This is mainly about bug reports, but not only about them. We already discussed in What should we do with bug reports? and decided to close these as off-topic.

This is also linked in our help center page:

We are not a formal GIS Software Support Site and are likely to close questions and recommend you seek official routes for support if you:

  • ask about licensing, pricing and/or release dates.
  • seem to be trying to submit bug reports and enhancement requests here instead of direct to the vendor/development team of the software involved.

I've just discovered we can have more than 3 custom slots in the off-topic close reason dialog if we think it is worthwhile asking SE developers/managers to include an extra slot.

Tweaking the existing GIS SE close reasons seems to be difficult, because they are already in their 400 character (with spaces and links) maximum limit (some references here and here).

The new off-topic close reason (4th from top to bottom in the dialog) would be something like (but better suggestions are welcome in answers):

We are not a formal GIS Software Support Site. Questions about specific issues like licensing, pricing, release dates, bug reports and enhancement requests should be directly asked to the vendor/development team of the software involved (the ones likely to address/solve the issue).

I think having a quick option (versus using the 'other' option) for closing these set of questions would be helpful, specially the ones about bug reports, which are asked more frequently. It is helpful because opened bug reports may not collect answers and clutter the site (decrease signal-to-noise ratio), besides helping to miss an opportunity for software improvement if the report does not reach developers in charge.

Note this is not about enforcing closing questions beyond to what was already discussed in previous meta posts. There are borderline bug report questions (for example some error that might be caused by a installation problem and a fix exists; or a true bug in which a workaround exists, etc). Or borderline questions about licensing such as the one interpreting legal issues about licenses, etc. We should trust the community to judge borderline questions and vote accordingly.

So, what do you think? No? Yes? How?


I agree, and propose this wording that incorporates suggestions from @whuber:

Questions that relate to the business of vendors and product teams, such as licensing, pricing, release dates, submission of bug reports and enhancement requests, etc, are off-topic here and should be directed instead to the official software support teams.

I have not previously asked Community Management if we can go beyond the default three custom close reasons, preferring to see how much we could pack into those three first. However, my understanding is that we just need to ask and then that can happen.

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