I see moderators restricting broad culture and process related questions. DevOps is in large part about the culture and process, if you are going to restrict question to only technical and specific, this is not going to be a DevOps forum. We need broad and open ended questions on process and culture like that in the infancy of the site, because those questions will pop up in google searches and will draw audience to the side.

Please let me know, why are you trying to over-moderate so early?


People (moderators have a diamond next their names) are not moderating culture or process question per se. They are moderating too broad questions.

There's is reasons for this, a question aimed at having an accepted answer, if it's primarily opinion based how do you choose the best answer ? How do you vote for an answer in a way that will be useful for future readers ?

his is not going to be a DevOps forum

Hopefully not, SE sites are not forum in the usual meaning of internet forum. The goal is to build a collection of quality question and answers, where the votes denotes the community preference over the best answer.

We need broad and open ended questions

No we don't, a forum would need them, but not a Q/A site, if the idea you have about Devops.SE is a redis place to talk, you're sadly at the wrong place.

There's already some general guidance for SE format in the help center about subjective questions

  • That's just the default subjective questions body. And those are guidelines, not rules. The actual on-topic scope of the site (mentioned in the 1st paragraph) is yet to be defined: devops.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic. Based on this I too believe some over-moderating is happening. – Dan Cornilescu Mar 3 '17 at 2:08
  • if it's primarily opinion based how do you choose the best answer ? - from the criteria for evaluating proposals in beta: 2.5 answers per question is good, only 1 answer per question needs some work. On a healthy site, questions receive multiple answers and the best answer is voted to the top. In other words some degree of disagreement is even required :) – Dan Cornilescu Mar 3 '17 at 2:30
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    @DanCornilescu multiples answer are wished yes, to bring another angle usually, but antagonists answers help no one. So some degree yes, when it's too open, you will have a bunch of opinions or anecdotes with few to no value. Moderating/deleting them is a waste of time and if we miss them we leave misinformation online which is BAD in my opinion. – Tensibai Mar 6 '17 at 9:35

If we moderate and close the questions too quickly, we won't ever have a chance to find out if these questions produce solid answers or not.

I would recommend that we only close questions as being too broad, after the answers demonstrate the fact, especially during these first 20 days. After that we will have demonstrated which types of questions are actually too broad and which ones are not.

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    I like the empirical “after the answers demonstrate the fact” approach – as long as the volume makes it tractable! – Michaël Le Barbier Mar 2 '17 at 14:29
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    @MichaelGrünewald So far, too many answers doesn't seem to be a problem we have. – avi Mar 2 '17 at 14:30
  • My concern may become we won't leave private beta if we don't demonstrate we're able to moderate this site. And some questions doesn't need to wait answers to know they're too broad. – Tensibai Mar 2 '17 at 14:41
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    Tensibal, I would suggest to moderate questions on topics you are familiar with. If you are more comfortable with the technical questions, there is plenty on Jenkins to moderate, but that does not happen so far. But culture and process questions are closed immediately. That attitude can easily cut the community in half and we lose too many people to remain relevant. – Jiri Klouda Mar 2 '17 at 14:47
  • Many questions out there cannot be answered with no less that 10 to 20 pages of text. That's too long. devops.stackexchange.com/help/asking – Alexandre Mar 2 '17 at 14:50
  • @JiriKlouda Again, that's not because they are culture, it's because they are very broad, an answer can't exceed 30k characters, and that's already veryyyy long. And please use @ notation when your address someone so we ahve a notification. – Tensibai Mar 2 '17 at 14:50
  • @Tensibai We also won't leave private beta if we don't have enough questions and answers. Personally, I only agree that the question linked to the word "questions" is too broad. Both of those other questions have pretty clear answers IMO. You reduce failures by removing points of human error (i.e. automation). And container orchestration solves the specific problems which arise from having "too many containers." – avi Mar 2 '17 at 14:51
  • @JiriKlouda And stop thinking I'm uncomfortable with the subjects or whatever. You're the one attacking persons, I'm judging the posts and usually express my concerns and give advices on how to better focus them. If you have a real example of something closed which should not, open a Meta question about it. – Tensibai Mar 2 '17 at 14:52
  • @Alexandre Which questions so far require 10-20 pages of text? – avi Mar 2 '17 at 14:52
  • @avi re "the specific problems which arise from having "too many containers." <- listing those problems is already a novel in itself. I don't see how this could fit in an answer. Just addressing container comunication between hosts is already a large subject... – Tensibai Mar 2 '17 at 14:55
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    Wait for the answers then, they might surprise you. Once you see novel size answers or 5-10 answers leading nowhere, it should be easy to close the question as too broad. – Jiri Klouda Mar 2 '17 at 14:56
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    @Tensibai We have the tools to delete answers and protect questions. There is nothing in the SE bible that says you can't moderate after the fact. I would think that over aggressive moderation is more of a concern than proving that we can moderate issues after they arise, and then prevent the same issue from happening again. – avi Mar 2 '17 at 14:58
  • @JiriKlouda Take one, and showcase this in a meta post then. You're advocating that's a mistake, but for now 5 people did agree to close those question and there wasn't 5 to reopen them... Showcase why we are wrong thinking this would turn out of control when this is based on experience of other sites... – Tensibai Mar 2 '17 at 14:59
  • @Avi well, if you're so inclined, reopen those question and prove me wrong in what I said above. this question has been reviewed and still wait a vote to reopen... This showcase how we can improve questions by closing it first and discussing them after – Tensibai Mar 2 '17 at 15:01
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    @Tensibai If i was able to reopen them I would, but sadly it is easier to close a question than it is to reopen it. Human nature being what it is. – avi Mar 2 '17 at 15:03

We don't "need" open questions.

This place is not a forum or a chat room which are suited to long discussion and exchanges. On the exchange sites, people write answers and, hopefully, one is accepted.

If you ask how to do configuration management with Puppet, we would need an answer that is at least as long as the getting started: https://puppet.com/presentations/getting-started-puppet (17 pages long) I hope you understand why that is not a good question. Here is not the place to introduce a whole subject, or to teach about how to do something, or even discuss what is best.

Refer to "How to ask" for guidelines https://devops.stackexchange.com/help/asking These guidelines have been written and improved over time and with experience on many over stackexchange site.

Also keep in mind that the very fact that answers are voted is a case against "open questions". If someone ask how to do secret management and we leave that question open, what will happen is that 1) we'll get 50 different and very lengthy answers. The reader will have to read through them, figure out why someone suggested something and why someone suggested something else. And then 2) in in a year or two, the secret management field will have changed and these answers will probably be invalid (not obsolete, they'll be downright wrong in regards to the new standards). The preferred way to do secret management will have changed and you have to hope that someone posted an updated answer and hope that it gets up-voted enough to have some visibility.

Specific questions are better, if you ask how to manage rotation key secret in Consul with Spring Boot it protects you to some extent from those change over time in tools and procedures. If someone is still using Spring Boot with Consul in 4 years, well.. they will have a very specific answer to their problem. That's a good thing. To the rest of the community which will have moved on to "NextGenSecretMgmtTool", this question about Consul will just appear obsolete and won't tell them how to secret management and won't suggest to use Consul.

PS: I have nothing against Consul, all I'm trying to illustrate is that tools and techniques change over time and the answers written usually won't.

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    Open technical questions are not being moderated like open culture and process questions. I took the time to look and there is plethora of open and broad technical questions that are not moderated at all. – Jiri Klouda Mar 3 '17 at 2:02
  • That is true. My statement was, in part, inspired by the "How to manage application credentials" and one question about git. Open technical questions are doing better at the moment because we sure put a lot of time into it collectively this afternoon. – Alexandre Mar 3 '17 at 3:23
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    I am just trying to say that technically competent moderators are not shutting down technical broad and open questions they do understand, but instead going after culture and process questions they do not understand so well. – Jiri Klouda Mar 3 '17 at 3:50
  • Ah, perhaps that is the case! If it is, I hope we can improve. – Alexandre Mar 3 '17 at 3:59

I have a feeling that sometimes when a question does have an answer, but it doesn't include a technical solution, it is automatically considered as too broad. This is not correct.

For example see What is Value Stream Mapping?. Yes it is a question that many books have been written about it, and a full answer can very easily surpass the answer length limit. But this question (and its answers) are just what this SE needs, and it really didn't belong anywhere else before.

Just my 2cc

  • I really regret that you are judging persons you don't know, note for meta vote: it is used to show agreement/disagreement more than a quality judgement about the post, don't take it as criticism of your post of what you're saying, it's just position toward it. There is no rep involved on Meta. – Tensibai Mar 2 '17 at 23:18

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