Today I've seen a bunch of examples on the site of a certain type of question. In order to avoid priming responses, I'm not going to give this type of question a name. Instead, let me show by example what I'm talking about:
- How to get a constant force parallel to the inclined?
- Would someone help me with a physics question about current density and magnetic field of two plane parallel plates?
- Finding displacement through non-constant acceleration
- Dose any body know how to solve the problem in the picture?
- Solid state physics
I think we all agree this type of question should be off topic. What I want to ask is, why should it be off topic? (Don't say homework. We're getting rid of that.) In other words, what reason do you, the community, think should be used to justify marking these questions, and others like them, off topic? Questions like these have several shortcomings, but we can only expect to have one close reason displayed on each question; what should it be? We'll want to strike a balance between having custom close reasons be general enough that we can cover most off-topic questions with three of them, while still being specific enough to help askers who would like to improve their questions understand how to do so.
To be clear, I'm not concerned about how to handle these specific questions; my concern is on how to handle future questions of this type.
This contributes to the ongoing discussion about replacing our homework policy. Actually, it would probably have been better to ask this later on in the process, but since there were so many examples today I thought this would be a good time to make this post, before I forget. I'm not really looking for a quick answer, though; this is one to think about for a while, and we will come back to it later.