I asked a question with some specifics characteristics I'm looking, but was closed as too broad, why?

Here is my question:

Image editor that can draw a line

  • Must be able to draw a line.
  • Can crop and rotate
  • Supports JPG format
  • Is easy to use

As you can see I even add a list of requirements. Why was it closed?

  • This is still a WIP, I believe there are some rough corners but this should be good enough to start working over it.
    – Braiam
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 17:03
  • The problem of that kind of question is that there are hundred of very close question (no crop requirement, but need of color picker, ...) but they're not duplicated. And when the beta will be opened to the public, we'll get many of these question, and people will be discouraged of writing high quality answers. Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 18:26
  • Is this really fit for faq? It seems fairly focused on an example. Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 21:43
  • @Gilles I had to use a simple example to provide a certain insight over why some kind of simple questions get closed as too broad, more accurately, when the requirements are far too common that it gets closed as too broad. I would be willing to change the example if needed. I tried to detach the answer the best I could from the specifics of the example.
    – Braiam
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 21:50

1 Answer 1


Well, in that specific question there are couple of issues that you may or may not be aware of, so lets try to fix them:

The features/characteristics you are looking for are way too common!

I seriously doubt any image editor (and correct me if I'm wrong) doesn't have any of the characteristics you are looking for. Those are kind of basic functions of any image editor. That is true for the first 3 features you are looking. Any software will answer your question.

"Is easy to use" for whom?

This is a rather subjective matter. People learns at different speed, YMMV. What is easy for me due my upbringing, previous knowledge or aptitude could be too difficult for you. So prefer not using something that affects each person differently as a requirement it should fit.

So I should add more characteristics?

Ideally yes, but in this case no. Your characteristics are most of the time a given when you are looking for software of that kind. So you must look for some distinctive feature most of the software doesn't have or you think doesn't have and swap out the previous ones.

If you have tested anything at all put the characteristics that you liked/disliked in, that would help to narrow the scope to a handful of answers but at least you are being more accurated.

But if I do, it invalidates some answers...

That was the risk the answerers take knowingly or unknowingly when answered your vague questions. Comment them about the changes in the restrains and inform them that their answer no longer applies due X or Y reasons, allow them to update their answer with another solution or wait for them to delete it.

If some time passes and you feel the answerer hasn't take care of the matter, flag for a mod and explain the current situation.

  • I seriously think "easy to use" is a good requirement, especially if it is elaborated even a bit. It's not the most subjective measurement, but in many cases, it is clear that "okay, now we should recommend software that my mother can use", instead of "GIMP can handle that for you", or "this complex command line tool can do it".
    – Olli
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 18:17
  • @Olli the problem with "easy" is that it depends of the preconceptions of how stuff works of each individual, I would rather use simple or complex instead or at least how many steps I expect to do before completing the task. You may change the wording if you like but take into account the previously expresed.
    – Braiam
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 19:51
  • But then how do you compare the complexity and ergonomics of different approaches e.g. edit the config file vs. command line parameters vs. deep menus vs. optional toolbars vs. multi-key shortcuts? For different people and tasks some are easier than others but it will vary by circumstance. Commented Feb 14, 2014 at 0:38
  • @KellyThomas I'm not sure to whom you are commenting here.
    – Braiam
    Commented Feb 14, 2014 at 0:44
  • I was raising the issue that "simple" or "less than 3 steps" is kind of meaningless without further context. As an example in Photoshop Undo is the (sane) Ctrl+Z, however Repeat Undo is the (insane) Ctrl+Alt+Z. They are both one step, but differ vastly in usability. Commented Feb 14, 2014 at 1:06

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