I just informed a new user (politely enough I hope) in the comments under the posted question that we typically don't review software implementations (assuming that is actually the case; I hope I am interpreting correctly the first item as listed under the options when selecting Vote to Close, as included in the graphic below). In fairness to the user and respecting their efforts to post legitimate questions, I was looking for a link I could include in my comment that provides clarity on what to post and not to post, to minimize the frustration of having a question "closed", or the possible annoyance that I appear to be making up rules and not be helpful. I couldn't find a clear "Off Topic" list that would be easy for any new user to find. I found this easily under Help - What types of questions should I avoid asking". For consistency, with what we see when choosing to "vote to close", should we have these same topics listed there verbatim (or even with further clarification if needed)? Ideally not hidden under another link if they are elsewhere, but directly on that page.

(Note too, as a minor grammatical nit: the first sentence of the page of "What types of questions should I avoid asking" suggests instead what to ask - I suggest it be written instead as: "Avoid posting questions that are not on topic for this site.").

"Why not suited"


1 Answer 1


Here's a draft. Made it Community Wiki. Let's edit it to figure out what the right update is.

I have other stuff to do right now, and might come back and edit later. Feel free to edit or comment and propose changes!

We might want to edit it for brevity. As it stands, I think it's probably too long.

What types of questions should I avoid asking?

Avoid posting questions that are not on-topic for this site.

You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. 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.

If your motivation for asking the question is “I would like to participate in a discussion about ______”, then you should not be asking here. However, if your motivation is “I would like others to explain ______ to me”, would be OK if kept to a short question and answer that doesn’t require a long back and forth discussion. (Discussions are discouraged in the comments under posts but are of course welcome in our real time web chat.)

The most common reasons for questions being closed on this site are:

  • Duplicate : This question has been asked before and already has an answer.

  • A community-specific reason : This question doesn’t meet a Signal Processing Stack Exchange guideline.

    There are several possible reasons here:

    • General programming questions are off-topic here, but can be asked on Stack Overflow.

    • Questions requesting working code written to a specification are off-topic as they are unlikely to benefit anyone else. Instead, describe the problem you're solving and where you're stuck.

    • This question appears to be homework. Complete answers to homework are off-topic, but specific questions about homework are acceptable if they include enough detail including your own efforts toward the solution so that it is clear where you are stuck and that you have already done the requisite study required. Please edit the question to include more background about what you don't understand.

    • This question belongs on another site in the Stack Exchange network

  • Needs details or clarity : This question should include more details and clarify the problem.

  • Needs more focus : This question currently includes multiple questions in one. It should focus on one problem only.

  • Opinion-based : This question is likely to be answered with opinions rather than facts and citations. It should be updated so it will lead to fact-based answers.

To prevent your question from being flagged and possibly removed, avoid asking subjective questions where …

  • every answer is equally valid: “What’s your favorite ______?”
  • your answer is provided along with the question, and you expect more answers: “I use ______ for ______, what do you use?”
  • there is no actual problem to be solved: “I’m curious if other people feel like I do.”
  • you are asking an open-ended, hypothetical question: “What if ______ happened?”
  • your question is just a rant in disguise: “______ sucks, am I right?”

(The above section was adapted from MetaFilter’s FAQ.)

Some subjective questions are allowed, but “subjective” does not mean “anything goes”. All subjective questions are expected to be constructive.

For more detail, read about our guidelines for great subjective questions and blog post about how real questions have answers.

If your question is about the site itself, please don't ask it here. Visit our meta-discussion site, where you can talk about things like what questions are appropriate, what tags should be used, suggest a feature, point out a bug, or generally discuss how this site works.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @DanBoschen Looks good! Thanks for the additions / edits. $\endgroup$
    – Peter K. Mod
    Commented Feb 18, 2023 at 14:00
  • $\begingroup$ will this make it to replace dsp.stackexchange.com/help/dont-ask ? $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 22, 2023 at 23:23
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @DanBoschen One hopes! $\endgroup$
    – Peter K. Mod
    Commented Feb 23, 2023 at 10:18

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