My question concerning the use of two features in Google Inbox has been put on hold, motivation being:

This question does not appear to be about web applications within the scope defined in the help center.

Like many, I was inclined to think of web mail applications as the quintessential webapps.

What strikes perhaps more is that:

  1. Being Inbox recently dismissed, I asked if I was to delete the question, but was suggested by a mod to not necessarily do so.

  2. There are, depending on the query, 500/1000 results concerning Inbox and a specific tag [inbox-by-gmail].

  3. I understand human opinions might differ over time, but this question has been asked 5 years ago (yes five!) and put on hold today.

As noted, I was going to delete it, so I don't bear any particular interest in this question, but still I am curious, as it seems like just some antispam bots, removed it.

If I am wrong, can you, please, educate me on the subject.

2 Answers 2


Tl;Dr: Webmail apps that were retired like Google Inbox are off-topic, those that are available are on-topic.

The comments on the referred the question include some hints about what happened in this specific case:

Inbox by Gmail was retired in April, 2019 and is no longer available.

I think that this text was added as a custom close reason, then some "mods" (users with the required reputation to vote to close) voted to close the question.

It's worth to note that close voters could choose different close reasons but only one of those reasons is shown. I'm not sure about the rules to choose it.

  • This properly explain my point 3, but not 1 and 2. Also, I can't find the rule "Webmail apps that were retired are off-topic" here. Removing obsolete tech on SE should be an explicit policy. Otherwise different mods can take different actions.
    – antonio
    Jul 5, 2019 at 17:55
  • @antonio If you didn't this yet, please read The Web Application Graveyard
    – Rubén Mod
    Jul 5, 2019 at 18:00

We also used to have a custom canned response for "dead" web apps

Questions on applications or application features that are no longer available are off-topic for Web Applications as no one will ever be able to make use of the answers again.

that was replaced recently.

(Oddly, I don't recall seeing any conversation here about changing the canned custom off-topic reasons.)

Since, without a canned response, a reason must be manually added when voting to close as off-topic, and that reason is also added as a comment. Unfortunately, "off-topic" is the only viable close reason, because the others certainly don't apply.

So, in the boilerplate text for closing as off-topic

This question does not appear to be about web applications within the scope defined in the help center.

is implied that only web applications that are still available for use are in scope for this site.

  • 2
    The custom close reason was discussed a while ago already: webapps.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/4614/…. We had only been using the obsolete close reason a handful of times and it was felt that being able to close things that were completely unanswerable by those outside of the company with a consistent reason was better in the long run.
    – jonsca
    Jul 5, 2019 at 21:13
  • 1
    @jonsca would be curious to know if that reason has seen more action, I don't think I've seen it much more in the wild.
    – John C
    Jul 30, 2019 at 6:25
  • @JohnC I'm not so married to it that I'm not willing to change it back again or to something else. If I remember, I can look up some stats about how often people were using the "customer service" in the custom close reason before that and how many used the "obsolete" reason in a custom comment after it was removed from the closing list.
    – jonsca
    Aug 2, 2019 at 2:03

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