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A lot of times, development requires discussion. As programmers we know that there is not clear right or wrong answer, but a myriad of solutions, each with their own benefits and draw back.

Example:
Which is Better To Use and Why: Mysql, PostgreSQL or MS SQL?
What are the advantages of Redis over Memcache?
etc

On top of that, their are interesting changes to be discussed such as this one here: Did jQuery kill the JavaScript discussions?

A lot of these times topics are shut down as being not constructive. So my question is if the question has merit and hasn't been asked before, can there be a place for these "not constructive" questions to live?

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  • codeproject.com/script/Forums/List.aspx
    – pdr
    Commented Apr 19, 2013 at 16:13
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    check out slant.co - it was build specifically for "foo vs bar" questions, and if you visit the site you notice immediately how different it is from SE. Our format simply doesn't work for those questions.
    – yannis
    Commented Apr 19, 2013 at 17:26
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    area of interesting discussion like that is SE Chat. Regarding "Which is Better..." and "advantages over..." kind questions, required reading is, naturally, Gorilla vs. Shark. "Who would win in a fight between a Gorilla and a Shark?"
    – gnat
    Commented Apr 19, 2013 at 19:07
  • @YannisRizos: Slant seems very cool. Can I refer people to this every time they have a shopping or Gorilla VS Shark question? :D Commented Apr 19, 2013 at 23:47
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    @RobertHarvey I've been doing it for a while on MSO and so have others (1, 2). I won't actively promote the site (unless the pay me ;), but when people ask specifically for a place for such questions, I'll point them there. I used to point people to Quora for questions that don't fit SE, but I stopped when they started requiring people to register to read answers, that's nonsense.
    – yannis
    Commented Apr 20, 2013 at 1:11

2 Answers 2

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Discussions don't have answers - they have opinions and dense communication. This doesn't fit the StackExchange Q&A model well - where you have questions and answers.

Chat (The Whiteboard or your own created room if you have a specific topic and can get enough activity in there) can be a wonderful place for non-constructive discussions.

This can also be a place to hone a question so that it can be better presented on the main site or work to reopen a question that has been closed.

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Has anyone set up such a forum using Discourse? I'm sure there's be lots of takers from SO / Programmers.SE etc.

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  • I would, but I'm not convinced that Discourse is going to catch on. I have enormous respect for what Jeff Atwood built with StackExchange, but I think Discourse is suffering from "Second System Syndrome".
    – Jim G.
    Commented Apr 21, 2013 at 0:04
  • In my ideal "I am the guy who makes binding decisions about SE about only what I want to decide upon" world... there would be a 'discourse.XYZ.stackExchange.com' (like chat, and meta) where one could migrate questions from the main site to discourse.
    – user40980
    Commented Apr 22, 2013 at 15:55
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    But still, nobody is +1-ing this idea; only -1's so far! :-)
    – Peter K.
    Commented Apr 22, 2013 at 16:07

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