I am talking about a question I asked recently.

What is best way to create a cross fade effect?

Moderator Yannis is repeatedly claiming it to off topic question. I want to know what exactly is off topic. Pointing out the entry in FAQ

If you have a question about...

  • algorithm and data structure concepts
  • design patterns
  • developer testing
  • development methodologies
  • freelancing and business concerns
  • quality assurance
  • software architecture
  • software engineering
  • software licensing

I think the question I asked is asking for a better development methodology on creating cross fade effects. Out of the options I mentioned I was hoping for answers other techniques that can create same effect.

Also quoting another FAQ entry

To prevent your question from being flagged and possibly removed, avoid asking subjective questions where …

  • every answer is equally valid: “What’s your favorite __?”
  • your answer is provided along with the question, and you expect more answers: “I use _ for _, what do you use?”
  • there is no actual problem to be solved: “I’m curious if other people feel like I do.”
  • we are being asked an open-ended, hypothetical question: “What if __ happened?” * it is a rant disguised as a question:
  • __ sucks, am I right?”

Closest among those points is there is no actual problem to be solved: “I’m curious if other people feel like I do.” where I think most of members will point out. But if question like:

is on-topic so is mine.

It was not about any problem I encountered while developing them. If a programmer has previously built such system themselves, it could be easily answered. Like in a comment throsten has mention using canvas element. That is probable alternative for creating that effect.

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Did you read the rest of the FAQ? –  Yannis Rizos Oct 12 '12 at 6:10
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But if question like: What should every programmer know about web development? is on-topic so is mine. No, absolutely not. Contest the closure on your own question's merits, not by pointing to other questions, for all you know we might have just missed them and close them as well. –  Yannis Rizos Oct 12 '12 at 6:14
    
@YannisRizos, That is the highest voted question on the community. –  Starx Oct 12 '12 at 6:16
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So what? Again argue for your question on its own merits. –  Yannis Rizos Oct 12 '12 at 6:17
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Are you seriously going to keep adding questions you think are not constructive to this? –  Yannis Rizos Oct 12 '12 at 6:21
    
@YannisRizos, No, rather tell me how is a question asking about development methodologies off topic? You are moderator and it was your final vote that closed the question, so explain your decision. I am not looking for an argument, I am looking for explanation. –  Starx Oct 12 '12 at 6:21
    
@YannisRizos, Ha ha, just trying to pick the question that are actually off topic IMO. No more searching I am done. :P :) –  Starx Oct 12 '12 at 6:22
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3 Answers

I don't know why people are giving you grief over whether or not your question is about development methodologies, or whether a perfect solution exists, as if either are reasons alone to close your question. While it's true there is a technical definition to "development methodology", using it in a colloquial sense to mean "a high-level method to handle a programming problem" is still on-topic and exactly what Programmers is for.

To me, it's pretty clear that's what your question is looking for—high-level design advice—and it's definitely a practical problem someone would actually face. So in that sense, What kind of questions should I not ask here? section of the FAQ doesn't apply.

However, your question is lacking one crucial thing, which thorsten müller tried to draw out:

Why exactly do you want to disregard those solutions? They work reasonably well for most needs. Most other solutions would need to directly access the pixel data (after putting the image in a canvas element), which would be slow and a lot of work to implement. (That at least if it needs to be done within a web site)

Or, to put it another way, your question doesn't address what you've tried. If you expand your question to explain why the solutions you've found so far are not sufficient, and—even better—go into what you've tried yourself (and where you came up short), your question would be perfectly fine and I'd vote to reopen it.

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Programmers is a site for professional software developers, I don't think following the formal definition of development methodology is unreasonable. If the OP actually addresses "what have you tried", that would mean that he tried to apply both solutions, and didn't get the expected results. Then, certainly, we'd have an actual and practical problem on our hands, and not just a quest for the best/most proper solution to a (currently) non existing problem... –  Yannis Rizos Oct 12 '12 at 10:01
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@YannisRizos, I dont know why what I have tried is important to the question I am asking. But to acknowledge Mark's Support I have added them. –  Starx Oct 12 '12 at 10:05
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@Mark, Its good to listen to a second opinion. I too believed that my question was asking for conceptual techniques (which you said as high-level design advice), please review the question and tell me If I need to others as well. –  Starx Oct 12 '12 at 10:07
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@Starx Now we are getting somewhere! You told us why the two solutions don't work for you, and you've further defined the problem. You are not simply looking for the incredibly vague "best" and by giving us detailed explanations of why the two methods don't work for you, you've stopped people from proposing other methods that have the same problems. –  Yannis Rizos Oct 12 '12 at 10:11
    
@YannisRizos, Great!!! Then reopen the question and lets read some answers now. –  Starx Oct 12 '12 at 10:15
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@YannisRizos You can pedantically insist that development methodologies means something very specific and anyone who uses it in a colloquial sense is wrong, but the sense in which it was used here—to mean "high level program design"—is still on-topic. –  user8 Oct 12 '12 at 10:20
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@Starx thanks for updating your question: I voted to re-open it. –  user8 Oct 12 '12 at 10:21
    
@MarkTrapp "High level program design" is on topic, but I'm still not convinced the question qualifies as such. –  Yannis Rizos Oct 12 '12 at 10:37
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The "development methodologies" mentioned in the FAQ specifically refers to the Software Development Methodologies used in the industry, which is not what this question was about.

As @YannisRizos stated in a comment:

What's the actual practical problem you are trying to solve? If you are looking for "the best" algorithm/technique, that doesn't exist, that's not how programming works, programming is all about tradeoffs. Decide what you're building first, then tell us exactly why the solutions you found don't work for what you are building, and then we might have a good question on our hands..

As it stands, the question doesn't have a "real answer" that can be attributed to it. It is hard to answer the question in its current form as we're not sure what problem you're actually trying to solve - all the information we have is that you don't want to use the two techniques you have already outlined.

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you don't want to use the two techniques you have already outlined its not that. I think I know where the confusion started, when I wrote Disregarding them, what is a proper way or much better way to create a cross fade effect. I was not saying I don't want these options. –  Starx Oct 12 '12 at 6:33
    
In comparison to what though? If you have tried the other methods and they're too slow, don't work, etc. then it is something that can be investigated and solved - which is then more on-topic for StackOverflow. –  Deco Oct 12 '12 at 6:56
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You appear to think that your question is about algorithms and/or development methodologies. Let's take care of the obvious first, a development methodology is:

A software development methodology or system development methodology in software engineering is a framework that is used to structure, plan, and control the process of developing an information system.

Questions about development methodologies are expected to be about topics like, for example, prototyping, incremental development, agile methodologies, etc. Although as Mark notes there's a colloquial sense to development methodology, since Programmers is a site for professional developments, let's go with with the formal definition instead.

As for the algorithms part, although there isn't a formal and strict definition of what an algorithm is, this one is good enough:

In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm (originating from al-Khwārizmī, the famous Persian mathematician Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī) is a step-by-step procedure for calculations. Algorithms are used for calculation, data processing, and automated reasoning.

The fact that you say you'd love to see an answer as an algorithm, doesn't make it a question about algorithms.

The original version of the question was also not constructive:

What kind of questions should I not ask here?

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.

Your questions should be reasonably scoped. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much.

If your motivation for asking the question is “I would like to participate in a discussion about _”, then you should not be asking here. However, if your motivation is “I would like others to explain _ to me”, then you are probably OK. (Discussions are of course welcome in our real time web chat.)

To prevent your question from being flagged and possibly removed, avoid asking subjective questions where …

  • every answer is equally valid: “What’s your favorite __?”
  • your answer is provided along with the question, and you expect more answers: - “I use _ for _, what do you use?”
  • there is no actual problem to be solved: “I’m curious if other people feel like I do.”
  • we are being asked an open-ended, hypothetical question: “What if __ happened?”
  • it is a rant disguised as a question: “__ sucks, am I right?”

Looking for "the best", without clearly defining what that means for you leads to equally valid answers (and when that happens, the more popular answer wins, but popular doesn't necessarily mean useful - for example: Bieber). You were providing two valid answers in your question and expected more answers, without clearly telling us why the two methods you've already found didn't work. And, as you've mentioned in the comments, this was more of a curiosity question than a question about an actual & practical problem. All of the above, made it extremely open ended.

However, in the current version of the question you are telling us why the two solutions don't work for you, and you've further defined the problem. You are not simply looking for the incredibly vague "best" and by giving us detailed explanations of why the two methods don't work for you, you've stopped people from proposing other methods that have the same problems, making the question quite less open ended.

I am still not convinced that your question qualifies as a high level design problem, however since you fixed the more important problems, who cares what I think? Can't promise it won't get closed again, but even if not convinced I'm willing to err in the side of re-opening this one, just for the effort alone.

Lastly please don't try to argue for your question by pointing to other questions, the best that can come of it is that the other questions will be closed as well (if they are indeed similar to your own). Instead focus on arguing for your question on its own merits.

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Check the edit on my question again may be it is better now. And, How is it hypothetical? –  Starx Oct 12 '12 at 6:39
    
@Starx It's hypothetical because you are not trying to solve an actual problem. And regarding your edit, you didn't change anything, the problem wasn't using the word "best" and replacing it with "proper" doesn't make it a different question. Best/proper for who? For what actual, practical problem? That said, even if we solve the not constructive issues of the question, it would still be off topic, nothing conceptual about it. –  Yannis Rizos Oct 12 '12 at 6:42
    
@Starx Use one of the two techniques you found, if you stumble upon problems when using them, ask about it on Stack Overflow. –  Yannis Rizos Oct 12 '12 at 6:46
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But it is the concept that I was asking, Concepts on creating a effect. –  Starx Oct 12 '12 at 6:50
    
@Starx What concept? You are asking for technical mechanisms, not concepts. And again, the main issue is that there isn't a problem to be solved, if that wasn't an issue we could have send the question to Stack Overflow instead of closing it. –  Yannis Rizos Oct 12 '12 at 6:50
    
So technical-mechanism and development-concepts are different? –  Starx Oct 12 '12 at 6:59
    
@Starx Yes they are different, and although there might be some questions that although looking for technical solutions are at the same time abstract enough to be considered conceptual, yours isn't. Even if it was though, again: no actual, practical problem to be solved. –  Yannis Rizos Oct 12 '12 at 7:03
    
Off topic comment: I didn't get the rep points for this answer, why? –  Starx Oct 12 '12 at 10:25
    
@Starx No rep on site's Metas, MSO is the only exception. –  Yannis Rizos Oct 12 '12 at 10:29
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@Starx I've updated my answer here and re-opened the question. Still not convinced, but it's a far better question than the original, thanks for taking the time to improve it. –  Yannis Rizos Oct 12 '12 at 10:40
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