Do we need a new reason for closing questions - 'why don't you just try it?" Pi Zero with minibian


I'm going to offer an alternative perspective here and say that there's no valid reason to close that question.

While it is poorly researched and perhaps quite obvious if you know a little bit about the Raspberry Pi, it isn't a duplicate, nor particularly broad or unclear, and it is about using a Raspberry Pi. Not all objectionable or low-quality questions need to be closed, and in this case, the question is answerable.

The question might indeed be relatively low-effort, but it's worth remembering that everything you write here isn't just for the one person who asks, but for everyone else who comes through Google. Ever since Stack Exchange was created, there have been varying viewpoints on the necessity of 'effort' and whether some questions are 'too simple' for these sites. The upshot of these discussions was that there's a lot of room for abuse when you start deciding which questions are 'worthy' of being answered.

That's not to say you need to like these questions, or spend any time on them if you don't like them — voting down is explicitly permitted for "whenever you encounter an egregiously sloppy, no-effort-expended post, or an answer that is clearly and perhaps dangerously incorrect".

But I'm firmly of the philosophy that any on-topic, clear question with enough details to be answered should not be closed, and I don't think that there will ever be a 'too trivial' close reason. Nevertheless, goldilocks has provided an excellent answer, so closing the question wouldn't do an awful lot now anyway.

  • 2
    "Hear, hear."
    – Ghanima Mod
    Feb 14 '18 at 20:01

The existing close reasons cover questions like this.

Both Too broad and Unclear what you're asking would cover questions like this where more information in the question may make it into a valid question.

  • 1
    The question is quite clear; it is specific, and it is obviously Pi related - just totally unnecessary.
    – Milliways
    Feb 12 '18 at 23:13

I have often wished for a Stupid/Pointless Question close reason, but alas, that definitely goes against the community guideline of "Be Nice".

Further, such a firm hand honestly doesn't do much to promote learning. A response that explains we expect more effort and what that looks like (in a nicer tone) will likely be better received and acted on in the future.

That being said, I would not be opposed to a More effort required close reason, but that is out of my control. Such a thing would have to be brought up with the community moderators.

  • 1
    Most close reasons are network wide and not site specific. Actually those that are site specific are the "off-topic" ones that explicitely spell out the specific reasons of that site. The reasons that are network wide, and I would go so far to claim that "more effort required" is just that, should be discussed at meta.stackexchange.com (and not just CM).
    – Ghanima Mod
    Feb 13 '18 at 17:03

Stack Exchange has this (phrased more nicely) under multiple "off-topic" sub-categories. For example:

This question was caused by a problem that can no longer be reproduced or a simple typographical error. While similar questions may be on-topic here, this one was resolved in a manner unlikely to help future readers. This can often be avoided by identifying and closely inspecting the shortest program necessary to reproduce the problem before posting.


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.

Usually you can dispense with trivial questions under one of these.

My understanding was that this site isn't big enough for sub-divisions under "off-topic". If that's changed, then there are probably a couple of categories that could be added along these lines that would handle the problem with the referenced question. For now, I guess it's just "off-topic"?

  • All sites can have custom off-topic reasons, if desired, even betas — these can be set up by a moderator when community consensus can be established. That said, the reasons you quote are more because the questions are unanswerable than that they are trivial; not being able to reproduce the issue (or not providing the code) makes it impossible to answer, and that's the primary reason for closing a question.
    – Aurora0001
    Feb 14 '18 at 15:44
  • @Aurora0001 I was focused, in the first case, on the part about "resolved in a manner unlikely to help future readers" and, in the second case, on the fact that "shortest code necessary to reproduce it" often (although admittedly not always) would lead to the simplest questions answering themselves. It's not perfect, of course.
    – Brick
    Feb 14 '18 at 16:05
  • Indeed, that captures the subset of questions which are trivial and not useful to others (which I agree don't belong here). Of course, questions which are trivial but might help others (such as the one asked about here) wouldn't fit under a similar reason, I don't think (though that's a matter of interpretation and not everyone will agree!).
    – Aurora0001
    Feb 14 '18 at 16:07

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