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.
Well, I can tell you what it means in the context of programming...
Small geographic area
Are there any Python user group meetings in Peoria, IL?
Specific moment in time
When will Visual Studio 2010 be released?
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..)
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.