This is a follow up to Should we retire the "data set request" closure reason?
My interpretation of the votes and answers on that thread is that there is some support for retiring the "data set request" option (+8/-0), but there is also a feeling that there should be a concrete option that will replace the "data set request" option (+6/-0). I want to put forward this post as a suggestion for how we could use the slot freed up if we choose to retire the "data set request" option.
Right now, we have two distinct closure reasons occupying a single slot:
This question appears to be off-topic because EITHER it is not about statistics, machine learning, data analysis, data mining, or data visualization, OR it focuses on programming, debugging, or performing routine operations within a statistical computing platform. If the latter, you could try the support links we maintain.
My suggestion is that we divide this into two distinct reasons:
This question appears to be off-topic because it is not about probability, statistics, machine learning, data analysis, data mining, or data visualization.
This question appears to be off-topic because it focuses on programming, debugging, or performing routine operations within a statistical computing platform. You could try the support links we maintain.
I think this is a helpful change because it provides question-askers with more precise feedback about what caused a question to be closed. While it might be obvious to experienced users why a given question was closed, I think that it can be confusing to newcomers when a question is closed with the EITHER/OR closure message because the newcomer is not clear on the boundaries for reasons (1) and the boundaries for reason (2). This means that the newcomer won't be certain if the question was closed because it's not about statistics (broadly conceived), or if was closed because it's about routine programming tasks.
Newcomers are the users we should have foremost in our minds when writing closure reasons because they're the users whose questions are most likely to be closed, and they're the users who have the most information to learn about how the site works. By definition, they're the least-experienced users.
By contrast, the more experienced users who are doing the closing have a clear reason fixed in their minds (either they're closing it for reason 1, or they're closing it for reason 2), but the limitations of the closure dialogue make that communication difficult because the new user is only told that the question was closed "ETIHER for reason 1 OR for reason 2." This means that the new user has to learn two things about how the site works (which quantitative topics are on-topic here, and which computing topics are on-topic here) in order to revise their question for reopening. But it's likely that only one of these reasons caused the question to be closed, so they have to learn the details of the 2 reasons just to ameliorate the single problem. I think this is an obstacle to new users engaging successfully with the SE paradigm.