The question RuntimeError: cannot open <shapefile> from ArcPy search cursor? was put on hold because "This problem cannot or can no longer be reproduced", even though my answer (that had been posted more than 12 hours earlier) had reproduced with the same error and gave the simple fix (corrected typo).

Just wondering why it was put on Hold?


I think this has arisen from the old wording of the non-reproducible custom close reason that can still be found at Improving wording of "non-reproducible" custom close reason?

Questions describing a problem that can't be reproduced and seemingly went away on its own (or went away when a typo was fixed) are off-topic as they are unlikely to help future readers.

Although we sacrificed the "went away when a typo was fixed" bit due to the character limit on custom close reasons, I think questions due to typos are still of low value, and best closed because an asker who has a typo pointed out would be expected to fix it i.e. the asker's circumstances should change rendering the question obsolete

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    Makes sense, thanks for the explanation. – Midavalo Mod Feb 22 '16 at 21:32

The closing explanation is a bit longer than that. It also says:

...such questions are off-topic as they are unlikely to help future readers.

This is the close reason we have also when the problem is some specific typo in the code or something similar, because once the typo is fixed, the problem can no longer be reproduced (consequently, rendering the question obsolete). By typo I mean, the OP explicitly wrote the word 'Exercise' in the file path correctly, so it was possible to confirm that the misspell in the code was the problem.

  • In this case I believe the typo was the cause of the error (the error message for me was the same when I included a typo in the path) and fixing the typo removes this error. I think that this information would be beneficial to other users in the future if they run in to this same error message – Midavalo Mod Feb 22 '16 at 21:40
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    @Midavalo, it can be a valid argument. Perhaps, you could suggest an edit to that question and make the title least generalist. The time I reviewed that question I couldn't see your answer there; if I had perhaps I would have voted differently. Nevertheless, your answer there is well written, so I upvoted it. You can try to flag it and ask for reopening providing that specific reason (running in the error message). It might get reopened. – Andre Silva Feb 22 '16 at 21:46

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