Why are questions being put on hold so much? I just wasted 10 minutes of my time answering a very general and non specific question just to find out that the question is closed or on hold for more detail. The question clearly was not meant to be specific and was more of a research type of a question where any answer would probably help the person asking the question.

This has happened to me for every interesting problem I posted on here (my point of view), and until now thought that perhaps I was not asking the question properly.

Is reputation points being rewarded for put questions on hold or down voting? Is there an effort to have only very specific and easy to answer questions populating the site? Is most of the questions asked traditionally troubleshooting questions by people who are willing to spend the time to get every detail that is asked of? Why not answer the question being presented since many misconceptions are shared among those who are learning something on their own which would then because a Q & A that is valuable to the site? I bet this question will hit a -20 before I regret it enough to remove... or will that decision not be mine?

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    \$\begingroup\$ There's nothing to discuss here without examples. \$\endgroup\$ – Matt Young Feb 11 '14 at 2:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/99367/… this question might be the one. \$\endgroup\$ – W5VO Feb 11 '14 at 7:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ If the one @W5VO mentioned, then too broad would have been another good close reason. This is not the right place for a lengthy introduction to what memory inside a computer is. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Feb 11 '14 at 14:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop Agreed, this is one of the unfortunate issues with the close reasons - 2/5 of voters said it was "too broad", and I think this is the correct close reason. That being said, I'm loathe to reopen and then reclose a question just because the close reason is incorrect. \$\endgroup\$ – W5VO Feb 11 '14 at 16:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MattYoung There was one given in the text above and my short history has a few as well, but I think you just made my point with your answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Jason Feb 12 '14 at 0:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ What is your point exactly? \$\endgroup\$ – Matt Young Feb 12 '14 at 1:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop I can understand too broad for questions on the Stack Overflow since computer programming is very specific by nature. On the topic of electrical engineering I think it is not so narrow and design rules tend to be more like philosophies then rules. \$\endgroup\$ – Jason Feb 12 '14 at 1:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ In general, thankyou everyone for not spewing out hostility! I put this in as a sincere question but found myself regretting it a while later when thinking of possible responses. \$\endgroup\$ – Jason Feb 12 '14 at 1:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MattYoung The point is that general questions that are not meant to be specific are always being put on hold if a specific example is not produced more or less immediately. \$\endgroup\$ – Jason Feb 12 '14 at 1:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ The question linked above is a terrible question for our format. It would have taken a novel to answer, and is on the fringe of our scope anyway. \$\endgroup\$ – Matt Young Feb 12 '14 at 1:07

I've had the same frustration on occasion. Sometimes it seems that questions get put on hold a bit too quickly. If a member does not understand the question, sometimes it is simply because they are not familiar with what is being asked. Instead of putting a question on hold (and sometimes eventually closing), maybe they should allow it to play out a bit longer to give those familiar with the topic a chance to help.

I cite as an example this question: What is referred to as CMOS sensor rolling shutter width?

I spotted this question while at work and did not have much time to spend with it and intended to defer my answer until I had some available time. In hind sight, I wish I had done more to help clarify the question although, being familiar with what was being asked, it was clear to me.

One short answer was provided before the question was put on hold. Russell McMahon then provided a very nice answer in the form of an edit to the short (but correct) answer by sandos, presumably because he could not provide an answer himself since the question was on hold. I provided some relevant information in the form of comments.

Ultimately the OP was apparently satisfied as he accepted the single answer, and later the question was closed. I don't understand the closing as by this point the question had been clarified, and the answer and comments provided additional clarification. It doesn't seem that this is how things are supposed to play out here, but at least the OP got the answer he was asking for.

  • \$\begingroup\$ That question was probably closed because the OP arrogantly expected everyone to know what a "rolling shutter" was. A sentence or two explaining what he thought it was could have possibly saved the question. Also, in the end it turned out not to be about electronics, so another valid close reason would have been off topic. Using obscure (to electronics) terms and lots of abbreviations that aren't widely accepted accross the globe and accross most of electronics is a good way to get your question closed, for good reason. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Feb 11 '14 at 14:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop As I pointed out in my comment to that question and in my comment to the single answer, the term "rolling shutter width" IS used in the context of CMOS image sensors and therefore is (in the context of the question) about electronics. \$\endgroup\$ – Tut Feb 11 '14 at 14:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ It is far from a universal and common term in electronics, as the OP should have been aware of. A sentence or two defining the term (and no, just a link won't do it) would have not only been polite but useful. The OP chose to be neither, so got his question closed. Works for the rest of us, not our problem. Ask the question better next time if you want to avoid that. Also, Russell's answer was basically about a focal plane shutter, which has nothing to do with CMOS or any other particular type of sensor. It would apply just as well to film, for example. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Feb 11 '14 at 14:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop While I agree that the OP should have provided a little more context (tried at least), if it had been a more common term in electronics, the OP would probably not have needed to ask. If you are unfamiliar with the material, you don't need to answer. That is not a valid reason to put a question on hold. \$\endgroup\$ – Tut Feb 11 '14 at 14:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop Honestly, I wish you'd stop assuming everyone who uses terms you aren't familiar with is "arrogant". How do I know if a term I use is common or regional? And since when is "CMOS" an obscure acronym? I didn't have any difficulty understanding what he was asking. \$\endgroup\$ – W5VO Feb 11 '14 at 16:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @W5VO: I wasn't objecting to CMOS. That really is one of those abbreviations so pervasive in electronics that it's OK to use here. I was referring to "rolling shutter", which the OP made sound like it was something specific to CMOS. If Russell's interpretation (we shouldn't have to guess or interpret) is right, then it actually has nothing to do with CMOS. In that case, the question was not only ill defined but off topic (really photography or maybe physics). As for how common or regional a term you are using is, that is something you should be aware of. If in doubt, assume it is. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Feb 11 '14 at 16:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop I think it is borderline on-topic, because it is mostly about the electronics side of a CMOS image sensor. If I see a term in a datasheet, and I've never seen that term before, how do I know if that's an uncommon term in a field I am unfamiliar with? My frustration is that you infer a lot of laziness (and treat it hostilely) where simple ignorance is a more plausible explanation. You can say "What do you mean by XYZ?" without sounding like an ass, and nobody is going to think less of you. \$\endgroup\$ – W5VO Feb 11 '14 at 17:15

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