After I reviewed code in this question, the question was deleted.

My review was harsh, but I warned it would be in the first sentence, and I thought being fair was more important. If the community disagrees, it can always vote my answer down.

Here's the review in question I managed to recover by accident (it was open in a different tab).

Is this an OK behavior on this website? I'm not so confident about putting in time for not-so-sugary-but-I-believe-honest reviews now.

If not, can (and should?) somebody restore the question?

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ See, this is how someone is supposed to take constructive criticism. Well done. \$\endgroup\$
    – sqykly
    Jan 8, 2014 at 11:19

4 Answers 4


It appears the OP deleted the question, not other members of the community.

No, we don't delete questions unless they prove to be more harm than good (or absolutely harmful), which is certainly not the case since the question received two upvotes. Since no comments were left by the OP, no one can be sure what the motive was, but perhaps it was your "harsh" indication.

Please don't feel discouraged by this. We do not by any means discourage "harsh" reviews. In fact, we encourage them, if that's what's needed to improve the code. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that an asker's feelings will always align with those of everyone else.

As in the nature of deleted posts, only certain users (2K+ rep during beta) can view them. If any of these users agree that the question should be undeleted, they will cast undelete votes. If the question does get undeleted and the OP deletes it again (only possible if there are no upvoted answers), please flag this Meta post, and I'll lead the OP here to hopefully get more information.

Update: I've undeleted the question by request. If the initial answer is upvoted and/or any additional answers are upvoted, the question can no longer be outright deleted by the OP.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for clarifications! \$\endgroup\$
    – Dan
    Jan 6, 2014 at 19:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DanAbramov: No problem. Regarding the Meta post you've linked to, I wouldn't say that answer is entirely correct. If the OP no longer wants the question around, but there's no sensitive information of any kind, the OP can request to have their account disassociated with that post. If that happens to be the case here, that's something only a mod can help fulfill. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jamal
    Jan 6, 2014 at 20:01
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ You should undelete the thread by moderator fiat unless there's a good reason to keep it deleted (which the asker would have to provide). See my answer. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 6, 2014 at 20:55

Since this is Meta, and the request has been made, a meta-review (review the review) may be appropriate...

Is this an OK behavior on this website? I'm not so confident about putting in time for not-so-sugary-but-I-believe-honest reviews now.

Is it OK for a user to delete their question? Yes, absolutely. It can be irritating, but it is their prerogative.

Should you lose confidence about putting in time/effort for reviews, no, but....

... I have some real sympathy for the asker in this instance. You were harsh. In my opinion you were overly harsh.

In general, people coming to CodeReview will/may have poor confidence in their own skills, and may have 'psyched' themselves up to post their code here. This may just be the pride and joy of their past week's labours, or may be a kid trying to be better than their school mates...

A harsh review is appropriate when the code is below expectations. On CodeReview, it is very hard to set the level of expectations appropriately. The only mechanism is the at the moment, but, in this case, it was not used. Still, you have to give some benefit-of-the-doubt.

Still, it is apparent (in my opinion) that the 'experience' of the asker is 'immature'.

( EDIT: I see this answer you gave to the same user here: A package for basic utility functions Here your tone is completely different )

Your review would have upset many people I know who are professionals, never mind beginners.... In summary, your review is:

I am going to be very harsh:

  • your code is a mess
  • it is incomprehensible
  • it does not do what it advertises it should (it's not a library).
  • the abstractions are a mess
  • who needs this anyway (use a different framework) like 99.99% of applications
  • "Your code seems to suffer from architecture austronautry."

The only positive thing you say is Your methods are mostly simple and nice

So, while everything you say may be true, it has only taught the asker one lesson: come to CodeReview to get your code bashed, and feel inadequate.

There are a number of GOOD things the asker did:

  • "use strict"
  • the code is very neat and well formatted.
  • generally good comments.
  • .... and that's just from scanning the code, not reading it....

I do not find anything encouraging or motivational in your review.

People are not coming to CodeReview to feel bad about what they've done.... to get "shot down".

  • \$\begingroup\$ this person is posting their entire library, just trying to clean it up, they are confident in their code, it's a person that is posting this before they launch to complete production, if they haven't already put it into production before they posted it here \$\endgroup\$
    – Malachi Mod
    Jan 6, 2014 at 20:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ I almost wanted to say this is spam. the user's name is a website, all that is on their profile is a website, I Imagine that this is just advertisement for the code, for the product \$\endgroup\$
    – Malachi Mod
    Jan 6, 2014 at 20:46
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I can certainly understand your stance here. Now, if the problem is the answer itself, then it could remain deleted, downvoted, or revised by the owner. If the question by itself is good, and the community agrees, then I think it should stay. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jamal
    Jan 6, 2014 at 20:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @rolfl: Thank you for the perspective. I did not note the good things, but I did not feel I need to: most answers don't do that either, assuming the OP wants an honest review, and not just something to soothe their self-esteem. But we're all humans of course and not everything has to be black and white. Did I do better, in your opinion, in this answer? \$\endgroup\$
    – Dan
    Jan 6, 2014 at 21:06
  • 8
    \$\begingroup\$ @DanAbramov people need to know what they are doing right at least as much as what they are doing wrong. \$\endgroup\$
    – rolfl
    Jan 6, 2014 at 21:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Good point! I did not realize it, but you're right. I'll try better with my future answers. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dan
    Jan 6, 2014 at 21:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you again for criticism. I amended my answer—I hope I did better this time! \$\endgroup\$
    – Dan
    Jan 6, 2014 at 22:26
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ My intention was not to get you to revise your answer, but to give a potential reason for the deletion. Still, I much prefer your answer now, it conveys the same information as before, and does it in a much friendlier way. \$\endgroup\$
    – rolfl
    Jan 6, 2014 at 23:12

I haven't seen that question or its answer, I'm answering here as a matter of principle.

Questions should only be deleted by the askers if they aren't deleting a worthwhile answer in doing so.

As an approximation, askers can delete their question if it has no answer, or a single answer with no upvote. The reasoning is that if more than one person has taken the time to answer, or if there is an answer with an upvote to demonstrate its worth, then the question has had investment by answerers and the asker shouldn't be allowed to delete it unilaterally.

If the question has a single answer with no upvote, the assumption built into the software is that the answer hasn't really proved its worth. However, if the answer is worth keeping, then the deletion is unwarranted. Flag or request on meta and a moderator should undelete it.

If the asker is afraid that the question reflects badly on him, he can request that the question be disassociated from his account. This is allowed by the Stack Exchange license for any post at any time. This preserves the work done by the answerer(s) while removing any trace of ownership on the post itself. (Note that other clues may remain, such as caches on external sites, downloads by any visitor, @-replies in comments, etc.) To request disassociation, use the contact form.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the confirmation. I'll undelete it now. That should allow someone else the opportunity of providing an answer worthy of an upvote. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jamal
    Jan 6, 2014 at 21:00

looks like they reposted their code here A package for application booting

or rather that they split up some of their code to make for more specific reviews of their code. this should give you the opportunity to receive more Rep and give the OP more reviews (knowledge)

  • \$\begingroup\$ That's a different one. He posted several modules, and deleted only the one with my answer. In fact I already answered another his question where he left the question and answer, but for some reason he deleted his comments from a discussion under my answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dan
    Jan 6, 2014 at 20:36
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Malachi: Yes, that user has posted several questions, and these are different. Even if they were the same and the question needed to be split up, and answerer(s) should've been warned. Part of a healthy review process includes two-way communication where necessary. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jamal
    Jan 6, 2014 at 20:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ He's posted a bunch of pieces of his app over the past couple of years. He's actually gone and deleted one account -- the one where he posted a bunch of the PHP parts -- and created a new one. \$\endgroup\$
    – cHao
    Jan 21, 2014 at 20:02

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