The Drupal philosophy is, by and large, to be warm, open and friendly to newcomers.

The Stackexchange philosophy is very different: ask good questions. The consequences are very off putting: a harsh looking short close reason and you are not getting any help.

This must be remedied as this site carries the Drupal word and this can't stay.


There are forums on drupal.org where quality rules does not apply. Why people don't go there? My best guess is because lack of quality rules makes them not useful. Replicating a place people find not useful is not a good idea. And SE is not exactly about just getting help. It it about building knowledge base for a whole community. Most of high-rep users give personal aids - by working as Drupal consultants. Things that does not benefit community as a whole should be done for money, if Drupal is meant to attract professionals.

Close reasons are short, but clear - at least for people that read tour and help center. Now why don't they read is another matter. It applies to network as a whole and has nothing to do with Drupal philosophy.

TL;DR Quality is the philosophy that attracts people here, it should never be changed, just expressed clearer.

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    I have opened this because of drupal.stackexchange.com/questions/106637/… -- a ♦ moderator without any voting closed a perfectly valid question. That's the problem. – user49 Dec 1 '15 at 6:59
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    @chx No it's not a valid question. It's way to broad. Second, it's a chameleon question where user requested not to do things after these things appeared in answers, invalidating a good answer. So at least two good reasons to close it. Of course some explanation would be nice BUT giving it to someone who did not log in or respond in about a year is pretty pointless, don't you think? – Mołot Dec 1 '15 at 7:05
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    a) I could answer the question so it's de facto not too broad as it stands :) and I believe it's a good, even important question and I do not care who asked it first b) I do not see anything in drupal.stackexchange.com/posts/106637/revisions which would make the question significantly different, it should be obvious to answerers that watchdog is not reliable. – user49 Dec 1 '15 at 7:32
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    @chx you could only post an answer that's incomplete or so long it should rather be a page in community documentation, so it is too broad. And if things aren't obvious, claiming they should have been is pointless. If something doesn't work, it's a material for a follow up question. For me, watchdog usually worked all right. – Mołot Dec 1 '15 at 7:42
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    @chx This is hard. You have the arguable burden of being very experienced with Drupal. A question that's clear and obvious to you isn't necessarily the same to the majority of people; it's entirely possible that your knowledge would allow you to parse and answer an otherwise too-broad question in a succinct manner, while still maintaining the quality we require here...but that situation is rare, and the system is geared towards the 99.99% of the opposite scenario for hopefully obvious reasons. Don't forget what's obvious to an experienced person isn't necessarily obvious to others. – Clive Dec 1 '15 at 11:46
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    But I know that's not really your point, I'm just saying. Regarding mods closing questions - I don't know if you're familiar with the sort of stats we have here? The number of people who vote to close here is tiny. The number of people who actually use their close votes on questions that deserve it, is even smaller. Moderators are human exception handlers, there to step in to clean up what the community cannot handle. Sadly this community cannot handle the influx of off-topic questions, not even in the most meager terms, so we have to do it. – Clive Dec 1 '15 at 11:47
  • Not ideal, but if the alternative is letting any old crap in, I'm sleeping well at night :) – Clive Dec 1 '15 at 11:47
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    My 2 cents. I understand that you guys are trying to create and maintain good structure. Compliments for that. But sometimes by doing this you are driving people away from contributing to the website. At least I know 3 very experienced Drupal developers that don't want to help because of this. – Oleg Videnov Dec 1 '15 at 14:18
  • @OlegVidenov But then there are forums on Drupal.org, right? This place is not suited for all mindsets. That's OK. But it is the only niche I know for those that want good structure and high quality and believe that's the right way to go. For people who prefer freeform discussions there are dozens of places, they have alternative. We don't. Not really. So please, if you don't like it here, go away and do not try destroy the only place we have when you have many already. – Mołot Dec 1 '15 at 14:33
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    Well, then can we work on a more friendly message? Is it something we can change by site? If so, let's wordsmith. – user49 Dec 1 '15 at 19:31
  • @chx We can control all of the "off topic because..." close reasons but not the others unfortunately. Making those more friendly might be a good start? I'm all for this, SE can have a painful barrier to entry and anything to soften it would be great – Clive Dec 1 '15 at 23:32
  • @Oleg Thanks for chipping in, it's good to hear opinions like that. It's definitely no secret that Stack Exchange sites have a rep for being unwelcoming to new users, I wish I knew what the magic formula was to keep us on-mission but not come across as unfriendly while doing it. Having been involved for quite a while now I can honestly say that the vast majority of the time this sort of thing comes as a side effect of genuine desire to maintain the quality of the site...not an excuse, just a hint towards an explanation I suppose. All suggestions gratefully received if you have any :) – Clive Dec 1 '15 at 23:39
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    @Clive meta.drupal.stackexchange.com/questions/3345/… – user49 Dec 2 '15 at 0:01
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    @Clive "you could only post an answer that's incomplete" - Even an answer like "This is currently not possible, but ..." can be useful for future visitors. E.g. "Besides the logs, Drupal 7 core currently does not track 'installation in progress'. I am not aware of a contrib module which does this. It is, however, a reasonable thing to ask for, so opening an issue on drupal.org seems like a good idea. If you do so, please post a link in the comments." – donquixote Dec 6 '15 at 15:04
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    Of course it is really hard to definitely prove that something does not exist, and then your answer might not be true for very long. You can only say "I am not currently aware of.." or "It seems unlikely to me that such a module exists, because...". In some cases such an answer can still be valuable, but maybe in most cases it won't. But the asker cannot know this. Imagine there was an existing solution for this in Drupal 7. Then there could have been a very clear answer. – donquixote Dec 6 '15 at 15:13

I agree with Molot

TL;DR Quality is the philosophy that attracts people here, it should never be changed, just expressed clearer.

This is what keeps the site useful.

That said, I am a user that asks a variety of questions, and have had some of them burned by the quick-mod-close. Thinking back on them, this is usually appropriate. Some of them were off topic or whatever. However, I still think some of them were valid questions. And that doesn't change the fact that at the time, I needed answers, and couldn't find them elsewhere on the web. Sometimes all that is needed is a comment pointing out the correct search term or terminology, so I can go find my answer elsewhere.

You're right that the Drupal community at large encourages newcomers, and the SE community at large is somewhat harsh. Your follow up question is a good start at addressing this.

In the end, it is up to each user individually to be friendly to newcomers. Even if you are giving the question-asker what they need, please try to come across as friendly about it. I think we've all experienced at one time or another some curt, off-putting comments. As users here gain more experience it is easy to become jaded; we have to fight that even as we strive for quality.

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