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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?

  • codeproject.com/script/Forums/List.aspx – pdr Apr 19 '13 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 Apr 19 '13 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 Apr 19 '13 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 – Robert Harvey Apr 19 '13 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 Apr 20 '13 at 1:11
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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.

  • 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. Apr 21 '13 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 Apr 22 '13 at 15:55
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    But still, nobody is +1-ing this idea; only -1's so far! :-) – Peter K. Apr 22 '13 at 16:07

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