Questions should demonstrate reasonable information technology management practices. Questions that relate to unsupported hardware or software platforms or unmaintained environments may not be suitable for Server Fault.

This close reason seems often to be used as a subjective catchall that the voter believes is somehow not "reasonable information technology management practices," even when there seems to bee better close reasons available for a question or whatever the issue the voter has with the question is not clear from this reason and no clarification is provided as a comment.

I would like to suggest changing this so the close reason is something more concrete. I don't know enough about the history of this sentence to know why it is written there, but my first suggestion would be to just get rid of that sentence.

  • This close reason seems often to be used as a subjective can you provide examples of questions closed for reasons that you believe are subjective,!
    – Greg Askew
    Commented 1 min ago

1 Answer 1


We've had a lot of debates over close reasons over the years, and this particular one is the lone survivor of the inherent bias in sysadmin communities to not help people who are doing objectively (actually subjectively) bad things. How can I ask better questions on Server Fault? covers some of this, but I want to quote one part:

Server Fault has a strong culture of "Do it right or don't do it at all". This is part and parcel with our being a site for professionals:

  • We don't recommend hacks, duct-tape solutions, or unsupported configurations.
  • We don't encourage people to do things that will lead to problems later.
    • If we tell you something is a bad idea, think about why we're saying that.
    • If you know you are heading down the path of endless agony into the pit of eternal suffering, and you know you have to travel that road for some reason, tell us.
    • Our culture of "Do it Right" is not without sympathy for those bound by circumstance. We will help you aim the foot-gun as long as we're sure you know it's loaded.

We've never been amazing about explaining why a question is perhaps ill-advised, and especially not so good about engaging with question-askers when they disagree with our opinion of professional or reasonable. Some folk really are doing home-lab stuff which isn't exactly topical. Others are supporting terrible situations and need all the help they can get (beyond the usual get another job advice.)

Turning this particular close reason into something full of concrete and structure means the community needs to build a canonical and continually updated reference of what we mean by 'reasonable,' which didn't happen back when ServerFault was 5x busier than it is now, and certainly isn't going to happen now.

Which means it is subjective. This is our miscellaneous other close reason, which most sites have.

  • 1
    I have wondered if traffic has fallen as much as questions and answers. I so rarely need to ask a question because even if it isn't directly answered already, there is something close enough to my problem that I'm able to understand how to get where I'm wanting to go.
    – Paul
    Commented Jul 11 at 0:13
  • 1
    July 2011: 6.2K answers. June 2024: 0.64K answer. We've had more questions than answers since 2015. Visitors peaked in 2018 and has been a slow slide since; users who do anything are about a third of where we were in 2018.
    – sysadmin1138 Mod
    Commented Jul 11 at 16:21

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