In the following question, the user is asking for factual information that might help him to make an informed choice when buying a new PSU:

What does "fully wired" mean when buying a PSU?

I do not have sufficient reps to see if there are any close requests, but one user has has suggested that this is a "support request" and therefore off topic.

This seems to be a little perverse to me, since the OP is in a pre-purchase situation and simply wants to know what a technical term means before he makes a decision.

My question, therefore, is: should questions that ask for factual information that will help a user to make an informed decision (and do not solicit opinions) be considered on-topic?

I also wonder how many such questions have been closed as off-topic, and OPs sent away with fleas in their ears, never to return?

  • 2
    I can't tell if you know from the way you wrote this, but these questions are already considered on topic. Are you asking about this question specifically?
    – Adam
    Mar 20 '17 at 22:49
  • 1
    It was just a general concern. I did check help center, and since it wasn't explicit, I refrained from providing a formal answer initially. Thanks for the clarification. Maybe the help guide should be updated, since some users are not entirely clear about the rules. Until your clarification, neither was I. We had a similar problem on ELL.SE, where pronunciation questions were being flagged as off-topic, when in fact they are very definitely on-topic (and the help pages say so).
    – Mick
    Mar 20 '17 at 22:52
  • 2
    If they're considered on topic, why has my question been put on hold? Mar 21 '17 at 22:15
  • 1
    Based on @Adam's comment and Hashim's question, I've voted to reopen the post mentioned here. I'd like to hear from Art though, to determine what we can do to clarify the question or policy on such questions.
    – Andy Mod
    Mar 22 '17 at 15:37

So I closed the linked question because, as it stands, it does fall under the scope of "technical support": it's asking for technical support ("what is this?") with regards to a category of hardware. I've never actually dedicated much thought to whether we could or should make an exception for "pre-purchase-informed-decision-making" questions until now.

Ideally, I think these should be on-topic. There's a clear, objective answer to questions of this type, and they add clear value to the site in that we can build a library of answers to common hardware questions or misconceptions.

Let's give this a while to see how the voting on this answer goes and to see if any dissenting answers turn up before we make a policy decision, though.

  • Related: hardwarerecs.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/614/…
    – Andy Mod
    Mar 22 '17 at 18:38
  • It's been a fair while, and the general consensus seems to be that my question is on-topic. Can it be made so? May 3 '18 at 0:43
  • Uhhh... Which question is this, @Hashim?
    – ArtOfCode Mod
    May 3 '18 at 0:46
  • The one linked in the question. It was closed as off-topic around a year ago, which then prompted this meta question by @Mick. May 3 '18 at 0:52
  • Oh, brain fart. Mobile right now, but will try to remember to reopen it when I'm not... bug me if I don't
    – ArtOfCode Mod
    May 3 '18 at 0:53
  • Much appreciated, thanks May 3 '18 at 0:54
  • @ArtOfCode Bugging you. May 5 '18 at 18:01
  • @Hashim Thanks :) All done now
    – ArtOfCode Mod
    May 5 '18 at 20:30
  • @ArtOfCode Thank you, much appreciated. May 8 '18 at 19:38

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