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.

  • unclear what you're asking

    Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking.

  • 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.

  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ 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. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vogel612
    Commented Apr 3, 2018 at 9:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @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. \$\endgroup\$
    – t3chb0t
    Commented Apr 3, 2018 at 10:01

2 Answers 2


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.


"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 interpret it as "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).
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ 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. \$\endgroup\$
    – pacmaninbw Mod
    Commented Jun 16, 2019 at 15:42
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It does not matter, reviewers review what they want to review anyway. Asking what should be reviewed is (or should be) optional. \$\endgroup\$
    – konijn
    Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 21:37

You must log in to answer this question.

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