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Some questions turn out to be solved quickly by the OP because they made a silly mistake. Others turn out to be completely unrelated to EE. Often, these go "unanswered", as the the OP doesn't want to accept their own solution which was really no solution at all.

Here's a question I'm looking at right now: Sudden access denied message

This is a case where an odd server hiccup changed the permissions of all of his files, and it's not directly related to EE. Does this need to be here? In all likelihood it will sit unanswered.

In a couple of other cases I went ahead and deleted posts (only mods can see these I think):

In both cases, the end result was not anything that seemed useful for other visitors.

In the first case, the question contained no code and just a general description of what he was trying to achieve, and then he followed up with a brief comment saying he figured it out - essentially just using Playa as it is intended to be used.

In the second case the OP answered his own question:

I found the solution and It was not a problem with my global variable. One of my config line was wrong and the rest of the code was not executed so I couldn't use them.

So, a typo essentially.

But maybe I'm being heavy-handed here? Are these all cases where the questions are just noise?

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I think if questions contain an error message, and have a valid answer (e.g. exactly what solved the problem), we should leave them, because this is the kind of thing which is really useful when googling random error messages you run into.

So as long as it's on-topic and has a valid answer (even if we have to encourage people to post their solution so they learn the system), we probably shouldn't delete them.

In the case of that global variables question, I haven't fully read through it, but it doesn't immediately jump out as one that needs deleting - by that standard we would close nearly every question which is self-solved, or which had a simple answer (and I expect quite a few questions on this site may just turn out to by typos, or at least incorrect EE tags).

In the case of that MySQL question though, we should probably close it as off topic regardless of how easy the solution was.

Edit: Another thing I just thought of - I think when we were first appointed mods there was some guideline along the lines of "try to avoid closing things straight away (since our votes are binding), wait for the community process to do it's job, and only step in when necessary". So I guess with this sort of thing it's probably best to wait and see whether the community votes to close it, then after that delete if necessary?

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  • Thanks Adrian, very reasonable. I re-opended the global variable question, and I migrated the MySQL question to StackOverflow. – Derek Hogue Jan 10 '13 at 13:29
  • I'm in agreement with Adrian on this... We should error on the side of not deleting unless the questions is clearly not a fit. How about flagging questions/answers instead of deleting so they go into the review process? Then several of us decide the Q/A fate. – Anna_MediaGirl Jan 13 '13 at 1:24

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