3
$\begingroup$

When flagging a question as off-topic in the Android app, the reason list has a duplicate entry. The following reason appears twice:

This question does not appear to be about computer science, within the scope defined in the help center.

screenshot

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Could you post a screenshot, or at least copy-paste the text, and tell us exactly how you reach the two options? I have no idea what you're referring to. $\endgroup$ – Gilles Oct 1 '14 at 18:17
  • $\begingroup$ I fail at markdown, still, link posted $\endgroup$ – miniBill Oct 1 '14 at 18:28
5
$\begingroup$

(This issue has also been reported on the main meta.)

The off-topic list is different depending on whether you have more or less than 500 reputation, which is the threshold between flagging and closing. The list contains:

  • Reasons defined by site moderators. We have two: one that notes specifically “Questions about software development or programming tools are off-topic here, but can be asked on Stack Overflow.”, and one that provides a blanket statement “This question does not appear to be about computer science, within the scope defined in the help center.”
  • Migration: “This question belongs on another site in the Stack Exchange network”, which offers to migrate to meta. (Some sites have other migration targets; usually beta sites don't.)
  • Only for close voters: “Other (add a comment explaining what is wrong)”
  • Only for flaggers: “Blatantly off-topic (this question has nothing to do with computer science)”
  • Only for flaggers when using the Stack Exchange Android app (and maybe the iOS app?) as opposed to the website: “This question does not appear to be about computer science, within the scope defined in the help center.”

That last point is a bug in the Stack Exchange app: it should show the same message as the website.

On the website, for flaggers, there is no duplicate entry, but it's as bad if not worse: there are two entries among which the choice is not clear, “does not appear to be about computer science” and “has nothing to do with computer science”. For close voters, it's fine: you can choose to use the generic “not about CS” reason, or you can enter a comment to explain why the question is off-topic.

We could fix this problem for flaggers by removing the “not about computer science” site-specific close reason, and keeping only the network-wide “blatantly off-topic”. But this would introduce a problem for close voters: there would no longer be a generic off-topic close reason, for questions that are just that, off-topic. The first close voter would systematically have to type a comment (subsequent voters see a list where that comment appears as an extra option). We regularly get all sorts of off-topic questions here; mostly “how do I fix my computer” but also pure math and others.

My preferred solution would be to bring back the generic off-topic close (or flag) reason for everyone. It used to exist, but was removed to introduce close reasons with associated comments, which is of dubious utility.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ So, known bug it is $\endgroup$ – miniBill Oct 1 '14 at 20:33
  • $\begingroup$ @miniBill It's now a known bug, thanks for reporting it. We're going to need to think some more as to how to fix it. $\endgroup$ – Gilles Oct 1 '14 at 20:43

You must log in to answer this question.

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