This question: Is Mac OSX Lion's Revision Control System useable by writers?

Dude was asking about Versions from Apple. The question has three comments barking about OT, needing to be closed, and possible spam. All of the comments had up votes.

What's with the fun police? I hate OT and spam as much as anyone else, but he was asking about Versions as it pertains to writers. Smells like people are tying to thump it as "Stupid question."

We have a small, fledgling community here that is struggling to get off of the ground. Being hyper-sensitive will drive off new people as well as members who find that sort of thing irritating.

  • 6
    I've edited the question for clarity, answerability, and hygienic optimality. Hey, look! It doesn't have a negative score anymore! ::AUDIENCE GASPS:: Thanks, ladies and gentlemen! I'll be here all week!
    – Standback
    Mar 10, 2011 at 14:53

3 Answers 3


The comments don't bark, and actually explain in great detail the reasons for the downvotes and suggestions for improving the original question. If you disagree with those comments, then please, by all means, you can A) respond to them on a point-by-point basis, and/or B) suggest edits to the original post to address the downvoters' complaints.

Beyond all that... A downvote or a negative comment isn't "over-vigilance" or "fun police." It's an opinion, and an attempt to provide constructive criticism. And it's also immensely insignificant to anybody who writes more than a post or so. Why do you think that a question which is obviously unclear or poorly-conceived in the eyes of many members should not be, politely and helpfully, called out as such?

  • 1
    Of the comments, yours was best.
    – gmoore
    Mar 8, 2011 at 22:57
  • 4
    They always are!
    – Standback
    Mar 8, 2011 at 22:58
  • 2
    Well played, sir.
    – gmoore
    Mar 9, 2011 at 14:16

The issues that I consider valid with the question are that it doesn't necessarily encourage long "this is what this means to me as a writer" answers as written. I don't see it as spam and I haven't closed it.

I would like to hear from the close-voters as to why they are voting to close. Of course, the question can always be edited and re-opened later.

  • 2
    I voted to close because it's a suggestive "poll the community" question. There is no answer and thus isn't a good question for our community. Mar 8, 2011 at 20:25
  • This question is a poll, and has no clear answer as it's written now. That's why I voted to close. Mar 10, 2011 at 23:23
  • Just noticed the recent changes to the question, it's much better now. Mar 10, 2011 at 23:30

@gmoore, maybe you are new to this game, so I try to answer without pissing you off. I cannot promise, because I’m sick about this discussion (be nice to the noobs, don’t hurt, blablabla).

All these comments, flags, downvotes, close-votes are there for one (good) reason: quality assurance. We do not try to drive people off, we try to convince them writing quality posts.

There are people out there, who are driven away by that, true. But that’s a good thing. If they are unwilling to improve their posts, then you do not want them to be here. A big community is worth nothing, if it posts shit.

In this particular case, I don’t think JFW will drive off. He (or she) already contributed quality posts. This one slipped through and he will care about it, I guess.

  • 1
    I'll go ahead and downvote this answer, then.
    – gmoore
    Mar 9, 2011 at 14:17
  • 3
    @gmoore - FYI, unlike on the main site where a downvote means "this post is unhelpful or wrong" on meta a downvote means "I disagree". They're quite useful for sorting out the proper community perspective and don't affect reputation.
    – justkt
    Mar 9, 2011 at 21:25

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