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https://scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/41037/spaceship-repair

This is a perfect question to generate an insightful synthesis-type answer classifying the repair types and giving mini-examples of each.

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The whole point is to explore all different types (of which there's a very final amount), not all examples from limited universes. Making it about a specific universe makes it boring and useless. As usual, you are pre-assuming "inconceivably long answer, or they're polling for a bunch of one-off examples" without even a slight evidence that that will be the result.

I get what you're saying, and, in theory, you're right. A good answer could be crafted that covers every type of spaceship repair described in book, movie, tv, or comics.

In theory.

Unfortunately, what is much more likely to happen (and by "much more likely" I mean "practically guaranteed") is that we'll get a bunch of answers that describe one or two specific types of repairs.

If we're lucky, we'll also get a really good answer that lists all the ones that can easily be thought of. If we're even luckier, we'll get an answer that does that while also providing details and context from some specific works that reference each repair type. However, there's no guarantee that such an answer would be comprehensive (it seems vanishingly improbable that it could be comprehensive), and even if it were, there's no guarantee that it would stay comprehensive, as new works could come out that have new ideas.

While I agree that the argument that an answer could become outdated by future materials, in this case it isn't that the answer would magically become lower quality, but rather that the question would simply have higher potential to garner more "me too" answers.

And the "me too" answers really are a problem. The more you get, the more likely you are to receive more, and they set a bad example for new users. Additionally, new users who pop in to add these "me too" answers are being set up for a negative introduction to our site. At best, they may garner an upvote or two. More likely, though, they'll receive no votes, or downvotes, which (if you remember waaaay back to when you first started on stackexchange) can be frustrating and disheartening to new users.

The argument that it is "too broad" has merit. An entire book could indeed be written about this, as it stands now. Or the answer could simply be: "nano-repair bots; mobile astro-mechs or other robots larger than nano-scale; space-suited mechanics; organic components that self-heal; organic components that have their healing augmented by topical medicine and/or surgery; magic", which isn't a very interesting answer.

Limiting the scope to a specific universe, while asking for more detail, would make an excellent question, in my opinion. I think the question could even be expanded beyond that significantly, and still remain a good question (for example, "What are all the types of spaceship repairs described in Hugo or Nebula award winning novels?" is a more reasonable scope than the current example), but the more specific the question, the better the quality of answers we're likely to garner.

A question about the spaceship repair techniques described in Star Wars would quite likely receive an answer that describes not only the repair techniques, but which species/planets/organizations use each, and possibly specific examples from varying levels of canon.

A question about all the types of spaceship repairs described in Hugo or Nebula award winning novels would most likely receive a sentence or two, at most, describing each repair, with a list of qualifying novels in which they appeared.

The former would be potentially fascinating reading material for casual browsers of our site. The latter would be of interest to the person asking, and perhaps a handful of other people looking for ideas (either for writing, or for reading suggestions).

  • For the record, I upvoted the question as interesting, but I believe it should remain closed unless it is refined to a narrower scope. – Beofett Sep 27 '13 at 13:21
  • Isn't protecting the question the solution to "me too" answers? Seemed to work fine for those I voted to protect before. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Sep 27 '13 at 13:40
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    @DVK I see protecting a question as a "band-aid" solution. Not to mention that it would probably be even more frustrating for new users to find that the question that prompted them to register for the site is specifically set up to block them from participating. – Beofett Sep 27 '13 at 13:53
  • I'd rather have an alive patient with a band-aid than a dead (closed) one :) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Sep 27 '13 at 13:55
  • I'd rather have a healthy question that needed neither band-aid nor closure :) – Beofett Sep 27 '13 at 13:57
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    @DVK I sometimes see "me, too" answers from users in the 600-1.2k rep. range, so it's not even a very good "band-aid" solution... – Izkata Sep 27 '13 at 23:27
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Because its way too broad.

I'm looking for ideas on how sci-fi ships get repaired. Star Trek, sci-fi novels, I don't care which. How do they repair from attacks when they're not near a friendly space port?

They're asking for all space sci-fi to be covered, or for every answer to be a 'me, too' with another example from a universe. This means the hundreds of works we've been exposed to plus all the ones we haven't. This means there's tons of ship designs/types that they're expecting to be addressed. So either the asker is expecting an inconceivably long answer, or they're polling for a bunch of one-off examples. Neither are accepted here.

If the question gets updated to be about a specific universe, or handful of universes, it'll be reopened.

As it stands now, it would make a good idea for a nice, thick book though.

  • The whole point is to explore all different types (of which there's a very final amount), not all examples from limited universes. Making it about a specific universe makes it boring and useless. As usual, you are pre-assuming "inconceivably long answer, or they're polling for a bunch of one-off examples" without even a slight evidence that that will be the result. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Sep 27 '13 at 1:13
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    If it's such a limited amount, I would suggest editing the question to lay out exactly what the types you/the OP are asking for. Otherwise, we will likely get a bunch of one/two-type answers. – phantom42 Sep 27 '13 at 12:38
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    Further, the issue is more than just about different types, but that it spans multiple universes. How they repair an engine in space in Star Wars may be completely different from they way they do in BSG, which may be completely different from the way they do in Star Trek. – phantom42 Sep 27 '13 at 12:40

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