I posted this question last Friday that about a problem I was running into as I was developing a drupal site. I tried several steps to troubleshoot the problem, and I posted what I thought was all the necessary and relevant technical information. A few hours after I posted the question, I discovered what the problem was, which turned out to be a conflict with another module. I posted the solution as an answer.

Over the weekend, at least 4 users put the question on hold with the tag of 'primarily opinion-based'. This confused me, because it seems to me there is no room for opinions or other ways of looking at this problem; there is really only one thing that was causing my problem, and only one fix.

I re-read the FAQ, the 'closed-questions' help, and the 'asking' help. There were several descriptions of questions that are wrong for this site, but I don't see how my question matches them.

In this case I was able to figure out my problem, but if I hadn't, I sure would have liked to get an answer from someone who might have known over the weekend! Can someone help me understand what was wrong with my question? I didn't give any opinions nor ask for them.

The 'On Hold' message says "Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise." Of course, anyone can answer with something along the lines of "In my opinion, I think such-and-such is misconfigured"-- but if they hadn't said "Check your Workbench moderation status", they would have been wrong. This seems eminently like a question based on "facts, references and specific expertise".

What am I missing here?

3 Answers 3


Yeah, that's a bit odd. The particular close-voters on that question are usually pretty accurate, but this one seems to have gone a bit wrong.

Perhaps the thought was that we'd need to know a lot more about your setup to give a detailed answer (not that you haven't provided good detail, but it's a bit of a needle-in-a-haystack situation ;). 'Opinion-based' doesn't really apply to that though.

Anyway I'm just speculating; I've re-opened the question, thanks for bringing it up here.

  • I understand that it's sort of a shot-in-the-dark ask for an answer. Either you've run into this situation before and you know what's wrong, or you're speculating. I was hoping to hear from the person who knew; maybe they don't exist. But I was able to figure it out and post an answer, so maybe it can help the next person who runs into this problem.
    – user1359
    Commented Jul 22, 2013 at 16:49
  • Anyways, thanks, glad to know I'm not crazy :)
    – user1359
    Commented Jul 22, 2013 at 16:51
  • 1
    Yeah, I remember seeing it when you first posted and thinking "that's going to be a tricky one to nail down without access to the site itself", but I also remember thinking it was a good question; definitely didn't deserve to be closed IMO. Especially after seeing the answer. I use Workbench in a few projects so it's really useful to know! Thanks for taking the time to write it up, we could use more of that sort of attitude :)
    – Clive Mod
    Commented Jul 22, 2013 at 16:58

I'm pretty sure I voted to close it as unclear. If I really set it as opinion based, all I can say I'm sorry for my mistake.

  • 1
    You might well have done - if 3 people chose 'Opinion Based' and only 1/2 chose 'Too Broad', 'Opinion Based' would win out as far as I know
    – Clive Mod
    Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 13:46
  • @Clive any way to check it now? I only know I can see the main reason in history, don't know how to check what my vote was. "Unclear" - well, without seeing the answer it was unclear to me. "To Broad" makes some sense, maybe. How it ended up "Opinion Based" is beyond me - unless it was me, then it's simple case of temporary mind blindness.
    – Mołot
    Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 13:48
  • 'Fraid not, the close vote logs are the same for everyone...I can just see that 5 people voted and the end result was 'Primarily Opinion Based'
    – Clive Mod
    Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 13:50
  • Hey, it's no big deal :) Do you mean it was unclear as far as the description of the problem, or unclear that anyone could come up with the answer without direct access to the site?
    – user1359
    Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 13:52
  • @user1359 I meant I couldn't picture in my head what's happening by just reading your text. Only when I knew the reason it somehow "snapped on". I guess if it actually was clear enough for others (like Clive) to understand the process my vote should have no meaning and the majority should have been "leave open".
    – Mołot
    Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 14:02
  • @Mołot You voted to close the question as unclear, as you thought. It is now called Needs details or clarity, but it's what you thought you used.
    – apaderno Mod
    Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 12:01
  • @kiamlaluno why are we discussing this seven years after it happened?
    – Mołot
    Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 12:16
  • I mean, nice that you care but i don't even remember this situation now.
    – Mołot
    Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 12:22
  • 1
    @Mołot I am not discussing it. I just noticed the question on the Related sidebar, and told you which closing reason you selected, now that we can see it.
    – apaderno Mod
    Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 12:24

I would have closed it as too broad.

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.

I guess that the users who chose that closing reason were saying that there are not enough details to answer it, and the answers would be guesses. While it is true that probably nobody could not have pointed out why you were observing that behavior, "primarily opinion-based" is reserved for questions similar to "What is the best for […]?" This is not the case, IMO.

Notice that questions are put on hold to avoid users answer them before more the question is put in shape. It is not a punishment, but it merely avoids answers that are just guesses, or answers that ask the OP to add more details.

  • I understand why you are saying it's too broad, but the actual answer turned out not to be broad. I hope you would not have closed it, so that a person with experience or expertise with workbench would have had a chance to see it and answer it. If it were open for weeks and no one answered, then it's probably too broad. But at least give it a chance to be answered. It actually wasn't broad. If mods exercise such powers only based on their areas of knowledge, then this site would be only geared towards beginner Drupal usage, and intermediate or advanced users would not find this site useful.
    – user1359
    Commented Jul 24, 2013 at 14:20
  • It's too broad because somebody who answered it would have considered many factors, and listed them in the answer. It's not a matter of how much time somebody would have taken to answer it; somebody could have replied after 5 minutes, but the question, if it is too broad, would still be too broad. The description is clear: "There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format." Moderators don't close a question basing on their area of knowledge, but they aren't even beginner users.
    – apaderno Mod
    Commented Jul 24, 2013 at 17:45
  • So what are the other possible answers to why the field data was not being stored in the field table, yet the field was still working in the UI? Although it seems there are many possible answers to someone who doesn't know, there actually aren't. (If there is another answer or two, please let me know). I would like a person who is knowledgeable to have the chance to see and answer the question. I understand there are many parts to Drupal and that no one person can be an expert on every aspect of it. That's why I don't like the idea of a hasty closing if a mod doesn't know the answer.
    – user1359
    Commented Jul 24, 2013 at 21:09
  • First off, no moderator was involved in closing the question; quite the opposite, a moderator was involved in re-opening it. The moderator didn't have any obligation to re-open the question, since the community can still vote to re-open questions that have been closed. Let's not talk of hasty closing when it was not the case. You found what happened in your case because you have access to the site; nobody else who answers on Drupal Answers have access to it, and can see the list of modules that are installed or what settings you are using.
    – apaderno Mod
    Commented Jul 25, 2013 at 7:13
  • Generally speaking, the answers to "Why isn't the database table containing the data for a field populated?" are more than one, including the fact the field is not being filled because a field-permission module doesn't show the field to the users who are editing the entity. It could also be a buggy module you installed, or a custom module you wrote. Nothing you wrote in your question rules out that.
    – apaderno Mod
    Commented Jul 25, 2013 at 7:18
  • I'm aware of what happened with the question; I'm trying to understand your philosophy as a moderator and why you would have closed it as 'too broad'. I'm commenting on your response, not talking about the question. If I can avoid getting decent questions closed I want to learn what I need to do that.
    – user1359
    Commented Jul 25, 2013 at 13:09
  • I am sorry, but understanding my philosophy doesn't require to talk of hasty closing, nor making assumptions about the Drupal knowledge a moderator has.
    – apaderno Mod
    Commented Jul 25, 2013 at 14:14

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