Every now and then, someone asks a question specific to a particular version of WordPress. Many times, these questions are asked on Stack Overflow and migrated here ... the OP doesn't follow the question, and we're left with an abandoned "please help me with WP 3.1.2" question here.

For example, this question on WP 3.2.1.

Other times, someone asks a question about a specific WP version and just never comes back.

Should we close such questions as "too localized?"

The description of such a closure is (emphasis added):

This question is unlikely to ever help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. See the FAQ for guidance on how to improve it.

Thoughts?

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While on the topic of "abandoned questions".. Shouldn't abandoned questions be labeled as such? Put aside version specific questions for a moment, if a question has possible answers that go unselected by the OP after x-days wouldn't be more appropriate to have an alert that indicated "Question closed as [abandoned]: this question appears to be abandoned by the asker as xx-days have passed. This does not mean that any answers supplied herein are either correct or incorrect." - of course the wording is an example. Regarding version specific questions; this would then also apply. –  userabuser Apr 30 '12 at 17:01
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4 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I close these question as too localized if there are no upvoted answers. The OP can rephrase the question to make it version independent. Then we may reopen it.

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I agree. Just asking for community feedback before I chalk this up as a "standard." :-) –  EAMann Apr 30 '12 at 16:45
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I think that a good question deserves a quality answer, whether or not the OP ever returns to engage with the question and/or with the WPSE community attempting to answer that question. Whether the question ever receives an accepted answer, it can still have what the community indicates to be a definitively correct answer, based on up/down votes of the answer(s). Thus, the question may very well still be useful to the WPSE community.

So:

  • If the question is of high enough quality, but lacks an answer, I'll attempt to provide a quality answer,
  • If the question already has quality answers, I will upvote any such answers, and
  • If the question is truly drive-by - that is, the OP has 1 exp, from asking the question, but no other engagement with WPSE - I will downvote the question, with a correlating comment indicating that the downvote will be reversed if/when the OP comes back to engage the community and/or accept an answer.
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I agree 100%. My biggest concern, though, is when an abandoned question is nudged automatically by "Community" and pushed to the top of the list for "active questions." It's not really active, and not really relevant if it's about a specific outdated version. –  EAMann Apr 30 '12 at 18:41
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Well, in that case, the question in its current form really isn't of high enough quality; so either a) if the question can be salvaged, edit it to improve the quality/usefulness, or b) close as too localized, not constructive, or whatever is appropriate. –  Chip Bennett Apr 30 '12 at 18:52
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I'd agree with @toscho here. Specifically, as @EAMann points out in applies only to a specific moment in time.

I'd also suggest that questions that specifically reference the current version are edited so as not to tie them to that version, and thus make the question appear potentially obsolete 6 months down the line.

The ever changing (progressing...?) nature of WordPress does make it difficult to maintain any sort of related resource, particularly in a Q-A forum such as WPSE where both questions and answers can potentially become obsolete. In my opinion, the best course of action is to take the stance that all questions are set in the context of the current WordPress version - and encourage the community to edit or add answers as and when is necessary when changes are made to WordPress. With this view, any question that does not fall in the scope of the current version (such as those specifically relating to out of date versions) are no longer relevant and un-'likely to ever help any future visitors'.

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The very fact that questions such as this one from 2011: What WP E-Commerce Plugin to use? - still exist on the site even though there is no accepted answer, not to mention the question only being able to solicit subjective answers is one of many abandoned questions that an "Abandoned Question" button would be useful.

I was recently drawn to the above question because a new user posted an answer on it, even though the user is obviously long gone.

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