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
    Feb 14 '13 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
    Feb 14 '13 at 20:51
  • ...my thoughts exactly...
    – Werner Mod
    Feb 14 '13 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? Feb 15 '13 at 19:48
  • @MatthewLeingang I like that a lot, such a logical idea!
    – cmhughes
    Feb 15 '13 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
    Feb 15 '13 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. Feb 16 '13 at 0:18
  • @doncherry but then why do we have 'Answer the unanswered' sessions?
    – cmhughes
    Feb 16 '13 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
    Feb 18 '13 at 7:23

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
    Feb 15 '13 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. Feb 17 '13 at 0:51
  • Oh interesting. I did not know this, too. (And I like the approach you suggest much more than a chat.)
    – Speravir
    Feb 17 '13 at 1:05

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