealing with your personal learning environment, not a production use case. This is always off-topic. My guess is that this was therefore considered a learning material recommendation by the voting users, for the lack of better prepared close vote choices.
    – Sven
    Sep 10, 2017 at 23:04

2 Answers 2


"Please explain to me" is generally taken as a request for learning material, which (as the close reason you received explains) is off-topic on Server Fault. In addition to the spam-magnet forms ("please point me to a tutorial"), your "please explain to me here and now" form isn't well received, as they're either homework, taken from a non-professional environment, or hypothetical, and hence dissipate into a fractal of "but what about..." tangent discussions, as the question wasn't fully specified initially, because it's not grounded in the real world (and therefore the questioner is free to make up whatever new conditions and edge cases as they think of them).

Your question also falls afoul of the "must be managing IT systems in a business environment", "requests for diagnostic help must include sufficient information to reproduce the problem", and "too broad" close reasons, so there's not a huge chance of salvaging it, in my opinion.

Finally, "please redirect me if this is off-topic here" tends to get on people's nerves a bit, which I'm guessing didn't help anyone give you the benefit of the doubt. As a professional, you're supposed to be capable of figuring out topicality on your own, and asking everyone else to act as your Tour Guide to the Internet, rather than doing a bit of research yourself is... well, "rude" is the best word that comes to mind.


Personnaly I would had choosed too broad.

I can't talk for the users that did the VtC, but after thinking to it, that reason could mean your simulator might be bugged and it would fall as a tip to use another test methodology with another simulator, and ´I want to understand how X work' trigger the learning recommandation from the same close reason too.

In the end its surelly a better suited close reason than too broad that I would had choosen at first.

nb, a comment from us would had not hurt, but be easy with us, the review queue is hard to clear these days.

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