For example Array to string conversion in DrupalDefaultEntityController->cacheGet()

Is it on topic here? Should it be exception, as stefgosselin says? Why was it reopened, when it clearly does not meet neither requirements from help center, nor any positive score answer to meta question Can a question about a module bug ever become on topic for Drupal Answers?

What are the rules about bug questions now, to allow this one to be open?

Kiamlaluno ♦ said here:

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.

  • Molot it is off topic, I think they reopened because of the answer post, It's really a good solution(like patch) and I'm sure it will help the future visitors, better leave it open :)
    – Bala
    Commented Nov 24, 2013 at 11:47
  • 2
    @Bala I don't think leaving off-topic questions open due to good answers is a good idea. If it could be edited to meet the exceptions listed in question by Clive, then it would be OK.
    – Mołot
    Commented Nov 24, 2013 at 12:14
  • 2
    I am not sure if I feel strongly enough about this to leave as an answer, but I think this is mostly on-topic. It's not a bug report. Is is a question about why something is happening, that happens to be because of a bug in core brought about by differences betwen PHP 5.3 and PHP 5.4.
    – mpdonadio Mod
    Commented Nov 25, 2013 at 20:46
  • @MPD but most "bugreports" here are like "I'm getting this warning when using module X, why?". Should they stay open? Questions that made Clive to bring his doubts to meta was of similar nature (can't see them now as I'm not yet 10k, so speaking from memory). I really think we need some kind of consensus here and this question seems to be open against both older discussions about this topics, and votes by the community.
    – Mołot
    Commented Nov 26, 2013 at 7:29
  • @MPD updated with reference to another moderator's answer. Could you maybe talk about this in moderator chat and then make a FAQ Q&A on meta with details? It seems that you here, and kiamlaluno & Clive in already linked places have different opinions, came to different conclusions and different rulings. Please guys, make it consistent.
    – Mołot
    Commented Nov 26, 2013 at 8:02
  • 1
    @Mołot We don't need a consensus on every single possible permutation of question that could ever be asked, that sort of bureaucracy isn't fun for anyone. We have guidelines, and I think that's enough. Anything else we can deal by on a case-by-case basis, it's not like we're overwhelmed with problems to sort out. I asked that previous question because I'd noticed a worrying pattern at the time, I wasn't trying to say "what we decide here will be the gospel from here on in, with no exceptions". There needs to be "wiggle-room", for want of a better phrase
    – Clive Mod
    Commented Nov 26, 2013 at 9:19
  • 3
    @Mołot Not needing moderator consensus is also why the diamond mods have been stepping back on in many cases on outright closing, unless there are enough close votes already.
    – mpdonadio Mod
    Commented Nov 26, 2013 at 20:13

2 Answers 2


The question in question is asking "Why does this happen?" It doesn't ask what to do; the user could be trying to understand why it happens in a development site, and not in production, for example.
I know the question could be seen as a PHP one, but users on Stack Overflow who don't use Drupal would not probably be able to answer it without seeing the code used by Drupal, while users using Drupal would probably easily point to the Drupal.org issue.

Since the question is about Drupal core, and not a third-party module, I would think the question is acceptable. I would probably find it acceptable for a third-party module since the problem is related with the PHP version being used, rather than a bug in the code.


I'd say the criteria could be,

  • will this be useful for other visitors?
  • is there a better place to ask this? e.g. should you rather ask this in the issue queue? or should you rather figure this out yourself?
  • have you done your own research?

In this case, the bug has already been reported in the drupal.org issue queue. So yes, technically there is "a better place to ask this".

But, these core bugs usually take quite a long time to be fixed, since any fix in D7 needs to be completely backwards compatible. Plus, walking through the tons of comments on a drupal.org issue can be quite a waste of time.

We can expect that a number of people will simply look for a workaround, and don't want to wait for core to be fixed. This is where drupal.stackexchange can fit in.

This being said, there are a few things I would expect or hope from the person asking the question on drupal.stackexchange:

  • Do at least as much research that you can post a link to the respective issue on drupal.org.
  • Explain why you turned to stackexchange, instead of just participating in that issue.
  • "will this be useful for other visitors?" - never once bug is fixed. "is there a better place to ask this?" - pretty much always, unless it's OPs own code: there are issue queues and customer support mails just for this. And if it takes long? Well, drawing people out of that work and attracting them here will make it even slower, so that is no excuse.
    – Mołot
    Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 8:41
  • ok, you have a point there :)
    – donquixote
    Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 18:35

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