Seeing too many terrible questions lately asking along the lines of "My printer was working, now it is not! Help!" With no provided information. As we are a growing group I do not want to just close them and say you suck at using our site... but I am finding that these questions end up orphaned.. I usually recommend that they try a forum and that they could ask a more specific question in the future..

I did come across this one Stack overflow

put on hold as off-topic by jonsca, ρяσѕρєя K, R. Zagórski, Shikkediel, EdChum 8 hours ago

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

"Questions seeking debugging help ("why isn't this code working?") must include the desired behavior, a specific problem or error and the shortest code necessary to reproduce it in the question itself. Questions without a clear problem statement are not useful to other readers. See: How to create a Minimal, Complete, and Verifiable example." – jonsca, ρяσѕρєя K, R. Zagórski, Shikkediel, EdChum If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I am thinking that we could use a solid message like that, outlining exactly what they need to do, without is having to write it out every time. It is not shown in the copy (hence the link) but there are links in that message.

Thoughts? How can we make this happen?


I've added a custom off-topic close reason. It needs another moderator to buy off, but it goes as follows (pretty much copied what you outlined in your question):

Questions seeking troubleshoot help ("My printer was working, now it is not! Help!") must include information on 1) expected behavior, 2) actual behavior, and 3) what steps have been taken to troubleshoot already. Exceptions can be made after communication in Meta or Chat.

Thank you for bringing this up.

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    $\begingroup$ I might also add the users slicer settings and firmware settings. Maybe not a requirement but a strong suggestion. $\endgroup$ – StarWind0 Jan 25 '17 at 19:28
  • $\begingroup$ I think this looks good. Is this approved, and if not, how can I help? :-) $\endgroup$ – Tormod Haugene Jan 25 '17 at 19:44
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    $\begingroup$ @TormodHaugene You can access Moderator Links -> Manage Off-Topic Reasons and approve/edit the suggested reason. $\endgroup$ – tbm0115 Jan 26 '17 at 15:03
  • $\begingroup$ @tbm0115 Approved! $\endgroup$ – Tormod Haugene Jan 26 '17 at 15:18
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    $\begingroup$ Just got one that I would flag but they included a ton of information! 3dprinting.stackexchange.com/questions/3471/… Which is frustrating as they included everything Except what I need to help them, the slic3r settings.. Verified I can see this listed. Thanks guys! $\endgroup$ – StarWind0 Jan 26 '17 at 22:55
  • $\begingroup$ Your custom close reason appears to have replaced the general "Because this question does not appear to be about 3D printing" one. Please bring that one back. $\endgroup$ – Tom van der Zanden Feb 4 '17 at 7:28
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    $\begingroup$ It also seems bad to have a "exceptions can be made [...]" option. The whole point about moderation on Stack Exchange is that it is community-driven and consensus based: if the community feels a question is appropriate even though it does not contain the required information, then they can choose not to vote to close it. No prior "permission" should be needed. $\endgroup$ – Tom van der Zanden Feb 4 '17 at 7:30
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    $\begingroup$ Finally, I don't think we need this close reason. It would be more appropriate to use "unclear what you're asking" and add a comment saying specifically what information is missing (this also allows case-by-case judgement). Anyway, it's strange it's classified as "off-topic" because the questions are definitely on topic, they're just not clear. $\endgroup$ – Tom van der Zanden Feb 4 '17 at 7:31
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    $\begingroup$ @TormodHaugene (and tbm0115): any comment on my comments? I'd still like to have the default, generic "not about 3D printing" close reason; also "unclear what you're asking" is a much more logical category for this close reason than "off-topic". $\endgroup$ – Tom van der Zanden Feb 16 '17 at 19:19
  • $\begingroup$ Hi, @TomvanderZanden! Sorry for the slow response, I didn't see your comments until now. First off, I re-added the default off-topic reason you mention (although it will need another moderator's approval to take effect); it seems like the default closing reason disappeared once we created a custom one. $\endgroup$ – Tormod Haugene Feb 16 '17 at 19:30
  • $\begingroup$ @tbm0115, could you please verify the recreation of the default off-topic reason? :-) $\endgroup$ – Tormod Haugene Feb 16 '17 at 19:31
  • $\begingroup$ @TomvanderZanden: It seems we only can create custom closing reasons in the "off-topic" category, and not in e.g the "unclear" category. Personally, I too would like the closing option suggested above to be a subcategory of "unclear". As you suggest, I usually end up using the "unclear" closing reason, and then add a specific reason in the comments; however, if having a custom "off-topic" reason is useful for some users, I don't see any harm in allowing them to choose. Do you think we should remove the custom closing reason all together? $\endgroup$ – Tormod Haugene Feb 16 '17 at 19:42
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    $\begingroup$ I'm fine with it staying. It fits with the example of Stack Overflow. $\endgroup$ – Tom van der Zanden Feb 16 '17 at 20:29
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    $\begingroup$ @TormodHaugene I've accepted the proposed off-topic reason. It'd be worth figuring out if there's a different tool for adding reasons under other categories. $\endgroup$ – tbm0115 Feb 16 '17 at 20:34
  • $\begingroup$ @tbm0115, yeah, we should. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – Tormod Haugene Feb 16 '17 at 20:45

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