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Referring to this question, and the discussion at meta.

In a nutshell the original question was closed as "non-mainstream" physics, but after the meta question, it was reopened.

However, there are suggestions that it should be closed as "too broad":

This is not or less going to require a very lengthy response, probably chapter-of-a-textbook kind of answer to address the question.

Which I find... kind of make sense.

BUT, I also think that this kind of question should be allowed, because

  1. It can really be answered in brief and essential manner, not just discussed
  2. The reason why the response can be lengthy is because there are a lot of details, which are important but can also be relegated to another page. So it's not "Questions with too many possible answers or that would require an extremely long answer". The main answer can be short and succinct, the rest are footnote.
  3. This kind of question is very useful for visitors from Google ( as it can be easily found on Google, because it contains good keywords). The SE answer can be a starting point for the user to build their own answers on top of it.

So when the definition of "too broad" is doing harm to the overall good of the site, shouldn't we revise or or at least articulate what does it means?

When "too broad" is really too broad? Can we make the "too broad" definition good enough so that it won't accidentally kill a lot of good questions?

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    $\begingroup$ I'm not really sure what you're asking about here. The question you refer to has thus far not received a single close vote as too broad. Asking us to revisit a close reason on the hypothetical basis of a single example possibly being in danger of receiving a too broad close vote does not strike me as useful. If you are claiming that too broad "accidentally kil[s] a lot of good questions", then you'll need to cite very different evidence than you currently do. Note also that "on-topic" and "good" are in their essence orthogonal categories. Many good discussion-y q's are rightly off-topic. $\endgroup$ – ACuriousMind Feb 8 at 10:01
  • $\begingroup$ @ACuriousMind, I'm not too sure what do you mean by not received a single close vote as too broad? There is an answer in the metapost that suggests that it should be closed as "too broad", and it receives no fewer than 2 upvotes. It's entirely conceivable that this question can be put on hold because it was too broad if it was asked at a different time. And all these hassle can be avoided if the site can articulate what does "too broad" actually means $\endgroup$ – Graviton Feb 8 at 10:08
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    $\begingroup$ There may be upvotes on said meta post, but there is no "too broad" close vote on the question. We do define what too broad means, you even quote the definition ("Questions with too many possible answers or that would require an extremely long answer") in your question here! You simply disagree with the author of the other meta post whether or not "the response can be lengthy is because there are a lot of details, which are important but can also be relegated to another page" qualifies as "extremely long answer" in this case, not about the definition of too broad itself.. $\endgroup$ – ACuriousMind Feb 8 at 10:15
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    $\begingroup$ @ACuriousMind Huh? ZeroTheHero mentions that s/he had a too-broad VtC physics.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/11037/… $\endgroup$ – Chair Feb 8 at 11:22
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    $\begingroup$ @Chair Here's what the time line says: The original closing of the question was by five non-mainstream votes, including one by ZeroTheHero, so they are misremembering the type of vote they cast. After its reopening, there were two too broad votes (none by ZeroTheHero, since you can't VTC the same question twice), which have since aged away. The review history indicates that simply not enough reviewers voted on it either way for these votes to have any effect. There are currently no pending close votes on the question. $\endgroup$ – ACuriousMind Feb 8 at 11:45
  • $\begingroup$ I personally voted for it as "Too Broad" after it was reopened; but I was one of only two people, and the vote has since expired, so I believe this entire question is pointless. $\endgroup$ – JMac Feb 8 at 15:00
  • $\begingroup$ @ACuriousMind to clarify: I had VtC this as too broad way back when. When the meta discussion to reopen was started, my original VtC was still there (to my surprise since my VtC was quite old). It seems my original VtC has sunset some time after the meta discussion was started so I cannot check when I cast my original "too broad" vote, but I remember being amazed that my original vote had survived that long. $\endgroup$ – ZeroTheHero Feb 8 at 15:18
  • $\begingroup$ Let's not get hung up on details here, and remember that it takes multiple votes to close a question. If really people still think it's too broad, they can vote accordingly. The takeaway for me is that there was an honest discussion about this particular question and the consensus changed. There's nothing preventing me or anyone else from recasting a VtC as too broad, and I'm good with the idea that my opinion on this will be challenged by others just like I don't have a problem with challenging the votes of others. I believe that having an overall narrow definition of criteria impedes... $\endgroup$ – ZeroTheHero Feb 8 at 15:23
  • $\begingroup$ ... the inherent flexibility of the system and I would rather not have an overly-lawyered criteria for what is "too broad" or any other criteria. $\endgroup$ – ZeroTheHero Feb 8 at 15:24
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    $\begingroup$ Show me how the site is being actively harmed by closing questions that are too broad. Actual evidence, not hypothetical "I feel it's this way". Until then, I think this is a nothing burger. $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Feb 8 at 18:32
  • $\begingroup$ Also, what is unclear about the instructions in the help center? It says pretty plainly what is considered too broad, no? $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Feb 8 at 18:34

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