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I understand that programming questions asked here are supposed to be constrained and answerable and should not result in a more open-ended discussion. However, I do have sometimes have programming questions that are more conceptual and opinionated. What's a good, well-moderated site that would allow these kinds of discussions? I'm wondering if there's something as well executed as the Stack Exchange network but for highly subjective questions.

  • Have you tried the chat room? – JeffO Jan 19 '14 at 12:51
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    Yahoo Answers or Quora come to mind, but I would hardly call them well moderated. It is hard to have the quality of StackExchange with open ended opinionated questions and answers. – maple_shaft Jan 19 '14 at 13:01
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    "We already tried supporting those questions, we even gave them their own site. Sadly, it didn't work out..." (How can I encourage Stack Overflow to rein in the 'subjective' vigilantes?) – gnat Jan 19 '14 at 14:00
  • I respect that supporting these kinds of questions is difficult and maybe not suited to this site; but I do believe it's possible to implement some kind of moderated discussion forum that allows open ended discussions to be managed/organized in a useful way. It's all a matter of implementation and community involvement. It's just a different format from Stack Exchange. – Mario T. Lanza Jan 21 '14 at 1:43
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    @MarioT.Lanza: have you tried Reddit/r/programming or quora? – DXM Jan 21 '14 at 18:07
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    It's strange. To me, a programmers life revolves around open ended thoughts. I know all of the code that I write is open ended. I can always find a way to go back and make it better, or think of an entirely new way to reach my objective. – Jeff Jan 29 '14 at 15:51
  • @DXM -- I have recently been exploring Quora but it's not of comparable quality to here. It seems to attract a different crowd that's less I.T. focused. – Mario T. Lanza Feb 3 '14 at 16:41
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    Possible duplicate of Where can I have subjective discussions about programming? – gnat Mar 31 '16 at 4:58
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The objective answer to your question (which I, quite subjectively, don't like), based on what usually happens, is "No". People in programers.stackexchange.com will downvote and close open ended questions. Also, the requisite of that questions can be answered means in practice that the answer is not known perhaps to the one asking the question, but it is known to a significant proportion of people in the programmers.stackexchange.com, so it "can" be answered. A good and objective question with no known answer and particularly with multiple answers will be downvoted and/or closed; again, this is an objective account, I don't suppose that is expected to work that way.

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What's a good, well-moderated site that would allow these kinds of discussions?

Reddit
https://www.reddit.com/r/programming

Quora
Computer Programming topic: https://www.quora.com/pinned/Computer-Programming
Search "programming" topics: https://www.quora.com/search?q=programming&type=topic

Stack site (shutdown)

defunct Stack Exchange site Not Programming Related

In 2010, a Stack Exchange site called Not Programming Related came out of Area51, the Stack Exchange staging zone. NPR was supposed to be a site where questions that were too subjective / broad for Stack Overflow would find a new home.

Why did it fail?

[...] Turns out that while everyone loves those questions, very few are actually willing to spend any time to answer them (seriously), and maintain and moderate them. [...]

Personally, I can understand that when you allow opinion based questions you allow any answer to be correct which may encourage new non-programming users, or lower the knowledge threshold that is expected for users. This may cause these less experienced users to creep into other forums and lower the quality of Stack sites.

However, I don't think shutting down that site should have been the answer. Subjectively and naively, as I wasn't around for the site and don't know about issues it faced, I would think that eventually those issues would be dealt with by voting, editing existing answers, or wiki answers.

I agree with Jeff's comment:

It's strange. To me, a programmers life revolves around open ended thoughts. I know all of the code that I write is open ended. I can always find a way to go back and make it better, or think of an entirely new way to reach my objective.

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    voting wouldn't help to deal with these issues, Jeff Atwood discovered this long time ago: "it's too addictive and too easy, and in the absence of any moderation, the community would do nothing but add and upvote the easy, fun stuff. This is why community moderators have real power; they need that power to intervene, educate, and refocus the community's exuberance on more substantive content..." (The Trouble With Popularity) – gnat Mar 31 '16 at 17:32

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