My question What are some syntax options for line continuations (splitting a logical line across multiple physical lines)? was closed. I don't see how it's fundamentally different from, in particular less objective than, other questions of the same sort that were well received.

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    $\begingroup$ One factor is the attitude of the site has changed over time $\endgroup$
    – mousetail
    Commented Dec 21, 2023 at 18:59

1 Answer 1


All the questions you linked to are from the first ten days of private beta in May, and subsequent discussions have determined that they don't make for suitable, answerable questions on the site. In fact, "what are some syntax options for ..." is essentially the canonical example of such a question form, but even before that you can see that they had petered out somewhat. The "lacks objective design criteria" close reason offers guidance that

Answers to your question are likely to invite open-ended ideation, personal opinions, or bikeshedding. Please edit your question to include a specific design or implementation problem to be solved and provide additional context to help focus potential answers.

and was created to reflect the feeling of the community that these questions should be redirected in more constructive directions.

There are related sorts of questions that have been determined to be in scope. The pure survey version of the question, asking for instances in notable existing languages, is likely on-topic though not very interesting. A concrete design problem for a specific language with well-specified constraints sufficient to assess answers on would also be workable. Questions about the history of line continuation in programming languages are on-topic, as are questions seeking evidence about the efficacy of different approaches. A question about implementation of line continuation in a parser (which is trickier than it seems!) would be on-topic. There are assuredly other formats of real-problem-with-actual-answers framing that could work with this broader topic, if there was a particular thing you were seeking out about it.

In general, you can look to the help center for guidance on the sorts of questions that can be asked, and that page links to more expansive meta posts on those topics.

Potentially those older questions you identified should now be closed/locked/removed somehow; that wasn't part of the original determination that they were unsuitable. At least one of them seems to be a false positive, but we may at some point want to review historical questions for ongoing suitability, or revise them into acceptable forms, as was discussed but not decided on during the "more focused design questions" conversations. You've highlighted that they can serve as misleading guidance to current users and that is a drawback of leaving them as-is. This probably isn't the right place or time to sort that out, but it is something for us to consider.


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