# “unclear what you're asking” vs “Lacks concrete context”

Aren't these two close reasons too similar? Since the Lacks concrete context exists I cannot remember using the unclear what you're asking anymore.

• Lacks concrete context

Code Review requires concrete code from a project, with sufficient context for reviewers to understand how that code is used.

I think they could be merged into a single close reason and the new Lacks concrete context could be put on the first page.

• Unclear What you're asking is a network-wide close-reason. We can not just change it. Lacking concrete context is the old "pseudocode" close reason, that was expanded a little bit. – Vogel612 Apr 3 '18 at 9:32
• @Vogel612 oh, I see... then lacks concrete context shouldn't be an off-topic reason since one cannot say whether a question is off-topic until the quesiton is clear eanough... but this is probably a discussion for another day. – t3chb0t Apr 3 '18 at 10:01

Note: "unclear what you're asking" has been changed. This answer still holds with the new version.

Closed. This question needs details or clarity. It is not currently accepting answers.

# Scenario 1

A user posts a full program without any description and a vague title.

• This is 'unclear what you're asking', as we don't know if the op want a review, if the code works, well really we don't know anything the op wants.
• This doesn't 'Lacks concrete context', as we have the entire program, we can install it locally and run it. And so it's not pseudocode, etc.

# Scenario 2

A user posts a full project description with a question on how to improve their code. But the code is pseudocode as how they'd do it.

• This is not 'unclear what you're asking', as we know exactly what they are asking.
• This does 'Lacks concrete context', as we don't have the code to review - it's pseudocode.

And so it comes down to whether it's a problem with the description or the code. These lines can blur when a question has both problems, but that's rare and you have the choice on which close reason to close as. I personally would close as 'unclear what you're asking' in those situations.

• Why the "Update"? It feels like that doesn't match the rest of your answer. – Simon Forsberg Jul 10 '19 at 12:18
• @SimonForsberg Because it's been updated with what the 'customary law' is - how questions are actually closed - rather than the 'written law' with is mostly ignored. – Peilonrayz Jul 10 '19 at 12:38
• I wouldn't call it a "law", I would call it a "guideline" or "recommendation". – Simon Forsberg Jul 10 '19 at 12:44
• @SimonForsberg There's no pleasing some people. – Peilonrayz Jul 10 '19 at 13:02

"Unclear what you're asking" is, paradoxically, unclear for Code Review, because every question is asking the same thing: "How can I improve this code?".

I use it to mean, "Unclear what this code is supposed to achieve," and I use it for questions that have a code dump with no explanation of requirements, or an explanation that is so muddled or confusing that it can't be understood enough to edit into shape except by the author.

I use "Lacks concrete context" for code that does have a satisfactory explanation, but is

• missing critical parts of the code (such as type definitions, database schemas/indexes, or a required library that isn't mentioned), or
• obviously stub/skeleton code (comments such as do something here..., or variables called myFoo, for example).
• While I agree the basic question is "How can I improve this code?" sometimes they might be seeking advice about performance. It may not be clear what they want to improve. – pacmaninbw Jun 16 '19 at 15:42
• It does not matter, reviewers review what they want to review anyway. Asking what should be reviewed is (or should be) optional. – konijn Nov 20 '19 at 21:37