This question: AddIn, AddOn and Plugin has been closed.

When I first read it I thought it might be better suited to EL&U, but since the question is something specific to computer programmes, this seems like it is a good place to ask. It is a useful thing for developers to be able understand the terminology for their own profession.

The question is not vague, incomplete, ambiguous, or overly broad and has been answered in its current form.

Why was this question closed?


2 Answers 2


I think the issue with the question, like many rote knowledge questions, is that the purpose of the question is not clear.

That is, one of the foundations of Programmers.SE, and what differentiates it from Stack Overflow and the other objective Stack Exchange sites, is that we encourage answers to be built upon people's subjective experiences.

A question that just asks for fact recitation doesn't touch upon that at all, so it appears that question is missing a crucial element that would invite such answers, and as such it's incomplete.

That's not to say you can't ask objective questions, it's just that we need to know why you're asking it so it can inform people how to answer it. Otherwise, questions like these generally invite answers that have a different set of expectations than the asker (for example, a person opining rather than providing a set of facts).

  • 1
    Do you think, then, that the question would have been more suitable to superusers?
    – Matt Ellen
    Commented Jun 2, 2011 at 6:50
  • @Matt every site in the Stack Exchange network has the same section of the FAQ, which is the requirement that questions be asked of actual problems one faces. So one would need to provide the rationale behind asking the question regardless of where it is asked. To that end, I don't believe having some context for the question to provide guidance to the answers is a particularly onerous requirement.
    – user8
    Commented Jun 2, 2011 at 7:11
  • 1
    I don't see the question as missing any context required to validate it. The person didn't know how to differentiate plug-ins, add-ons and add-ins. Are you saying that unless the question relates to something specific in their life then it is off topic?
    – Matt Ellen
    Commented Jun 2, 2011 at 7:41
  • @Matt Questions need to be about practical, solvable problems. Like I said in my answer, we need to know why you're asking the question to guide the answers: the question does not provide that. There was a related question that popped up earlier that discussed this requirement in detail.
    – user8
    Commented Jun 2, 2011 at 9:01
  • Thank you for your elucidation.
    – Matt Ellen
    Commented Jun 2, 2011 at 9:05
  • Here is the "why" for me: I am reading internal documents which say "X is an addin". I need to understand what that means in SE common speak. I think it is your criteria that is very vague. What is a "problem"? Is me not being able to read and understand a technical document not a problem?
    – pooya13
    Commented Feb 4, 2022 at 20:54

I think I'm with you. I don't know why it was closed and I disagree with its closing. It looks like there's a decent answer up already, though, so I don't think I'm going to override community votes to reopen it unless there's enough support expressed here from users who aren't able to vote to reopen.

  • I added a 2nd vote to re-open. I think its a subjective question because it deals with semantics, and its relevant because a crisper differentiation of component architectures would be generally useful, particularly in product specifications and descriptions.
    – Jeremy
    Commented Jun 22, 2011 at 20:48
  • @Anna, Please re-open it. Having "un-deleted yet frozen" threads is harmful, especially when they are publicly available, on a high-reputation site, and the answer is wrong.
    – Pacerier
    Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 15:16
  • @Pacerier Flag it for moderator attention, explain your reasoning, and a current mod can look into it.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 15:40

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