What is unclear with this question?

How can I use Open Sea Maps on a Mac?

It is short, concise and very easy to understand (The OP wants to use OSM on a Mac to create waypoints. Anyone using a map plotter on a boat immediately understands the whole concept behind this question. If you don't understand it, it is 110 % safe to say that you won't be able to answer it.) and I am very interested in the answer. Why does SE moderators always side with the stupidest of readers/users?

Edit: if exactly the same question had been asked but instead of tools for Mac, the OP had asked for tools for Windows, a reasonable answer would have been something like "Look at the tools listed at https://www.openseamap.org/index.php?id=navigationsprogramm&L=1, in particular XX that offers the features you ask for".

Does a question become much more detailed/detailed enough by changing "Mac" to "Windows"? Of course not - and this proves that the commenters asking for more details are idiots, that should have STFU, and deserved to be called out on that. Their comments didn't add anything but noice (yes, the could see their own names on the "internet screen").

  • 5
    Calling people stupid seems like an interesting way to gather support - why would you do that? I can understand being perplexed by close reasons but why would you label SE volunteers thusly?
    – bmike Mod
    Jun 23, 2021 at 20:09
  • @bmike Does it exist people with (significantly) lower cognitive abilities than average? What is an appropriate adjective for them?
    – d-b
    Jun 23, 2021 at 20:12
  • 5
    I find it better to criticize words if I must rather than people online, but I hesitate to offer you advice here other than to share my philosophy for community building.
    – bmike Mod
    Jun 23, 2021 at 20:14
  • 2
    Judging someones cognitive abilities based on a few comments online is... to not use your words, pretty absurd.
    – X_841
    Jun 28, 2021 at 11:52

3 Answers 3


Anyone using a map plotter on a boat immediately understands the whole concept behind this question.

You make an excellent point that for people with specific domain knowledge, the question is perhaps easier to understand.

But your assumption that "stupid" people here, who do not know about the subject, closed it out of ignorance is wrong, in my opinion.

Domain knowledge does make it easy to understand a question and answer it. But the reason this specific question was closed has nothing to do with that aspect. There are multiple issues with this question:

Lack of research

The professionals who contribute an answer here are sharing their valuable experience and time for free. It is in everyone's best interest to make their job easier. It is lazy on the part of a questioner to post a question here without first highlighting how they have tried to resolve the issues. If they don't, it means more work for those who try to answer the question and this will discourage the professionals from contributing their valuable time here.

Allowing such questions can encourage other new members to imitate that style and reduce the overall quality of questions here, and thus StackExchange communities in general tend to demand more effort from the questioner. (More details here: How much research effort is expected of Stack Overflow users? - the accepted answer to that question is of a harsher tone than necessary, but nevertheless quite relevant).

Lack of clarity / details

How can I use Open Sea Maps on a Mac?

As someone who wanted to try and answer OP's question, my first obvious thought was, "Is this a newbie mac user asking how to install a particular software on a mac? Does OP want a step-by-step guide to do so? Or has OP already tried installing it and is getting some error? Online search doesn't show a mac app for this, but only a website. So what problem is OP having in running a website on a mac?" ... and so on.

I want to make waypoints on sea marks, lighthouses, islets and similar

Again, the question that comes to mind is - "What specific difficulty is OP facing in doing that? Has OP searched online or read the user manuals?

and export to the plotter I use in my boat.

Ok, what is the issue here - does he not know how to export the data or is he having some hardware issue?

(Note that all this could have been easier to deduct and understand if OP had clarified in his question the research he had done and / or the steps he had tried so far).

Off-topic question

(Please refer: What topics can I ask about here?)

In its current form, an argument can also be made that the question is off-topic for AD (in my opinion). Just because a software is available for mac, doesn't mean this is the best place to ask a question about that software. While one can run MS Office on a macOS, it doesn't mean that questions particular to MS Office (or any other non-Apple software) would also be treated at par to more on-topic questions. The general exceptions are:

  1. The question is related to how the software and / or its options are different on macOS (e.g. "On Windows I did this on xy software this way, but in mac this option isn't present on xy software - how do I do it on a mac?").

  2. The question is about using the software with some other mac software or service (e.g. "I would like to save my Microsoft Word document on iCloud. Is this possible?")

  3. The question is about particular issues with the software on macOS (e.g. "I have Microsoft Word installed. But all word documents *.docx only open in Apple Pages when I double-click it. How can I open it on Microsoft Word?).

(These aren't hard and inflexible rules, but broad suggested guidelines - the AD community here is more accommodating than other StackExchange communities that are stricter).

I'd also like to emphasize another important point - communicating by text posts online is difficult because the lack of non-verbal cues makes it easy to misinterpret or misunderstand something.

When people ask for clarifications in comments, or mods close a question, they aren't being hostile - they are seeking clarification. Please see it from that perspective instead of thinking people are being "stupid" or "difficult". Sometimes people may indeed misunderstand something obvious. But, be kind - please remember that everyone here is contributing their time and experience for free.

  • 1
    Great summary of what AD (and SE in general) is about, thanks for that! One small addition: I consider asking about how to make a custom table of content in Word for Mac to be on-topic, even though there might be better sites/places to ask than AD. Even then, asking just for "How do I make a TOC in Word" would get a question put on hold for lack of details.
    – nohillside Mod
    Jun 27, 2021 at 7:09
  • 1
    @nohillside I have slightly modified the content under "off-topic" to address your concerns.
    – sfxedit
    Jun 27, 2021 at 17:21
  • All well :-) At the end I just have one voice/vote, as anyone else.
    – nohillside Mod
    Jun 27, 2021 at 17:47
  • @nohillside The only concern I have is that encouraging questions for non-apple software may reduce the topicality of the sub (from Apple experts to ... ??). On the other hand, I get yours and OP's concern too - due to differences between macOS and other platforms, a software for mac could have its own quirks that a mac user may be better able to answer. (I guess right now we don't need to be concerned with that and it is perhaps a concern for the future - if/when we start getting too many broad questions on non-apple softwares).
    – sfxedit
    Jun 27, 2021 at 17:53
  • IMHO software questions are fine as long as the software runs on an Apple product (well, that‘s also what the FAQ says :-)). The problem with the Open Sea Maps question is a different one, as you explained above.
    – nohillside Mod
    Jun 27, 2021 at 18:03
  • @nohillside I think that is too broad of an interpretation of - third-party hardware, services and software when associated for use with Apple products. I read it as, "You can ask about third-party softwares, in relation to its use with Apple products" - so, for e.g. "How do I install MS Office on macOS? or "How do I use iCloud with MS Office?" or "Are there trackpad gestures I can use on Chrome, like with Safari?" is more releveant and on topic than "How do I centre a table on MS Word on my mac?" because the former are questions that Apple experts / users can answer best.
    – sfxedit
    Jun 27, 2021 at 18:14

There is some general advice on how to write good questions in the HelpCenter, there is also How should I ask about getting a software recommendation? which might apply.

But let's look at the ways the question you refer to could be improved.

How can I use Open Sea Maps on a Mac?

This is rather unspecific about what "Open Sea Maps" actually is. Is it an application (in which case a link to the App Store entry or website might help to learn more) or a website (where an URL would help)? Is it just map data and the OP is looking for an application which allows to use it on their Mac? AD users reading the question have no way of knowing, so some more details would for sure help.

I want to make waypoints on sea marks, lighthouses, islets and similar and export to the plotter I use in my boat.

In the context of the uncertainty what "Open Sea Maps" is, this part also may need improvements. Are they using an application and can't figure out how to accomplish these things? Are they using the website and can't figure out how to do these things in Safari? Are they looking for an application which loads map data and offers boat trip planning functionality?

Not all of these possible questions can be answered on AskDifferent (we neither provide support for web applications nor basic customer support). Also, for questions like this, we expect users to do a reasonable amount of research of the problem being solved, and to include that research (to avoid duplicated effort by users proposing things the OP already tried). Especially looking around at the Open Sea Maps website and trying out the applications on the list you've mentioned is something we would expect people to do before posting.

So, to summarize: the main reason the question was put on hold is that it is way too broad to get good answers. Narrowing it down by covering the points mentioned above will bring it a good step closer to reopening.

Several users tried to help the OP in clarifying the question by asking clarification questions in the comments, unfortunately without much success. If you can think of a better way to describe the problem please ask a new question on the main site (or wait for the lock to expire on the weekend and edit the current one).


That question is locked since the comments devolved into name calling specific people “autistic” and “stupid”. Let’s let it cool off before we analyze or try to fix it. In fact, you might be better served by asking a more detailed question yourself and letting that one just be for a while.

  • This question was/is perfect. There are no details to add. The people asking for more details had either not read the whole question or are stupid, incompetent or similar. It is as simple as that. Platform, tool and purpose was all included in the question.
    – d-b
    Jun 23, 2021 at 20:16
  • 1
    I understand your point of view now. Thanks for raising it on meta so people can cast votes to reopen as they see fit or use the editing process designed to assist with reopening a closed question.
    – bmike Mod
    Jun 23, 2021 at 20:19

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