put on hold as unclear what you're asking by Xxx, Yyy, Zzz 1 hour ago

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. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit your question.

What does this actually mean when the problem is specifically defined except for a few edge cases? Should there be a different message for "Your problem is 99% defined but has a few unclear points"? The current message says to anyone who just reads it, but not the challenge itself is that this challenge is almost completely unintelligible or not a well thought out problem.

Edge cases are by definition hard, and hard to spot/foresee. I don't have a problem with people telling me about edge cases that I haven't thought about but having the challenge put on hold with a message that effectively says "it's rubbish" before I have a chance to address the edge cases is not helpful.

I would never say As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking at work about a spec I'd been given if I wanted to keep my job, unless the spec was complete gibberish. I'd say There are a few points that need clarifying.

I would prefer a second option that says "You need to address a few small but important points before this challenge can be answered". Or perhaps change the wording of the existing message to appropriately cover both. It's like the difference between 0.99 < 1 and 0.1 < 1. The former has a much better chance of being salvaged than the later.


1 Answer 1


That's a standard message

Certain close messages are standard across all Stack Exchange sites and cannot be changed on a per-site basis. People who vote to close as unclear should specify in comments what exactly is unclear.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Fair enough. I think this question is valid for all other SE sites. There's a big difference in a quality of 0.1 and 0.99 when your minimum standard is 1. As it currently stands, it's simply binary yes/no. \$\endgroup\$
    – CJ Dennis
    Feb 5, 2016 at 4:01
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ @CJDennis If you think it should be discussed on the network level, you can ask about it on Meta.SE. You'll want to see whether it's been asked there before first though. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex A.
    Feb 5, 2016 at 4:05

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