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If the community has marked a Question as On Hold (for whatever reason), it seems odd that the Stack system can allow the Querent to choose an answer.

Basically, if the question isn't stack ready yet, why do we allow an answer for it to be chosen? If anything, that's bypassing the On Hold aspect. While answers are good, it's better to have answers to good questions so that the answers are usable to the larger community.

If there is a consensus, I'd like to recommend that On Hold questions prevent answers from being chosen.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you mean to ask why the Q&A system's designed to allow an answer to be chosen? (“We” as in the site's users or even the diamond moderators have no control over the checkmark, so it's not up to us to allow it or not.) \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Apr 12 '18 at 15:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener Yes, I'm asking why the system allows it. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Apr 12 '18 at 16:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hm. That is an interesting inconsistency. Quite possibly it's merely a developmental leftover, rather than thoughtfully deliberate. I'm looking forward to any answers that can shed light on it. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Apr 12 '18 at 17:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie Do I need a feature request if I'm recommending to disallow such an action? \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Apr 12 '18 at 17:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch Yes, requesting a change to functionality would entail a feature request. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Apr 12 '18 at 17:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ Related for the full site since it seems like that is where this feature/bug comes from. \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Apr 12 '18 at 21:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think this is one good reason why it is better to close questions that need work early, so that answers do not start accruing before closure. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Apr 13 '18 at 13:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DavidCoffron I generally agree with the answer to that, but the main difference is closure vs Hold. I also don't know if this is a unchangeable Stack thing or something that RPG.SE can do and would love hear from a mod if a change is even possible. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Apr 13 '18 at 13:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose It's also largely so that we won't have a mess to clean up afterwards. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Apr 15 '18 at 14:29
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They have no bearing on each other, so there's no reason one should affect the other. Just like we can vote regardless of close status, and close regardless of votes, accepted answers and close status are also just totally separate.

Being closed doesn't prevent any existing answer from actually winding up solving the answer's question. Having information that it solved their problem is useful for future visitors and we wouldn't want to prevent ourselves from getting that.

if the question isn't stack ready yet

Closure doesn't indicate it's not stack ready yet, it indicates five or so people thought it was. They may be completely wrong, and the question can get reopened.

Also, questions might be stack-ready never, because they're looking for opinions, or off-topic, etc. Still no harm in getting an accepted answer marked in that situation.


You mention in comments:

but the main difference is closure vs Hold

“On Hold” is the same as Closed. It was just a new name introduced to convey the temporary and non-punitive nature of our question closures to newbies, who are used to forums where questions being closed is permanent and a punishment. (Well, also, an edit to an on-hold question can bump it into the reopen review queue where an edit to a closed question won't do the same, but that's it.)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure I agree that Hold and Closed are identical. Closed be closed for a variety of reasons, but hold is saying "Can you work on your question?". Maybe the way I need to think of it is not the Qs and As are for the community but for the querent. My concern is that if that's true, then if someone can pick an answer to a question that hasn't even been fully baked, how is that useful to anyone but the asker? \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Apr 13 '18 at 18:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ On hold's difference is purely aesthetic beside the review queue thing. It's a psychological difference for the querent, for exactly that interpretation. The review queue thing is so that when they follow that prompt their question gets attention. "if someone can pick an answer to a question that hasn't even been fully baked, how is that useful to anyone but the asker?" — First, on hold doesn't mean "not fully baked", things are closed for plenty of reasons. Second, why do we care? What harm is it doing? If someone else understands it and the accept, good. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Apr 13 '18 at 18:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ Here's something to consider: when a question gets an answer accepted, sometimes it can better help us understand what they were going for (or open a conversation opportunity to ask about that). That can lead to us revising the question and reopening it. We lose an avenue of feedback by preventing this. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Apr 13 '18 at 18:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ I had thought that the community editing a question without the consent of the querent was not recommended? And I'd think that editing a question knowing that the querent never came back to respond to comments in the first place is the same thing as editing without their consent. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Apr 13 '18 at 19:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch Communities can edit the question however whenever without any consent. (Otherwise all your edits would need approval from the author.) We try to stick close to their original intent, so when I make a major change I'm in the habit of asking the author to check my changes. There's things we never do -- like guessing system, or otherwise asserting details that they've never ever said -- but that's under the banner of "don't make things worse." \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Apr 13 '18 at 19:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ And I'm not asserting a querent who's never come back -- if they never came back, we just don't bother. But when we realise we misunderstood their whole question because of typos or unclear references, or when someone realises that they meant to be asking something specific because they accepted the answer that guessed they meant that specific thing, that opens up an opportunity for dialog with the asker: "is this what you meant? if so we should edit the question to say that, and then we can reopen it." \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Apr 13 '18 at 19:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Okay, so in those situations it's sort of an answer leads the direction rather than the question. It does mean we have to parse what the question was given the answer. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Apr 13 '18 at 20:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch On the subject of On Hold vs. Closed, you seem to think that we can choose one or the other for a given question. We can’t. New questions, after five votes to close, are labeled On Hold. Older questions (including questions that have been On Hold for a while) are instead labeled Closed. This is purely automatic and not within the control of any user of this site. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Apr 13 '18 at 21:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch Yeah. It's like.... Sometimes we didn't understand the author, but someone evidently did, and the author has a sort of "yes! That's it! Thank you!" response. Then we look at what was given and have an "oooh" moment. Then stuff gets discussed, checked, and revised. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Apr 14 '18 at 0:15

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