I've just voted to close this question, as it's clearly something that could have been answered by Google: Capturing screen shots in selenium tests

However, the close reasons don't actually give me any option that seems to fit that. It's not off-topic, and the question itself is clear and answerable - it just isn't a high quality question that will attract experts to the site. What should I be using? Can we add "let me Google that for you" as a close reason?


The close as "general reference" selection has been rolled out on a very limited basis on a few sites which have clearly shown it to be a problem.

Closed as general reference

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.

Even on those sites, it is rarely needed past the initial, early days of the site.

For the most part, closing it as "not a real question" should suffice. Add a clear comment explaining your objection to the question. Feel free to use the reference description above.

You do want to be careful with overly-basic and easy questions too early in your beta period. See this blog post: Asking the First Questions

But be careful. A bit down the road, the reference close reason is not meant to rid yourself of questions which can (even easily) be found in a Google search. Easy questions are okay. We just don't want to waste everyone's time with overly-referential questions like "What is the definition of …" or something more apt, like "What is Quality Assurance?"


For that question, it would be better to clarify the question first. If the question is "How do you do screen shots", then I agree - google....(or Bing) would be the correct solution. If the question is (what are someways I can use screen capture to help in testing with Se (as I interpreted the question), then it's a more viable question.

Short answer is that I think the first course of action is to see if the question can be clarified first, then close if it's Bing-able.

  • Good point - just voting to close without attempting to help the user clarify their question first won't help people to improve their questions. – testerab May 7 '11 at 18:20

The question was also two fold. He was also hoping to gain insight into how people use this in the field. At first that appears fairly open ended: why would you ask how to do something and ask the reasons for doing it? It would seem logical you wouldn't only ask how to do it if you already have a reason.

But then it occurs to me he could have easily had a manager that says "Make our selenium tests take screenshots." Now he 1) has to figure out how to do it, and 2) make sure it's a valid decision. If it turned out to be a bad idea, then he could go back to his manager with a report that says "Look, I've consulted some experts on the matter and they say instead of this, we should do _" or something along those lines.

I also see @Robert's point about how this would be common early, but soon it probably wouldn't be. If nothing else, those easy questions would very soon be closed as exact duplicates. (We all know searching on a site for existing content is lost among 90% of the internet...)

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .