Most meta posts are related to closed questions and misunderstanding about what sort of questions is allowed here.

The problem is that we don't offer any alternative to the user that the become very frustrated. It's clear that many existing community members have expressed numerous times their own frustration.

It's not going to stop anytime soon. We need to provide them with a solution, and SE network can do that.

I created a proposal on area51 to offer an alternative to those programmers seeking for help & advice by other programmers.

I count on your support and if the proposal is a success, I suggest to setup a migration path from P.SE to the new proposal.

UPDATE: it has been closed as P.SE duplicate :)

UPDATE2: I address a last idea here.

  • 8
    Other discussion forums, like forums.thedailywtf.com, might be a better place for that kind of discussions.
    – user281377
    Commented Jul 6, 2011 at 12:17
  • Like you said a forum is about discussions.
    – user2567
    Commented Jul 6, 2011 at 12:25
  • It seems like a discussion is what a lot of people want to have when they ask these sort of questions.
    – Jeremy
    Commented Jul 6, 2011 at 14:30
  • @Jeremy: I don't have that feeling. We have the chat for that already.
    – user2567
    Commented Jul 6, 2011 at 14:41
  • 1
    @Pierre, I think its a great proposal. I'm personally pretty tired of all the whining about co-workers and office politics on Programmers. Those arent really programming issues. Perhaps a more general career advice or office politics site could be made if the powers-that-be see your suggestion as a duplicate? Commented Jul 6, 2011 at 21:57
  • 2
    @GrandmasterB Pretty sure there's at least one proposal out for that. Off the top of my head, there's Around the water cooler, though it doesn't seem to be getting a lot of traction.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Jul 6, 2011 at 22:05
  • Not Not Programming Related Related?
    – Aaronaught
    Commented Jul 7, 2011 at 0:45
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    @grandmaster I hear you on the office politics and co-workers questions, those are basically bikeshed questions Commented Jul 7, 2011 at 4:19
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    What makes P.SE so useful for programmers is that it is crowded by programmers. That's very valuable. That's what seduced me at the beginning: the human factor. I'm out of ideas now, so let's see how it goes long term and hope for the best.
    – user2567
    Commented Jul 7, 2011 at 6:32

2 Answers 2


The reason we have these rules is not because we are jerks who hate fun discussions. It's because these sorts of questions do poorly on our engine due to its philosophy and design.

But, for the sake of argument, let's consider the opposite of the don't ask list as a guideline for what would be explicitly allowed and encouraged in Bizarro-Programmers.

superman and bizarro

If your motivation for asking the question is “I would like others to explain ______ to me”, then you should not be asking here. However, if your motivation is “I would like to participate in a discussion about ______”, then you are probably OK.

Please do ask subjective questions where ...

  • every answer is equally valid: “What’s your favorite ______?”
  • your answer is provided along with the question, and you expect more answers: “I use ______ for ______, what do you use?”
  • there is no actual problem to be solved: “I’m curious if other people feel like I do.”
  • we are being asked an open-ended, hypothetical question: “What if ______ happened?”
  • it is a rant disguised as a question: “______ sucks, am I right?”

Since we emphasize learning and problem solving, on Bizarro-programmers there would be no emphasis on learning at all, only its opposite: entertainment by any and all means possible.

This is simply not what we do on Stack Exchange.

Therefore, to have a good home for these questions, almost by definition you would have to create it not on our engine.

  • 3
    I'm not talking about entertainment or social aspects. Please give me some time to find interesting closed questions that would be a perfect match for SE.
    – user2567
    Commented Jul 6, 2011 at 8:52
  • What about "look at this lolcat!"?
    – Jeremy
    Commented Jul 6, 2011 at 14:33
  • 7
    @Pierre: All this whining here on meta about closed questions would be infinitely more useful if folks would just take the time to dig up examples of incorrectly-closed questions before posting about how unfair it all is.
    – Shog9
    Commented Jul 7, 2011 at 4:07
  • 3
    @pierre as Shog9 said, this would be a lot more useful if you could point to questions that are a) of value and b) not a horrible fit to our engine that are being closed here. Commented Jul 7, 2011 at 4:17
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    @Jeff Atwood: they are not incorrectly closed because they match the rules you set. I think the rules are too strict to make P.SE contribute to a better internet. That's why I'm looking for solutions. Since my proposal has been rejected, I have not more option than hoping that you will change your mind one day.
    – user2567
    Commented Jul 7, 2011 at 6:26
  • 5
    @pierre there are still no examples in your question; without examples it is very hard to understand what you're talking about Commented Jul 7, 2011 at 7:03
  • 2
    @Pierre I joined SE because it looked to me like a community of people with a (professional) passion for programming, but it's not. It's almost by definition a number of programmers who provide their solutions to non programmers. Also for this reason, I think, many answers are so patronizing. I know that a product is what it is, you can't change it. If you still like it after a while you'll continue using it, otherwise you just will throw it away.
    – Ando
    Commented Jul 7, 2011 at 7:07
  • @Andrea: that's pretty much the point.
    – user2567
    Commented Jul 7, 2011 at 7:45
  • @Jeff Atwood: I know you don't understand, you did not address the problem in your answer. Today and tomorrow morning I have lot of meetings and preparation to do, so I won't be available tomorrow afternoon. Since you seem receptive, I'll take the time to write you something more consistent.
    – user2567
    Commented Jul 7, 2011 at 7:55
  • 6
    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines." I think the danger is that people providing thoughtful "good" content will simply get tired of all this noise, hate and irritation and quietly go somewhere else. That way you'll end up with a growing majority of mediocrity. On the other hand, maybe it is impossible to be good and popular, and being popular at least makes economic sense. There seems to be the general consensus to always argue specifics while I think it's the overall tone that matters. That's just me though
    – Homde
    Commented Jul 8, 2011 at 10:14
  • @Jeff Atwood: here is my complete point of view. meta.programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/1907/…
    – user2567
    Commented Jul 8, 2011 at 10:39

Yeah, frankly I'm afraid to ask anything on this site because the chances are good I'll be drawn into some long obnoxious close, open, complain, be criticized for being too passionate, criticize others for not having enough passion, get banned, return and repeat loop.

No reason to leave this site, because I've got a SO account and a gardening account and I'm working on a proposal at Area51.

But, I certainly don't plan on contributing anything meaningful if I have no idea whether I'm going to have to waste hours of my life just trying to justify myself.

Maybe there should be a 100 question quiz a person could take, if they pass the quiz, then they at least get the benefit of the doubt because they know what the site is about and they asked the question anyway.

  • 4
    I agree, the close squad is very active here. Its the result of creating a site that sits at the edge of the SE network. Sad but true
    – TheLQ
    Commented Jul 12, 2011 at 21:34

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