8
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The last new off-topic reason here was added on January 14, 2014 - one year ago today. So now is a good time to review how these have been used over the past year, and consider if changes are necessary. I pulled together some basic information to further this discussion:

Off-topic reasons

Active OT reason excerpt              Created By Created   Approved  Deactivated 
------ ------------------------------ ---------- --------- --------- ----------- 
*      it requires step-by-step instr iKlsR      12/8/2013 1/14/2014 null        
*      is too localized in its curren Gwenn      7/8/2013  7/8/2013  null        
*      it is a bug report and not an  iKlsR      6/26/2013 6/26/2013 null        
       does not appear to be about Bl Community  6/24/2013 null      null        
       belongs on another site in the Community  6/24/2013 null      null        
       Other (add a comment explainin Community  6/24/2013 null      null        

(6 row(s) affected)

Outcome of questions closed, by close reason

Name                                       Closed     Closed->Edited Closed->Reopened Cl->Ed->Re 
------------------------------------------ ---------- -------------- ---------------- ---------- 
duplicate                                         471         68             29               17 
off-topic                                           4          1              3                1 
off-topic - Other (add a comment explainin        112         13              8                2 
off-topic - it is a bug report and not an         156         11              6                1 
off-topic - it requires step-by-step instr         64         14              6                3 
off-topic - belongs on another site in the          7          0              0                0 
off-topic - is too localized in its curren        109         13             12                3 
primarily opinion-based                            26          5              2                1 
too broad                                          61         15              9                7 
unclear what you're asking                        215         49             28               21 

(10 row(s) affected)

Outcome of questions closed, by close reason, percentages

% of Closed Name                                       Closed->Edited Closed->Reopened Cl->Ed->Re 
----------- ------------------------------------------ -------------- ---------------- ---------- 
 38.4%      duplicate                                   14.4%           6.2%            25.0%     
  0.3%      off-topic                                   25.0%          75.0%           100.0%     
  9.1%      off-topic - Other (add a comment explainin  11.6%           7.1%            15.4%     
 12.7%      off-topic - it is a bug report and not an    7.1%           3.8%             9.1%     
  5.2%      off-topic - it requires step-by-step instr  21.9%           9.4%            21.4%     
  0.6%      off-topic - belongs on another site in the   0.0%           0.0%                      
  8.9%      off-topic - is too localized in its curren  11.9%          11.0%            23.1%     
  2.1%      primarily opinion-based                     19.2%           7.7%            20.0%     
  5.0%      too broad                                   24.6%          14.8%            46.7%     
 17.6%      unclear what you're asking                  22.8%          13.0%            42.9%     

(10 row(s) affected)

(Note that the last column is the % of closed questions edited that were then reopened - if it isn't significantly higher than the second-to-last column, something is badly wrong)

"Other" values used by multiple people when closing questions

Questions Custom OT Reason (other)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
--------- -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
10        it is not about blender.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
6         it asks about adding features not yet in Blender. These should instead be posted on the [requests section of the blender wiki](http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Dev:Ref/Requests) or in the [bf-functionality mailing list](http://lists.blender.org/mailman/listinfo/bf-funboard).                                                                                                                           
4         it is about Blender C/C++ source code.
These questions are considered outside the scope of this StackExchange as [defined in the help center](http://blender.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic). Development questions should be asked of the developers directly instead, see the [contacting developers page of the blender wiki](http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Dev:Doc/Contact).                          
6         it is not about Blender.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
2         This question belongs on another site in the Stack Exchange network: Video Production                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
5         it is a feature request.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
1         This was a feature request plain and simple.  I should not have posted it here.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
1         it seems to be about hardware manufacturing.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
1         it isn't about Blender.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
1         it is not about using blender.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
1         it is not about blender. Possibly moved to graphic design.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
1         it is not about Blender usage itself. You should post to the Blender forum here : http://blenderartists.org/forum/                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
1         it is about unity, and not blender.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
1         it is about Unity and FBX, not blender                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
1         it is about Ubuntu rather than Blender. It could be any application that you would like to manually install.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
1         it is about software other than Blender.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
1         it is about python module / package organization and nothing blender-specific.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
1         it is about pure Python.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
1         it is about operating system configuration and driver setup, which is not fit for this StackExchange. Try asking on [Unix & Linux](http://unix.stackexchange.com/) or [Super User](http://superuser.com/).                                                                                                                                                                                                     
1         it is about licensing. See https://blender.meta.stackexchange.com/q/422/599                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
1         it is about legal/licensing issues.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
1         it is about legal advice, which is "banned" because of issues it can cause. see:http://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/25363/is-there-a-stack-exchange-site-for-law-questions-if-not-why-not                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
1         it is about installing missing dependencies.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
1         it is about hardware issues/a bug.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
1         it is about GPL license conditions. Better ask a lawyer for a profound answer.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
1         it is about general file I/O in Python, not Blender.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
1         it is about general 3D business, not about creating things inside blender.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
1         it is about extracting tar files in linux, not blender.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
1         it is about DirectX, not Blender.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
1         it is about compiling blender. See https://blender.meta.stackexchange.com/q/399/599                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
1         it is about compiling Blender                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
1         it is about building Blender.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
1         it is about an OS/environment issue which doesn't relate to blender directly.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
1         it is about an issue in Unity.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
1         it is about an error with a three.js script.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
1         it is about adding normal maps in Unity.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
1         it is about a survey                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
1         it is about a kitchen implement, not the software package.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
1         it is about a hardware/driver configuration issue.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
1         it is about a feature request                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
1         it is about a 3rd party addon. Please report to Three.js bug tracker: https://github.com/mrdoob/three.js/issues                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
1         it is about a 3rd party addon. Please refer to Three.js bug tracker: https://github.com/mrdoob/three.js/issues                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
1         it is about .net                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
1         it is a job offer and to a question.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
1         it is  about operating systems and not in scope.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
1         it belongs to Blender Meta Stack Exchange                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
1         isn't about Blender.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
1         duplicate of http://blender.stackexchange.com/questions/13655/how-to-render-texture-image-with-object-in-opengl-es                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
1         Described behavior couldn't confirmed, see [T39798](https://developer.blender.org/T39798).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
1         Closed because unicorns...

it is not a real question. It was a Apirl first joke, and there is no unicorn primitive operator in blender.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
1         it should be on another SE: 
Video Production                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
1         it is too long for this format for a scripting question.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
1         it is not about blender.. Anyway, [he's using licecap](http://chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/8888?m=14935365#14935365) :)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
1         it is not about blender specifically.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
1         it is not about blender                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
1         it is mostly about linux, not blender                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
1         it is about unity, and the settings in unity.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
1         it is about the Three.js addon, which is not developed by Blender coders.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
1         it is about Autocad.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
1         it is way too general                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
1         it is very low quality and a duplicate of http://blender.stackexchange.com/q/23199                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
1         it is not specifically related to blender, rather a compiler issue.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
1         it is not about blender as defined in the [help center](http://blender.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
1         it is in French, not English, and seems to be about an installation problem which is off topic.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
1         it is does not pertain to blender.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
1         it is asking for a model and not about blender                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
1         it is about non-blender issue.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
1         it is about hardware problems and should be asked on the blender artists forum or the ubuntu stack exchange site.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
1         it is about DVD mastering try http://video.stackexchange.com/                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
1         it is about downloading a specific model, not about using blender.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
1         it is about compiling blender.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
1         it is about building blender.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
1         it is about Adobe Premier Pro.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
1         it is about a community project.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
1         it is about a community addon.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
2         it is a localized technical question.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
1         it is a known issue and will be fixed in the new manual.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
1         This question appears to be off-topic as it does not fit into the site's scope as defined in the [help center](http://blender.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
1         Hardware question, this belong at blenderartists.org                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
1         doesn't appear to be about Blender                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
1         Welcome to the site :) it is about the operating system, hardware, performance, or compatibility. These questions are considered off-topic because there is often no definitive answer, so they tend to require too much discussion to be suitable for Q&A format.  Try asking on [BlenderArtists](http://blenderartists.org/forum/forum.php) for support instead.                                             
1         This questions appears to be off-topic because it is about the operating system, hardware, performance, or compatibility. These questions are considered off-topic because there is often no definitive answer, so they tend to require too much discussion to be suitable for Q&A format.  Try asking on [BlenderArtists](http://blenderartists.org) for support instead.                                     
1         This question is old and low-quality                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
1         it resembles a feature request.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
1         it is outside the scope of this site as defined in the [help center](http://blender.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
1         it is not about it's a limitation of current Operating Systems.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
1         it is does not appear to be an issue with Blender.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
1         it is asking others to write their code.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
1         it is asking multiple separate questions, which should be asked individually.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
1         it is asking if a website exists and not about blender.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
1         it is an incorrect use of the tool, not an issue with the tool itself.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
1         it is about video editing procedures and not Blender.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
1         it is about using git, which is not specifically about blender.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
1         it is about the mathematics and timing of rendering in general, not specifically Blender.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
1         it is about something other than the blender software or python for blender.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
1         it is about php, and not about blender.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
1         it is about outside of the scope of the site. It should be asked on StackOverflow instead.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
1         it is about licensing, see: https://blender.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/422/are-licensing-questions-off-topic/423#423 and http://www.blender.org/about/license/                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
1         it is about hardware.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
1         it is about general game engine terminology and technology. This may be better suited to a Stack Exchange like http://gamedev.stackexchange.com                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
1         it is about downloading someone else's blend file instead of a question related to the functionality of Blender.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
1         it is about developing blender, not about using it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
1         it is about compiling Blender.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
1         it is about an issue relate to specific hardware/driver/configuration of the operating system unrelated blender...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
1         it is about acquiring resources and not about Blender.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
1         it is about a problem in second life.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
1         it is a tutorial request.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
1         it is a request for help on a project. The 'Volounteer work' forum on blender artists is a better place for this: http://blenderartists.org/forum/forumdisplay.php?53-Volunteer-Work                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
1         This post appears to be off-topic because it is not a question                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
1         Source code questions
==
it is about Blender C/C++ source code.
These questions are considered outside the scope of this StackExchange as [defined in the help center](http://blender.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic). Development questions should be asked of the developers directly instead, see the [contacting developers page of the blender wiki](http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Dev:Doc/Contact). 
1         It's about the operating system and should be migrated to [http://askubuntu.com/](http://askubuntu.com/).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

(111 row(s) affected)

My thoughts

  • The "too localized" reason suffers from poor guidance. The asker is instructed to "broaden the scope" and given a link to... the default How To Ask page, which has about one sentence relevant to this. The stats reflect this: questions closed as OT->Too Localized are rarely edited and even more rarely reopened.

  • The tutorial reason suffers from trying to cram too much into one reason. Is the question too specific? Too broad? Both? Unclear which? A duplicate? The actual guidance linked to on meta is pretty good, clarifying that the real meaning of this reason is roughly the same as "Too Broad" - but this calls into question whether this reason is needed at all. Note that the Too Broad reason is used almost as much as this OT reason, while the proportion of questions edited and reopened are noticeably better.

  • Bug reports and "OT->Other" questions are almost never reopened, which is fine considering most of them are likely questions that cannot exist here in any form.

My recommendations

  1. Better guidance for "too localized". If, as the reason currently suggests, the goal is to motivate askers to break out their problem into something that can potentially be re-used, then offer some instructions for that. Stack Overflow has MCVE, TeX has MWE, you need... Something to succinctly express what your expectations are here.

  2. Get rid of the tutorial/"step-by-step" reason. Too Broad means the same thing, is more effective, and one less click.

  3. Go through the 100 or so "Other" reasons listed above & see if you can identify a common problem that could save a bit of effort for closers if it was written up as a site-specific OT reason.

Thoughts?

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  • $\begingroup$ Good suggestions, I think we will be able to condense the most used ones into more specific but general close reasons. As it pertains to Blender, I'm not sure how we could go about getting users (seeing as most of our users are new to SE) to ask Qs that can be reused for the most part as yet, it was never a huge issue as most these were either heavily edited to conform or closed as localized. Nevertheless, this also touches on a feature we will probably want in the future in the form of prompts when asking to encourage users to add visual aids and or their working files etc. $\endgroup$ – iKlsR Jan 15 '15 at 0:13
  • $\begingroup$ I totally agree with all three, especially the first two, recommendations. $\endgroup$ – PGmath Jan 15 '15 at 0:37
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The top three reasons I see in the Other list (aside from not about blender), are 1. Feature request 2. legal/licensing 3. Source code. (These results were gotten mostly from just looking, no real scientific analysis..) Perhaps a close reason could be made which covers both 1 and 3? $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Jan 15 '15 at 2:28
  • $\begingroup$ I also agree that more site/scope documentation is needed. I've been unable to find anything B.SE specific in the help center except for the first sentence on this page. I've certainly noticed a lot of inconsistent use of the Too Localized close reason, to the point where the same question will end up with close votes for both Too Localized and Too Broad. I agree with recommendation number 2, I never really thought of that.. $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Jan 15 '15 at 2:34
  • $\begingroup$ We are revisiting these, expect updates soon! $\endgroup$ – iKlsR Jun 27 '15 at 14:06
  • $\begingroup$ Under "Outcome of questions closed, by close reason", "curren" is not a word. $\endgroup$ – Anson Savage Jun 30 '15 at 23:42
  • $\begingroup$ @AnsonSavage that is only part of the message, the entire close message is: "This question is too localized in its current form and is unlikely to be applicable outside of a very narrow context. Consider broadening the scope of this question in order to make it more useful for future users of the site." $\endgroup$ – David Jul 8 '15 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ @David Oops, sorry, I didn't even notice that all the lines are cut off. I'll be more careful before I make a comment like that next time. $\endgroup$ – Anson Savage Jul 8 '15 at 23:02
  • $\begingroup$ FYI: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/257449/… $\endgroup$ – Shog9 Jul 9 '15 at 0:23
3
$\begingroup$

Too Localized

You are quite right, the too localized close reason seems to be used in all sorts of cases. I've even seen the occasional question with close votes for both too localized and too broad.

In my opinion, this close reason is best suited to very specific questions unlikely to be of much to use to many other users. For example:

It's a little hard to find examples, as the community bot deletes a lot of these sorts of questions once they are closed.

I'd say some of these questions might be okay if they were answered or upvoted, but given the amount of time they sat without any answers (or even comments in some cases), it suggests that they are about very localized and specific problems not shared by many others.

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