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So a new "community wiki" type Q/A has been provided by Mr. Lemon about Imbalanced brackets in Minecraft commands. I believe this applies to a lot of questions on this topic, so I was thinking should we mark all questions on this topic as duplicates of this one?

  • Oh you're discussing that question, well I'll add this here as well: I provided the same solution on this question: gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/207989/…, so if we're marking duplicates, one of these should be marked as a dupe of the other (it doesn't matter which came first, whichever is the better one matters more, but as I'm biased I'll let the community decide that :-) – Robotnik May 16 '16 at 2:18
  • @Robotnik I remembered someone having written that before, but I decided to pair it with a good question. Come to think of it, the question you answered is a really good one (if you ignore the japanese), so yeah: Community decision time. – MrLemon May 16 '16 at 11:26
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I believe that all questions arising from the 'Unbalanced brackets' error should be closed as dupe of either:

Both of these questions have quality answers which guide the asker to their answer by explaining:

  • What the error means
  • How to find the error
  • How to fix the error

As the old saying goes, teach a man to fish and you can feed him for a lifetime.

Another option is that the second question is merged into the first question, so that both good answers are found under the same question.


@Brythan says the following:

In order to mark a question as a duplicate, you need to know that the problem with the command is imbalanced brackets. If you've done that, you might as well answer. You have all the needed information.

He has a point - we should be closing questions based on the question not the answer. However, that is not applicable to this situation - you already know that the problem is something to do with unbalanced brackets, because Minecraft tells you so: (command taken from this question)

/summon Villager ~ ~ ~ {Profession:3,Career:2,Offers:{Recipes:[{buy:{id:minecraft:diamond,Count:6b}},sell:{id:minecraft:diamond_hoe,tag:{ench:[{id:16s,lvl:10s}]}]}}

Data tag parsing failed: Unbalanced brackets: (command here)

If the question does not give us the error message thrown when they run the command, then it should be closed as Unclear what you're asking.

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    Caveat to the last sentence: Unless it's blatantly obvious what's causing the issue. :-) – Robotnik May 16 '16 at 12:13
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    I would suggest closing as dupe to gaming.stackexchange.com/q/265668 instead of the second option presented, since it's the more general question. – MBraedley May 19 '16 at 23:35
  • @MBraedley That's what I originally thought, but then I thought that we could merge the two questions so that we get the generalized question with both great answers – angussidney May 20 '16 at 5:32
  • Ah yes, the good ol' saying: "Give a man a hamburger and he will live another day. Teach a man to hamburger and he will live forever!" – user1337 May 20 '16 at 11:22
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This seems overly narrow. In order to mark a question as a duplicate, you need to know that the problem with the command is imbalanced brackets. If you've done that, you might as well answer. You have all the needed information.

Closing as a duplicate without establishing that it is a duplicate would encourage other people to close similar questions as duplicates. Possibly incorrectly. It's mildly annoying to see a question with the same problem as many solved questions. It's really annoying to be told that no one can answer your question because of some other question that doesn't solve your problem.

It would make more sense to close Minecraft command troubleshooting questions as duplicates of a general troubleshooting question.

It would make even more sense to close Minecraft command troubleshooting questions as off-topic. Then we could point people to questions that help with troubleshooting.

Or just allow them. Don't want to answer them? Don't. Let someone else farm rep with them.

  • You make a very good point. We wouldn't know if these questions were duplicates without looking at the answer. We do not take the answer into consideration when VTCing in any other situation I've seen. – user106385 May 16 '16 at 1:03
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    @Timelord I disagree - if the brackets are imbalanced, it will output an error telling you so, which should be included in the question. If the question doesn't include the error message, it should probably be closed as unclear. – angussidney May 16 '16 at 7:34
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    @Brythan if you want Minecraft troubleshooting questions off-topic, please feel free to make another meta discussion. – angussidney May 16 '16 at 8:09

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