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A little background; moderators asked for the ability to edit all help pages, this has been declined for reasons I don't need to go in to, however we have been told that there is a process for requesting specific changes and this is it. Please feel free to answer with suggested changes to my proposal and we will incorporate as necessary. Proposed changes are only for the help page linked below, for changes to any other help page please open a new meta question.


Help page: https://aviation.stackexchange.com/help/dont-ask

Reason for change: Whereas "practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face" may be appropriate for other sites in the network the (vast) majority of questions on aviation are more out of interest or enthusiasm for the subject rather than actual problems that you face. I would like to fix this.

Current opening wording on above page:

First, make sure that your question is on-topic for this site.

You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page.

Suggested new opening:

First, make sure that your question is on-topic for this site.

You should only ask questions that can be factually answered or seek opinions that are supported by facts and principles. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page.

In my opinion, the content of the rest of this help page is fine and appropriate but if we can make it better please suggest as described above.


Edit History

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    $\begingroup$ Not putting this as an answer, because I'm not sure how to word one. But I feel we need to say something about we don't want questions related to the actual events or failures or blame placing about accidents where accident investigations are on-going. I word this that way on purpose. i.e. if someone were to ask "why didn't the pilots do X" referring to an accident under investigation, it is (or should be) off-topic. If the question is re-stated such as "why should pilots (in general) do X when Y" or something like that, it may be on topic, or at least not off-topic for the same reason. $\endgroup$
    – CGCampbell
    Feb 10 at 13:14
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    $\begingroup$ @CGCampbell We already have that info on aviation.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic - an aside, there is this weird crossover between these 2 pages. on-topic talks about what not to ask and dont-ask talks about what you should. It's all a bit of a mess IMO but we cant rebuild rome in a day (to paraphrase) $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec Mod
    Feb 10 at 13:39
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    $\begingroup$ @CGCampbell Do you think we should explicitly call out accident speculation on the dont-ask page? $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec Mod
    Feb 10 at 13:56
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    $\begingroup$ Personally, I do. It's it's something we don't want asked, that is the (more) logical place to have it. $\endgroup$
    – CGCampbell
    Feb 10 at 14:00
  • $\begingroup$ Great idea, but I think "or seek opinions that are supported by facts and principles" is too lenient. $\endgroup$
    – Mast
    Feb 10 at 21:25
  • $\begingroup$ This is on the Community Team's backlog, and we'll get back to you once someone gets assigned to have a look at it @Jamiec ;) $\endgroup$
    – JNat StaffMod
    Feb 15 at 10:57
  • $\begingroup$ @JNat great, thanks $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec Mod
    Feb 15 at 10:58
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Great initiative to improve this!

I agree that the current form is not ideal for our site.

However, reading the suggested opening, I have the feeling that something is missing. Apart from stating that questions must being 'on-topic' it doesn't explain what we do like to see, it only says what we don't want.

To help the new joiner that reads this section and tries to understand what we are looking for in a question, I suggest this opening:

First, make sure that your question is on-topic for this site.

You should only ask questions that can be factually answered or seek opinions that are supported by facts and principles. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page.

I am sure the exact wording can be improved, I am looking forward to suggestions.

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    $\begingroup$ "it only says what we don't want" - note this is the dont-ask page. There is a separate page for on-topic which we can actually edit ourselves. That said, I like your wording. $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec Mod
    Feb 10 at 8:52
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    $\begingroup$ @Jamiec good point! I did overlook that. $\endgroup$
    – DeltaLima
    Feb 10 at 9:00
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Thank you @Jamiec for bringing this up, I agree with you that the statement there isn't fit, the community team has reviewed this and we've made the change to the don't-ask page as requested.

You see in the screenshot below:

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Thank you for doing this. $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec Mod
    Feb 26 at 14:53

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