Questions like Is there an alternative to HTML Web Sockets, now that Firefox 4 has disabled them? always give me pause.
This question was asked January 4. To me, it is clearly suited better for StackOverflow than Softwareengineering, since it is an answerable programming question, not a question about programmers or about the development process. But, I say "grey area" since clearly the poster thought it was appropriate and most of the community haven't felt concerned with it remaining open on Programmers.
My question is, what do we do about questions which do fall into some sort of a grey area between StackOverflow and Software Engineering?
When I see a question like this, I have three options:
- Vote to close as off-topic, or at the very least to post a comment saying it's better suited there.
- Answer (mark as community-wiki if I'm also voting to close)
- Leave it
If I'm unable to answer, my inclination would be to choose #1, to help the user find a better forum for obtaining an answer.
However well-intentioned that would be, when the question is in a grey area, it's likely to cause some to think I'm just being unhelpful and better off just leaving the question alone.
In addition, once it's been around for 2 weeks, it seems more people are inclined to let it stay simply because it has longevity and answers.
Any advice for this situation? Am I being too sensitive? Could we benefit from a clear description of the difference between SO/Software Engineering in the "How to Ask" note on the Ask Question page? Are there any other ways in which we could reduce this grey area?