The one comment I got was a link that was so generic, it might as well have been to www.google.com.

  • Too many questions in one, and all are pretty vague. If you edit it to be about one specific problem and how to solve it, I can see it getting re-opened easily. Questions about external resources rarely fare well on Programmers, there are numerous problems with them. However, if your question is about a specific problem, external resources may appear naturally as references in answers that (hopefully) solve that problem. – yannis May 2 '13 at 14:58
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    I thought the specific problem was pretty obvious. I can't find documentation on google's website translator widget. The other questions in the body are examples of questions I'd like to answer by reading the documentation. – SLoret May 2 '13 at 15:07
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    Hm, I meant a specific software development problem. "I can't find documentation on foo" is a problem many software developers have, but isn't a software development problem in itself. This is - essentially - what separates this site from traditional discussion forums: We are here to solve problems, not just share links and point people to the right (hopefully) direction. – yannis May 2 '13 at 15:10
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    If you can't find documentation to help with software development, you have a problem. – SLoret May 2 '13 at 15:12
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    I'm not saying it's not a problem, I'm saying it's not a software development one. – yannis May 2 '13 at 15:12
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    What kind of problem is it then? Where would you suggest I go to find an answer? – SLoret May 2 '13 at 15:15
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    If all you are interested in is the tool's documentation, I'd suggest you contact Google directly. – yannis May 2 '13 at 15:16
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    Wow, thank you. Very helpful. – SLoret May 2 '13 at 15:17

From the question:

I can't seem to find any documentation or examples of Google's Website Translator.

As mentioned, this is a resource request. Resource requests ask to make P.SE into a proxy for a search engine. The Q&A format is a less than ideal way to do this.

Furthermore, resource requests tend to be temporal, APIs change, google migrates one application into another, etc...

Does anyone have any experience (good or bad) with using the Website Translator?

This is a polling question. There isn't any correct answer to such a question - every answer to a poll is a correct answer. As such, the Q&A format which expects to have a single correct answer to a question does not work well with polling questions.

Can I set a particular sub-domain to automatically display in French? Can I specify that the site should be automatically translated to the user's default language?

This question isn't a good topical fit for Programmers.SE. Are two other other stack exchanges within the network - Webapps.SE (it's faq) and Webmasters.SE (its faq) which may be a better topical fit. It would be a good idea to check in the corresponding chats to see which one (if either) is the best choice (don't post on both).

Do realize that the issue of resource request may have be similarly problematic on the other sites. Polling questions are very likely to be problematic across the entire SE network.

Of note, just asking the question in the chat is likely always welcomed (no matter what other issues that it has).

  • Thank you. I didn't realize those other two SE's even existed. I will try my question on one of those. – SLoret May 2 '13 at 15:25
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    @SLoret I am fairly consistently amazed at "oh, there's a SE on that" - homebrewing outdoors... lego?! Occasionally, I will go through and look at what ones are new – user40980 May 2 '13 at 15:28

The one comment I got was a link that was so generic, it might as well have been to www.google.com.

This pretty much explains it.

People (myself included) interpreted the question as asking for a list of resources. List questions are not a good fit for the Stack Exchange Q&A model as they produce a list(!) of answers which are equally valid and all voting will produce is the most popular.

This will leave you no better off than you were before you asked the question.

What you need to do is reword the question so that it's clearer that you are asking for something specific you expect to find in one place only.

  • I was asking for help in finding documentation around one particular google widget. How am I asking for a list of resources? I really don't get it. – SLoret May 2 '13 at 15:05
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    @SLoret - there's the problem. People (me included) read it as a request for a list of resources. – ChrisF May 2 '13 at 15:06
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    Thank you. I'll try re-wording the question to ask for one answer. – SLoret May 2 '13 at 15:18

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