I posted a question about a syntax error in a Python for loop. It got closed and then deleted in the time span of a minute without me having any sort of feedback on what was wrong with the question.

I believe there should be a better way of handling questions that are believed off-topic, rather than just bossing people out like that. Since comments are now disabled, is there a way I can get useful feedback from the moderators on why they closed/deleted the question?

To me it seemed a reasonable (beginners) question on the syntax of a Python for loop.


In addition to 200_success's answer here. I would like to add that, in addition to your post being about an error, it also:

  • contains no code to review (just an error message)
  • the code that is failing is not your code
  • even if all the code was included, and a short way to illustrate the fail, the question would not be on-topic on any other Stack Exchange site.

You should read the help Center for Code Review.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your reply, but I disagree. The error message is about a syntax error in the for loop, and the for loop in question is printed. That is specifically what I was asking about. \$\endgroup\$ – Matteo Oct 30 '14 at 16:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Matteo - So, you are saying that the code works, and it's your code? \$\endgroup\$ – rolfl Oct 30 '14 at 16:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ No, it's not my code. I'm just saying that I'm trying to understand if there is a simple syntax error in that for loop or if I should look for an error in the rest of the code. I though it was a very immediate and simple answer for a python expert, and if they asked me a question like that about C++ say I would just answer and not make all this fuzz about it. \$\endgroup\$ – Matteo Oct 30 '14 at 16:55
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ @Matteo - you would be right that it would be a simple question to answer by an expert, but not on Code Review, where we are strictly about working code, which was very clear in the close reason. I think that's where your misunderstanding is... Requests to repair/debug code is off topic every single time, and that is clear in the help center, and in the close reason, and everywhere we can put it on Code Review. \$\endgroup\$ – rolfl Oct 30 '14 at 16:57
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I understand. Thanks for your replies on this site. I sure have a better understanding on how to use this site now. Take care! \$\endgroup\$ – Matteo Oct 30 '14 at 17:00
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ @Matteo - you're welcome. Additionally, I cannot see how you can possibly edit the question and make it on topic again, which is an opinion I apparently share with 200_success. Deletion is the right answer. If you have your own code, that works, it would be a new question, not a revision of the current one. Perhaps the deletion happened faster than you expected, but it was the right decision, for a question that should not have been asked. \$\endgroup\$ – rolfl Oct 30 '14 at 17:02

Please read the close reason on the question. Broken code is off-topic for Code Review. Since the question was almost certainly unsalvageable, it was deleted.

The links in the close reason will guide you towards other possible resources for help.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I read the close reason, but that's a standard answer you provide on all closed / deleted questions. Also even though you believe it is unsalvageable you should still give the chance to the user to attempt an edit instead of deleting it. \$\endgroup\$ – Matteo Oct 30 '14 at 16:45
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ That is not a very welcoming and friendly policy to adopt. \$\endgroup\$ – Matteo Oct 30 '14 at 16:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also as a final remark, could you please expand on why a syntax error question on a for loop is considered off topic and unsalvageable? Thanks for your assistance \$\endgroup\$ – Matteo Oct 30 '14 at 16:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry, but your question was way off-topic. Not only was it a request to fix code that did not work at all, it was also not your own code. You're still welcome to ask more questions in the future, though. \$\endgroup\$ – 200_success Oct 30 '14 at 16:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ I understand, I'm not complaining about the fact that the quest could be marked as off-topic, what I didn't like is the way the off-topic question was treated. You didn't even give me a chance to change it. Thanks for your clarifications on this meta site at least. \$\endgroup\$ – Matteo Oct 30 '14 at 16:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Vogel612 - thanks for your insights. Just to clarify, I'm not saying the question is not off topic. I complain on the way it was dealt with. Deleting without giving the chance to edit it is surely not helpful. This should be a site to help users who are willing to understand their mistakes. I think I am one of them. \$\endgroup\$ – Matteo Oct 30 '14 at 16:59
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ @Matteo You can still edit deleted questions, and then flag the question for moderator action to un-delete and reopen it. However, it's unlikely that this question can be salvaged, so deletion was a valid response by the mods. \$\endgroup\$ – amon Oct 30 '14 at 16:59

I often comment add this comment to questions:

I'm afraid this question does not match what this site is about. Code Review is about improving the cleanliness of existing, working code. Code Review is not the site to ask for help in fixing or changing what your code does. Once the code does what you want, we would love to help you do the same thing in a cleaner way!

This time, I was not around in time to add this comment to your question. I agree with the moderators that it should be clear why your question was off-topic, but I would like to see moderators add more comments like this.

The fact that you post this question on meta is pretty much the exact reason for why I add this comment.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, a comment wouldn't hurt, but oftentimes moderators aren't too concerned with leaving verbose ones. Non-self-deleted posts do show a help link for the author (or maybe that's just for answers). \$\endgroup\$ – Jamal Oct 30 '14 at 22:54
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Simon I completely embrace what you are saying. I feel like mods think it is disrespectful towards them to post something completely off-topic because users waste their time. It's not like that, sometimes there are misunderstandings and a simple comment as yours would have helped me understand the point straight away. Thanks for your response! \$\endgroup\$ – Matteo Oct 30 '14 at 23:27

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .