I asked a question, which in my opinion was valid. It talked about registers on modern microprocessors.

why dont't we have more registers in microprocessors?

Registers are theoretically not required, all microprocessors would still work without registers. But this seemingly trivial addition has helped make microprocessors more efficient. Why can't we have more registers to further extract benefit from them. They are just memory on chip and one can imagine not very difficult to add? What factor influenced the number of registers to be what they are now and not, say 10x more?

I fail to understand how this is opinion based. The excellent answers posted by the community are insightful and aptly answer the question.

Not having more registers in the microprocessors has a engineering reason, it is not about someone's opinion.

  • \$\begingroup\$ As the question already has (by my reckoning) 8 good answers, what purpose would be served by reopening it (just playing devil's advocate here)? If you genuinely need more answers, doesn't that make a case for Too Broad? \$\endgroup\$ Sep 9 '16 at 17:53
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I do not need more answers, I got my doubt cleared. But what I contest is the incorrect labelling. It is a perfectly valid question in my opinion, why must it be incorrectly labeled as opinion based? \$\endgroup\$ Sep 9 '16 at 19:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RobertHarvey The devil's advocate is on very shaky ground there. The question has 16 votes (+19-3!!!) and the first 3 answers (of 9) have 29, 14 & 12 votes. If that's a benchmark for closing then many and perhaps most questions would be potentially closeable. \$\endgroup\$
    – Russell McMahon Mod
    Sep 19 '16 at 1:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RussellMcMahon: It's not a benchmark for anything; popularity is widely understood to be a poor metric for question quality (I daresay popularity is generally a very poor metric to measure any kind of quality). \$\endgroup\$ Sep 19 '16 at 2:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RobertHarvey ... in that case, what is the purpose of this site? What demographic does it serve, and why don't they vote on EE:SE? \$\endgroup\$
    – Daniel
    Sep 19 '16 at 2:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Daniel: I'll be clearer: voting is a reliable metric so long as it is applied to questions that are squarely on-topic for the site, clearly asked, not too broad, and not primarily based on opinions. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 19 '16 at 2:28

The moderation's systems goal is to shut down questions that drum up discussion, this is a Q&A site. EE.SE is geared to promote questions that are specific and related to design. From the help page:

To prevent your question from being flagged and possibly removed, avoid asking subjective questions where …you are asking an open-ended, hypothetical question: “What if ______ happened?”'

In my mind this question is pretty close to that:

What factor influenced the number of registers to be what they are now and not, say 10x more?

The fact that this question generated so much discussion (8 posts and each of them is different) can also suggest that there isn't a denfinate answer. The idea behind EE.SE is you ask a good specific question (hopefully related to design), let people post answers to your problem and then pick the best answer that fixed the problem or answered your question. The answer is available for the rest of the internet to see, and hopefully it will be useful for people down the road to solve their problems.

To ask good questions visit the help center

Getting a question closed is not necessarily a bad thing, it just means there can't be anymore answers. After 8 answers do you really need more?

  • \$\begingroup\$ From the (same) help centre "Some subjective questions are allowed, but “subjective” does not mean “anything goes”. All subjective questions are expected to be constructive. What does that mean? Constructive subjective questions: inspire answers that explain “why” and “how” tend to have long, not short, answers have a constructive, fair, and impartial tone" \$\endgroup\$
    – Russell McMahon Mod
    Sep 19 '16 at 1:53
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop is partially correct. But also, to borrow his CCbySA(3) text: "Actually, getting your question closed can be a bad thing. It can mean that herd following downvoters were too lazy to intelligently read the rules, too dumb to follow them, and too arrogant to think they also applied to people they didn't 'like' whether due to some mix of race, creed, gender, superior linguistic skills or any other reason. Fortunately the system's cognisance of your posts getting closed, downvoted, or otherwise being deemed low quality applies only to your early questions. \$\endgroup\$
    – Russell McMahon Mod
    Sep 19 '16 at 1:58

Subjective questions, contrary to the usual unequivocal claims, are NOT disallowed on Stack Exchange. BUT such questions should conform as closely as possible to certain guidelines.

From the above cited help centre link follow the link to

Guidelines for Great Subjective Questions

Which says "Even the definition of what is too subjective on Stack Exchange is somewhat ... subjective. But we can provide a set of guidelines that help you determine what a good subjective question is. It's akin to determining what is fair use, and what is not -- a multi-factor test where you attempt to fit a few guidelines to the specifics of your situation.

Their headings give a reasonably reasonable summary:

Great subjective questions ...

Inspire answers that explain "why" and "how".

The best subjective questions invite explanation. If you're asking for a product recommendation of some kind, you want answers to contain detailed information about the features and how they can be used, and why you might want to choose one over the other. "How?" and "Why?" has more lasting value than a bunch of product-feature bullet points or a giant enumerated list, no matter how extensive. In contrast, the bad subjective questions let answerers get away with hit-and-run answers that maybe provide a name and a link -- but fail to provide any sort of adequate explanation, context, or background.

Tend to have long, not short, answers.

The best subjective questions inspire your peers to share their actual experiences, not just post a mindless one-liner or cartoon in hopes of being rewarded with upvotes for being merely "first." Sharing an experience takes at least one paragraph; ideally several paragraphs. If I'm asking about how to bake cookies, don't give me a list of grocery items: milk. butter. vanilla. eggs. There is virtually nothing I can learn from a short, static list of grocery items that make up a recipe. Instead, tell me what happened the last time you made cookies from that recipe! Share your detailed experiences, so that we all might learn from them.

Have a constructive, fair, and impartial tone.

The best subjective questions avoid the all too seductive route of ranting and flamebait. They set the right tone of constructive learning and collaboration from the very outset, by emphasizing that we're all here to learn from each other, even if we have different viewpoints or beliefs about the right way to handle what are inherently subjective decisions. We're not here to fight each other; that's an enormous waste of everyone's time. There is always more than one right way.

Invite sharing experiences over opinions.

Certainly experiences inform opinions, but the best subjective questions unabashedly and unashamedly prioritize sharing actual experiences over random opinions. It's more useful to share with us what you've done than what you think. Everyone has an opinion. It takes zero effort or imagination to have an opinion about anything and everything. But people who have done things, real things in the world, and have the scars and arrows in their back to show for it -- now that's worth sharing. You should be uniquely qualified to have your opinion based on the specific experiences you had. And you should share those experiences, and more specifically what you learned from your experiences, with us!

Insist that opinion be backed up with facts and references.

Opinion isn't all bad, so long as it's backed up with something other than "because I'm an expert", or "because I said so", or "just because". Use your specific experiences to back up your opinions, as above, or point to some research you've done on the web or elsewhere that provides evidence to support your claims. We like you. We want to believe you. But like Wikipedia itself, {{citation needed}}. And good subjective questions make this clear from the outset: back it up!

Are more than just mindless social fun.

The best subjective questions avoid the social pitfalls of "Getting To Know You" (GTKY) and mindless entertainment. Sometimes people just want to poll a community for ideas that might help solve a problem (best book, best approach). These can be okay when there is actual knowledge in the collection of answers. What isn't okay are the social bonding questions which are designed just to impress others, such as "What is the coolest/stupidest/weirdest/funniest thing you saw/did/tasted today?", or questions where the site's actual topic is tacked on as a token afterthought, such as "Favorite food for programmers." If you removed the "for programmers" part of this question, is it really unique to our profession? Could an average member of our community reasonably be expected to learn something that makes them better at their job from this question? If not, then it's a bad subjective question.


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