Recently there have been a number of questions asked, and closed (some by me), as not constructive because there's an element of discussion/debate to the question.
Some examples are:
When to use Views vs. a hardcoded query?
When should I not use Views for listing content?
Non-Constructive questions are defined as
[...] not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or specific expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. [...]
and this definition is the same for all Stack Exchange sites.
Going strictly by the rules, this type of question is explicitly off-topic. But some of these questions are well thought out, interesting, real-life problems that would apply to a large section of developers/themers/site-builders in the Drupal community.
I find myself a little disappointed to have had to close some of these questions (some of them I would personally like to have seen good answers to), but I guess I feel it's my duty to uphold the rules as I understand them.
So I put it to the community:
- Are we (the mods) enforcing the rules too rigidly?
- Is there some sort of extra compromise that needs to be reached on this site in particular, that's different from the rest of the sites in the SE network, because of the unique nature of Drupal?
- If you feel that's the case; how do we do it, and where do we draw the line?
Just to be clear following answers/comments: I'm not talking about applying this sort of leniency across the board, or about pro-active moderator behaviour in this area. I'm talking about defining 'types' of questions that mods will see, and instead of casting a deciding close vote immediately, will leave up to the community to decide.
If 5 members of the community feel a question should be closed, whether there's a perception that it falls within the hypothetical boundaries of 'ok' or not, it will stay closed until organically re-opened, again by the community. Mods will (and should) not get involved in that unless there are extenuating circumstances.
The bottom line is that there's compromise to be had here, from both sides of the equation.
I think we have to accept that there are some rare exceptions to the 'Not Constructive' rule on Drupal Answers. Some subjective questions are going to have to get through, or we risk alienating valuable people.
But the other side is that people need to accept not every type of question, whether they find it interesting or not, is going to be allowed here. This question exists to discuss where that line is crossed.
I feel I need to clear this up more vehemently, we seem to be getting a bit off topic in the answers...
This question is not about applying relaxed rules to every question on the site, or in any way inviting in discursive/open-ended questions.
It is about moderators applying extra discretion when closing discursive questions that might have more benefit to the Drupal Answers website, and its users, than harm they would cause. This type of question is very rare, but there have been a couple of good examples in recent memory (hence this discussion).
We cannot be a replacement for the Drupal.org support forums, because Stack Exchange sites are explicitly NOT support forums.
There, done :)