I was thinking to software readability.

First of all I would like to explain what is an evidence based approach and how it's related to software engineering.

Disciplines like medicine use this kind of approach a lot. Every opinion has to be proved through a scientific test made in double blind. You can see thousand of examples making a search on Google Scholar. Example: link

This kind of methodology assure that nothing is lead to the personal opinion of the writer. Psychology is another discipline which passed from intuitions (see psychanalisis) to rigorous scientific approach. Not always a method is better than the other but scientific approach to software coding is almost unexistent nowaday.

My actual question is if someone knows about the usage of Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to experimentally investigate the readability of some piece of code refactoring.

I understand the question may look weird. But the actual medicine is able to "see" the effort made by the brain of a developer to understand some lines of code. So it's possible to empirically measure the readability of a source code.

One of the purpose of the question would also be to make software developer focus on the possibility (and need?) to go over the opinion based approach to a evidence based software engineering

Would my question be out of scope here?

  • meta.programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/6483/…
    – gnat
    Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 16:24
  • @gnat: I've read the link but I cannot relate to my question. How does it answer it?
    – Revious
    Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 16:29
  • "if someone knows about the usage of <whatever>" doesn't sound okay in the light of that guidance
    – gnat
    Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 16:31
  • @gnat: yes, in the light of that guidance I understand that this formulation of the question could annoy this community. So, if I would have opened it, I should have focused on not presenting it as a knowledge sharing but as a question. I will simply avoid to open it. ps: mankind is complex, and it's incredible that everyone seems so proud of his ideas and solutions that he would kill for not changing them. Also psychology states that. When we think we put our ideas into discussion, we simply try to see the reasons which confirm them. Thanks for the help.
    – Revious
    Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 22:25

1 Answer 1


The question is such that it can only be answered in a couple ways.


This person would have no basis in fact that he/she could authoritatively say nobody has had this idea.


Then they link to an offsite resource and a discussion breaks out. Link only answers are not acceptable here and will be deleted. Further the Q&A format of the site doesn't lend itself well to discussions. A forum or chat room would be a better platform for this.

Furthermore questions that are seeking for off site resources are explicity off topic. If this wasn't really what you were looking for then you are really looking for people to simply review your idea which means there is not a real question here thus it is not a good fit for the Q&A format.

If all of this were not the case then your question is seeking a number of opinions on this topic for purposes of debate or discussion, which doesn't fit the criteria of "Good Subjective Questions" that is outlined in our Help Center.

I do not think the question in its current form is a good fit for the site. Perhaps if you were formulating this idea and had a specific problem you were trying to think through and solve, then it might be a better fit.

  • I'm not sure I've completely understood. I appreciate the answer. I appreciate your effort. But I don't understand clearly what is the purpose of this set of rules. In the past I tried to discuss a lot with people to make them see my point of view and I simply realized that I'm not good at showing my point of view.. and this my enthusiasm to disappear. I spoke with another developer of this question and of the "strictness" of this community. However, thanks again for the answer. I will not bother this community since the question seems to be not welcome.
    – Revious
    Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 22:21
  • 1
    @Revious You are not alone in that a lot of people don't understand and still some do not see value in what we are trying to accomplish on this site. We are trying to build quality content through clearly searchable questions and answers that are targeted to a specific scope. In this way our community is closer to Wikipedia than your typical forum. You are welcome back if you are facing a more specific problem with software development.
    – maple_shaft Mod
    Commented Sep 17, 2014 at 0:28
  • thanks, even if I don't share your vision completely, I appreciate what you are doing as a community and the way you expressed.
    – Revious
    Commented Sep 17, 2014 at 7:40

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