Summarizing some chat, and other perspectives. Also providing more context than the 'counterpoint' answer I gave previously.
The 'Real Issues'
There are three issues at hand...
- is there a threshold of 'enough' reviewable content? (and then, an obvious follow-up question is how-much is needed, and how is it measured...?)
- whether questions like this add value to the site, or are 'noise'.
- whether such questions should be closed as off-topic, down-voted, migrated, etc.
Additionally, there seems to be some agreement that the concept of 'short questions' is not the same as having enough 'reviewable content', but that there is some correlation... shorter questions tend to have less reviewable content.
The critical issue here appears to be hinging around a few common 'themes' or 'aspects' of (typically) short questions.
Either / Or questions
Consider this question:
Sometimes there is need to change an integer to text. I often use the
"" + myNumber
But there is alternative way:
Which one is better (performance, readability, safety)? Or are those
Questions with little/no context
It is apparent that some people have been able to create answers even on the shortest question-code. @Mat's Mug has an example for this
Do they add value to the site?
It is apparent that these short questions can trigger a flurry of both answering and voting. They often hit the 'Hot Questions' list, and they can raise awareness. Whether these set a bad example for the site, or not, is debatable. But, they certainly generate interest.
Interestingly, short questions, because they are short, are also easy to answer quickly. This often allows new users to add answers without having to invest heavily in the full context of the problem. This is a good way for new users to get 'into' CodeReview.
Are these question on-topic?
Are these questions on-topic? In one sense, a question like this:
- provides a context,
- provides working code (when considered within the constraints of the context)
- provides actual code
- requests some input relating to performance, etc.
- has the implied question with all CodeReview questions: I want feedback about any or all facets of the code?
It would, even though short, meet the requirements for on-topic on CodeReview. But the actual question asked by the asker 'Which one is better' is perhaps more suitable for Programmers.se... but... that does not mean the code is unreviewable. It means the asker can probably ask slightly different questions about the same code, on two SE sites.
This question has thoughtful, highly-voted answers, that not only answer the question about which one is better, but provide additional details and suggestions, and supporting facts.
Like always, downvoting is a way to indicate that the question was not well formulated. If you don't like the question, then downvote. If you don't think there is enough context, then down-vote. if you thing the question is unclear, then vote-to-close for that reason. If you think the answers will be opinion-based, then vote-to-close for that reason.. but, if there is content in the question that satisfies all on-topic requirements, then that part of the quesiton is on-topic, and thus the whole question follows.
Like always, if the question does not satisfy the requirements of CodeReview's On-Topic system, then vote to close. This is where it gets 'grey'.
But, if the question even minimally satisfies each of the on-topic requirements, then the question is on-topic (it could still be too broad, opinionated, etc.. though).
If you don't like the fact that an otherwise on-topic question does not enough context, then down-vote.... don't close.
Some really short questions have been migrated from Programmers, and have been successful here. This question is obviously not on-topic there, and people here obviously found things to review (or upvote since not all the answerers joined after the migration).
Obviously, migrating is not a 'blanket answer' to these questions.
On the other hand, there have bene times when users have asked for their questions to be migrated (they did not want a review, they wanted an opinion). Other times questions have been answered skipping over the parts that are not reviewable. Some answers have done both reviews, and offered opionions.
In my mind, if there is any reviewable content (any code), and the question otherwise fits the on-topic requirements, then the question is on-topic.
Closing a reviewable question (no matter how bad the question), robs someone of the opportunity to answer anyway.
Feel free to down-vote if the questions should be improved..... (downvotes are free, unless you are at DVLR...)
Close if they are off-topic.
Ignore them if they irritate you.