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With respect to the stated reason for closure, I'd like to get some clarification as to what, precisely, "too localized" encompasses (at least a definition, or explanation, that is more specific and objective than the current "definition"). It just strikes me that some questions which might appear to some as being "too localized" are, in fact, of greater interest to the "world-wide" audience than some of the questions that are accepted and answered (and hence deemed not too localized), which in fact may only be of interest to PhD candidates, if not PhD researchers. While I'm not objecting at all to questions of the latter sort, you must admit that questions of the latter sort such are likely not of any interest whatsoever to the vast majority of those who participate in the world wide internet? (some questions, perhaps, only of interest to only a small community of a significant minority of mathematicians?) I'm not meaning to be argumentative, or to suggest that questions of the latter sort be "closed." I am simply a bit confused regarding some questions that are judged to be "too localized" and I'm attempting to reconcile this action with the given definition, as it stands.

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    $\begingroup$ I think "too localized" is used for various other reasons, for lack of better options. $\endgroup$ – Yuval Filmus Apr 29 '11 at 22:41
  • $\begingroup$ I think you're right - used for lack of "better" options. But if it doesn't satisfy "too localized", and there are no other options or available justifications for closing, then a question shouldn't be closed. It's unfair to the OP to justify closing by giving an arbitrary and uninformative reason for doing so. I'm just troubled by some of the comments addressed to OPs which strike me as hostile arrogance on the part of the commentator. Perhaps I simply found this site at a point in time where the frustration level of dedicated answerers is particularly high. $\endgroup$ – Namaste Apr 29 '11 at 22:55
  • $\begingroup$ One thing which might frustrate some of the answerers is questions of the type "here is my homework question, could you solve it for me?", usually after several of them have appeared in rapid succession from the same OP. Unfortunately, even this common occurrence doesn't fall into any of the given categories. $\endgroup$ – Yuval Filmus Apr 29 '11 at 23:58
  • $\begingroup$ As for the subject of what "too localized" is for, Joel Spolsky's answer might be of interest. $\endgroup$ – J. M. is a poor mathematician Apr 30 '11 at 4:00
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Well, I can tell you what it means in the context of programming...

  1. Small geographic area

    Are there any Python user group meetings in Peoria, IL?

  2. Specific moment in time

    When will Visual Studio 2010 be released?

  3. Extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet

    We use this in-house tool WELBOG.EXE to generate faxes from XML via regular expressions. What does the -LASERS option do?

... perhaps you can map that to mathematics? I would agree that mathematics enjoys a sort of timeless universality that mostly escapes programming, as I'm sure COBOL programmers would attest to. So it could be that the "Too Localized" close reason is not as useful on math as other sites in our network.

(Also, the example Joel uses is There is a green car parked outside my house right now. Why? which I think is too whimsical to be useful, personally..)

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I think you're right - used for lack of "better" options. But if it doesn't satisfy "too localized", and there are no other options or available justifications for closing, then a question shouldn't be closed. It's unfair to the OP to justify closing by giving an arbitrary and uninformative reason for doing so.

I disagree. Not every close reason is available on every SE site, I don't know who decided which reasons should be available where, and I don't see why we shouldn't close an inappropriate question just because the software prevents us from saying why. For example, on other SE sites there is a "noise or pointless" close reason, which I would love to have here, but which we don't have, so I have to make do with whatever I think the closest approximation is at any given time.

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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps you miss my point? You state (ask?):"I don't see why we shouldn't close an inappropriate question just because the software for this site prevents "us" from saying why." The "why" of wanting closing, should be made explicit to all, particularly the OP, in the form of a comment, e.g., as to "why" a candidate-for-closure question is "inappropriate", and what would be more appropriate...And more, the comment should be posted before a "unilateral" (in the case of a moderator), or "five-user-lateral" decision to close is made. $\endgroup$ – Namaste Apr 30 '11 at 13:11
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    $\begingroup$ cont...Otherwise, I'm afraid, closing a question by invoking an incorrect/inappropriate "reason for closing" may indeed come off as a "subjective and argumentative" reason for closure. $\endgroup$ – Namaste Apr 30 '11 at 13:16
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, of course people should leave a comment. That is a different matter. I know sometimes people don't do this. $\endgroup$ – Qiaochu Yuan Apr 30 '11 at 14:19
  • $\begingroup$ Just to let you know, "noise or pointless" is the replacement(!) of "not a real question" on meta.SO. $\endgroup$ – Hendrik Vogt May 1 '11 at 7:31

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