The Op of Sample applications for practicing API Testing believes their question was treated unfairly, and that the community is too fast to close questions.

I thought we had already established a precedent of closing questions that could be easily solved with a Google search. We also have a precedent of closing questions asking for sample material to practice on; see for example Where can I find sample/real world test cases?. On the other hand, there are cases where we don't close them, e.g. Free/Sample Selenium test suites (code) for Open Source projects.

Did we treat the Op's question unfairly?

3 Answers 3


Personally, I think it should be closed, but not because it is easily Googled.

One of the almost stereotypical things about Stack Exchange is that we tend to be the first result in Google. Sometimes we can't and shouldn't compete with the first result, but when we can we should. It drives a lot of traffic here. (Note that over 80% of our traffic comes from search engines directly, and another big chunk indirectly!) Now that's not to say we should be copying and pasting popular pages into our answers. But just because something is easy to find somewhere else doesn't mean we can't accept it as a result here.

Some sites have a rule against that. For example, English has a rule against things you can look up in a dictionary (which is often the first result if you search for "thingiwantdefined definition") but plenty of others don't.

However, what OP did ask for is basically a list of apps they can use as a playground for API testing. I'm not entirely sure that's a great fit. What makes one app better than another? How would one go about picking a "correct" answer to such a question? As it stands, it isn't a good question for our format.

That's not to say his (his? her? sorry...) question doesn't add value. If it were answered, even non-objectively, it probably would add value. But adding value alone is not a good enough reason to keep a question open. We must continue to curate our questions so they fit the format, potentially guiding users with a quick comment where they can get their questions answered.

TL;DR - cool question, but bad for our format. Not because it's easy to Google, but because it's hard to answer objectively.

  • 1
    "(This? her? sorry...)". English says "their" is an acceptable gender-neutral, singular pronoun.
    – user246
    Nov 22, 2016 at 1:17
  • I've always found that to be more offensive than just guessing, personally. Maybe that's just me.
    – corsiKa Mod
    Nov 22, 2016 at 3:41

At https://pm.stackexchange.com/ they have a stance that asking for the "best" or "suggest a" software questions are off-topic and redirected to https://softwarerecs.stackexchange.com/ instead.

Their main reason is (I think) because these questions become outdated quickly and are often opinionated even when there is currently only one product that has a match.


That does ignore taso's comment that many, many questions on this site are summarily closed by the same small group. You may think you're upholding some lofty goal of ideal question quality, but what you're doing is making the site so unwelcoming that nobody really wants to ask anything. A better approach might be to post some superior-grade questions yourselves, as an example of what you are aiming for?

For instance, of the first 10 questions on the current page, 6 actually have any answer at all, 4 are on hold, and 2 have been downvoted. Small sample, but representative from my random sampling.

And don't think for a minute that a discussion on meta, even if it was scintillating, substitutes for civil response where/when the user posted their question..

You must log in to answer this question.