Why are some questions like "What are the most common mistakes that beginners of (La)TeX and Friends make?" allowed on SE while they are clearly among the list of questions that should not be asked?

Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page.

Your questions should be reasonably scoped. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much.

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    Just because a question fits that description doesn't mean it has to be closed: The community decides through voting whether it gets closed. In the case of the question you linked to, there are at the time of writing two close votes, but 25 upvotes. It would seem a bit odd to close such a popular question. An open ended "big-list" type of question every now and then isn't the end of the world (or this site): If people like it and answer it, I reckon we can just leave it. – Jake Oct 22 '13 at 9:48
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    No offense but why do you ask? :) – percusse Oct 22 '13 at 10:06
  • @percusse Because I have seen a lot of same questions closed on other sites and that was interesting to me that such questions are allowed here on TEX. – B Faley Oct 22 '13 at 10:14
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    @Jake If the number of upvotes and downvotes decide which question should be closed and which one should remain open, what is the purpose of defining rules? – B Faley Oct 22 '13 at 10:21
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    @Meysam: I would say they're more "guidelines" than "rules". If a question is deemed appropriate for the site by the community, what's the purpose of closing it just because the "rules" say so? – Jake Oct 22 '13 at 11:06
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    Ah OK that's because we don't strictly follow SE rules. We handle every case individually by either discussing in the comments or in the chat. Luckily, there are always enough people to decide. We also reopen questions a lot if the OPs make a barely valid argument. So mainly the decision is towards whatever man type of surfer attitude. – percusse Oct 22 '13 at 11:18
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    LaTeX is for typesetting, so it can be considered as a form of art. When it comes to art there have to be room for discussion of opinions and best-practices (and this word does not mean computational effectiveness but elegance and style in some cases). – masu Oct 22 '13 at 12:55
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    I would suggest casting a vote to close (given enough reputation). That way you've done your duty as a member of the community. Others with a similar privilege will then also be able to act upon it. With this specific question I doubt it will lead anywhere though (due to the interest/votes). I originally voted to close as it seemed "too broad". – Werner Oct 22 '13 at 14:16
  • The question you link to was in fact closed for a short while, but there were obviously enough votes cast to reopen it. (And by votes, I don't mean upvotes on the question, but re-open votes by users with enough reputation to do such voting.) – Alan Munn Oct 22 '13 at 16:47
  • @AlanMunn: True. And since I've cast my vote-to-close, I can't part-take in any close-wars anymore. – Werner Oct 22 '13 at 17:13
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    My View: The OP of this Q is very well known(bounty man) and knowledgeable guy both on TeX.SX/meta and in TeX as well, His intention to generate/collect newbie's or any Users level common mistakes might be a good one (he does not care about rep and fame) hence Upvotes and 50/50 response on close/reopen votes with special considerations i suppose. – texenthusiast Oct 22 '13 at 17:23
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    It's democracy at work. It was closed for a while, because 5 people voted to close it (myself included as it happens), but more people voted to re-open it so it's open. – David Carlisle Oct 22 '13 at 18:14
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    Also worth noting that the "list of questions that should not be asked" page linked to in the question is not (as far as I know) under our control but is a boilerplate page for all the SE sites. So for a specific site it should be taken with a pinch of salt. – Andrew Stacey Oct 22 '13 at 18:20
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    "Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site" I believe this isn't strictly true, especially for the question the OP linked. A question where most common errors are collected can save the day(and maybe more than one) to many TeX beginners(like myself, by the way). Often people do not even know what to search and end up opening trivial duplicates over and over while reading such open questions sometimes may be a good starting point. – Bakuriu Oct 23 '13 at 11:29
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    @Jake I think this requires your comments as an answer – percusse Oct 25 '13 at 11:38

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