In the Introducing programmers.stackexchange.com blog post, Jeff announces our site with great fanfare. And while I'm all for promoting our site, there are a few problems with that post that I think are creating recurring issues for us.

First off, there's a link to the FAQ which now redirects to our /tour page. It would be a lot more helpful if that redirected to our /help/on-topic page instead. The tour is a nice intro, but doesn't as clearly explain to a new visitor what's on-topic or not.

The other major challenge in that blog post is this:

Although I fully supported this site when it was just a baby Area 51 site proposal, we’ve endured a lot of angst over it — mainly because it veered so heavily into the realm of the subjective. It forced us to think deeply about what makes a useful subjective question, which we formalized into a set of 6 guidelines in Good Subjective, Bad Subjective. Constructive subjective questions …
... [edited for clarity]
Ultimately, with a little extra discipline and moderation, I think the site turned out great. So, go forth and ask your subjective whiteboard questions on programmers.stackexchange.com! Just make sure they’re professional and constructive, please.

And that's where I cried a little bit when I recently re-read that post.

Given the site's dramatic shift in focus from when it originally started, I don't feel that the blog post announces our site in a constructive way. In fact, there's anecdotal evidence that it's actively misleading new users.

Can one of these two things be done, please?

  • Update the blog post to redirect to /help/on-topic and provide a notice indicating that the site scope has changed since that blog post was made.

  • Just make that blog post go away forever.

After digging through the comments on that post, I think we should just make that particular post go away forever.

In particular, this comment is what should be the final nail in the coffin:

The last thing either site needs is people asking perfectly good programming questions on a site explicitly created for non-programming questions.
But if you do get the urge to ask (or answer…) a question that ISN’T strictly programming-related, now you have a place to do so.

Granted, no one reads comment threads on old blog posts but that comment is horrifically misleading at this point in time.


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I've updated the article to either call out or paper over the areas that had become somewhat dated.

That said, I stand by that comment. Folks really shouldn't be asking programming questions here.

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