To delininate what makes this site different from stackoverflow.com:

All questions here should be inherently subjective and unanswerable, and all the answers to said questions should be 100% based purely on the opinion of the answerer.

Examples of on-topic questions from the proposal definition:

My supervisor thinks that all If statements should include else statements. Do you agree? 27 votes

Tabs vs. Spaces: What is the one proper indentation character for everything, in every situation, ever? 24 votes

What are common mistakes in Software Development? 24 votes

What is your favorite programming joke? 22 votes

What’s your favorite “programmer” cartoon? 21 votes

For questions that are not subjective, we might want to have a close reason like "not subjective enough" or "can actually have a definitive answer".

I'm not entirely kidding here -- we want the non-subjective stuff on Stack Overflow so we need a policy here about what the difference is, and where things belong.

  • This is kind of related to my question at meta.programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/1/…. It's a little different though, but it might address some related issues.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Commented Sep 1, 2010 at 19:58
  • I like this idea. I've already seen one or two questions already that might benefit from being asked at SO. programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/18/… for example. Commented Sep 1, 2010 at 23:11
  • 3
    I disagree with this. The point of this site is that it's for not programming related questions. These can have definitive answers, but they are not specifically about writing code. If you're really that serious Jeff, then you need to flip around the filter that tells you that the question is subjective when you are asking it, because that is going to confuse everyone. Commented Sep 2, 2010 at 14:17
  • I asked the following question last night: programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/404/… One person commented that it was a great question, another that it wasn't subjective enough. Is this a question that I should have asked on Stackoverflow? I am wondering if it would be closed over there as "not programming related". Commented Sep 2, 2010 at 14:28
  • 2
    Closed as programming related. ?
    – mafu
    Commented Sep 9, 2010 at 11:13
  • 1
    Either way, I think the FAQ for programmers.stackexchange needs changing. Under the heading "What kind of questions should I not ask here?" - "Avoid asking questions that are subjective, argumentative, or require extended discussion. This is not a discussion board, this is a place for questions that can be answered"
    – dwynne
    Commented Sep 10, 2010 at 20:37
  • @dwynne: That's an amusing slip-up :-). Also, I guess SO should change their copy of that FAQ entry to point here at some point?
    – SamB
    Commented Sep 14, 2010 at 20:43

3 Answers 3


I'm having a hard time coming up with a question that would belong on Programmers and have an objective, definitive answer. I'm for the idea of closing non-subjective questions, but perhaps using a different name, like not a real discussion (as opposed to not a real question on Stack Overflow):

Not a real discussion

This question either has an objective, definitive answer or does not provide enough value as a discussion topic. Definitive questions about programming belong on Stack Overflow.

This would also have the benefit of capturing loaded questions and rants.

  • Maybe there is a way to push them to SO :) Of course, ability to close questions is needed too. Commented Sep 1, 2010 at 20:46
  • 3
    I don't like the idea of calling them discussions. The vote-based Q&A style of a stackexchange site doesn't facilitate having a discussion, where chronological order is important for idea development and progression. Commented Sep 2, 2010 at 12:28

Jeff, I agree that any question that is a valid SO question should get the full attention of the SO community. Then how about a [belongs-on-stackoverflow] tag and close reason?

Belongs on Stack Overflow

This question presents a problem that can be clearly and satisfactorily solved by a solution and is directly related to programming. Consider posting this question on Stack Overflow.

  • 2
    I like this way better than the "Not a real discussion". However shouldn't we just move it?
    – TheLQ
    Commented Sep 2, 2010 at 23:20
  • @TheLQ: Yes, but the people who notice that it belongs there might not have the authorization to do that, hence the tag and close reason for varying levels of reputation. Commented Sep 5, 2010 at 11:00

All questions here should be inherently subjective and unanswerable[…].

To me, unanswerable means for which is not possible to answer; that is probably different from the meaning that is being suggested here.

The example questions reported have been voted as good examples; not all the examples has been voted, and that doesn't mean they are not good examples.
If we apply the same criterium, then we should wait to close a question as not too much subjective, and see if the question gets enough votes.

  • 1
    I agree, I don't like the "unanswerable" part at all. I've yet to see an unanswerable question on this site!
    – Wizard79
    Commented Sep 2, 2010 at 16:33

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