We often comment on questions, asking the original poster to try and improve their question- the standard comments include:

  • Can you provide a minimal working example?
  • Can you show what you have tried so far?

In some cases, we never hear back from the original poster, which typically makes the question either Too Localized or Not A Real Question.

What does the community think about logging such questions, perhaps on month-by-month basis, in a specially designated chat room or other venue? It might make the, 'Answer the unanswered sessions' slightly easier.

  • Somewhat similar to TeXtalk interviews, an "answer" to this question could be updated with question to review during the "Answer the Unanswered" session...
    – Werner Mod
    Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 20:20
  • 2
    @Werner yes, that's a nice idea- answers could be added and removed (with a date) as necessary. In which case, perhaps the title to this 'Question' could be: Log of potentially duplicate, TL, NARQ questions...
    – cmhughes
    Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 20:51
  • ...my thoughts exactly...
    – Werner Mod
    Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 20:51
  • 3
    What about a temporary tag like "question-needs-improvement" that can be removed when the question is fleshed out or closed? Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 19:48
  • @MatthewLeingang I like that a lot, such a logical idea!
    – cmhughes
    Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 19:50
  • While I don’t necessarily disapprove of @Matthew’s proposal, I think this entire question goes against some ideas of the Stack Exchange system; my guess is that we “should” – according to the rulebook – not be so whiny about closing questions and make extensive use of the closing and reopening system. These votes and questions are neatly logged in the 10k user tools. It’d be really interesting to have one of the SE community team members tune in to this discussion.
    – doncherry
    Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 23:34
  • 1
    @doncherry: So you think maybe the process should be suggest the basic improvements, vote to close, then re-open if it's been improved to an answerable question? I can see that as useful on a high-volume site but I don't know about this one. Commented Feb 16, 2013 at 0:18
  • @doncherry but then why do we have 'Answer the unanswered' sessions?
    – cmhughes
    Commented Feb 16, 2013 at 2:52
  • @cmhughes I have to admit I’ve never participated in one of these, but generally they don’t really say anything about the way the SE system was crafted because they weren’t really designed as part of it, I think. But as I said, I’m not really opposed to the proposal here.
    – doncherry
    Commented Feb 18, 2013 at 7:23

1 Answer 1


I suggest a tag like . This can be attached by editors (or the first person to post a "Can you provide a minimal working example?"-type question), and removed once the question has been improved enough to be answerable. Then you can look for them by browsing for that tag.

  • Just as a remark: This would come with the drawback of at least one, but I guess usually two additional edits. And the OP (or another unwatchful [?] person) could, of course, remove it, though perhaps the situation would not have been changed.
    – Speravir
    Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 20:40
  • 3
    @Speravir: I thought about this drawback, but I just learned that retag edits don't count towards the wikification of a question. Commented Feb 17, 2013 at 0:51
  • Oh interesting. I did not know this, too. (And I like the approach you suggest much more than a chat.)
    – Speravir
    Commented Feb 17, 2013 at 1:05

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