This question: Most space-efficient freeware file compressor? got 6 downvotes, but I don't understand what is so terribly bad about it. It asks for a good file compressor with certain criteria listed in the question. As far as I understand, it is a perfectly good question.

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    Your requirements are like reading every compressors feature list. Creating an archive, you can set all those things the way you like.
    – juergen d
    Feb 5, 2014 at 21:58
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    @juergend I disagree. The specific criterion of not making already-compressed media bigger is a criterion that almost all compressors fail at horribly, even LZMA/LZMA2. There are compressors that will at worst maintain file size for standard audio and video formats, but they are not the norm. Feb 5, 2014 at 22:05
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    Read the comments under the question. Feb 5, 2014 at 22:19
  • @Gilles Darn, I seem to have missed that comment-party you're referring to… "Comments removed A number of obsolete comments were removed from this post, as edits have been made. Please keep comments friendly and most of all, on topic :)"
    – e-sushi
    Feb 12, 2014 at 4:27

2 Answers 2


It doesn't ask for a good file compressor. It is specifically asking for the best, or in the case of this question the most efficient.

That doesn't give answers much room to move. I would have posted 7-zip as an answer. I find it to be a great file compression utility that otherwise fits every point brought up in the question except that I don't, and probably never will, know if it is the most space efficient.

If the question had been worded something more like: "Please recommend a file compression utility with consistently high levels of compression on filetypes x, y and z" I think this question would have not been hit so hard with the downvote hammer.

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    Did you read this question at all? Please compare the tool in your answer to standard ZIP compression. - this gives value for comparision Feb 5, 2014 at 22:01
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    If your answer is true, that means superlative questions in general ("best", "most X", etc.) are off-topic. Is that a road we want to go down? (not asking you specifically, but anyone) Feb 5, 2014 at 22:03
  • @MariuszS Yes, I have read your question multiple times through multiple edits. Not once has the question ever read as "suggest a good utility and show me a comparison vs. zip", but has always read as "I only want the best, and I want stats vs zip compression" Feb 5, 2014 at 22:04
  • Question for good utility is too broad (there are many good tools), I want to narrow this question to most efficient utilities. But in my opinion, this is not the problem. People dosen't want to help each other here, instead of comment and help with question they simply donvote, without giving any advice. This not make this place better for us. This creates irritated users and crappy questions. Feb 5, 2014 at 22:11
  • @MariuszS One user created the question here, and it's you. You had several comments, and chose not to address them. That is the problem. Feb 5, 2014 at 22:20
  • @allquixotic Easily quantifiable features such as "must support at least 5 user accounts" are valid descriptors to help you get what you want. Questions asking for the most/best/greatest are far too often asking for data that is subjective, based in personal opinion or may be completely unquantifiable. Feb 5, 2014 at 22:22
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    @Gilles Tell me, which comment is not addressed? Maybe I miss something. Feb 5, 2014 at 22:23
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    @winterblood If you get file and compress it with zip and with tool X, and after this you compare file sizes, then this is still primary opinion based? Feb 5, 2014 at 22:25
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    I have to agree that while some questions are just outright bad, a question like this certainly deserves a comment/question before knocking it down...if you think part of the question is unclear/misleading...ask for clarification or suggest an improvement...use down votes for lazy or incoherent questions...
    – James
    Feb 5, 2014 at 22:29
  • @MariuszS No but it is subjective based on the file you choose to compress. Trying to quantify only the most efficient program is difficult if not impossible. Feb 5, 2014 at 22:29
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    I'm not asking for the most and only one the best. I'm asking for very efficient tools. I will check all proposition myself and accept the best in my opinion. This is Software Recommendation. Feb 5, 2014 at 22:30
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    @James I am not one of the downvoters, and personally I think the question is salvageable. Feb 5, 2014 at 22:31
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    @MariuszS Then reword your question to indicate this. As it stands it is asking for only the most efficient. Feb 5, 2014 at 22:32
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    Should we always create meta question to make things like this more clear? Or maybe we should be less lazy and ask in comment before downvote and close. Feb 5, 2014 at 22:36
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    This is now turning into barely-related repetition of practically the same things. Unless someone has something that truly adds to the discussion here I suggest we leave it where it is. Feb 5, 2014 at 22:46

This question was downvoted, because I have asked for best tool. I can't understand why it is so wrong, because I'm looking for best tool and I'm asking for recommendations. The best tool would be selected by comparison with specific criteria.

I will check all proposition myself on sample files, equals for all tools and accept the best (with smallest archive).

Users visits this question and downvote without any comments or advice what is wrong.

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    My advice: Instead of saying "best", just repeat your requirements. It can lead to a very long question title, but anything else will be less precise and thus attract both irrelevant answers and downvotes.
    – Nicolas Raoul Mod
    Feb 12, 2014 at 9:22

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