See: Why don't people use white space inside parentheses

To me, questions related to coding style / standards are clearly within the remit of Programmers.SE, however the tone of the question I linked is argumentative.

See: What is better: Java or C#

The content of the question itself seems ok, the title is very argumentative though. An alternative that was suggested was: "What are the relative merits of Java and C#"

Given that a lot of subjective questions are also argumentative, where does the line get drawn?

2 Answers 2


The nature of SE sites is such that the very format discourages thread-long flame wars with multiple responses by the same handful of people.

This helps keep questions which are phrased argumentatively from descending into tit-for-tat flaming. Neither of the threads linked above have been answered argumentatively.

It would be naïve to suggest that flamewars won't happen here, but I have faith in the community and believe that argumentative, programming-culture-related threads should be allowed, as people come to subjective sites looking for multiple viewpoints. As long as the community can continue to provide those multiple viewpoints in a rationale manner, we'll be just fine.

  • I came here to say essentially this. If people are being responsible, closing because moderator 'x' thinks it might descend into a flamewar is inappropriate. If it does, close it ASAP. If it doesn't, I don't see the problem with it. Commented Sep 23, 2010 at 10:42

Argumentative questions, in the sense that they are liable to piss a lot of people off, aren't appropriate; but neither of the questions you linked are particularly argumentative.

Examples of inappropriate argumentative questions would be:

I'd also include the following as examples of questions that are ostensibly on-topic, but worded in such a way that make them unnecessarily argumentative:

While it'd be nice if people removed their answer to the question they are asking from the question itself, merely doing so isn't really grounds for a close. Down-voting questions with bad premises is more appropriate.

  • 1
    I disagree with you on the inappropriateness of your first set of questions. I think they are perfectly acceptable. Commented Sep 23, 2010 at 11:51
  • People should not be required to self-censor just because a minority believes that they're out of line. If the tone of the question and the majority of answers is polite, and the question is on-topic (which those questions are), I don't see the problem. If you don't like an on-topic question, simply don't read it. Commented Sep 23, 2010 at 12:21

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