In particular, I am looking at this Q&A: Detect piano notes and chords. The original post was an explicit request for software recommendations:
Is there an app or open source software that can detect piano notes being played in real time?
It was closed, then edited and reopened. The edited question is a more ambiguous version of the original post which now asks:
What is a reasonably good way to detect chords in solo piano music?
As often seems to be the case with questions like this, the question began as something like "What is the best tool X to accomplish Y?", or "Can someone recommend a tool X to accomplish Y?". In an attempt to adhere to site guidelines, and after prompting from well-meaning commentators, the question is transformed to something like "How can I accomplish Y?", to which the answer is probably "Use a tool X." This will almost inevitably lead to a recommendation of the form "Use a tool X. Here is a good one: X1."
This process seems misguided to me. Getting back to the specific example from the beginning of this post: the answer to the revised question of "What is a reasonably good way to detect chords in solo piano music?" seems to be "Use some software" or "Use your ears."
OP already knew that they needed software, although in the attempt to comply with site guidelines the fact that they know this has been left implicit at best. Reviewing the posted answers to this question, almost all of them are explicit software recommendations.
There is some good information in the answers. One answer actually suggests that OP should just use their ears, which isn't a bad answer (except that OP really wanted, and accepted a software recommendation). Another answer states that the type of software in question is called transcription software, which may be a bit helpful, and refrains from recommending any software before going on to suggest that someone else will probably recommend some specific software. The answer that probably adds the most non-recommendation information with respect to software solutions cites two technical papers about pitch detection, before finally making a recommendation at the end.
There are currently nine answers to this question, of which six are exclusively recommendations for one or more specific software packages. Further, all of the answers which are exclusively software recommendations (including one that is a self-answer by OP) came in after the question was edited and reopened.
I think that the reference question above should be closed. "What is a reasonably good way to detect chords in solo piano music?" seems overly broad as a question, but the reality seems to be that this is really a veiled request for a software recommendation, a position that I think is supported by the fact that the answers are almost all software recommendations which were posted to the question after it was edited into an "on-topic" state.
But what I am more interested in is the notion that when someone posts a blatantly off-topic question (in this case a naked request for a software recommendation), we often go out of our way to try to help the OP make it an on-topic post through symbolic gestures and superficial edits; this often seems to lead to half-baked questions that are not what the OP really meant to ask. They meant to ask what they asked.
My post here is an attempt to facilitate discussion, not only of the specific example Detect piano notes and chords, but of how the community feels about handling these sorts of questions.
Is it possible to edit a question which is some variant of the form "Can someone recommend a tool X to accomplish Y?" into a question that is on-topic?
Should we attempt to edit such questions into on-topic questions?
Should we encourage OPs to edit their off-topic questions into on-topic questions?
Are there any examples of off-topic equipment recommendation questions which were transformed and reopened in which this was a successful and satisfying outcome?