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As part of our on-going efforts surrounding the question closing and new user guidance experience, we are asked to provide new audience-specific formulations for our existing custom close reasons. I have moved this forward as there is no strong consensus around the side-bar notification and adapting the modal dialogue would probably end up similarly.

For this Q&A the reason we'll focus on is the following one:

Requests for analyzing ciphertext, finding hash preimages, identifying or decoding some code, or even reviewing full cryptographic designs are off-topic, as the results are rarely useful to anyone else and/or would be too long for this site.

Please provide one full formulation of the new text for the close reason per answer (minor edits allowed as they come up).


Guidelines on interacting with answers in this Q&A:

  • Upvote if you actively like a formulation
  • Don't vote if you can live with it, and have no strong feelings in either direction about it
  • Downvote if you actively dislike the formulation
  • Comment to suggest minor improvements that keep the spirit of the formulation close enough and are likely to increase the quality

Guideslines on writing answers in this Q&A:

Each answer needs to provide the following five parts (full example & details here, Academia.SE's full set, Our Cryptocurrency Reason):

  1. A brief description (10-100 chars) This will be the headline of the close reason, similar to "Duplicate" or "Needs more focus"
  2. Usage guidance (25-500 chars) This will be shown in the voting / flag to close dialog
  3. Public post notice description (25-500 chars) This will be shown to everyone after the question is closed
  4. Post owner guidance (25-500 chars) This is additional info that will be shown only to the asker after the question is closed
  5. Privileged user guidance (25-500 chars) This is additional info that will be shown only to users with close / reopen privileges after the question is closed

Plus, ideally, explanations / justifications / similar for formulations.
It is also explicitly encouraged to copy (some / most) formulations from other answers if you think you found a better variant / better sub-part (attribution is also encouraged though).

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Here is my take on it.

I've removed "finding hash preimages" because I think that's too technical for the users that post these kinds of questions. I've translated that in "reversing a hash" in the full descriptions as that's something I expect that's a wording that users are able to grog.

I've also removed the "even" and "fully" are they are not needed and water down the description.

Otherwise, I hope the text reflects the two meta-posts about the subjects well and is in tune with current practice. I've tried to give some welcome advice so that posts may be edited / reopened only if they contain a focused question.

  1. Brief description

Requests for analyzing obfuscated code or cryptographic designs are considered off-topic. These requests usually don't result in a definitive answer, and the answers are rarely useful to anybody else.

  1. Usage guidance

This question needs to be closed because it is a request to analyze obfuscated code or a cryptographic design. This close reason should be used for requests for decryption of specific ciphertext, hash reversal requests, requests for identification of a cryptographic scheme, or when a request is made to analyze a cipher or other cryptographic primitives.

  1. Public post notice description

This question was closed because it is considered a request to analyze obfuscated code or a cryptographic design. Requests for deciphering or reversing a hash are not on topic. Questions must focus on one specific aspect of a cryptographic scheme.

  1. Post owner guidance

This question was closed because it is considered a request to analyze obfuscated code or a cryptographic design. The question could be reopened if the question is edited to focus on one aspect of the given code or design. Requests for decrypting a specific ciphertext or reversing a hash are never considered on-topic.

  1. Privileged user guidance

This question was closed because it is considered a request to analyze obfuscated code or a cryptographic design. It could be reopened if the scope of the question is narrowed to one specific property of the given code or design. The post should not contain multiple questions unless they are strongly related. Questions should be able to receive focused, objectively valid answers.

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    $\begingroup$ I find the current terminology confusing. Does "code" mean source code of a program or ciphertext? To me, "obfuscated code" always means source code -- do we often get requests to unobfuscate source code? Will the target audience know what "analyze" means (as in cryptanalysis)? I would advocate for more direct/plain language: something like "no requests to decode/decrypt/reverse specific outputs of a cryptographic algorithm (ciphers, encryption schemes, hash functions, etc)" $\endgroup$ – Mikero Jul 9 at 19:49

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