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We sometimes close proposals summarily, due to being duplicates of others or generally being unacceptable. The problem is that those proposals disappear. Which means that someone else will come along and unknowingly propose them again.

We should let duplicates and "not a real proposal" proposals remain visible but closed. That way, people can see that we do not want them.

For example, consider these proposals:

All of these are (almost certainly) going to be closed as duplicates of SO (indeed, I'm rather surprised that they haven't been). But if these sites vanish after being closed, people will just try again, despite us clearly not wanting a site that detracts from SO.

We need to leave the closed sites around as object lessons.

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I remove hundreds of abandoned or nonviable proposals each month. If I left them simply [closed], more than 85% of the listings would be filled with junk.

Besides, I don't want to create a head-on-a-stick environment where once-tried proposals are met with "We already tried that; it didn't work. Go home!" If a proposal doesn't work, it doesn't mean it can never work. There are many more people not on Stack Exchange than there are now. If someone feels they have a viable idea with the drive, talent, and audience to build that into a workable solution, we don't need a legacy of earlier failed attempts to keep them from trying. If no further efforts are made to promote the idea, it wont become a site and will be eventually culled from the listings for a future generation… much like before.

  • 3
    "If someone feels they have a viable idea with the drive, talent, and audience to build that into a workable solution, we don't need a legacy of earlier failed attempts to keep them from trying." But that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the proposals that died because they were duplicates or just nonsense proposals and would therefore never be allowed. – Nicol Bolas Mar 8 '13 at 21:38
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    What are you talking about? Those proposals are about topics for which THOUSANDS of questions exist on Stack Overflow. Surely you could respect the hard work put by contributors on SO for years and keep a visible list of topics which shouldn't be candidate for a separate site? Why? For the SAME REASON you are closing the proposal on Powershell (area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/53134/powershell , 9000+ questions on Stack Overflow) – VonC Apr 4 '13 at 6:35
  • @VonC I've never suggested that GitHub should be it's own site (i.e. it's just a proposal at this point). This feature-request was to add the thousands and thousands of closed proposals back to the listing as some sort of "never create these" list. I'm not going to do that. – Robert Cartaino Apr 4 '13 at 14:35
  • @RobertCartaino Nicol has edited his feature request to make it apparent what sort of topic should be visible to be excluded for any further proposal. Surely you agree we should "never create those sites"? For instance, You have just closed a proposal for Python (area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/52758/python). Please do the same for GitHub (5000 questions on Stack Overflow for 4 years, and highly programming topic, and a proposal who will attract all git newbies, with git questions). Thank you. – VonC Apr 4 '13 at 14:40
  • @VonC There are hundreds of proposals with thousands of opinions throughout. I am not compelled to close this summarily because you say so. Personally speaking, I don't think there's a compelling case yet to create a GitHub site (they're simply not showing a need not already met). So what? The idea is still in Design to make their case. The Community Team and I can (and do) step in where the process goes horribly wrong. But I don't need to spend all my days issuing and defending summary judgements when the the process is working pretty much as expected. – Robert Cartaino Apr 4 '13 at 15:23
  • @RobertCartaino Dear Robert, I feel you are mixing "opinion" and fact. Fact: there are thousands of GitHub questions on SO. Fact: Github is a programming topic (say Jeff Atwood: meta.stackoverflow.com/a/157915/6309) Fact: 90% of the current followers don't know anything about Stack Exchange (and Stack Overflow). That should be enough to close it on the same ground you are closing other programming topic. – VonC Apr 4 '13 at 15:36
  • @RobertCartaino The only reason why you don't close GitHub is because you have no idea what this thing is. It is a git repository hosting provider, highly linked to other programming topics, like Jenkins (stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/github+jenkins: 68 questions), ruby on rails (stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/github+ruby-on-rails 230 question), and so on. Why create a SE site from a programming topic which will only attract questions about other programming topic? There is a reason why you are closing a proposals like Python: it should be the same for GitHub. – VonC Apr 4 '13 at 15:37
  • @RobertCartaino I also realize you are missing the big picture here. Why am I so insistent? Is it just another troll whinning because of a case of "moving my cheese"? Ask yourself what are the purposes of Stack Overflow are? One of them is JOB. – VonC Apr 4 '13 at 15:42
  • @RobertCartaino I have worked for 4 years to build a profile on SO which includes all things related to Version Control, but also other programming tools, framework and IDE. I owe my current mission to my profile in SO. I have just received another job proposition (without having even made any query) from a large company using GitHub because of my profile on SO (not just for GitHub, but also because of the other programming tools). This is what it is all about. – VonC Apr 4 '13 at 15:43
  • Wow, 4 years on Stack Overflow and you still don't get the mechanisms of crowd sourcing. I don't have to understand GitHub or half the topics of our sites to see that the vetting and community process will likely reach the outcome you believe right. You've had your vote and a strong voice in this process, but that doesn't extend to wielding a super-vote by proxy. Sorry. I can't imagine there's anything more for me to say about this. We'll vet and review this proposal when/if it reaches about 45% commitment. I'm out. – Robert Cartaino Apr 4 '13 at 16:43
  • Thank you for having taken the time to review my arguments. I have nothing but respect for all the work you are doing as community manager, for all those proposal (including the GitHub one). See you at 45%. – VonC Apr 5 '13 at 5:33
  • @RobertCartaino While I agree with your comment " I don't want to create a head-on-a-stick environment where once-tried proposals are met with "We already tried that; it didn't work. Go home!" If a proposal doesn't work, it doesn't mean it can never work." I think an archive would be nice, with perhaps a little commentary I why the proposal failed. And add the second part of your comment. Does not mean it will never work. – Jon Oct 13 '14 at 9:59

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