I have noticed occasionally when on this and other sites that questions are closed, even when they have been answered. An example of this is here - here is the closed explanation:

closed as off-topic by karel, Warren Hill, Florian Diesch, Braiam, Eric Carvalho Dec 4 '13 at 2:06

But the OP had already marked this as the answer 22 hours earlier, as shown in the mouseover on the answer tick:

"The question owner accepted this as the best answer Dec 3 '13 at 4:45"

Why would this be necessary, and what would be the point in it? Doesn't marking it as answered close it anyway?

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    That question does appear to be closed for the wrong reason, despite the correct answer below. – Seth Mar 15 '14 at 19:42
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    @Seth closed for the wrong reason? – Braiam Mar 15 '14 at 19:44
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    @Braiam Yes, if you read the accepted answer it's the same thing as his comment. – Seth Mar 15 '14 at 19:51

Sometimes it's right to close an answered question. But that particular closure was wrong. The sub-reason of off-topic that was selected was:

This describes a problem that can't be reproduced that seemingly went away on its own or was only relevant to a very specific period of time. It's off-topic as it's unlikely to help future readers.

But this problem didn't just go away by itself, and would occur again for the OP or anyone in their situation when installing on a machine where the "install alongside" option isn't available.

Instead, what happened was that the OP solved the problem and told us how. And the way it was solved appears to be the way that is described in the answer the OP accepted.

The question is related to How do I install Ubuntu beside Windows 7 using “Something Else”? and How to get Ubuntu installer to sense Windows 8.1 as an OS, and it may be a duplicate of one of them. If so, it could be merged into one of them.

We don't actually have to reopen and dupe the question to get the answer merged. My understanding is that a moderator can merge answers from any closed question, even if it wasn't closed as a duplicate.

Unless we want to go that route, since this question is now getting delete votes (some people don't realize that, for the most part, deletion is for garbage), we may as well reopen it. It's an answered, on-topic question that will likely help others, and if people think it's a duplicate of some other question, they/we can vote to dupe it.

Before the recent phenomenon of widely targeted delete votes on non-duped closed questions irrespective of whether or not the question or answers were valuable, I'd likely not suggest reopening a question that would likely be closed again soon after. But in fact the off-topic closure was wrong, reopening it is not wrong, and in the present context reopening is likely the best thing to do to prevent deletion of useful content.

Note that we should not reopen questions that are actually and truly off-topic and cannot be reasonably interpreted as on-topic. But this particular question was never off-topic.

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    How can you reasonably say that that question can have a single answer that will solve anyone with that same problem? We should really stop the questions that has bazillion of answers that could or could not apply for each specific problem. SE is designed with the mind that 1 answer would be applicable to anyone that has the same question. – Braiam Mar 16 '14 at 2:06
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    @Braiam "SE is designed with the mind that 1 answer would be applicable to anyone that has the same question." No, it really is not. I don't know what would make you think that. Consider that many of the more popular questions on this site (any any SE site) tend to have multiple non-equivalent answers, as well as answers that convey similar information but in a different way or to a different level of detail. Take a look at almost any "canonical question" here on Ask Ubuntu. But to be specific to that question: when you can't select "install alongside," manual partitioning will often work. – Eliah Kagan Mar 16 '14 at 3:27
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    And more than once will show you empty partitions and bork your entire system. I've seen those questions and I was there, I know that is closed by the right reason and we lost nothing removing that of our system. And, if two answers are conflictive, both solves the X problem but forgets about Y condition in which one answer is potentially harmful, you can say that it answers the same question? No, it answers another question that ask about the Y condition, that is what I'm talking about when I say "1 answer would be applicable to any one that has the exact same question. – Braiam Mar 16 '14 at 3:38
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    @Braiam I think I've lost you. Maybe I don't understand. It sounds like you're saying it was good the question was closed because the OP had a legitimate problem, which was distinct from problems other users had asked about, and which could be solved, and the user was at risk of following dangerous advice, although good advice was possible. That sounds like precisely the situation where a question should not be a duplicate, but should be left open for answers of its own. Note that I am not actually advocating for it to be a duplicate. – Eliah Kagan Mar 16 '14 at 3:45

No, accepting an answer has nothing at all to do with closing (putting on hold). Basically, questions that are off topic should always be closed. Irrespective of whether they have an answer. This is for many reasons:

  1. It confuses people. Users will think that the subject is on topic and use the existence of that question to justify that opinion.

  2. When a question is put on hold, it is still visible and will remain so for a while (for ever in some cases). Therefore, closing off topic questions does not even remove the information from the site necessarily.

  3. It is important to close off topic questions because that is the best way for users to understand the site's scope. Leaving an off-topic question open just because it's been answered does no good to anyone and fills the site up with off topic stuff.


If question has answers or any of the answers is accepted doesn't mean that it's a good fit for the site or that it should remain open. We close questions, not answers. When closing, the queue only shows us the question, for a good reason, because we are trying to determinate if the question is a good fit for the site, answers (and votes) are irrelevant.

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    Answers are not irrelevant to closing. There's a reason the close queue tells us how many answers have been posted! Often we know if a question should be closed, without seeing the answers. Sometimes we do not. – Eliah Kagan Mar 16 '14 at 1:04
  • @EliahKagan again, how is that an answer? – Braiam Mar 16 '14 at 1:41
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    I don't know what you're asking. This meta answer of yours isn't specific to the specific to that question, and neither is my comment above. BTW, votes are also sometimes relevant, which is perhaps why votes on a question are shown to us in the close queue. We should trust our own analyses, but we should remain aware of what other community members think, and an important way people express their evaluation of a question is by voting. (And when it comes to deletion, answers and votes are very important.) – Eliah Kagan Mar 16 '14 at 3:32
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    @EliahKagan you are discussing the value of answers in the face of closure, and the GUI (review queue) is designed with that in mind. Remember that most upvoted stuff in all SE, has been programmatically closed and deleted if it doesn't fit the Q&A format or the on topic parameters. That's how the system works, and that's how I plan to use it. – Braiam Mar 16 '14 at 3:44
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    The close queue GUI didn't have to be designed to tell us how many answers a question has, but it was. It didn't have to be designed to tell us how many votes the question has, but it was. (SE developers could've left out the "post" link too...) I think you are picking and choosing the parts of the GUI that support your philosophy of how the site should be used, and disregarding the others. Note that I am not suggesting we should usually be reluctant to close questions just because they have answers or are highly voted. Instead, I'm saying that information is sometimes relevant. – Eliah Kagan Mar 16 '14 at 3:49
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    @EliahKagan no, you got me wrong, the GUI is picking the relevant parts at the moment of closing a question, not me "Questions that may need closing/reopening appear in these queues", not answers. There has been cases where highly popular and upvoted questions gets closed since they don't fit the Q&A format those cases the path to closure and deletion is available to the community. I interpret the GUI that way because I see that we think that "every byte of data" is sacred, when is not. – Braiam Mar 16 '14 at 11:39
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    That you want to see how many ways you can cook an egg? helpful doesn't mean that it is a good fit for AU, nor the Q&A format (cooking.SE would close it as too broad). Also, that a question is closed makes it eligible to deletion, if it was so bad that it got closed, it's probably too bad for the site itself and needs to be deleted. – Braiam Mar 16 '14 at 11:40

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