Are these questions on-topic?

Both are about Drupal Core issue #1166114 Manage Displays Search Results doesn't manage the display of the search results. But both are not asking "I encountered an error", but rather apparently perfectly valid "how to manage display of search results?" - and it appears to be perfectly innocent and valid question.

So are they OK, or not really? Both are about a bug, and yet they are not.

  • 2
    I say on topic. Your second paragraph sum it up nicely.
    – mpdonadio Mod
    Commented Nov 20, 2013 at 12:15
  • I have not tested the solution as answered on drupal.stackexchange.com/questions/14471/… by kidrobot,but I was under impression that might have helped here also. I guess I should'n have called it dup though.
    – arpitr
    Commented Nov 20, 2013 at 13:11
  • @arpitr Well, calling never hurt anybody. That's closing I was uncomfortable with, especially when highest voted answer was "can't do, core issue" and second one was "isolate the issue first" - neither really tells how to actually make things happen.
    – Mołot
    Commented Nov 20, 2013 at 13:14

1 Answer 1


Maybe the part of the Help Center that describes which questions should not be asked needs to be changed. What we are really trying to avoid are those questions where the OP simply reports a warning or an error message shown by a module implemented by others, and asks what to do.

What is wrong with those questions is that:

  • The OP doesn't show to understand the problem; a warning message is just shown, hoping somebody could make clear what is going on, and in most of the cases the answer is "the code used by that module should be changed"

  • The problem shown in the question is not relevant for future users, especially since in most of the cases the code raises a warning, not a fatal error; it is also not relevant once the code used by the module is fixed

With the "too localized" closing reason removed, and new custom off-topic reasons being possibile, such questions could be handled differently. For example, adding a "Questions asking for code must demonstrate a minimal understanding of the problem being solved." closing reason would avoid those questions showing just a warning error, and asking what to do.

That said, those questions are different. They could be seen as request for a workaround, but they are not really asking for that: The users are asking how to do something they expect to be able to do with Drupal, and for which they don't understand why it doesn't work. Pointing them to the issue on Drupal.org should be part of the answer, but a possible workaround should be also given; even in the case the answer points to an issue report on Drupal.org, says there isn't any workaround, and tells the OP they are not doing anything wrong, the answer should be acceptable since it would make users pass to a new Drupal version, and stop them from checking what they did wrong.

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