New users may not know about the policy of this site, and sometimes their questions may be quickly closed before they can get back to add more information.

Reopening a question by editing it often takes a lot of time and patience. As a result, they may be discouraged to further use this site, and possibly stop using Ubuntu (because often they come to this website after encountering a major issue). Some users become frustrated, and ask the same question (which has been closed) again, only to be marked as duplicate.

For example, I saw this question. It is somewhat unclear, and possibly OP does not know why the large "pagemap file" was generated (I admit that I don't know what they are either), and wanted to know how it can be prevented. However the question was not properly phrased, and it started gathering close votes (without any feedback).

Can we create a policy that questions posted by new users won't be closed as "needs details or clarity", so that we can ask them to add more information (and then mark it as duplicate or off topic, if applicable) and wait for some time (at least, a few days) for them to get back, instead of quickly closing it (which often happens within an hour)?

  • 5
    If OP edits their post adding new information, it gets shoved into the "reopen" queue and for reviewers to review if it should be reopened... so it's not a permanent close. Is there something that does not solve, or are you simply annoyed that people are close voting without feedback? (something that isn't needed if someone else has commented that addiitonal details are needed)
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Commented Dec 17, 2020 at 16:55

1 Answer 1


I think this is a good thought, and it has been raised in some form a number of times before. To my mind the problem is that the site doesn't provide any really useable way to wait a few days. It's nearly impossible to coordinate waiting a few days. Stuff we're waiting on for a few days will just not happen at all, because of the constant flow of new stuff to deal with.

Fortunately, an edit to the post body automatically sends the answer to the reopen queue. So, the theory goes, and I agree, we should close unclear questions, encourage the OP to edit them, and reopen them promptly if they oblige.

If we simply adopt a policy of not closing unclear questions by new users, I feel the site will be littered with unclear questions (because open questions never get deleted unless they have a negative score, or zero score and less than 2 comments).

However, one should definitely comment on an unclear question (please can y'all try to do that in an encouraging manner) requesting the required information, if at all possible (some questions are so unclear one can't even formulate such a request, but that is unusual) if such a comment has not already been posted (if it has, you can upvote it).

Also, I'd encourage waiting a few hours for the OP to add information, or at least for a coffee break, or however long you can comfortably leave the tab open.

Also, (suggesting an) edit(ing) to add info from comments or make a question more readable with formatting adjustments is highly encouraged.

Also, I think we are slightly too ready to close questions as Needs Details or Clarity when we just don't know how to answer them. When eyeing the Close button, it's useful to keep in mind that our goal is to help folks (present and future), not to close as many questions as possible...

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