If someone raises new ideas of innovation , to improve usability or productivity, especially in a category of programming languages where it is pretty badly needed (and problems haven't been solved for 25 years),

and the moderator removes it:

that is CENSORSHIP. Let's be honest about that.

It's also hostile towards those who bring practical innovations to society, which I don't think any of the moderators do.

Just be honest to yourselves about what you are doing.

  • 4
    Be honest with yourself and admit that you seem to have this grandoise view of your own self importance and intelligence then. There is nothing new under the sun, least of all anything that you posit in what was clearly a non-question on a Q&A site. This is not a discussion board. Good luck to you on finding your research grant.
    – maple_shaft Mod
    Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 10:59
  • 1
    I can see that your user account is 6 days old. Welcome to the site. From these questions, you're obviously passionate about programming. Please consider all of the points in the answers and use the site, putting your passion to good use.
    – StuperUser
    Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 14:41

2 Answers 2


I believe you are referring to this question.

Programmers is not a forum for the discussion of new ideas. This is a question and answer site, designed for people who are facing a current problem or dilemma to get the answer to their problem from experts in the field of software development.

What you posted was not a question at all - there was nothing to answer. In addition, it received multiple flags, 6 downvotes, no upvotes, and the comment explaining why it was not appropriate for Programmers received 3 upvotes. It was extremely clear that the community did not want it on this site.


From our FAQ:

Why are some questions or answers removed?

Questions that are extremely off topic, or of very low quality, may be removed at the discretion of the community and moderators.

Over time, closed questions that are not useful as signpoints to other questions may also be removed, as well as questions which have no significant activity over a very long period after being asked. For additional guidance, see How to Ask.

The link under "extremely off topic" leads to this:

What kind of questions should I not ask here?

You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page.

Your questions should be reasonably scoped. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much.

If your motivation for asking the question is “I would like to participate in a discussion about ______”, then you should not be asking here. However, if your motivation is “I would like others to explain ______ to me”, then you are probably OK. (Discussions are of course welcome in our real time web chat.)

And your question was:

Which is better for an open standard for data cleaning: R or SAS or Python?

Actually, none of the above. SAS has a lot of room for improvement for usability (learning curve and readability). Moreover, it's too expensive. R has serious usability problems for cleaning data and preparing it for analysis. Once the data is cleaned, R is great. For usability, Python is a work of sheer genius. But it lacks a smoothly-integrated data processing paragraph (think: SAS data step, or for many-many join SQL SELECT).

An open standard for data cleaning, that's designed to be easy for learning and reading (kind of pythonic, but for data preparation/cleaning with data tables): this would be a valuable benefit for scientific researchers who work with data. It would be my 3rd language. And since it's positioned as a public good, and would benefit science, I want to get a research grant for it.

If SQL is well designed for data management DURING data collection (not after), this could be SPL. ( P = Preparation ).

The only question in there is the rhetorical one in the title. Programmers Stack Exchange is neither a free for all discussion forum, your personal blog or any other platform for self promotion, you should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face.

Other than the 6 downvotes (and no upvotes) the post received two "not a real question flags" and one spam flag, as Thomas already mentioned. I'm also very confident in saying that the post wasn't welcomed by the community and fully support Thomas' decision to close and delete it. This was as a clear cut moderation action as they get, and I would have closed it regardless of its down votes and flags.

Furthermore you need to understand that every post you make on a Stack Exchange site is licensed under Creative Commons, and can be edited by every other member, closed by members with close privileges, and deleted by members with delete privileges. To quote the FAQ (for yet another time):

If you are not comfortable with the idea of your contributions being collaboratively edited by other trusted users, this may not be the site for you.

The same goes for every other action, not just edits. Either you trust the community, and will play by our rules, or you don't. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't feel free to raise issues whenever you want to (in a constructive manner), (almost) every action on the site is reversible. We could even undeleted your question, if we reviewed the deletion and decided that it was incorrect, every deleted post is available to users with more than 10K reputation and to moderators.

And now that I included it in this answer, it's available to every member of the community, let's see what everyone thinks of it.

  • "Let's see what everyone thinks of it." I think it's not a question. It and this meta question is from a user account that is 6 days old in a mature community. Robert is welcome to the site, but should "lurk moar" and consider all the points you have all put better than I could, then put his obvious passion to good use.
    – StuperUser
    Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 14:28
  • The issue is this: your over-zealous moderation system is quite hostile to those who are in a position to introduce new innovations, practical or theoretical. Now it may well be that the population of useless ranters is much bigger than the group of people with aptitude&effort to do research, but still. As for the comment "there is nothing new under the sun" , I can prove that wrong.
    – Robert
    Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 23:28
  • And if you cannot discuss design issues, then this site offers nothing that you can't find in the more technically narrow stackoverflow site. So what's the point of programmers.stackexchange in that case?
    – Robert
    Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 23:32
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    @Robert - Well... the point of Programmers.SE (and every other SE site), as Yannis and Thomas have pointed out, is to ask specific questions. It is not for discussions. The bottom line is... If you have a specific design question, please post it. If you're point is to start a discussion about design, there are other forums on the internet where that would be more appropriate.
    – Walter
    Commented Mar 28, 2012 at 1:58

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