We can set up to 3 custom close reasons. Do we want any custom close reasons?

From What do site moderators need to do to support the new custom question close reasons?:

This can be tricky; your goal here is to communicate clearly with the people whose questions are being closed, with the people who are closing questions and with the people who will later read those questions and wonder why they were closed.

At a bare minimum, off-topic reasons should identify a specific topic considered inappropriate. If you're struggling to be specific, find an example of a question that is off-topic and discuss the factors that make it inappropriate for the site.

Whenever possible, try to explain why a given topic is not allowed - this is your chance to answer the inevitable question once rather than repeating it every time a question must be closed.

Provide resources that will aid askers in solving their problems: either instructions for asking the question in a more suitable fashion, links to a different site where the question may be considered on-topic.

Be as concise as possible. Save lengthy explanations and examples for meta FAQs that can be discussed and refined over time, and then include links to these in the off-topic reasons. Don't depend on anyone following these links though; keep critical information and guidance in the reason text itself.

Do all of this on your meta site so that folks can critique the wording and suggest improvements.

  • 4
    How many posts have been closed with generalizable reasons so far? The reason to have site-specific predefined close reasons is for cases that come up often, not just for the sake of it. Generally these are reasons that have been identified in a meta discussion from which a policy has emerged that a certain type of questions are off-topic. May 4, 2015 at 19:15

2 Answers 2


The "can no longer be reproduced" error reason from Stack Overflow:

This question was caused by a problem that can no longer be reproduced or a simple typographical error. While similar questions may be on-topic here, this one was resolved in a manner unlikely to help future readers.

Candidates for questions that can be closed with this reason:

  • Maybe instead of typographical error could this be changed to "Issued caused by plugin/vimrc"? There are a lot of issues that are posted that are either due to plugins changing standard functionality or the user made a change to their vimrc and forgot/didn't understand what it was doing.
    – jecxjo
    May 27, 2015 at 14:02

The "is a bug report" reason from Ask Ubuntu:

Bug reports and problems specific to development version of Ubuntu should be reported on Launchpad so that developers can see, track and fix these issues.


Bug reports should be reported at the appropriate place so that developers can see, track and fix these issues. See :help bug-reports for Vim, and consult the appropriate issue tracker for plugins.

Candidate(s) for questions that can be closed with this reason:

  • 7
    I'm not sure if this is a good one ... Often it's not at all obvious that a problem is a bug from the question itself, and if it isn't, I think an answer with "This is a bug" can be acceptable ... There may also be answers that work around the bug or offer alternative solutions. May 4, 2015 at 8:22
  • 1
    @Carpetsmoker working around a bug is always on topic. That's why I reworded my question in the example cited. In that case, I wasn't originally aware that the problem was a plugin. romainl's comment made me aware of that, and also of his feeling that this should be posted on the plugin bug tracker. After rewording, I feel my question is asking for a workaround.
    – muru
    May 4, 2015 at 8:33
  • I see both sides of this. On the one hand, this isn't a bug tracker. On the other hand, people who run into a problem and search for how to deal with it should be able to find either a work around or at least information that a bug exists and a pointer to where it is tracked, which could be useful even after the bug itself is fixed, since many people use older versions of packages and plugins. I could see this close-reason as being an indicator that a question needs to be reworded, but that could result in the loss of information that an issue is caused by a bug.
    – John O'M.
    May 4, 2015 at 17:41
  • @JohnO'M. Consider it similar to an "unclear what you're asking" closure - editing it could (probably would) have it reopened.
    – muru
    May 4, 2015 at 17:58
  • I'm surprised by "problems specific to plugins"--I thought questions about plugins were welcome on vi.SE. If by "problems" you mean bugs, then I think this could be made clearer.
    – Rich
    May 5, 2015 at 12:33
  • @Rich that was just me quickly adapting the original phrasing. Please, feel free to edit
    – muru
    May 5, 2015 at 12:45
  • @muru Ah cool. In that case I think you'd probably be fine removing the "and problems specific to plugins" part entirely.
    – Rich
    May 5, 2015 at 12:47
  • @Rich I suppose so. The last clause covers the "bugs in plugins" part, so that phase doesn't need to be there.
    – muru
    May 5, 2015 at 12:48

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