This question (edit: as well as this) is downvoted which brought me here. I've observed the following phenomenon:

  1. Lots of users are asking questions about 'what should be a syntax for x'. The fact is, as long as the syntax is parseable, whatever can be chosen as a syntax for whatever thing (see this, this, etc.). For example, a lambda syntax can be this-is-a-lambda-look-at-me-i-am-cool x: x or ((((((((x))))))) => x (maybe because they like this joke), but it's up to opinion which one is good. How should we vote & downvote & accept these kinds of answers? Why are these questions so upvoted?
  2. People seem to dislike questions that are commonsensical, but different people have different definitions of commonsense. For example, this (what's bad about layout syntax) is well-accepted, while this (pros-and-cons of static typinh) is downvoted. To me, both seem elementary school level programming questions, but I can't say for everyone.

The current state of this site is exactly as described in this discussion on the proposal: most questions are opinion-based, the rest are mostly listing ideas & facts, then there are a few questions on semantics & edge cases of syntaxes.

How should we deal with this? Should we make a standard for questions being acceptable or not?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There's only one downvote currently; were there more previously? $\endgroup$
    – Michael Homer Mod
    Commented May 18, 2023 at 22:04
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelHomer there were two when the question is out, then I commented, then there became only one. Seems like I put some pressure on people $\endgroup$
    – ice1000
    Commented May 18, 2023 at 22:05
  • $\begingroup$ Personally, I do think a lot of the pros-cons questions are not great, and this one could definitely try to be a better and question. $\endgroup$
    – Michael Homer Mod
    Commented May 18, 2023 at 22:08
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ What baffles me is that the close vote is for "Needs more focus". Really?? $\endgroup$
    – naffetS
    Commented May 18, 2023 at 22:23
  • $\begingroup$ How are “most” questions option based? I don’t see that many, if any $\endgroup$
    – Seggan
    Commented May 18, 2023 at 22:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Seggan just look up the tag syntax: languagedesign.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/syntax I see about 5-10 informative questions, and the rest are opinion based. $\endgroup$
    – ice1000
    Commented May 18, 2023 at 23:53

1 Answer 1


I am very upset by this. It reached a score of -3 at one point with no explanation and 2 close votes for needs more focus. This is nonsense and we have discussed that these questions are fine. The make up the majority of our questions. I upvoted it simply for this reason. We have a standard. This just seems like people expressing that they dont like those types of questions. This isnt meta though, thats not what upvote/downvotes are for.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Your question was closed because it failed to meet the referencing requirements, not because it was some wrong type of question $\endgroup$
    – Seggan
    Commented May 18, 2023 at 22:45
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Nothing to do with my question $\endgroup$ Commented May 18, 2023 at 22:51
  • $\begingroup$ Mass downvoting no explaination $\endgroup$ Commented May 22, 2023 at 22:15
  • $\begingroup$ Because they disagree? $\endgroup$
    – Seggan
    Commented May 22, 2023 at 22:28
  • $\begingroup$ Okay then but why. @Seggan $\endgroup$ Commented May 22, 2023 at 22:29
  • $\begingroup$ I already said why. Because they disagree. I personally downvoted because the last sentence does not necessarily apply during private beta, were we need to quickly define what kind of questions we want and don't want. Additionally, upvoting just because everyone else is downvoting doesnt makse sense. $\endgroup$
    – Seggan
    Commented May 22, 2023 at 22:34
  • $\begingroup$ This isn't meta, why do you disagree with that. I am upvoting because of basically serial downvoting (vote on the post not your opinion of questions weve decided are fine) @Seggan $\endgroup$ Commented May 22, 2023 at 22:35
  • $\begingroup$ This is meta tho $\endgroup$
    – Seggan
    Commented May 22, 2023 at 22:35
  • $\begingroup$ Downvoting my post bc you disagree is fine but downvoting the post the question is talking about bc you disagree with a decision is not @Seggan $\endgroup$ Commented May 22, 2023 at 22:36
  • $\begingroup$ I never said that I downvoted the main post. Also, the decision you cite (where is it anyway?) was only a few days old at the time, that isnt enough time to solidify a decision. $\endgroup$
    – Seggan
    Commented May 22, 2023 at 22:39
  • $\begingroup$ Um... in the private beta it kind of is enough to call it a decisiion or else well have no decisions to base anything off @Seggan $\endgroup$ Commented May 22, 2023 at 22:42
  • $\begingroup$ Conversely, in private beta decisions may be overturned much more quickly, and so are in flux constantly. $\endgroup$
    – Seggan
    Commented May 22, 2023 at 22:46
  • $\begingroup$ True but until said overturning they are in effect @Seggan $\endgroup$ Commented May 22, 2023 at 23:08
  • $\begingroup$ The downvotes are people showing dissatisfaction with the decision; is it not part of helping overturn it? $\endgroup$
    – Seggan
    Commented May 22, 2023 at 23:13
  • $\begingroup$ This is not the decision post @Seggan $\endgroup$ Commented May 22, 2023 at 23:16

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