I've asked a question on Apple.SE and it was closed. After I successfully argued here that the reason for closing was inadequate, the original closer and others agreed it should be re-opened. It was, and accumulated a few more votes and views since then.

I just went back to improve it and add yet another answer (MeshLab.app also breaks on HSFX), and found it was closed as of two weeks ago October 1.

The reason for closing is:

closed as not a real question by Gerry, gentmatt, Stu Wilson, patrix, jmlumpkin Oct 1 at 20:24

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, see the FAQ.

Rant: This is, simply, B.S. It is a real question, it is easy to tell what is being asked, it is not ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad (it was previously closed because it was too specific I think). It is not rhetorical, and it is very easy to answer in its current form.

The question is a specialized question. Is that the problem? Is this site really more interested in questions about how to customize your desktop background, adjust your screen-saver hot-corners, etc.? What exactly is the problem with this question? I'm happy to have it closed and deleted if it is of no use, but based on the number of views, it is a useful question.

Please vote and/or comment if you think it should be re-opened.

  • Thanks for raising this - let me have a look at the history...
    – bmike Mod
    Commented Oct 14, 2012 at 16:30

3 Answers 3


I have never voted to close the question, but for whatever it's worth, I don't think the question is a good fit for the site. I do think it's very much on-topic, and the information it contains is relevant for the site, but the question tries to do two different things, one of which the site does quite well and the other one it does less well, but both of them together seem pretty non-optimal.

The question asks for a list of programs that break under case-sensitive file systems. This is a question that could have a correct answer, but it is well-suited to a correct answer that is a single large list, not a bunch of answers, each of which provides one program that breaks under case-sensitive filesystems. So I believe the first part could be salvaged as its own question. The downside to this is that such a list could become inaccurate quickly, depending on how updates to the software change the filesystem requirements. So if we wanted the list question, whoever answered it would need to curate it. This could work, but the site doesn't handle it ideally

The second part asks for workarounds to make these programs work. This is actually a series of very good questions, each of which would be quite on-topic and welcome here on its own. If one work-around could work for all (or many) of the programs, the second part of the question could be a single question. If the fix tends to be program-speficic, this should be a separate question for each program one wants to get working under case-sensitive filesystems.

The fact that a poster is tempted to post more than one answer is the first hint that it might not be a good fit for the Q&A format. The issue is that our system is ideally designed to produce a single "best" answer that the OP can accept as correct. This question asks for some outstanding content, but is far from optimized for this site's Q&A format. I believe it should be restructured (broken into parts), and each of the parts should be very much welcome and on-topic here.

  • 1
    Hi @Daniel. I agree with point 1. This is not well-suited to a single answer. But my highest-rated/viewed/starred question on this site, and many others, have this same issue (see apple.stackexchange.com/questions/9659/…) and are still popular and remain open. As for giving each program its own question and answer, because this situation is enough of an edge case, I thought accumulating everything in one place might be better.
    – user588
    Commented Oct 15, 2012 at 5:58

Three things that I'll just state briefly:

  1. I would have voted to close it for NARQ - not a good fit for our Q&A format. Rather than the reasons listed, but I also can see why people feel it's not reasonable to answer that question since it's so open ended and not really looking to solve a problem you are facing.

  2. It looks like you're trying to document bugs for the common good and that seems to outweigh for me the downside of having an edge case question. We clearly close most questions "what is the list of X" since we are not trying to be wikipedia or a blogging platform.

  3. This sort of question is far more prone to become "too localized" when it doesn't keep up - gets a lots of comments about answers being old, incomplete.

Please continue to do a great job updating things, listing version numbers and unless there is a larger portion of people saying they don't want that sort or that specific question here - I don't see it getting re-closed by a moderator. The high reputation people are free to close it again, but I wanted to respect the meta process where there is no call today to keep that question closed.


My main objection to this question is that imo the community/Mac users are better served with a generic answer advising them against using a case-sensitive filesystem for installing any Mac application. As it is formulated right now, I fear the question and its answers might only confuse users.

However many apps will be added to this question, the list will never be exhaustive, and it is safe to assume many Mac apps are not thoroughly tested on case-sensitive filesystems, and many future Mac apps still will not be.

There are only very few edge cases where you need or would prefer a CS filesystem on the Mac, and these situations can be addressed without making the main filesystem case-sensitive, by creating a separate partition or using disk images.

I'd wish the question was asked in such a way that it would not sollicit for a plethora of answers, so these generic answers would stand out more.

  • 1
    I think that since this is an edge case, by definition, anyone who even knows what HSFX is and/or is considering it, knows it will likely cause problems. I think your fear is unfounded. Newbies won't wander into this and switch to HSFX without understanding what they are doing. As for not exhaustive... correct. But is anything ever exhaustive? This site has tons of stale questions because of OS or software bug-fixes & upgrades. What better place to attempt to make an exhaustive list (and serve this edge-case community) than this site?
    – user588
    Commented Oct 15, 2012 at 9:20
  • I have no question that this site is an appropriate place to discuss what breaks with HFSX and how to work around it. My issue is that we find the right way to structure that information in our Q&A format.
    – Daniel Mod
    Commented Oct 15, 2012 at 12:11
  • 1
    It's perfectly acceptable to see a question and either comment or just edit it into the shape you feel best expresses the dilemma. This site is collaboratively edited and should the asker have a good point why this isn't the meaining, an edit can be rolled back. You also can propose the better question linking back to the first so that everyone can find the answers - those that like the wiki approach and those more looking for experience to guide them.
    – bmike Mod
    Commented Oct 15, 2012 at 14:17
  • @bmike That's harder to do once several answers are posted, which in this case happened within minutes of the question going up. Again, I'd say that's a red flag on one's format: if you're tempted to post a question and then immediately post several answers, something's wrong with the format for our Q&A.
    – Daniel Mod
    Commented Oct 16, 2012 at 19:54

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