As some of the regulars at the SE Code Review site already noticed we have a new chat room to request and discuss question closures:

I've setup that room due to the increasing rate of close worthy questions here, and it seems to be better to have a defined protocol for close vote requests.
The already existing 2ndMonitor room doesn't do a good job about that IMO.

The protocol used is the same as used in the SOCVR and also other rooms like The Tavern on the Meta.

I want to invite everyone interested to participate at this chat room and help to keep the SE Code Review site cleaner, and close off-topic questions quicker and more efficiently.

Regarding the protocol and room policies you can currently refer to the SOCVR FAQ. We'll see if we need to setup our own in near future, since some things work different at SE Code Review.

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    Note: Duga was never meant to catch off-topic questions. Duga helps with invalid recommendations from SO to CR and answer invalidations. Not with off-topic questions. – Mast Nov 5 at 18:00
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    I noticed that SOCVR.org (did you really have to buy a domain for that room?) said "The SO Close Vote Review Chat Room is a group of like-minded people who want to make a difference in the CV queue, reviewing and clean-up efforts." - Do you want discussions, or do you want like-minded people? – Simon Forsberg Nov 5 at 18:13
  • @Simon I'd like to have like minded people, but I am open for discussion of course. I simply didn't find an appropriate tag for such kind of announcement here. – πάντα ῥεῖ Nov 5 at 18:15
  • @SimonForsberg At the moment the room is a bit of all, it's still under consideration to create a meta room for the discussion. – Mast Nov 5 at 18:36
  • @SimonForsberg It would be even nice if one of the ♦mods would like to apply a featured tag on this announcement. – πάντα ῥεῖ Nov 5 at 18:43
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    Shouldn't we wait with featuring till it has actually come of the ground? We're still gathering a minimum of momentum. Let's get it it rolling before asking for official support. – Mast Nov 5 at 19:32
  • @Mast I was pretty astonished about the quick attention and the engagement of some particular regulars. Thus I decided to write up that announcement here. @ThomasWard strayed in some doubts, but I still feel encouraged that this room will establish well. – πάντα ῥεῖ Nov 5 at 19:58

The progress so far...

This room has been ongoing for a little more than two days now. In this time, there's been 24 requests to close and 1 request to reopen.

Some questions had comments that were just copy-paste of the close reason. I consider this not being helpful because of a few reasons:

  • As an OP I would feel bad that someone just copy-pasted the official close reason and posted that as a comment.
  • Once the question is closed, the comment is totally obsolete. If they would be flagged I would definitely remove them without question. The idea of the comments is to be a separate explanation of the reasons behind the closure.
  • They are not focusing much on how to fix or what is the next constructive step for the OP to take.

The ideal comment is a comment that:

  1. Starts friendly
  2. Explains why the question is off-topic, preferably also with reasoning about why this is rule exists on the site
  3. Ends constructive by focusing on what the OP can do to fix this. What is the next step for the OP to take to create positive content and become a good member of Code Review Stack Exchange?

Now let's take a look at some statistics:

Of these 24 questions that were mentioned as "close-vote please", there are:

  • Questions that has a comment that is just a copy-pasted close reason: 9
  • Questions with helpful comments by people from the chat room: 12. Extra credit to Thomas Ward for posting helpful comments.
  • Questions with helpful comments from other people than the chat room: 5
  • Questions with no comments at all: 2.
  • Questions from entirely new users with no comments at all: 2. (Same 2 questions as above)
  • Questions that actually are on-topic: 2
  • Questions that are in a gray area: 2 (at least 2 that I consider being in the gray-zone)
  • Questions with an old user saying "Damn, this place is hostile": 1

So far, I am not impressed.

I really don't want to see questions from new users being closed without a comment.

I would like to see more than 50% of the questions having constructive comments from people from the chat room.

I would like to see more constructive comments that are not just copy-pasting the close reasons.

I don't want this to be an angry mob of people that are just down-voting and closing things.

I do see another way to increase the quality of Code Review: Create more positive content. Vote on good things. Post good questions. Share good answers.

I am hoping that one day I will see a "SE Code Review Great Questions Room".

  • I'd be interested in seeing this compared to stats before we used the chat room. As "Questions that has a comment that is just a copy-pasted close reason" and "Questions with no comments at all" have been going on for ages. – Peilonrayz Nov 6 at 19:43
  • @Peilonrayz Yup, and a lot of them are mine. I've started leaving those around long, long ago. – Mast Nov 6 at 19:52
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    "So far, I am not impressed." Ok, what would impress you? And do you have the manpower for it? Just posting good questions is not going to cut it and it won't solve the queues filling with increasing speed as they're doing lately. – Mast Nov 6 at 19:53
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    I get the feeling auto comments wouldn't pass your 'ideal comment' test – Peilonrayz Nov 6 at 19:55
  • @Peilonrayz Many of those comments were designed with those things in mind. While they might not be ideal, I consider them a lot better than the copy-paste of the close reason. – Simon Forsberg Nov 6 at 20:32
  • @Peilonrayz It's true that closing questions with a copy-paste of the close reason comment or without a comment at all is not a new problem. But in this chat room you are specifically aiming to close questions, when you do I hope you can do it in a good way. I've seen Mast has written in the chat room "Don't forget the comments". – Simon Forsberg Nov 6 at 20:35
  • A canned comment is better than no comment. Small steps. I was just getting glad people who previously left none, now might be inclined to tell OP what's going on (instead of leaving them wondering why it's attracting downvotes in silence) and hopefully the comment even has a link to our help center, which points out a great many valuable things for beginners and should be a mandatory read before posting. – Mast Nov 6 at 20:37
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    @Mast How about we start to aim for at least 75% of the questions that you target having constructive comments? And 0% of questions where there is a new user asking a question and it gets closed without a comment? I don't have the manpower unfortunately, all I have is girl-bot-power. Posting good questions won't make the bad questions go away, sure, but it will still increase the quality of Code Review - which I believe is your goal as well. – Simon Forsberg Nov 6 at 20:38
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    @Mast A canned comment is better than no comment, sure, but I hope you read and understand the reasons for why I don't like the copy-paste of close reasons. The frequently posted comments-meta is a much better reference for canned comments. – Simon Forsberg Nov 6 at 20:40
  • So advocate using those in the mentioned room. I'm not against your canned comments. If you help with the good questions, I'll help with the clean-up of not-so-good questions and we'll both be doing what we're good at without having to openly criticize each other. – Mast Nov 6 at 20:46
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    @SimonForsberg I basically agree with you that just repeating the close vote reasons in a comment isn't very useful, though we should new OPs giving a hint why their questions are downvoted and probably closed. I also agree with you that the room isn't intended to gather an "angry mob" to chase offf new unexperienced users from the site. I was used to you give some canned comments along my close votes here, but was once noticed by the moderators I shouldn't do so and it's not considered constructive, So I stopped, and just casted my DV/CVs without any commenting. – πάντα ῥεῖ Nov 6 at 20:47
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    @SimonForsberg Whilst I agree auto comments are better than nothing or a C&P of the close reason, I feel your answer is unfairly moving the goalposts. Don't get me wrong, moving them is good, but currently it looks like you're blaming the room for something that pre-existed it and it didn't aim to fix. – Peilonrayz Nov 6 at 20:50
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    @SimonForsberg I believe it's a bit too early to judge about a progress. On the other hand I probably announced the room a bit too early here also. Though I wanted to address a broader audience to make them aware of. Just give us a little bit more time to improve everything. – πάντα ῥεῖ Nov 6 at 21:04
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    @Peilonrayz Instead if people get their questions closed I want them to feel "Okay, my question got closed, but now I understand the scope of this site better and know that I can come back if I have real working code that I want to improve" – Simon Forsberg Nov 6 at 21:33
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    Folks: small mod note here. Comments are not a chatroom. The sheer volume of comments suggests that we should discuss this answer somewhere that's more suited to discussion. Thanks! – Vogel612 Nov 6 at 21:57

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