Recently, the question What are some easy all-in-one options to play TTRPGs online with only phones? was closed (correctly, I think) as off-topic. By my understanding, the Roomba will clean it in ~9 days (depending on how many edits come) and then it is deleted.
I had not known that it was considered off-topic and had already written an answer. The answer is now deleted so it is not visible to most users, but the content doesn't matter. @Thomas Markov wrote a comment that I would be interested in discussing. So here is the comment copied for everyone to see:
Can we not answer off topic questions?
I'm wondering what is the thought process behind this.
How I see it there are two paths that question can take, and in either case, I cannot see any harm in having answered it:
The question is altered in a way that it is no longer off-topic. In this specific case, that is very unlikely to happen, but it wouldn't be the first time a closed question was reopened. In this case, the answer may very well still be valid, and there is no harm in it being there. ("Ideally, edits to a question should not invalidate existing answers")
The question is and will always be off-topic. In that case, it will (hopefully) be deleted, because such questions should not show up in search results, which closed ones still do. The answer to this question is deleted with the question and will not clutter the RPG.SE, nor will it be a bad example. One could argue I wasted some time writing the answer, but I don't mind. On the contrary, I'd be happy to know that I made the harsh welcome for this new contributor a bit better.
What is the harm in answering off-topic questions?
Note: The links that I posted are not necessarily from this SE. I have not found any indications that the philosophy on RPG.SE should be fundamentally different, but if I'm wrong please point me to the relevant posts.