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Our FAQ says that "algorithm and data structure concepts" questions are on-topic on Programmers. However, we receive "migrate to Stack Overflow" flags on a lot of algorithm-related question. This tells me there's a misunderstanding somewhere.

Do we want algorithm questions? What kind of questions are those?

Clearly questions about implementing an algorithm are off-topic, but are questions asking to derive an algorithm okay? Is that "conceptual" enough?

I like the idea of coming up with examples of good questions. So, what kinds of algorithm-related questions (if any) do you want to see on Programmers?

If there's a consensus reached here, we can amend the FAQ to be more clear about the kinds of algorithm-related questions we want or don't want.

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A good example could be: What algorithm is most useful on large unordered data sets where the sets change rapidly and each set may contain elements of the previous set?
A bad example could be: How do I implement Ranga-Kutta Approximation into a Database in APL?

I think that algorithm utility questions are valid, but Big O estimation probably is OT; I am not going to go one way or the other on it.

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In my opinion, as soon as you go deeper than performance and pseudocode for the algorithm, it belongs to Stack Overflow. Asking about {insert algorithm here} is OK, but asking about {insert algorithm here} in {your programming language} belongs is off-topic. Questions here should generally be about libraries and programming languages at a high level, not implementation details - rarely should code ever be posted.

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    "asking about in belongs is off-topic" -- I don't follow that part. Is there a word missing? – Adam Lear Aug 17 '11 at 14:14
  • @Anna I used < and > brackets...it got parsed as HTML and stripped. One sec. – Thomas Owens Aug 17 '11 at 14:17

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