Sometimes there are questions, where there doesn't seem to exist a sensible answer. E.g.

http://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/2737/is-linux-built-to-be-used-only-from-terminal-is-there-any-better-scheduling-pack where the question is how to use improved scheduling in order to solve a problem which isn't related to scheduling at all. Here I personally think this question should be closed with reason "this question doesn't make any sense" but this reason is not offered on the "vote for close"-dialog.

What do you think how to handle such questions in general?

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3 Answers 3

If a question simply doesn't make sense, “not a real question” applies, with two caveats:

  • Sometimes the question doesn't make sense to you because you lack the necessary background; then leave it for other people to decide. (Not the case here, and unlikely to happen on a focused site like unix.se, but I've seen it happen occasionally on SO, where a question makes perfect sense to a community but no sense to another.)
  • Sometimes the question is unclear because it lacks a crucial piece of information, or because the quality of the English is extremely bad. Then you should leave a comment asking for improvements (try to be specific: say what is missing, what words or sentences you don't understand, etc.). If the asker doesn't clarify, you can vote to close; the question can be reopened, or the asker can ask another question (perhaps better, so that the improved question doesn't start off with negative votes). In fact, it's perhaps better to close the question if it's already gotten several negative votes. In any case, leave a comment when voting to close (or vote someone's comment up) (except for obvious cases like spam or egregiously off-topic questions).

For the specific question you cite, I agree with the initial closing — although the initial version of the question suggested that the asker had a genuine problem, it was so badly asked as to be useless. Nonetheless, this is a good example of a case where the asker came back and edited the question to make sense (it would be a perfectly good question now except for the unnecessary assumptions and lead-off disparaging comment).

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There is a "not a real question" option on the "vote for close" dialog. To me that pretty much covers a senseless question

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Sometimes people have a problem they don't really understand and thus word it poorly. In the case of schedulers... they have a problem... have read a little about schedulers and think that must be the solution. Help them understand the problem, the confusion, and help them find a solution to the real problem if possible.

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