# My question "The Blender add-on Render:POVray has a warning that 'this script is RC/... what does this mean?" was closed as off topic... Why?

I have admittedly revised the question, several times, in order to comply with the requirements of "non meta" blender stack-exchange. At first I had a request for opinion, I removed. Then I was accused of not trying to look up the information: I did; however I admit I was thinking Warning! Not informational, which it turned out to be. And yet, there is one particular individual who has insisted that this question is off topic and was able to raise support and get the question closed as off topic. I accept that the question was asked and answered, for which I'm grateful; but, why the close because of off topic?

Link to question: Add-on has a warning that "this script is RC". What does this mean?

So, wanting to be a good participant in StackExchange, I have been trying to find out how this is off topic. If such a simple and not so obvious answer to someone new is a forbidden question, what do the guidelines mean?

I read if you need a .blend file to answer the question, the question is off topic; But, I see people request blend files, and give them, even tutorials to answer questions all the time. (so far I don't have an issue with this, and a blanket statement that it's off topic, and should be somewhere else is understandable but....)

However confusing that is, this is about how the ruling on my question was decided, and why it is off topic, or possibly on topic; and the reference to the violations are about the "HELP" comment #9 Support Requests on this page: What questions should be definitely off-topic? are only used to give an example of how confusing this can be and how it is possible that people with a vendetta (unknown reasons on my part). In my case, the answer is obvious once one knows the answer. But, with is listed as a Warning, without knowing the answer, the answer is not so obvious.

• The reason is that It's debatable whether or not "meaning of the term 'RC'" is a blender question. To be honest, we haven't had many questions like yours, so it's a bit unclear where it falls in terms of on-topicness..
– gandalf3 Mod
Jun 4 '15 at 22:28

I'm sorry you had so unpleasant an experience for your first question.
Part of the confusion stems from the fact that AFAIK we haven't really had many questions like yours, i.e. questions about terminology and acronyms appearing in blender, but not directly specifically about or related to blender.

On the one hand, the question is clearly about a blender addon, and there's nothing off-topic about that.
On the other hand, the answer is not specific to or especially related to blender at all.

So it seems to me a matter of whether or not the question is considered off-topic, or if the question's answers are considered off-topic. This is a tricky question, as closing questions based on the answer doesn't seem at all fair to the asker, who obviously doesn't know what the answer is before asking. However, just allowing any question if the OP doesn't know the answer doesn't seem like a reasonable policy either ;)

In line with the philosophy of "tag the question not the answers" I don't see much of an issue with allowing these in our scope:

The Blender Stack Exchange site is for people who use Blender to create 3D graphics, animations, or games.

But It'd be nice to hear what other users think too.

Regarding use of blends in answers, we've revisited this topic several times. It still seems like a rather fuzzy issue to me, but thats a whole other discussion ;)

In a lot of cases we refer questions about specific add-ons to the website , repository, or thread / group set up by its creator(s). Who else better to answer a question by a user of one's add-on than them. Especially new add-ons should come with a reasonable amount of documentation and explanations for any language used on the User Interface. It's in the author's interest to handle questions that arise and update any docs.

Please don't see a question being closed (or attempted closed) as a personal insult, or that we consider it useless. Sometimes you'll get a chain of votes by people who take a more literal approach to the question and see the Answer as being sufficiently detached from the Blender program to deem the Question that spawned it off topic. Often the votes will act as a speed dial to get you to take the critique on board and change the question to make it more general and useful to a broader public.

I agree with both sides here, the question was off topic to begin with, and a short answer in the comments would have sufficed. Even with the question closed it will now show up in the searches and have an answer.

• OK, add ons aren't specifically 'about' Blender, I get that. I'm more interested in getting the powers that be to change the revision info, add "this code is RC to that!". I can see that doing this not the big battle.. I just like to fix problems permanently, so no one else has it. I'm satisfied now that a direct query on the questionable info gets an answer., Not a fix though. I'm trying to understand how best I can help, and learn something along the way. BTW, are you "the" Zeffii of RaQ fame I know from the past? Is the question off topic in Meta? Thank you all, I have my answers. Jun 7 '15 at 21:00
• In the past that addon used to say' warning this is a beta release', then it progressed onto 'warning this is a RC' . Ultimately it is up to the people involved with the addon (..not us, here) to change the text on their addon. In my response i've already suggested a way to contact them, it's out of our hands. Though I agree that 'RC' is a little vague for most people. Nope I don't recall any affiliation with RaQ. Jun 7 '15 at 21:18
• Again, I learned something I didn't know; it was intrinsically obvious to me that the developers are responsible for the behavior of the addon; I wasn't aware that once it had been accepted as an addon in Blender's release programs, the developer was responsible for the way it appears in Blender. But, now, reflecting on this from a programming side, and being new to python, but not programming, I do now recall that the bl_info block in the code does list the information that shows up in Blender's addons. Thankfully, one is only a noob for a while, and many thanks to patient people like you! Jun 7 '15 at 22:47
• Re: RaQ is was more a security program related to the Linux used in the RaQ. The Zeffii to which I refer was a superior programmer, as I recall. XD It's just such an unusual name (to me) I'm surprised to find more than one. :-) Jun 7 '15 at 22:48
• Unequivocally, I have reached consensus with the community. The problem was more about the perspective of the OA (me) due to being new to stackexchange. I framed a question which appeared completely on topic to me; but, in fact was completely related to the developers of the addon entirely. Newcomer perspective is an ongoing issue and an old issue in Meta. Here, in Meta, the community attempts to resolve these issues. Newcomer's lack of perspective often present new, but non-unique classes of, problems, meta exists as venue for consensus, clarification and with hope, resolution. Jun 7 '15 at 23:22
• To conclude, it is amazing how much text that short question has spawned in comments and answers. We could have mentioned that the warning is added by the author in the bl_info dict, that's definitely pure blender/addon development. Jun 8 '15 at 5:35
• I have only recently become aware of that fact, and didn't know it at the time I posed the question. The information would have pointed me to where the responsibility lay for the phrase, thus off topic in blender.stackexchange. From a meta perspective, I think there exist exceptions to every rule, except the rule of exceptions. So, questions about the use of add ons being acceptable seems ambiguous, how implemented in Blender, even more so. Is it intuitive to know how Blender implemented the add on? Invariably questions as exceptions will occur; a good moderator is the answer to exceptions. Jun 9 '15 at 3:41
• In the scope of this question, what exactly does it mean to "close" a question. What changes occur because a question is closed? IOW my question has been closed, what does that mean? What happens now? I did search for an answer to this in meta, and perhaps my phrasing or the search engine was weak, but I found nothing. Jun 9 '15 at 3:46
• Marking a question as closed has the effect of showing that no other interaction with that question is considered necessary. You now know what RC stands for and that it has no special meaning within Blender -- for that reason (you may, or may not agree... ) we pull the plug. I modified the one existing answer to give it at least a Blender context. Jun 9 '15 at 5:32
• But we do see some merit in keeping it around so it wasn't Deleted. Closing questions is better for the Question/Answer ratio, when the question is tiptoeing on no-man's land. (We are now at 1.3 A per Q....SE network like to see 2.5A per Q) Jun 9 '15 at 5:40