I asked this question a few days ago:

How exactly do the Linux display device files work?

It has been put on hold as 'too broad'. However, I made an edit at the end, acknowledging that the question may be too broad and instead asking for a reference to external resources that would help to explain the topic (which I have had trouble finding). Surely the revised question isn't too broad? If so, what can I do to make the question acceptable?

  • I voted to close that question because, as asked, there could easily be a 50 page document written to answer it. It involves a lot of concepts all brought together, with a fair amount of history to make sense of it all. Sometimes a question is just that much bigger than the person asking it realises! Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 1:45

1 Answer 1


Asking for external references is explicitly off topic. We even have a dedicated close reason for it. So your edit only makes things worse, I'm afraid.

The only way I can think of improving your question would be to try and break it down to smaller sub-questions. You could probably start by reading through the answers here:

What are character special and block special files in a unix system?

How do keyboard input and text output work?

Then come back and try to ask something very specific and then build on that for your next question.

  • Wow. I'm surprised, and somewhat disappointed, that resource-recommendation questions are off-topic. I didn't know that and I must say I disagree with some of the reasons given in that Meta question. Physics SE, for example, has a tag dedicated to resource recommendations, and it doesn't seem to cause any problems there. However, if it is U&L policy, then I have no choice but to comply.
    – Time4Tea
    Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 20:07
  • @Time4Tea the problem is mostly that any answers will be not an answer since they will be directing people to where an answer can be found rather than to the answer itself. Also, note that even Physics only allows such questions if they follow very strict guidelines. It's a perfectly good question for /dev/chat though!
    – terdon Mod
    Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 20:25
  • They would be answers, if the question is specifically asking for a resource. If Physics allows it under strict guidelines, why could the same not be done here? I'm not suggesting that all SE sites should work the same way, but if it seems to work on Physics, that suggests that some of the concerns voiced about it in that question are perhaps unfounded.
    – Time4Tea
    Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 20:33
  • @Time4Tea if you feel that way, please open a meta discussion or post an answer on the existing one. However, you would have to demonstrate that it actually provides a benefit to the Physics community (that it exists doesn't mean anything by itself) and, more importantly, make the case for why it would be useful here. Bear in mind that, unlike Physics, you don't really get many cases where there can be a single, authoritative work on a subject.
    – terdon Mod
    Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 20:35
  • And, when a single, authoritative source of information exists, there also exists an exception: from What topics can I ask about here?: "The only exception is questions about where to find official documentation (e.g. POSIX specifications)". (Ok, half joking here).
    – fra-san
    Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 20:40
  • 1
    I have posted an answer in the other question about resource-requests, as I disagree with the policy.
    – Time4Tea
    Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 21:24
  • 2
    @Time4Tea thank you for taking the time to do so. I may not agree, personally, but the discussion is worth having.
    – terdon Mod
    Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 21:57

You must log in to answer this question.

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