Can some one review this question and actually tell me if its particularly bad.


I just wanted to know. A tool is one of the basic requirement for any programmer. It doesn't matter what it is but tools make programmers life easy and it often is very important to know whether there exist a tool to do something that you want to accomplish and the best way to do is ask another programmer what he uses.

How can these sort of questions be off topic in programmers stack exchange. The more questions i post i feel like almost all important stuff are marked off topic here then why do we have to name this programmers. Do any of the programmers here actually work here without tools or have any of you ever not asked another programmer what tool he uses and used the same thing.

Ok so even if its off topic why have a tag for it here. When i type in a question when i enter a tag it shows a lot of questions with the tags, and the mere fact that there is a tag for it shows that it is indeed a related question. Yet my questions, where, i specifically say i require "ONE" tool, and give "all" its functionalities and which has a very specific answer yet it was closed.

I m taking about 15 minutes of time to come up with this post because i feel that newbies are not allowed to use this site at all. What ever questions we come up with its being closed. Even if it has a definitive answer.

Instead of closing the questions blatantly and making the asker look like a fool, would'nt it be better if you big guys bestowed with all powerful closing permissions answer it with all ur mighty experience and make the eco system much friendlier. I think downvoting and closing is too hostile for any ecosystem for the freshlings to survive. For particularly bad single line "give me the codez" question its ok but even for genuine descriptive questions is an overkill.

Im sure that this is going to get downvoted too. But let it be. This is what i feel and i feel i have to break the ice here.

1 Answer 1


The Stack Exchange platform works with very specific types of questions, and we've found through a few years of trial and error recommendation questions don't work well.

When I closed the question, I provided a link to why recommendation questions don't work, which you can still find here:

Are "I'm looking for X" questions on topic?

In short, questions asking for recommendations almost inevitably turn into a list of one line answers that don't provide any information as to why someone would use it.

Additionally, when a question is ultra specific in its requirements, it's unlikely to help future visitors: if my requirements are off by a little from yours, your question doesn't answer my recommendation question, opening the door for several iterations of essentially the same question. To wit, we have over 2,000 questions asking about documentation tools: most of them are terrible and help nobody.

To that point, it's important to realize two things about closing:

  1. Closing is a manual process. Someone has to call a question to the attention of moderators or stumble onto the question and decide to vote to close. With over 14,000 questions on Programmers.SE, some bad questions slip through the cracks. When that happens, we rely on community members like yourself to flag those questions so they can be closed or improved.

  2. Closing isn't a death sentence for a question. We close questions and provide guidance when they do, hopefully before they amass too many answers, so that they can be revised by the asker to meet our question guidelines. It was my intention to prompt you to read the linked guidance and improve your question (or ask another one) based on that guidance, and I apologize that my comment didn't make that clear.

There's a blog post (also linked from the above meta post) called Q&A is Hard, Let's Go Shopping!, that describes a better way to ask a recommendation question without it being a recommendation question.

Specifically, if you ask how you can go about evaluating documentation tools, or what things you should look for when you are evaluating documentation tools, that'd be something that'd be on-topic and pretty useful for everyone.

To quote the end of that blog post,

If I had to summarize our network in a single word, that word is “learning”. People come to our sites to learn about topics they are passionate about. As the old Chinese proverb goes, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Every question and answer ultimately should be about teaching and learning — yes, even the shopping ones.

As to why there are tags for questions that aren't on-topic here, tagging has never been Programmers.SE's strong suit, and we're working on it.

  • not being the ideal kind of question and not being highly valuable are 2 entirley separate issues. It is insane that in the trade of programming discussion the tools of the trade is off topic. Jun 25, 2014 at 19:26

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